2012, it seems, was a rough year for everyone all around. However, in a world that seemed darker then usual this year, there were some bright lights shinning from the theatre scene. Following on the heels of 2011, it seemed as though 2012 could not get any better when it comes to the theatre world and yet it did. As the 2012 comes to a close, all the major theatre news sources such as Playbill, Broadwayworld and many others look back ranking their favorite moments from 2012. So we figured we should too! Today, Luner on Theatre takes a look back and brings yo some of our favorite theatre experiences and stories form 2012.
When it comes to theatre in 2012, it proved to be an exciting year for Broadway, the West End and even us here at Luner on Theatre. Broadway broke box office record after box office record as multiple shows raked in big bucks while also piling in some new original musical theatre to New York. London saw blockbusters such as Matilda the Musical, Viva Forever! and many others take shape while the promise of more blockbusters in 2013, such as The Book of Mormon, already set plans in motion for 2013. And even for Luner on Theatre, despite two major hiatus’s, we expanded our blog with new posts and new topics because of our viewers! But if we had to choose some of our favorite moments of 2012, they would have to be…
Disney’s Newsies the Musical swept into Broadway in the Spring of 2012 as the most anticipated new musical of the season and won over the hearts of thousands. After a highly successful run at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Fall 2011, the production made it’s Broadway debut and skyrocketed Disney Theatrical back into the spotlight on Broadway. The show was nominated for 8 Tony Awards and went on to win 2 (One for Best Original Score & Best Choreography). Lead by original Broadway Jack Kelly, Jeremy Jordan, the show has since replaced its main man with Corey Cott and proved that names are not what sells this show, but the passion behind it. Disney’s Newsies the Musical is currently running at The Nederlander Theatre on 41st Street. Check out my Official Newsies Review for Luner on Theatre and the Newsies on Broadway Official Website as well.
Jesus Christ Superstar rocked back to Broadway after a notorious run in Canada over Summer 2011. Lead by a cast of new names such as Paul Nolan, Josh Young, Chilina Kennedy and Bruce Dow, this religious revival proved glorious in all aspects. The classic rock musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber took a totally new 21st century spin on the show in a style many welcomed. However, the show did not last long and ended up closing within 4 months of arriving in New York. The production, which featured stellar voices above anything else, will have no cast recording to the disappointment of fans. Check out my Official Jesus Christ Superstar Review.
Clybourne Park, the new Pulizter Prize winning drama by Bruce Norris, barely made it to Broadway this past year after being saved by Jordan Roth & Jujamcyn Theaters last minute for a Broadway run. The new drama, which is in a sense a response to A Raisin in the Sun, is spot on and one of the greatest new dramas written in the 21st century. I was lucky enough to see Clybourne Park on Broadway and was absolutely moved by the incredible performances and script the show offered. The show went on to surpass top runners like Other Dessert Cities and Peter and the Starcatcher and win the Tony Award for Best Play for 2012. A truly deserved honor. I would only hope to see this production produced in many other places as it is more relevant then ever in today’s world we live in. Check out Clybourne Park’s Official Website as well.
Rebecca the Musical may have never made it to Broadway this year but it was one of our top favorite theatre moments. In a series of unfortunate events that seem to be more haunting then the actual story of Rebecca itself, a major fraud case and made up investors sent Rebecca scrambling for money in last minute attempts to save the production a Broadway run. Mark Hotton, the Long Island man accused of the crime, has since been arrested by the FBI and an investigation continues around the production. While the run has been cancelled indefinitely, there is still hope as lead producer Ben Sprecher works to gain back legit funds for a Broadway and West End run of the show in the near future. Until then, maybe we should add the word Rebecca to the list of thing’s not to say or do in the theater. Until then, check out Rebecca the Musical’s Official Broadway website.
Annie the Musical returned to Broadway this Fall marking the original production’s 35th anniversary. This most recent revival of the classic musical about the orphan Annie truly hits all the spots. Starring Lilla Crawford, Anthony Warlow, Katie Finneran and the fiercest orphans in town (Madi Rae DiPietro, Junah Jang, Georgi James, Tyrah Skye Odoms, Taylor Richardson, Emily Rosenfeld and Jaidyn Young), this reinvented Annie shines bright in a season overflowing with revivals. The re-imagined production not only brought me some hope for re-invented revivals in New York but also brought a tear to my eye. How could it not? Annie the Musical is currently running at The Palace Theatre in Times Square. Check out my Official Annie the Musical Review for Luner on Theatre and visit Annie the Musical’s Official Website as well.
The 2012 Tony Awards is one of the most anticipated nights of theatre coming at the end of the long awards season. This year, hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, proved to be another entertaining night of theatre at the end of another very successful season. The night included quite a variety of acts such as The Book of Mormon’s NPH Introduction, The Opening Number, The Original Score Introduction and the End of the Night Rap. All in all, another entertaining night hosted by Neil Patrick Harris who we hope to see return once again next year!
If you’re looking for an outstanding example of children’s theatre and developmental theatre for young adults, look no further then Upper Darby Summer Stage. This theatre program, located in the Philadelphia suburbs, only seems to get better and better as each year passes, The program, which now caters to over 700 participants and 100 staff members, had another successful summer for 2012. I kicked off the season this year on a pirate adventure with Dora the Explorer: LIVE! I then made my way down south for The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Not too long after, I found myself immersed in the stories of Dr. Seuss in Seussical Jr. before making my way back to New York City for Annie Jr. . I got to head down the beach for a week with How I Became A Pirate and then ended the season in the most magical way possible, with A Disney Spectacular! On top of all of this, I was able to work on the incredible production of Hairspray the program produced. The show brought audiences to their feet night after night. And while it might sound like I’m bragging about this one of a kind program, if you ever get the chance to experience it, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.
Being a college student, I am lucky enough to work on multiple productions each year through Wagner College Theatre at Wagner College which I attend. Not to toot our own horn but it seems to me like Wagner College Theatre is only getting better and better. In 2012, Wagner College produced a variety of productions from current Broadway blockbusters to a Sondheim revue to a world premiere as well. In 2012, I was lucky enough to stage manage two productions for Wagner College. The first was Urinetown the Musical in the Spring. This production was directed and choreographed by Tony Nominee and original Broadway choreographer John Carrafa. Most recently this fall, I was lucky enough to work on the Broadway blockbuster hit Legally Blonde the Musical. During this production, I was able to work with the amazing Brian Patrick Murphy (Director) and Sara Sheperd (Choreographer) who both toured with Legally Blonde. Jerry Mitchell came out to support our show and other notorious names such as animal trainer Bill Berloni. These educational experiences are what help us who want to do the theatre of tomorrow get experience in what we love doing today.
What were YOUR favorite theatre moments of 2012? We found ourselves surrounded and enjoying more theatre this year then ever before! From Broadway to regional to education to community theatre, this year was quite an amazing one! Luner on Theatre is already looking forward to 2013 and what that holds for the theatre world especially! We will be sure to bring you coverage of that up next on our blog! Be sure to check Luner on Theatre on Facebook and Follow Us on Twitter as well! We are constantly updating these pages with information! And of course, check out the rest of Luner on Theatre for all your theatre news you don’t only need but want to know!