The glimmering lights of Broadway have been delighting audiences with plays, musicals and comedies for over 100 years. Many of the shows such as Wicked, The Book of Mormon, Chicago and most recently Kinky Boots have made their way over the pond to the West End.
However several amazing productions from ‘The Great White Way’ have yet to make the leap to the UK. So, we’re going to take a look at some fantastical, magical and amusing shows that we think should come to London’s theatre district.
A magical musical based on Disney’s 1992 animated classic, with music by Alan Menken and lyrics by theatre legend Tim Rice, Aladdin tells the story of the eponymous young street rat who falls in love with the forbidden Princess Jasmine. The musical has been at the New Amsterdam Theatre since 2014 and has been really well-received by critics, with James Monroe Iglehart winning a prestigious Tony Award for his starring role as the Genie. But don’t fret young Disney fans! It has been confirmed that Aladdin will be coming to the Prince Edward Theatre in the West End for summer 2016, taking the place of the revival of Miss Saigon.
Based on the novel by Stephen King and the popular 1990 film of the same name, Misery tells the tale of romance novelist Paul Sheldon, who is rescued from a car crash by his obsessed ‘number one fan’ Annie Wilkes and wakes up in her secluded woodland cabin. Annie reads the manuscript to his newest novel and become enraged when she reads that he has killed off her favourite character. This causes events to take a violent turn and the titular misery ensues.
The play has yet to preview in New York but will be starring Bruce Willis as Sheldon. This is going to be a sure fire hit, especially in the West End which has just seen the musical version of American Psycho which was sold out completely!
Another musical which should make the jump is the Tony award nominated If/Then. It tells the story of 40-year old Elizabeth, a divorcee who moves back to New York City after a fresh start. In the city she meets two friends, one who tells her to live her life under the name of ‘Liz’ and the other who instructs her to make professional connections under the name ‘Beth’. From this point on the show depicts the two paths that Elizabeth’s life could potentially take.
Think Sliding Doors but add the incredible vocal talent of the Broadway powerhouse that is Idina Menzel. We need to see this superstar back on the West End stage, in a role in which she has taken the lead song on tour with her – because it is THAT good!!
Hedwig and the Angry Inch
This musical is a real game changer, following the life of German rock star Hedwig, as she details her previous life as a boy named Hansel, whose life long dream it was to find his other half. Hedwig reluctantly submitted to a sex change operation in order to marry her love, an American G.I, as well as to get over the Berlin Wall to freedom. However the operation was unsuccessful, leaving her with the titular ‘angry inch’.
The musical highlights transgender issues in a 1980s context, in a sensitive yet in a tongue and cheek way. With several leading male having undertaken the role- including the likes of Michael C.Hall, Darren Criss, and Taye Diggs- the musical has been a phenomenal success, nominated for eight Tony Awards with four wins including Best Revival of a Musical and Best Leading Actor in a Musical for Neil Patrick Harris.