Michelle Dorrance's First Broadway Gig, Plus 9 Other Musicals We Can't Wait to See This Season
What do Percy Jackson, Princess Diana and Tina Turner have in common? They're all characters on Broadway this season. Throw in Michelle Dorrance's choreographic debut, Henry VIII's six diva-licious wives and the 1990s angst of Alanis Morissette, and the 2019–20 season is shaping up to be an exciting mix of past-meets-pop-culture-present.
Here's a look at the musicals hitting Broadway in the coming months. We're biding our time until opening night!
The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical
Opens: October 16
Choreography by: Patrick McCollum
The fantasy-book-sensation-turned-musical has been described as "one foot in Harry Potter and another in Dear Evan Hansen" by the Chicago Tribune (though diehard fans of the series might disagree with that assessment). McCollum, who's on hand for the choreography, including fight scenes, brings experience from shows like The Band's Visit, The Last Ship and Rocky.
David Byrne's American Utopia
Opens: October 20
Choreography by: Annie-B Parson
Though not technically a musical, dancers will want to check out Talking Heads' frontman David Byrne in his theatrical concert on Broadway. With moves courtesy postmodern icon Annie-B Parson, we're hoping it's a "once in a lifetime" occasion.
Tina: The Tina Turner Musical
Opens: November 7
Choreography by: Anthony Van Laast
Filled with hit after hit and produced in collaboration with the great Tina Turner, Tina can't be without a smattering of upbeat numbers—how could "Proud Mary" not be a fiery dance scene? And with Adrienne Warren (from Shuffle Along... and Bring It On) as Tina and Hamilton's Daniel J. Watts as the abusive Ike, the show is stuffed with talent to portray the triumphant rock diva's life.
Jagged Little Pill
Opens: December 5
Choreography by: Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui
Transferring an Alanis Morissette '90s pop record to a narrative musical without it being cheesy is a challenge we think Cherkaoui is up to. When Dance Magazine interviewed him prior to last year's American Repertory Theater premiere of Jagged Little Pill, he said,
This work is about daring to look at the complexity of life and see we are full of paradoxes. There is no easy answer, and it can be exciting to have a whole life to find those answers.
West Side Story
Opens: February 6
Choreography by: Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker
This Ivo van Hove–directed revival is putting a contemporary spin on the iconic West Side Story, and the cast is already stacked with recognizable dancers like Ricky Ubeda, Amar Ramasar and Jacob Guzman. While we're anxious to see van Hove and De Keersmaeker's interpretation, this pair remains an unconventional choice for the Jerome Robbins classic.
Girl from the North Country
Opens: March 5
Movement direction by: Lucy Hind
Girl from the North Country revisits the songs of Bob Dylan, adapting them for the rolling stones who are passing through a guest house in 1934 Duluth, Minnesota.
SIX: The Musical
Opens: March 12
Choreography by: Carrie-Anne Ingrouille
Divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived. Such were the fates of the wives of King Henry VIII, and now they're hitting Broadway to belt out their side of the story in the pop-infused SIX: The Musical—but not before it opens at sea.
Diana: A New Musical
Opens: March 31
Choreography by: Kelly Devine
The life of "the people's princess" will make its way to Broadway this spring. Still a topic of great intrigue two decades after her death, Princess Diana's life will be unpacked in Diana, shining a light on her compassion but also the darker aspects of her story. With movement by Devine, of Come From Away, the choreography should strike a balance between down-to-earth and regal.
Caroline, or Change
Opens: April 7
Choreographed by: Ann Yee
This revival returns from the West End, starring 2019 Olivier Award winner Sharon D Clarke, who played Caroline across the pond. Set in 1963 Louisiana, the shows revolves around an African-American maid who works for a Jewish family. The West End trailer alone (see below) is a quick testament to Clarke's powerful performance.
Flying Over Sunset
Opens: April 16
Choreographed by: Michelle Dorrance
The characters in this musical aren't tripping over their feet because of Michelle Dorrance's complex choreo (well, they might be). In Flying Over Sunset, Cary Grant, Aldous Huxley and Clare Boothe Luce are chiefly tripping because they're on LSD. Oh, the theater possibilities abound! Extra bonus: Debonair dancer Tony Yazbeck has been cast as Grant. Could this be the danciest show of the season? Here's hoping.
If "Fosse/Verdon" whet your appetite for the impeccable Gwen Verdon, then Merely Marvelous: The Dancing Genius of Gwen Verdon is the three-course meal you've been craving. The new documentary—available now on Amazon for rental or purchase—dives into the life of the Tony-winning performer and silver-screen star lauded for her charismatic dancing.
Though she's perhaps most well-known today as Bob Fosse's wife and muse, that's not even half of her story. For starters, she'd already won four Tonys before they wed, making her far more famous in the public eye than he was at that point in his career. That's just one of many surprising details we learned during last night's U.S. premiere of Merely Marvelous. Believe us: You're gonna love her even more once you get to know her. Here are eight lesser-known tidbits to get you started.
Every dancer knows that how you fuel your body affects how you feel in the studio. Of course, while breakfast is no more magical than any other meal (despite the enduring myth that it's the most important one of the day), showing up to class hangry is a recipe for unproductive studio time.
So what do your favorite dancers eat in the morning to set themselves up for a busy rehearsal or performance day?
When it comes to dance in the U.S., companies in the South often find themselves overlooked—sometimes even by the presenters in their own backyard. That's where South Arts comes in. This year, the regional nonprofit launched Momentum, an initiative that will provide professional development, mentorship, touring grants and residencies to five Southern dance companies.
You ever just wish that Kenneth MacMillan's iconic production of Romeo and Juliet could have a beautiful love child with the 1968 film starring Olivia Hussey? (No, not Baz Luhrmann's version. We are purists here.)
Wish granted: Today, the trailer for a new film called Romeo and Juliet: Beyond Words was released, featuring MacMillan's choreography and with what looks like all the cinematic glamour we could ever dream of: