The Great White Way welcomes new musicals this season


The casts of Hamilton, School of Rock, and Spring Awakening sing, act, and dance in Broadway’s hottest new musicals.

Rebecca Muratore, Staff Writer

This fall, Broadway is buzzing with a slew of exciting new arrivals.  Between revivals of popular musicals, adaptations of movies, and completely original works, there is no shortage of new theatre to see in the upcoming months.

Among these new shows is Hamilton, which opened on Aug. 6, and is already one of the most sought after tickets on Broadway.   With music and lyrics by Emmy, Grammy and Tony Award winner Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton is a new musical about the life of founding father Alexander Hamilton.  The show follows him from his beginnings as a young immigrant from the Caribbean eager to make his mark on the new country, through his political triumphs, scandals, and eventual demise.

Hamilton was a fresh, original show, and I thoroughly enjoyed it,” said freshman Leah Taylor.

After a sold out off-Broadway run last winter, Hamilton’s Broadway transition was met with unanimous acclaim and praise from both critics and audiences.  By infusing elements of rap, hip-hop, and Broadway music together, the score takes the audience through the journey of Hamilton’s life, capturing his determination as a young immigrant to rise up through the ranks of the newfound American government.

“The creators were brilliant using modern-type songs, actors, and phrases to help the audience remain engaged in the story, and show how the characters were idolized during that time period,” said Taylor.

Another eagerly awaited new show hitting the Broadway stage this fall is School of Rock—The Musical, with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Glenn Slater.

This musical is a stage adaptation of the 2003 film School of Rock, a comedy in which a washed out musician (Jack Black) poses as a substitute teacher at a prep school.  He is inspired to create a rock band out of the musically talented students in his class, hoping for them to enter and win the upcoming Battle of the Bands.

“I haven’t heard much about the musical, but I saw the movie and I enjoyed it,” said sophomore Una Stopford.  “I think it would make a good Broadway show, considering the fact that it’s based around music.”

School of Rock—The Musical begins previews on Nov. 9 and opens on Dec. 6.  It stars Alex Brightman as faux teacher Dewey Finn, and Sierra Boggess as Rosalie, the uptight headmistress.

Although a number of new shows will be gracing the Broadway stage this fall, plenty of revivals are making their way on the Great White Way as well.

The Spring Awakening revival is another event that has been drawing considerable buzz.  With music by Duncan Sheik and a book and lyrics by Stephen Sater, Spring Awakening originally opened on Broadway in 2006.  It was met with wide acclaim, winning eight Tony Awards including the award for Best Musical.  It kick-started successful careers for its lead actors Jonathan Groff, Lea Michelle, and John Gallagher, Jr.

Set in Germany in the late nineteenth century, Spring Awakening depicts the story of young teenagers as they discover and deal with the struggles of their sexual awakening.  The musical is driven by a rock score, which results in an energetic and electrifying performance that highlights the angst and hardship faced by the characters.

“I am extremely excited for the Spring Awakening revival and hope to get tickets!” said sophomore Jay Peierls.

Unlike past productions, this revival is performed simultaneously in American Sign Language and spoken English.  It is produced by the Deaf West Theatre company, the same company that first performed this version of Spring Awakening in Los Angeles in early 2015.  The cast consists of a mix of deaf, hard of hearing, and able-to-hear actors and musicians who perform the show.

Spring Awakening began previews on Sept. 8 and opened on Sept. 27.  It will be running for a limited engagement, with its closing date set for Jan. 24, 2016.

“It’s great that Deaf West is taking steps to help give a better experience to more theatergoers,” said Peierls.

Theatergoers will have plenty to choose from this fall when deciding which shows deserve their money.

Between these three shows and the countless other plays and musicals opening, a wealth of talent awaits to be seen on the Great White Way in the coming months.