Hugh Panaro and Carolee Carmello in ‘Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.’ (Photo: Joan Marcus)
By Matthew Wexler
Sometimes bone-chilling and at other times laugh-inducing, The Broadway Blog has scoured the archives to share our top six shows to spook, scintillate and seduce for a frightfully theatrical Halloween.
Next year will be the 30th anniversary of this notorious Broadway flop, based on Stephen King’s novel and the film by the same name. Poor Carrie, an awkward teen with special powers and a religiously obsessed mother, wreaks havoc on her high school when the bullying becomes too much to bear. Recent revivals have proven that Carrie (at least the musical) just won’t die.
A love triangle gone wrong, Murder Ballad (book and lyrics by Julia Jordan, music by Juliana Nash), follows the double life of Sara as her tumultuous relationships come to a violent end. The production premiered at Manhattan Theatre Club then moved to New York City’s Union Square Theatre, starring Cassie Levy, who will be appearing as Elsa in the Broadway production of Frozen.
The Addams Family
Gomez Addams and his darkly delightful family hit the Broadway stage in 2010 with a quirky score by Andrew Lippa (The Wild Party, Big Fish) starring Nathan Lane and Bebe Neuwirth. The goofy plot follows the macabre family as they’re thrown into a tizzy when daughter Wednesday starts dating a “normal” boy.
Dance of the Vampires
One of the more famous flops of the 2002-2003 Broadway season, Dance of the Vampires starred Phantom of the Opera’s Michael Crawford, but even that star power couldn’t save the show from closing after 56 performances. But proving that even Broadway can’t kill a show, the cult musical has found its home touring throughout Europe, with long-running productions including a 20-year run in Vienna, Austria.
Jekyll & Hyde
Frank Wildhorn’s wildly dramatic musical version is based on The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the 1886 novella by Robert Louis Stevenson. The original Broadway cast featured Robert Cuccioli as the man with the devilish split personality; Christiane Noll as Emma Carew; and Linda Eder as Lucy Harris. The original production ran for 1,543 performances, while the 2013 Broadway revival starring American Idol’s Constantine Maroulis and pop diva Deborah Cox lasted only 30 performances.
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Stephen Sondheim and Harold Wheeler’s chilling adaptation of Christopher Barber’s play of the same name continues to haunt audiences since its original 1979 Broadway production (directed by Harold Prince) and subsequent revivals. It’s currently playing Off-Broadway at the Barrow Street Theatre, conceived as an intimate pie and mash shop inspired by the 2014 Tooting Arts Club London revival.
Matthew Wexler is The Broadway Blog’s editor. Follow him on social media at @wexlerwrites.