It’s a French revolution on Broadway this spring (and not of the Les Miserables variety). Two French-inspired shows make their way to the Great White Way, along with an epic tale set against the final days of Czarist Russia. Hence the inspiration for our internationally themed “three to see” for April. Broadway producers are also hoping to capitalize on name recognition. Cumulatively, these titles have won a total of 20 Academy Awards. Here’s hoping that Oscars translate to Tonys for a lucky few…
Ooh la la! High School Musical star Vanessa Hudgens leads a cast set in the magical world of La Belle Epoque Paris, where fashion, glamour and passion prevail. Lerner and Loewe’s celebrated musical is a romantic comedy about one young woman’s journey to find her true self… and her true love. The cast also includes Broadway vets Victoria Clark (Tony Award winner for Light in the Piazza) and Tony nominees Dee Hoty (Mamma Mia) and Howard McGillin (Phantom of the Opera).
The show won the 1974 Tony Award for Best Original Score while the 1958 film snagged nine Oscars including Best Picture. With a new book by Heidi Thomas, here’s hoping “The Night They Invented Champagne” has enough bubbles for an extended Broadway run.
Neil Simon Theatre
250 West 52nd Street
Opening night: April 8, 2015
An American in Paris
This romantic story of a young American soldier, a beautiful French girl and an indomitable European city, each yearning for a new beginning in the aftermath of war, is the stuff of Broadway dreams.
The original 1952 film starred Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron and won six Academy Awards, including Best Picture. (Vincente Minnelli directed both An American Paris and Gigi). For this stage version, all bets are on acclaimed director/choreographer Christopher Wheeldon, who has danced for the New York City Ballet and Royal Ballet. Tying it all together with a new book is Pulitzer Prize nominee Craig Lucas (Prelude to a Kiss) and the legendary songs of George and Ira Gershwin.
An American in Paris
The Palace Theatre
Opening night: April 12, 2015
Dr. Zhivago is an epic romance, revolving around the search for love during the final days of Czarist Russia, the First World War and the chaos of the Russian revolution. Raised as an aristocrat, Zhivago is a political idealist, physician and poet whose life is tossed by the tides of history as he is torn between a life with his devoted wife, Tonia Gromeko and the passionate and mysterious Lara Guishar. Zhivago however, is not alone in his yearnings for Lara, and must compete with both revolutionaries and aristocracy alike to win the heart of the woman he cannot live without.
Based on the Nobel Prize-winning book and Academy Award-winning film, director Des McAnuff has his hands full with this epic tale but will rely on music by Lucy Simon, lyrics by Amy Powers and Michael Korie, and a book by Michael Weller to bring this epic tale to the stage.
Opening night: April 21, 2105