While the start of each year tends to inspire a lull on Broadway, there are lots of shows to look forward to in 2014. Shows about the French revolution; shows about German rockstars; shows about poor-beggars-turned-princes; and shows about... Rocky Balboa? Here are a few Broadway productions to look forward to this year.
Type of Show: Musical
Previews: February 11, 2014
Opening Date: March 13, 2014
Synopsis: A debt collector turned club fighter gets the opportunity of a lifetime when he's offered a chance at the world heavyweight championship.
Why Non-Theater Lovers Should Care: Curiosity's sake will probably drive a few to check out Rocky. Rocky Balboa is a character you can root for and it'll be weirdly interesting to see how they managed to turn the film into a musical. Plus, Sylvester Stallone — the writer, director, and star behind the original "Rocky" film — is involved in the project. It may sound bizarre in theory, but the musical could work.
Shakespeare is having a moment. Again. Given that William Shakespeare is arguably the most memorable playwright of all time, it's no surprise that his shows continue not just to be shared and acted in schools, but also on the Broadway stage.
This year, four of Shakespeare's plays made it to the Great White Way — and one was so enthralling, it was worthy of two different renditions.
While some of the Shakespeare shows were modernized (Romeo and Juliet), others stay as close to the original 17th century performances as possible (Richard III/Twelfth Night). Here's a breakdown of the shows that helped make 2013 the "Year of Shakespeare" on Broadway.
Alan Cumming's Macbeth
Starring: Alan Cumming
Opening Date: April 21, 2013
Closing Date: July 14, 2013
About This Rendition: Performed at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre, Alan Cumming's one-man rendition of Macbeth was called a "tour-de-force that redefines the term" by Associated Press. The critically acclaimed show featured Cumming playing each role in Macbeth, but with a twist: the entire thing took place in an asylum ward.
It was announced this week that Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark will be closing its doors Jan. 4, 2014. But the show, which is currently performed at Foxwoods Theatre, won't be gone for good. Instead, the flashy production will head to Las Vegas, joining other theater shows such as Jersey Boys and Blue Man Group.
When Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark opened on Broadway, many feared it wouldn't last long. Prior to its debut, it had gained quite a bit of traction, but for all the wrong reasons; many were talking about its production-related troubles, including a need to retool the book and score, as well as stunt-related issues. Rehearsals and previews were both dragged on longer than anticipated when several actors were injured during the process. In fact, Spider-Man currently holds the record for longest preview period in history, with 182 performances.
Michael Cohl — producer for Spider-Man — told AP, "We can have a more exciting and better show in Las Vegas. To me, Las Vegas is the town of show business. ...If you look at our show, it's much, much more a spectacle and a Vegas show than a Broadway show. So I think we're going to have a great time there."
After a little over a month after its opening on Broadway, it was announced that Big Fish will close December 29. By then, it will have played 34 previews and just under 100 shows (98) at Neil Simon Theatre.
The show was based off of a 1998 novel written by Daniel Wallace called "Big Fish: A Novel of Mythic Proportions." In 2003, the novel was turned into a movie starring Ewan McGregor, Billy Crudup, Jessica Lang, Helena Bonham Carter, and Albert Finney. Directed by Tim Burton, this rendition was the likely inspiration behind the Broadway production, which was set in Alabama and followed Edward Bloom, a man of many stories.
Big Fish has a successful run in Chicago prior to its Broadway debut. The show is directed and choreographed by Susan Stroman, with a book by John August, and music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa. Academy Award winners Bruce Cohen and Dan Jinks produce the show.
Alanis Morissette's 1995 album, Jagged Little Pill, might just be heading to Broadway. Morissette and Tom Kitt (a Pulitzer Prize winner who has previously worked on Broadway shows like If/Then) are said to be collaborating on a musical that will be inspired by the iconic '90s album.
If all goes well, a workshop production of the musical will debut in New York come 2014. It would include the entire album's tracklist, as well as songs from other Morrisette albums and some new songs she'll compose specifically for the production.
Friendly reminder: Angsty "You Oughta Know" — Morisette's first single off of Jagged Little Pill — is rumored to have been written about Dave Coulier, who played Joey Gladstone on "Full House."