By Kayleigh Wieboldt
Broadway has been in the spotlight for hundreds of years and has no sign of stopping.
Musicals, in particular, may not always garner front page attention; however, over the past few years, break-out producers and thespians have stolen the hearts of millions of fans. Lin-Manuel Miranda has become a household name across the world. With his Tony Award-winning shows In the Heights and Hamilton: An American Musical, Miranda has shown that he does not shy away from the spotlight. In 2018, he will be earning a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame alongside other legends.
Miranda is also one of the composers behind the 2016 Disney Blockbuster Moana, and he is a self-confessed Disney fan. In many interviews, Miranda told reporters that he even named his son after Sebastian from The Little Mermaid. The movie actually influenced him to go into the music business in the first place.
As for upcoming projects, Miranda will be starring in the new adaptation of Mary Poppins with his co-star Emily Blunt. Miranda is demonstrating no signs of stopping his reign over the theater community anytime soon, and many look forward to what he has in store for the future.
2016 brought many amazing shows to Broadway including the Tony Award-winning musical, Dear Evan Hansen. If you have not heard of the show, you must be living under a rock.
The musical tells the story of a high school outcast named Evan Hansen, played by the extraordinary Ben Platt. Evan deals with anxiety and is ordered by his physiatrist to write positive letters to himself every day. One day, his letter falls into the hands of another outcast by the name of Connor Murphy. Connor comments on Evan’s recently broken arm and requests that he signs it. The following day, the community finds out about Connor’s suicide, which catches everyone by surprise. Evan is caught up in a lie when the only evidence they find is a letter in Connor’s pocket reading, “Dear, Evan Hansen…” In order to get close to Zoe Murphy, his childhood crush, Evan, with help of a family friend, Jared Kleinman, fakes emails between him and the deceased Connor. After a long time, the lie spirals out of control and… well I cannot spoil the ending! The original cast recording album reached position eight on Billboard 200 chart and remained there for twenty-three weeks. Check out the album on Apple Music, Spotify, YouTube, or any other source.
Many have also heard of the 1992 cult classic Newsies, starring Christian Bale as Jack Kelly, union leader of the New York City newsboys.
In 2012, Broadway honored the movie’s twentieth anniversary with a sixteen week show, but the musical was so well received it remained on stage for another two years.
Jack Kelly was portrayed by the highly talented Jeremy Jordan alongside Andrew Keenan-Bolger as Crutchy.
The show was composed by world famous Alan Menken. Menken’s catchy music is paired with very impressive acrobatic and tap choreography.
As the show closed, the national tour began. The tour traveled around for another two years ending in October of 2016. The show made its mark on the Broadway community and was professionally filmed for Netflix, airing in May 2017.
The story is loosely based off the 1899 Newsies strike in New York City. The strike brought attention to the condition of child labor.
This show has a special place in my heart as my first Broadway show. I trace my love of musical theater to Newsies and its amazing cast. Go check out Newsies on Netflix as well as listening to the album on Spotify, YouTube, and Apple Music.