Lessons of the Year: Here’s What We Learned in 2016

first_imgUh, Musicals Have Always MatteredWith the success of critics’ darling La La Land poised to win big at the Oscars, everyone has musicals on their mind. Some might go so far as to say they “matter again.” But we here at Broadway.com HQ happen to think they’ve always mattered. You wouldn’t have La La Land without The Broadway Melody, and you wouldn’t have The Broadway Melody without shows like the Lady Be Good or No, No, Nanette. So yes, musicals do matter and have mattered, and while we’re thrilled that Pasek and Paul are the toast of Tinseltown (and will be for some time!), don’t forget where they came from. If you do, take a trip to the Music Box Theatre. Tony Winners Are Ready for Their CloseupCongratulations, you just won a Tony Award! What are you going to do next? Screw Disney World; go to Hollywood. This year, four actors took to the screen to revisit roles that won them Tonys: Viola Davis and Denzel Washington in Fences, Audra McDonald in Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill and Bryan Cranston in All the Way. All four received SAG nominations, and there’s plenty of Emmy and Golden Globe nods (and Oscar buzz) to go around. It just goes to show: if it’s not broken, don’t try to fix it. Now, about that Wicked movie… Broadway Will Keep on ShiningGood times and bum times, we’ve seen them all but my dear, we’re still here. This year was a particularly tough one for many, but as James Corden told us at the start of the Tony Awards—an evening that followed the tragic attack in Orlando—hate will never win. That night, Broadway became champions for resilience, condolence and love. Theater alone won’t end gun violence; theater alone won’t solve a lack of diversity; theater alone won’t change our government. But this year, everyone who took the stage showed that the work they do constantly makes strides to move people and make this world better. So don’t stop being here, Broadway. We need you. We got through all of last year, and somehow, we’re still here. But before we enter 2017 with dreams of Bette Midler on a staircase, Audra McDonald as a wardrobe and oh my God, another Andrew Lloyd Webber revival, let’s study up on the important pearls of Broadway wisdom we learned this year on the Great White Way. Join us as we take a look back on the Lessons of the Year! Broadway Loves the ’90sOh snap, it looks like the ’90s are making a comeback. This year, Falsettos returned to Broadway, and revivals of Sunset Boulevard, Miss Saigon and Smokey Joe’s Cafe are on deck. We even have musical adaptations of Anastasia and Groundhog Day lined up. What’s the dealio, Broadway? We know the ’90s were all that and a bag of chips, but maybe it’s time to take a chill pill. That or just go postal and give us Ragtime, Rent and Passion while you’re at it. Keep Smash Alive & They Won’t Forget YouWe’ve gotten a flurry of assurances that Bombshell is still on its way to becoming a real musical. Sure you’re busy with live musicals and other projects Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, but can you dig deep and speedtrack this? Everyone knows Smash wins you awards. Just look at Miss America Savvy Shields, who did a Bombshell jazz routine for her talent portion and won. Rest assured, we’re never going to cut, print and move on until Marilyn is doing the 20th Century Fox Mambo on Broadway. Live Musicals Should Be LiveWe may have screamed at our TV sets when Laura Benanti side-eyed, when Allison Williams crowed or when Uzo Aduba was a straight up goddess, but on these three previous live telecasts, there was a key live element missing: an audience. Then came Fox’s Grease: Live, which gave us a peppy crowd to cheer and swoon over Aaron Tveit in short shorts. This month, Hairspray Live! featured a studio full of spectators—and, for some inexplicable reason, Darren Criss shouting in a golf cart. Let it be known: the audience is an integral part of any show, and not just for live tweeting. Kristin & Idina Are Wicked For…Good…It’s been 13 years since Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth changed Broadway (and our YouTube views) for good by starring in Wicked, and it’s been thrillifying to watch them go their separate ways to celebrate careers of supernovic proportions. But in 2016, their stars crossed on more than one occasion. First, they reunited to sing a Wicked duet together for the first time since 2004. Then, they both released solo albums on the same day. But if you thought that brought back some sort of scandalacious rivalry, witch, please. Some things have changd within them. Aaron Tveit, Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jennifer Lopez, Christian Borle, Idina Menzel & Kristin Chenoweth(Photos: Fox, Paramount Pictures, Emilio Madrid-Kuser & Bruce Glikas) Borle is the Energizer Bunny of BroadwayChristian Borle just keeps going and going and going from gig to gig to gig. After wrapping up his Tony-winning turn in Something Rotten!, Borle headed straight to Falsettos. Once that ends, he’s going to serve some pure imagination in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Between all that, he still found time to head to Stars Hollow for a cameo in Netflix’s Gilmore Girls revival. How does he have the stamina and, uh, Will power? Does that come with upper body strength? Ugh, we need to go to the gym. New year, new me, right? View Comments J. Lo’s Circling the Broadway BlockDon’t be fooled by the rocks that she got, and don’t be fooled if she shows up on the Great White Way in the not-too-distant future. Jennifer Lopez is getting awfully close to the boards, from collaborating with Lin-Manuel Miranda on “Love Make the World Go Round” to being announced for Bye Bye Birdie Live!. Stop being a tease and come to Broadway, J. Lo. Maybe a musical adaptation of The Boy Next Door, with your buddy Kristin Chenoweth reprising her role as Vice Principal Vicky? Lin can play the First Edition Iliad. Latin poetry is kinda like rapping, right? Lin Has Gone HollywoodAfter taking over Broadway, Pulitzer Prize winner and certified genius Lin-Manuel Miranda is planning a Tinseltown domination. In the past year, the Hamilton mastermind became part of team Disney with Moana and has a star turn coming up in Mary Poppins Returns. Also in the works is a new live action The Little Mermaid, a film and TV adaptation of The Kingkiller Chronicle, In the Heights on the big screen and something about a monkey. Where do you go after taking over Broadway and Hollywood? The White House? Oh, he did that this year, too. The universe?last_img

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