2018 was a strong year for Broadway. Every musical, play and revival was different from the last and deserving of accolades. Long Island Weekly strives to review the most promising shows on Broadway to give our readers a taste of what to expect when they themselves head over to the Great White Way.
One such show was Harry Potter and The Cursed Child, which came over from London to rave reviews and ticket sales that began almost a full year and a half in advance. We reviewed the spectacle of a play with effects and dialogue that can only be matched by series creator J.K. Rowling herself and chatted with Poppy Miller who plays Ginny Weasley Potter. Harry Potter took home six awards, including Best Play.
Another popular film made the jump to Broadway in the form of Frozen, a musical with music and lyrics by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, and book by Jennifer Lee, based on the 2013 film of the same name. Nominated for Best Musical, Frozen tells the tale of princess sisters Elsa and Anna, the former of whom has magical powers to freeze objects and people, which she does not know how to control. After inheriting the throne, the now Queen Elsa flees, inadvertently causing the kingdom to become frozen in an eternal winter, and nearly kills her sister. She must sacrifice and show true love to save the day, a lesson we all can learn from these days.
We also interviewed the leads of two iconic musicals, Phantom of the Opera (1988) and Wicked (2003), both of which celebrated milestone anniversaries this year. For 30 years, audiences have delighted in the story of beautiful soprano, Christine Daaé, who becomes the obsession of a mysterious, disfigured musical genius living in the subterranean labyrinth beneath the Paris Opéra House.
Speaking to themes of acceptance, self-worth, inner strength and beauty from the inside out, Wicked has spent 15 years defying gravity and changing lives for good. Regaling the story of pre-Wizard of Oz, audiences discover the unique friendship that exists between Elphaba and Glinda and how we should never judge a book by its cover.
This year, comedic powerhouse Tina Fey brought her cult-classic Mean Girls to the Broadway stage. Capturing the irreverent humor of the film, the new musical addresses bullying, high school power struggles and the importance of wearing pink on Wednesdays. The popular show earned 12 Tony nominations.
Once On This Island introduced us to captivating newcomer Hailey Kilgore and a new take on a familiar fairy tale. The Tony-winning revival enchants audiences with a love story between an orphaned girl and an upper-class boy on a fictitious island in the Caribbean. Alex Newell, Merle Dandridge and Lea Salonga also shine in their roles as gods of the island.
We look forward to what’s in store for us on Broadway in 2019.