A Year On The Great White Way

a year on Broadway
The cast of Dear Evan Hansen, from left: Rachel Bay Jones, Mike Faist, Will Roland, Ben Platt, Michael Park, Kristolyn Lloyd, Laura Dreyfuss, Jennifer Laura Thompson. (Photo by Matthew Murphy)

2017 was an incredibly 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.

One such show was Dear Evan Hansen, which hit the stage with a running start and hasn’t slowed down. The musical by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul is truly Broadway at its best. A relatable show with memorable music, Dear Evan Hansen has inspired a generation and will continue to remind audiences that there is always hope, even during dark times. LIW interviewed cast member and Long Island-native Will Roland about his role in the one-of-a-kind production.

2017 Broadway Year In Review
Cast of Come From Away (Photo by Matthew Murphy)

Another positive and uplifting show was Come From Away, which tells the true tale of Gander, Newfoundland’s role in the midst of a horrendous tragedy, and the profound generosity of its residents. Audiences walk away from this musical feeling embraced by the warmth of the characters portrayed.

Betsy Wolfe stars as Jenna in Waitress (Photo by Richard Corman)

Waitress (2016) remains a top show to see on the Great White Way. With music by Sara Bareilles and book by Jessie Nelson, the musical based on Adrienne Shelly’s 2007 film follows a waitress who deals with her unhappy marriage in creative ways. LIW’s Betsy Abraham interviewed Betsy Wolfe when she took over the title role in June.

Jelani Remy as Simba in The Lion King (Photo by Joan Marcus)

It’s hard to believe that Disney’s The Lion King has been on Broadway for 20 years. The show, featuring music by Elton John, lyrics by Tim Rice, a score by Hans Zimmer and actors in exquisite animal costumes is a timeless classic.

2017 Broadway Year In Review
Katrina Lenk and Tony Shahloub in The Band’s Visit (Photo by Matthew Murphy)

Most recently, LIW reviewed The Band’s Visit, which gives audiences a snapshot of a day when an Egyptian band got lost in Israel. Filled with moving melodies and Middle Eastern rhythms, the musical is sure to be nominated for several Tony awards next year.

In addition to those already mentioned, LIW reviewed and interviewed the stars of A Bronx Tale, Cagney, Latin History for Morons, Groundhog Day, Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, Anastasia, Bandstand and The Play That Goes Wrong.

We look forward to reviewing many more shows in the year to come.

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Kimberly Dijkstra
Kimberly Dijkstra is the web editor for Anton Media Group, a writer for Long Island Weekly and recipient of several Press Club of Long Island (PCLI) and New York Press Association (NYPA) awards.

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