With the announcement of ‘Finding Neverland’ and ‘School of Rock-The Musical’ transferring from Broadway to the West End, I have chosen to look at my top four favourite musicals that have transferred over to the west end.
Wicked! – Music and Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz
Broadway: Officially opened on October 30th in 2003 at the Gershwin Theatre, New York. Before this, the show had endured a pre-Broadway ‘try-out’ in San Francisco with previews from the 28th May 2003, with the show opening officially in June 2003.
West End: Began previews in September 2005, but officially opened at the Apollo Victoria Theatre, London, in February 2006. It has proved to be a very popular production in the United Kingdom.
This story shows what happened before Dorothy landed in Oz and changes its audience’s perceptions on each of the famous characters from the Wizard of Oz. The show is still running in both New York and London, with many productions taking place all over the world.
The Lion King – Music by Elton John and Lyrics by Sir Tim Rice
Broadway: Premiered at the New Amsterdam Theatre on the 15th of October 1997 and officially opened on the 13th of November 1997. The production then moved to Minskoff Theatre on the 13th of June 2006. It is the third-longest running show on Broadway.
West End: The show debuted at the Lyceum Theatre on October the 19th, 1999. The show is still running on both the West End and Broadway.
This adaptation of the 1994 Disney animation cleverly grasps each aspect of the well loved film series and wows audience’s at every performance.
The Book of Mormon – Music, Lyrics and Book by Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone
Broadway: After seven years of development, The Book of Mormon opened on Broadway in March 2011. It was an instant hit and has received the ‘best musical’ title many times.
West End: The show opened in February 2013 and has endured many successes whilst being open. The Book of Mormon is still open both on the West End and on Broadway and will continue to thrive as the show continues to run.
(This musical, along with Finding Neverland, is right at the top of my bucket list)
Legally Blonde – The Musical – Music and Lyrics by Nell Benjamin and Laurence O’Keefe
Broadway: The show opened on Broadway in April, 2007. The show was then recorded and aired on MTV. After this there was a competition held to find the next ‘Elle Woods’ which was won by Bailey Hanks. She carried the role until the show’s closure in October 2008.
West End: The West End production opened in January 2010 starring Sheridan Smith, famous for her role as Janet in Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps. The show closed on April the 7th 2012, with considerably more performances than the Broadway production.
Where the 2001 film seems outdated, the musical brings a fresh feeling towards the storyline with innovative music that will get stuck in your head for days. However, if we didn’t have the film, we wouldn’t have had the musical.
Legally Blonde – The Musical is still relevant throughout the world today as there are many productions that are being produced all over the world. This includes amateur productions which includes the local theatre company that I am involved with, Redruth Amateur Operatic Society Trust. Our production takes place from the 15th – 19th March 2016 at the Regal Theatre Redruth.
Each of these musicals have their own appeal and we are very lucky to be able to absorb the talents of both the creators and the company.
Finding Neverland Broadway:
School of Rock-The Musical Broadway: