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Where are the New Musicals?

While making plans to see Kiss Me, Kate for next Wednesday's matinee I had thought about what I would catch in the evening and I came up with a blank. I've seen most of the shows I've wanted to see. And perhaps one or two I dismiss as just fluff which I have no desire to see. I'm still undecided. I've seen Chicago at least 10 times. Somehow I'm attracted to the tried and true revival rather than the new musicals. But I want to see something new.

If I look ahead at the rest of the season the only real shining light on the horizon, to me, is The Music Man, another revival. What is it about the writers of today, the really good writers like Brown, Guettel, and LaChiusa, whose work is not attracting mainstream Broadway audiences? All three are called geniuses but they have only experienced critical acclaim. Yet, while Frank Wildhorn is bashed, he's certainly enjoyed critical and financial reward on Broadway. What is it that spells success today on Broadway?

With the success of Jekyll & Hyde, Footloose, and Saturday Night Fever it's fairly obvious which audience those shows are seeking and are getting. At any given performance you'll see many teens and college students. But those shows are not for me, although I've seen J&H twice.

Maybe I'll go see Bernadette Peters in Annie Get Your Gun. But that would be a fourth visit. Alas, another revival. There's Fosse but that's a rehash of numbers from other musicals; not a revival, but revived material. Anyhow, I've already seen it.

Maybe, it's me. I just don't want to see musicals about lynchings, or murdering children or a man trapped in a cave no matter how good the score. It's all so dark and dreary. But that's just me, or is it? Dark and dreary is okay but not on Broadway. It'll never sell.

Too bad The Music Man isn't in previews yet. Now, that's a musical I can't wait to see. Great music, fun book. Yet, another revival. And I've seen Cabaret one time too many. Yes, I know.

Perhaps, I'll just head up to City Center and see the fabulous Alvin Ailey Dance Company. I wonder if they're doing Revelations that night. It's my favorite ballet since the 1970's. No, I'm determined to see something new. Is Dame Edna a musical?

I got it. I'll see The Scarlet Pimpernel. It's exactly the kind of musical I like. It's a fun book, a fun score and just a feel good Broadway musical the way they use to write them. And I haven't seen it. I mean I have, I think.

Repeat after me:

It's not a revival, it's not a revival, it's not a revival!

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