The bright lights of Broadway beckon in this year’s musical production. We have chosen a completely different style of performance this year and will showcase some of the best musical numbers from a selection of the best Broadway musicals.
Broadway is the theatre district located in Manhattan in New York City. For a performance to be considered ‘Broadway’ it must be held in any of the 40 professional theatres found in this area. To hold a performance on Broadway is a mark of success that the show is considered to be of the highest level attainable for commercial theatre. Attending a production of Broadway theatre is a popular tourist activity in New York. Over a billion dollars in Broadway theatre tickets were sold in 2009 and 2010.
The Broadway shows featured in our production this year are Les Miserables, Chicago, Annie, Jersey Boys and Little Shop of Horrors, as well as an opening number from Rent and a closing number from Hairspray. These shows have been selected for many reasons – they provide a diverse spectrum of styles and song mood, some are shows we would not be able to perform in their entirety and some just because we love them!
In 1987, Les Miserables opened on Broadway. This popular show continues to be one of the most-performed musicals worldwide. Set amidst the social and political struggles of nineteenth century France, Les Miserables sweeps its audience through a tale of passion and destruction against a backdrop of a nation in the grip of revolution. Les Miserables has indisputably become the world's most popular musical, having been seen by over 50 million people worldwide, in 38 countries and in 21 languages. Having won awards all over the world, including an unprecedented eight Broadway Tony awards, Les Miserables has earned itself a unique place in musical history.
John Kander and Fred Ebb’s musical Chicago has a rich history dating back to 1970s, a time of true revolution. Kander’s music and Ebb’s lyrics, combined with choreographer Bob Fosse, result in a show that not only musically reflects brilliance, but also thematically. Chicago’s satirical themes and intricate plot are reasons why this musical is so popular today, as evidenced in the 1996 revival and the 2002 film.
In 1977, the hugely successful Annie debuted. Its young star, Andrea McArdle, drew much acclaim for her portrayal of the charming red-haired orphan. Broadway show tickets sold fast for this optimistic, upbeat musical, which represented a return to happier shows following a decade of grittier, more dramatic musicals.
Jersey Boys is a musical biography of the Four Seasons—the rise, the tough times and personal clashes, and the ultimate triumph of a group of friends whose music became symbolic of a generation. Jersey Boys gets to the heart of the relationships at the center of the group—with a special focus on frontman Frankie Valli, the small kid with the big falsetto. Jersey Boys has now been seen by over 4 million people worldwide.
Little Shop of Horrors
Little Shop of Horrors is a rock musical that opened off Broadway in the early 1980s. The show was created by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, and was the first of their many successful endeavors together. Little Shop of Horrors utilizes several styles of music including 50s rock and roll, 60s girl groups, and R&B which are used define the character’s personalities.