As the slow winter season comes to a close, theater-goers are both mourning the loss of beloved shows while also preparing for new, star-studded shows arriving on Broadway.
In 2022, perhaps the most tragic closing was Dear Evan Hansen, which had been running for six years. The show toured around the country that year as well, even coming to the Providence Performing Arts Center (PPAC).
In only the last few weeks, however, fans have seen the closings of favorite shows, such as A Strange Loop (Jan. 15), Into the Woods (Jan. 8), and The Music Man (Jan. 15).
Beetlejuice, the musical based on the 1988 movie by the same name, has also closed (Jan. 8) after a four-year run with nearly 700 performances. However, this is not the first time the musical has made a trip to the “Netherworld;” it has undergone many changes since its 2019 opening. In March of 2020, it closed at the Winter Garden Theater along with the rest of Broadway. While fans thought the show was gone for good, it reopened with most of the original cast at the Marriott Marquis Theater at the beginning of last year. Now, it is on a national tour, and will be at PPAC in late April.
Another Broadway staple that is set to close is Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera. The show came to New York from London in 1988 and has been there ever since, racking up around 14,000 performances. It is now the longest running Broadway show of all time. Though the closing was pushed later, its run will end in April of this year.
On a brighter note, theater lovers have much to celebrate. This past week, the show Moulin Rouge has been the highlight of Broadway, since Aaron Tveit returned to his lead role as Christian. He is taking over for Derek Klena from now until April. TikTok and Instagram have been overtaken by audience members posting videos of his famous opt-up on the last note of “El Tango de Roxanne.”
In other news, the revival of Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd is set to start previews in February. It has been on and off of Broadway since 1979, going on tours and having a movie adaptation made in 2007. The 2023 cast is full of stars, and is sure to amaze. The title role will be played by famous singer Josh Groban, and Tony award winner Annaleigh Ashford will be Mrs. Lovett. Other notable cast members are Jordan Fisher (Disney and Netflix star) and Stranger Things’ Gaten Matarazzo.
Although several popular shows are coming to an end, there will be many opportunities for fans to see both new shows and revivals of classics. As the busy spring season approaches, we can hope that Broadway will bring exciting offerings to replace fan favorites.