Small New Musicals to Make It to Broadway, or: defying the odds

***This was supposed to be posted on Nov. 12. I have no idea what happened. Never late than never. Here ya go.

Some good news for those who are afraid behemoths like Shrek and Billy Elliot will leave smaller shows out in the dust:

Despite increasing unreliability and turmoil with the economy, it seems that the new musicals Vanities and The Story of My Life are still gearing up for Broadway engagements early in 2009.

Early today, the producers for Vanities, A New Musical announced they will play Broadway's gorgeous Lyceum Theatre starting February 2, 2009 and officially open the 26th of the same month.

The tuner by Jack Heifner, with music and lyrics by David Kirshenbaum, directed by two-time Tony Award winner Judith Ivey (who I heart), is a musical version of Heifner's popular '70s play about Texas cheerleaders who come of age between the 1960s and 1980s. The cast consists of a talented trio of actresses: Lauren Kennedy as Mary, Sarah Stiles as Joanne, and Anneliese van der Pol (the only good thing about TV's "That's So Raven") as Kathy.

And in more news for small musicals, The Story of My Life, with music and lyrics by Neil Bartram and a book by Brian Hill, has made sure that it will be playing a not-yet-announced Broadway theater by way of a casting notice seeking an understudy for the roles of quirky bookstore owner Alvin Kelby and best-selling writer Thomas Weaver, who is creatively blocked as he attempts a tribute to his friend. As in the recent Goodspeed Musicals developmental run of the show in Connecticut, Alvin will be played by Malcolm Gets and Thomas will be played by Will Chase.

So an all girl cast of 3 and an all guy cast of 2. Hopefully these shows will follow more in the suit of the popular Xanadu and [title of show] and not follow in the footsteps of Glory Days. Even though Xanadu and [tos] weren't entirely successful commercially, they were creatively and artistically superior to much of the dreg that his been plaguing Broadway for a while.

And speaking of [tos], if Hunter gets his wish, where will the return of my favorite 4-person musical play now that the Lyceum is being occupied by an even smaller show?



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