The thrill of experiencing a Broadway musical production starts long before the actors take the stage. It begins the moment audience members take their seats on plush velvet chairs. The warm lights flicker off, and excited voices hush at the sound of the orchestra tuning its instruments. A few taps of the maestro's baton and the curtains are ready to rise.
Though every show may start the same, the spectacle that takes place on the stage is as unique as a fingerprint. Each night boasts a different tone, a different comedic — or dramatic — line delivery, a seemingly different show. That's the beauty of live theater.
Audiences can look forward to the exhilarating ritual during the few months that Broadway shows travel from the Big Apple and swing into town, ready to paint Miami red for the 2015-16 season. From falling in love to spearheading a historical movement, from finding your kinky vocation to escaping Nazi Germany, and from a smoky cabaret to the Catskills, there's a tune for every occasion.
The recurring theme of this season is the tie between these stage productions and Hollywood. Either the movie came first and was later adapted for the stage, or the Broadway success inspired a theatrical release; whatever the case, this season will surely be satisfactory. Plus, there's the bonus of going home and reliving the stage memories with the movie version.
Arguably the most anticipated show is the return of Once to the Broward Center for the Performing Arts October 6 through 18. What originated as a 2006 Irish film about two musicians who fall in love after meeting on the street was adapted into a 2012 Tony-winning musical. Performed onstage with a cast that can not only sing but also play their own instruments, Once is a captivating story that draws the audience in with every note.
Before Christian Bale became the Dark Knight, he was a snot-nosed newspaper sales boy in a time when child labor laws didn't exist. In 1992, Disney released a tiny movie musical about the boys who orchestrated the Newsboys Strike of 1899, and in 2011, the studio once again took a risk on the story and turned it into a stage show. Disney's Newsies was an instant hit, and all the old fans resurfaced, clutching their VHS copies while making their way to the theater. It will be time to dust off those old cassettes once more when Newsies makes its way to the Broward Center November 17 through 29.
Photo by Matthew Murphy
Kinky Boots will sashay into the Adrienne Arsht Center December 8 through 13 and then to the Broward Center March 1 through 13, 2016. The 2005 movie of the same name told the true story of a buttoned-up shoe-factory owner who formed a rather uncommon friendship with an extravagant drag queen. The pair invented a line of custom-made shoes wearable by folks from all fabulous walks of life. Premiering in 2013, the stage production won six Tonys that year, including awards for Best Musical and Best Original Score, making Cyndi Lauper the first sole female winner.
The hills will be alive with the sound of another silver-screen classic coming alive from behind heavy curtains. Although the 1965 film was inspired by the 1959 stage musical, audiences will forever worship Julie Andrews as The Sound of Music's one true Maria. Who can pass up the opportunity to hear Maria teach the sweet von Trapp children about life through song, especially when it's not Carrie Underwood and Stephen Moyer reprising the roles? With more seasoned stage professionals, The Sound of Music will transform the Arsht Center into a beautiful Austrian countryside this December 29 through January 3, 2016.
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A maimed psychopath who lives underneath an opera house and stalks a beautiful and talented opera singer sounds more like a horror movie than a mystical tale of love. That is the beauty of French storytelling, which later evolved with some movie magic and stage wonderment. Throw in some strong pipe organ playing and mix deep baritones with crisp sopranos, and it's a recipe for a dark romance. The Phantom of the Opera returns to the stage at the Arsht Center February 24 through March 6, 2016.
The year was 1931, and the Nazis had overtaken Berlin. Inside the smoke-filled Kit Kat Klub, a young cabaret singer fell in love. A doomed affair set inside a dying nightclub in a crumbling city is the story behind the famous Cabaret. Bob Fosse's 1972 film, starring a mournful Liza Minnelli and a creepy Joel Grey, was an adaptation of the 1966 Broadway production. The Arsht Center will willkommen the classic musical for a short run April 12 through 17, 2016.
There's nothing quite like a virginal teenager and her older dance instructor falling in love through pelvic thrusts and floor-crawling choreography. But hey, Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze stole our hearts (and some space on our bedroom walls) in the 1987 film Dirty Dancing. In 2004, it was decided that what was missing from our modern lives was the musical stage version, so Dirty Dancing: The Classic Story on Stage was born. Nobody puts Baby in a corner April 12 through 24, 2016, at the Broward Center.