In October 2015 we compiled a list of the “Top Ten Shows We’d Like to See in Australia”
and followed a week later with our readers list of the “Top Ten Shows You Want to See Come to Australia”.
From those two lists, the following shows have since opened in Australia: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, Book of Mormon, Beautiful – The Carole King Musical, Kinky Boots and Memphis.
In addition, a season of American Psycho is planned for the Hayes Theatre and The Production Company will stage the Australian premiere of A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder in October.
We thought it was time to update our list, so here it is …
The Theatre People Team’s List of the Top Ten Shows
We’d Most Like to Come to Australia
10. Disney’s Newsies
Coming in at number ten is Newsies. The Disney musical is based on the 1992 film, which was inspired by the true story of the 1899 newsboys strike in New York City. The score is by Alan Menken with lyrics by Jack Feldman and a book by Harvery Fierstein. A live performance was shown in cinemas and is now available on DVD.
The musical Anastasia is inspired by the 1997 film which tells the legendary story of Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia, who was thought to have escaped the execution of her family. Music and lyrics are by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, with a book by Terrence McNally.
Australia’s own Caroline O’Connor opened in the world premiere production of Anastasia, so we’re hopeful it will come to Australia one day (ideally with Caroline O’Connor in the cast!).
8. Moulin Rouge
Australian company Global Creatures is producing Moulin Rouge The Musical – a stage adaptation of the Baz Luhrmann movie. The pre-Broadway world premiere is set for June this year at the Emerson Colonial Theatre in Boston, Massachusetts. With an Australian company at the helm we hope this one will head down under in the future.
The book is by John Logan and the musical orchestrations and arrangements are by Justin Levine.
7. Come From Away
Written by Irene Sankoff and David Hein, Come From Away tells the true story of 7,000 passengers who were stranded in the small town in Newfoundland, Canada, following the terrorist attack of 9/11. Despite this seeming to be an “American/Canadian” story, the events of 9/11 rocked the world and the story has deeply impacted all those who have seen it, no matter which country they are from.
6. Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame
The musical adaptation of Disney’s animated movie The Hunchback of Notre Dame first opened in Berlin, Germany in 1999 under the title Der Glöckner von Notre Dame (which translates to The Bellringer of Notre Dame) and was the first Disney musical to premiere outside the US. The musical ran for three years in Berlin. Despite an English language production playing in California and then New Jersey, the musical never made it to Broadway.
A new production of Der Glöckner von Notre Dame reopened in Germany last year, playing in Berlin and Munich, and now Stuttgart. A cast recording (German language) is available, featuring Australia’s Sarah Bowden as Esmerelda.
The musical is based on the 1834 novel by Victor Hugo, with music and lyrics by Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz.
5. Fun Home
Fun Home is a musical adaptation of Alison Bechdel’s 2006 memoir. Music is by Jeanine Tesori, with lyrics and book by Lisa Kron. Fun Home is a coming-of-age story of a lesbian author from her youth through her years at college and into adulthood. It is the first Broadway musical with a lesbian protaganist.
4. Groundhog Day
Groundhog Day is a stage musical adaptation of the Danny Rubin and Harold Ramis movie. The musical has a book by Danny Rubin and music by Australia’s Tim Minchin. Groundhog Day had its world premiere in London in 2016 and was followed with a Broadway season last year, but the show closed in September.
Waitress is a musical adaptation of the Adrienne Shelly movie. With a book by Jessie Nelson and music and lyrics by Sara Bareilles, the musical tells the story of Jenna, a waitress and expert pie maker who dreams of leaving her small town and unhappy marriage.
2. Dear Evan Hansen
Coming in a very close second is Dear Evan Hansen, a musical with music by Pasek and Paul and a book by Steven Levenson. it tells the story of Evan Hansen, a high school student with social anxiety disorder who struggles to make friends and interact with his classmates. After the death of own of his fellow students, he fabricates a lie that ultimately brings him closer to the deceased student’s family. The musical has received great critical acclaim for tackling the issue of mental illness.
We have our tissues ready.
Coming in as the number one, most requested show our team would like to see come to Australia is Hamilton: An American Musical.
With music, books and lyric by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton is inspired by the 2004 biography of Alexander Hamilton by historian Ron Chernow. The musical was considered ground-breaking with its casting of culturally diverse performers into the roles of the nation’s historical figures.
Despite being called “An American Musical” Hamilton has captured the attention of a younger generation of Australians who are desperate to see this musical come down under. We’re not going to throw away our shot!