Details: More information can be found at http://www.playbill.com/production/the-25th-annual-putnam-county-spelling-bee-circle-in-the-square-theatre-vault-0000003219 and https://www.mtishows.com/the-25th-annual-putnam-county-spelling-bee
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is a musical and a comedy about a spelling bee. I think the most distinctive and appealing part of this show is not just the humor, but the substantial amount of improvisation and audience participation.
Details: More information can be found at https://www.anastasiabroadway.com/ and http://www.playbill.com/production/anastasia-broadhurst-theatre-2016-2017
Anastasia is one of the most Disney stories I’ve ever seen that was not made by Disney. This musical is based on the animated movie of the same name. However, there have been changes made to the story and new songs have been added. I’ve never seen the movie, but I did enjoy the musical.
Details: More information can be found at https://thebandsvisitmusical.com/ and http://www.playbill.com/production/the-bands-visit-ethel-barrymore-theatre-2017-2018
The Band’s Visit is a slow burn. It’s a slow paced story with few if any big bursts of energy. However, The Band’s Visit offers something new and different from other shows out right now. It’s no wonder then that it won the Tony Award for best musical this year since all of the competing candidates were big name franchises that fell into the stereotypical tourist friendly musical which does not explore the human condition the way The Band’s Visit did.
Details: More information can be found at http://www.playbill.com/production/jesus-christ-superstar-neil-simon-theatre-vault-0000013824
A musical is a show where there is dialogue and occasionally the characters break into song. An opera is when there is almost no talking and all singing. Jesus Christ Superstar is likely more an opera than a musical. Originally performed in the 1970’s, Jesus Christ Superstar has been revived a number of times. Despite its age, this show is still entertaining even though the story is predictable since it retells a religious narrative most people in America are very familiar with.
Details: I saw it when it was on Broadway in 2016. You can find the playbill at http://www.playbill.com/production/in-transit-circle-in-the-square-theatre-2016-2017
In Transit is a musical that is performed purely A Capella. There is no background music. Everything is performed by voice. While I enjoyed the show, it did remind me just how much I enjoy live instrumental music.