by Mo Brady
The Wiz (1974)
The groundbreaking musical The Wiz has been seen multiple times in New York City since its original production, from its Broadway revival in 1983, to a sit-down at the Beacon Theatre in 1993 to a City Center Encores! staging in 2009. But it’s been almost a quarter of a century since The Wiz has been on Broadway.
While NBC’s live production gave us a glimpse of how fierce a contemporary ensemble of this show, we know that the cast of a new Broadway production of this monumental show would be epic. Imagine the smooth vocals of the Crows, the statuesque studliness of the Yellow Brick Road and the scintillating style of the Poppies. Of course we would want Emerald City voguing like we saw on television two years ago, but what other creative elements could be brought to the stage?
Jerome Robbins’ Broadway (1989)
This Broadway revue featured many of the legendary choreographer’s most groundbreaking musical stagings. The original cast of included 13 principal actors and 38 ensemblists performing iconic numbers, from “The Small House of Uncle Thomas” from The King and I to “New York, New York” from On The Town. Imagine seeing a cast of 50 actors performing dances from West Side Story!
One of the coolest parts of the casting of Jerome Robbins’ Broadway was the versatility of the performers. Ensemblists got to showcase their skills at playing everything from sailors to “Anatevka” villagers. Not only would a revival showcase these genre-defining dances to a new generation, they would also give today’s ensemblists a chance to strut their stuff front and center.
Legally Blonde (2007)
Yes, I’m aware that the original Broadway production closed less than a decade ago. Yes, I’m aware that most of its cast is still working on Broadway. But talk about an underappreciated musical with a killer ensemble! The original production included a cast of Broadway stalwarts lining its ensemble, from Andy Karl to Gaelen Gilliland.
From the opening chorus of “Omigod You Guys” to the roof-raising strains of “Legally Blonde Remix,” the musical reverberates thanks to its jump-roping, high-belting ensemble. Is this just a plea to the theatre gods to revive Legally Blonde? Perhaps. But the show is also a showcase for a bevy of hilarious, heartfelt women - Something Broadway audiences deserve to see now more than ever.