Some may be worried about 2019, it might be for big reasons such as that the UK is scheduled to leave the EU but hasn’t come to an agreement on what a Trade Deal will look like. Or for smaller reasons about whether you’ll be able to maintain the list of New Year Resolutions you spent so long on refining. Although 2019 may seem bleak for some, there’s lots to look forward to in the Musical Theatre World. Now I’m living in Central London, there’s so much more that I can access and I cannot wait to do so. Here’s my top five musicals I’m looking forward to seeing in 2019.
- West Side Story – Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester
West Side Story is one of those classic musicals that most people have heard a few of the songs without seeing the show itself. In 2019, audiences will get the chance to see this show live in Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre. The score with music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim contains well-loved tunes such as ‘America’, ‘I Feel Pretty’, ‘Maria’ and ‘Tonight’. Created in 1957, it was written as a contemporary musical adaptation of Romeo and Juliet where the conflict lies between two gangs in New York rather than two rival families in Verona.
You may not believe it, but I think I played a role in this production coming to life. In 2016, after seeing ‘In the Heights’ at the King’s Cross Theatre, I was in awe of Gabriela Garcia and declared to the universe that I’d like to see her play Maria in West Side Story. Lo and behold, only three years later, Gabriela will be starring as the leading lady. Coincidence? I think not. Her Tony will be played by Andy Coxon. Without a doubt this is the show I’m most excited to see for the first time in 2019.
If you’re interested in catching this one, it will run from 6 April – 25 May 2019.
- Six the Musical – Arts Theatre, London
I always like to champion new British Theatre and so I am very intrigued by Six the Musical. The show has been likened to a pop concert and centres on the six wives of Henry VII and their stories. There was such a huge buzz on social media surrounding the production when it ran in 2018, that I was disappointed that I missed it. But fortunately, it will be returning to the West End this year for a limited run.
The show will be running from 17 January – 5 May 2019.
- Waitress – Adelphi Theatre, London
Waitress first opened on Broadway in 2016 and has been a surprise hit with audiences. The musical based on the film with the same name follows Jenna, a talented baker in a difficult relationship. When I first heard about the show, I somehow avoided listening to its cast album. But when I finally did quite recently, I instantly fell in love with it. I’m mostly drawn to seeing this to hear the gorgeous score by first time composer Sara Bareilles live. Also like many other musical theatre fans, I was a big fan of the musical TV show ‘Smash’ and so I was very surprised to hear that Katherine McPhee will be playing the leading lady Jenna.
The show starts previews on 8 February 2019 for an open-ended run.
- Leave to Remain – Lyric Hammersmith, London
In a year where many productions in the West End are those transferred from New York, another British musical I am intrigued to see is Leave to Remain. Written by Matt Jones and Bloc Party’s Kele Okereke, it follows a young gay couple who’s relationship runs into problems due to visa complications. I am mostly excited to see its two leading men, Tyrone Huntley and Billy Cullum. Tyrone, who will be playing Obi, was fantastic as Judas in the Regent’s Open Air Park production of Jesus Christ Superstar in 2017 and Billy Cullum, starring as Alex, was brilliant as Melchior in Greenwich Theatre’s production of Spring Awakening back in 2011. Of my top 5, this is the production I know the least about and so I’m excited to check it out.
The show will run from 18 January – 16 February 2019.
- Come from Away – Phoenix Theatre, London
I’ve heard lots of good things about Come From Away. It opened on Broadway in 2017 and many did not expect it to have the long run that it is currently enjoying. The show is set in the week following the 9/11 attacks and is based on true life events of when planes were redirected to land in a small Canadian Town.
The show will begin previews on 30 January 2019 for an open ended run.
On Your Feet – London Coliseum, London
I saw this on Broadway and loved it. Great music and a conga line before the interval, what more could you want! The show will run from 14 Jun – 31 Aug 2019
Light in the Piazza – Southbank Centre, London
I don’t know a lot about this show, but it has an ardent fan base who rave about its score. So it’s one I would like to see if I’m able to get tickets. The show will run from 14 June – 5 July 2019
Thanks for having a read 🙂 Are there are any shows I’ve missed? Which shows are you looking forward to the most? Let me know in the comments below!