Elton John on Broadway

The AWESOME! page has random music stuff that I think is cool. You never know what you will find here!

I’m a big fan of musical theater. The first show I ever saw was Jesus Christ Superstar at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC when I was 13 years old. I’ve seen it many times since – especially cool to see my daughter Elizabeth play the role of Mary Magdalene in her senior year of high school. By my count, I’ve seen 32 different musicals so far.

There are quite a few musical artists that have crossed over to musical theater. Some have gone the route of acting in the shows themselves – for example, Madonna as Eva Peron in Evita. Others have tried their hand at writing the musical score for the shows.

By far, the most successful musical artist to provide scores to musical theater happens to be one of the most successful performing artists of all time – Elton John. John has been the composer of the music to 4 Broadway shows, and is currently working on his 5th. I’ve been fortunate enough to see 3 award winning shows.

The Lion King debuted in Minneapolis in 1997, and then opened on Broadway later that year. It is still running today, after over 8,200 performances. It is the third longest running show in Broadway history (behind Phantom of the Opera and Chicago). It is based on the Disney animated film from 1994 (he wrote the music for the film too). It won 6 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, and a Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album.

Aida ran on Broadway from 2000 to 2004. It’s based on Verdi’s opera of the same name. It won a Tony Award for Best Score, and a Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album. 

Billy Elliot the Musical opened at London’s West End in 2005 and ran continuously until April 2016. The Broadway production opened in 2008 and closed in January 2012, after 1,352 performances. It is based on the 2000 film of the same name. It won 4 Laurence Olivier Awards (Britain’s version of the Tony Awards), and it won 10 Tony Awards, including Best Musical.

Lestat opened in San Francisco in December 2005 and ran for 6 weeks. It ran on Broadway in 2006 for 72 performances. It was inspired by the Anne Rice books in The Vampire Chronicles series.

Sir Elton is working now on a musical adaptation to the 2003 book and 2006 film The Devil Wears Prada. No word yet on a date for this show to start performances.  

My pick for the best – I loved all 3, but The Lion King was absolutely spectacular. If you can, go see it. Here’s the Disney promo for the play.

 

 

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