23/4/2014 West End… Broadway… Broadway…. West End?

Hi Theatre-goers

In the words of the gorgeous Doris Day “(I’ve) just got in from the windy city…” Yes, I spent a wonderful Easter in Chicago and the surrounding area. I didn’t get to see a theatre show, but did note that The Sound of Music (with blue-eyed Billy Zane, no less) and Million Dollar Quartet were both showing in the city. I was also pleased to see that the amazing arena production of Jesus Christ Superstar was destined for Chicago later on this summer. For this, I definitely urged my Illinois friends not to miss it!

Anyway, it got me thinking about whether we Brits have the same taste in musical theatre as our American cousins and so when I got back to the UK I checked out what is currently on Broadway to see if it greatly differs from what is drawing in the crowds in the West End.

23/4/2014 West End... Broadway... Broadway.... West End? London Theatre Breaks
The Book of Mormon – a mega hit on both sides of the Atlantic

It was pleasing to see that great entertainment is appreciated on both side of the big pond with a number of the same shows playing in both New York and London simultaneously, including Disney’s The Lion King, Wicked, The Book of Mormon, Les Miserables (just recently re-vamped & re-opened), The Phantom of the Opera (Broadway’s longest running musical) Jersey Boys, Matilda and Once.

Actually looking at that list five out of the eight shows opened in New York first before transferring to London. Do you know which five they are? (Answers at end of blog).

23/4/2014 West End... Broadway... Broadway.... West End? London Theatre Breaks
Queen of the British musical theatre Elaine Paige as The Drowsy Chaperone

There have been some HUGE successes on Broadway that have tried to enthral the London audiences with zero or moderate success… Thoroughly Modern Millie starring Amanda Holden, The Drowsy Chaperone with (I thought) a brilliant performance by Elaine Paige, Billy Joel inspired musical Movin’ On and Pippin – which has tried several times to inspire British audiences to no avail – to name a few.

When I researched BIG West End hits that have transferred and flopped on Broadway I came to a bit of a stumbling block… that’s not to stay there haven’t been any : The Rocky Horror Show and Enron both died a death on the New York stage. I’m sure there are plenty more, but I can’t find any articles written about British failures. So if any of you out there have that information I would be very interested to see it!

Feeling the need to see a Broadway show up close and personal? We have a number of fantastic New York theatre breaks available to book for the intrepid traveller.

Have a great weekend everyone


Answer : Disney’s The Lion King, Wicked, The Book of Mormon, Jersey Boys and Once


About Simon Harding

Simon Harding has grown up in and around London's Theatreland and has been working here ever since he left school: promoting its shows to anyone who will listen!

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