As 2012 comes to a close, many Austin theater companies are putting together their 2013-2014 season. Given the incredible talent in this town and the large number of daring, courageous theater groups in the Austin area, here are my picks for 13 musicals that I'd love to see produced in the 2013-2014 season.
13. FUNNY GIRL
Music by Jules Styne. Lyrics by Bob Merrill. Book by Isobel Lennart.
First produced on Broadway in 1964.
Austin has its fair share of funny girls (Jill Blackwood, Michelle Cheney, Evelyn LaLonde), so FUNNY GIRL seems like a no-brainer for the Austin theater scene. Sure, this show may be a bit old and dated. It's one of those star vehicle dinosaurs from the 60s, but it's one of the best and most lovable of its kind. Given the hysterical book and the incredible score, featuring hits like "I'm the Greatest Star," and "People," it's hard to rain on this show's parade.
12. REEFER MADNESS - THE MUSICAL
Music by Dan Studney. Book and Lyrics by Kevin Murphy.
First produced in Los Angeles in 1998.
Austin theater companies tend to do well with social and political satire, and the musicalized version of the 1936 cult classic film of the same name is satire at its hysterical best. Is there anything sillier than an opening number featuring stoned zombies or a deus ex machina moment in which Jesus himself tells our hero about the disastrous effects of pot-smoking?
11. THE MUSICAL OF MUSICALS - THE MUSICAL!
Music by Eric Rockwell. Lyrics by JoAnne Bogart. Book by Eric Rockwell and JoAnne Bogart.
First produced Off-Broadway in 2003.
Torn between Rodgers & Hammerstein, Stephen Sondheim, Jerry Herman, Andrew Lloyd Webber, and Kander & Ebb? Why not do a show thaT Lovingly thumbs its nose at all of them! THE MUSICAL OF MUSICALS - THE MUSICAL is a hysterical revue that theater lovers will enjoy, and moreover the four person cast and unit set means it's inexpensive to produce.
10. HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Trask. Book by John Cameron Mitchell.
First produced Off-Broadway in 1998.
Sure, the movie's now a cult classic, but nothing beats the intimacy of the original stage show. Done as a one-man show backed by an on-stage rock band, HEDWIG is equally riotous and moving. And don't you think that a transsexual like Hedwig would find a surprisingly welcoming home in Austin, Texas?
Music and Lyrics by Jerry Herman. Book by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee.
First produced on Broadway in 1966.
This one, like FUNNY GIRL, is another star-vehicle dinosaur from the 1960s. While any fan of musical theater probably knows the show or the score, it's blasphemous that according to my research, the show hasn't been seen in Texas since 1991. That means an entire generation of Texas have been exposed to the show only through the awful film version. That just won't do.
8. THE THING ABOUT MEN