The West End can take credit for a lot of big Broadway shows: Billy Elliot, Les Misérables, Phantom of the Opera (to name just a few). But sometimes the reverse happens: a Broadway show travels across the water to the West End. The Book of Mormon, Kinky Boots, and Wicked are some recent examples.
While those three musicals have been doing pretty well for themselves on the London stage, not all shows are so lucky. Even a musical that thrives in the U.S. isn’t a guaranteed hit in the U.K. For example, Thoroughly Modern Millie won six Tony Awards but was forced to close its London run early.
So what’s the deal – are Brits just more critical than Americans? That’s one possibility. One West End blogger says she thought Aladdin, which recently transferred from Broadway, was basically just a glorified pantomime. But then there are shows like Legally Blonde: which was a bigger success in the West End than it was on Broadway. In the end, there’s just no telling whether a Broadway transfer to the West End will fly or flop.
But that hasn’t seemed to discourage producers from bringing their big Broadway shows to the London scene. Here are six Broadway musicals that may (if the rumors are true) debut on the West End stage within the next few years:
“I’m past patiently waitin’. I’m passionately smashin’ every expectation. Every action’s an act of creation! I’m laughin’ in the face of casualties and sorrow. For the first time, I’m thinkin’ past tomorrow.” – Hamilton, “My Shot”
Hamilton: 6 December 2017
Past patiently waiting for Hamilton to touch down in the West End? Well, good news: you won’t have to wait much longer. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s expectation-smashing musical opens at the Victoria Palace Theatre on 6 December. This Pulitzer-Prize and Tony Award winner (times 11) tells the story of American patriot Alexander Hamilton, who – or so we hear – is not throwing away his shot.
“It only takes a taste when it’s something special.” – Waitress, “It Only Takes a Taste”
Waitress: Spring 2018?
Sara Bareilles’ heart-warming, mouth-watering musical features a small-town waitress with big dreams and a certain talent for pie-making – which may just be her ticket to a better life. Waitress opened on Broadway in spring 2016, and just kicked off a national tour of the U.S. Rumors of a West End transfer have been kicking around for a while, but so far, nothing has been confirmed.
“Even when the dark comes crashing through, when you need a friend to carry you, and when you’re broken on the ground, you will be found.” – Dear Evan Hansen, “You Will Be Found”
Dear Evan Hansen: 2018?
The musical that took the 2017 Tony Awards by storm is rumored to be heading to London in 2018. Cast members have said they’d love a West End transfer, and there’s certainly enough hype around the show for a strong demand in the UK. But if a West End transfer is in the works, the producers are keeping their mouths shut. We’ll just have to wait and see if Dear Evan Hansen will be found in London come 2018….
“If I had my time again, I would do it all the same.” – Groundhog Day, “If I Had My Time”
If you missed Groundhog Day the first time around, you may be able to catch it again. Director Matthew Warchus recently told The Daily Mail he’d like to bring the show back to the West End after its Broadway closing (the show closed on 17 September). There’s no date set yet, but supposedly if the groundhog sees its shadow, the show will be back in the spring. (Nah, we just made that up.)
“They say we are asleep until we fall in love, and I’m so ready… I’m ready to wake up.” – Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812, “Dust and Ashes”
Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812: 2019
Dave Malloy’s eclectic, visually stunning musical based on a 70-page section of War and Peace just recently closed up shop on Broadway – but the show’s life is far from over. A U.S. tour is set to launch next year starting in San Francisco, and a London production is also reportedly in the works, with an opening scheduled for 2019.
“For the first time in forever, I’ll be dancing through the night.” – Frozen, “For the First Time in Forever”
Dancing through the night is what we’ll be doing if the rumors about the new Frozen musical heading to London turn out to be true. Sure, we know Frozen: The Musical hasn’t even opened on Broadway yet, but that’s no reason we can’t dream about a West End production heading our way. And it’s more than just a dream: apparently the show’s producers are eyeing Theatre Royal Drury Lane, which could re-open early in 2020 with a West End transfer of Frozen. The musical will be based on the hit animated film, but with plenty of new songs and an expanded story line.
So that’s our round-up of the latest theatre gossip – unless you know something we don’t, in which case… please tell us!
Which Broadway shows would you like to see come to London?