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5 Eighties Musicals That Deserve Broadway Revivals

Category Broadway

|by Marshall W. Mabry IV |

The ‘80s are back, and these shows should be, too

Every year, Broadway welcomes revised and reimagined versions of older Broadway shows. From Falsettos to last season’s Oklahoma!, these revivals elevate the shows and take them to new levels, so we started thinking about a couple of shows we’d like to see back on Broadway.

The stars of the London ‘Dream Girls’ revival: Idinabo Jack, Amber Riley and Liisi LaFontaine (Photo: Dave Benett/Getty Images)

The stars of the London ‘Dream Girls’ revival: Idinabo Jack, Amber Riley and Liisi LaFontaine (Photo: Dave Benett/Getty Images)

City of Angels
City of Angels is a musical created to celebrate the noir era of film, with two stories happening at once. It tells the story of the film’s writer trying to turn his book into a screenplay, as well as the story that he’s writing. With some of the most breathtaking music you’ll hear onstage and a concept like this, it’s surprising that the show hasn’t been revived yet.

Tap Dance Kid
The Tony-winning musical comes from a classic era of musical theater, when the tap dance movement was like no other! The Hines Brothers, Hinton Battle, The Nicholas Brothers, Dule Hill and Savion Glover: these performers made the era what it was. But today, with Broadway being home to performers like Daniel Watts, James T. Lane, and Ephraim Sykes, who dance just as well as they act, it’s a no-brainer to bring this classic back.

There are few other cult hit shows with music this beloved. Chess is the show that keeps coming around, and it seems like every two years there’s another concert version of the piece for good reason. Featuring songs like “Pity the Child,” it’s easily one of the most recognizable and popular rock musicals of all time, and deserves another shot to wow the Great White Way.

Closer Than Ever
In the ‘80s, Baby and Big writers Maltby and Shire wrote a show titled Closer than Ever that changed the way we consume theater. Closer Than Ever set the precedent for shows like Songs for a New World and other modern revues comprised of self-contained songs. To think that most of the music in this beloved piece is cut music from other shows is incredible.

From stage to screen, from London to NYC, there’s only one show that Broadway will always welcome back with open arms. Dreamgirls is a classic story of love, family and the corrupting influence of fame. Effie White is one of the most iconic roles in all musical theater. From Jennifer Holliday to Lillias White, Jennifer Hudson, Amber Riley and Marisha Wallace, every woman to play the role has gone on to do incredible things, because Effie forces you to become more than you were before. Dreamgirls is a show that produces excellence both onstage and off, and we’re ready for this family to come back to Broadway.

For more of the best of Broadway this season, check out our list of the Top Shows in New York in September 2019

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