Review of 2016 Musicals

Let’s take a look of Huffington Posts picks for the best musicals of 2016. This is a mixed bag regarding subjects and genres. Overall, Broadway was rated highly in variety and craft, with these five chosen as the most outstanding.


Best Musicals of 2016:


Starting down the countdown at number 5, “Waitress” makes a showing as an intense and moving show. Starring Jess Mueller and a score from newcomer Sara Bareilles, this piece would have been amazing in any case. Do be aware that Mueller leaves the show in early 2017.


Next, at number 4 in the countdown, is “Falsettos.” This show revives William Finn’s masterwork and reportedly didn’t have a strong start. Once the cast found its groove, it quietly became a hit with its intimate and shattering storyline. The cast of features Broadway regulars, including Stephanie J. Block, Christian Borle, and Andrew Rannells, some of whom gave their richest performance to date in this show.


At number 3, we have “Dear Evan Hansen.” This is a gratifying example of Broadway audiences embracing serious shows. “Dear Evan Hansen” launched real Broadway success for Justin Park and Benj Pasek. It features what Huff Post called one of the best ensemble casts in many years. Laura Dreyfuss and Ben Platt are the young people caught in the middle of a serious story of unintended deception accompanied by desperate loneliness and, ultimately, acceptance.


Almost in the top slot, at number 2, is “She Loves Me.” This sparkling revival is widely felt to belong among the best musicals ever written. Then, it doesn’t hurt that the cast attained near perfection. Scott Ellis glued it together with his comic direction. The production has been effectively recorded for TV broadcast, and it will now serve as a delightfully accessible show for many years.


For the top pick of the year, “Natasha”, Pierre and The Great Comet of 1812,” wins the number 1 slot. This show is based on “War and Peace.” This show had truly innovative staging. Josh Groban has a terrific voice, but his acting can be stiff. However, the great appeal of “The Great Comet” is the work itself. Dave Malloy’s piece is rich in melody and character, an adept adaptation of Tolstoy’s epic masterpiece.



Robert Hardin To Take Double Roles In His Debut Show

Robert Hardin recently got a chance to emulate “The Rocket”. He will be on the stage for his Off-Broadway Debut in “McCready The Musical”. As a teenager, Hardin tried several times to emulate baseball legend Roger “The Rocket” Clemens by throwing brushback pitches. In the process, he impressed his Blessed Sacrament baseball coaches.

McCready The Musical is a show that chronicles the hard life of Mindy McCready. She is a country music singer. At 20 years old, the talented singer had sold more than two million copies of her first album. The sad twist in the plot is that she died at the age of 37 from a self-inflicted gunshot. Roger Clemons fits in the story of Mindy McCready, so does Billy McKnight.

Robert Hardin takes double roles, casting as Billy McKnight and Roger Clemens in the show. The show was run in 2015 in Los Angeles. It was then run at the 2016 Holly-wood Fringe Festival. It will come to Off Broadway on September 8th to 10th before being staged at New York’s Triad Theatre. The co-creator and co-writer of the production, Jennifer Blake, will be the starring actress. She co-created and co-wrote the script with Jon Bernstein.

It is a dream come true for Robert Hardin. He graduated in 2004 from Beechwood High School. Robert Hardin said that he has always admired the tenacity and competitiveness of Roger Clemons. He will have to be on his top act as he will be expected to shift creative gears with McKnights’s and Clemon’s character. In the play, McKnight fathered two children with McCready. Hardin stated that McKnight is the comic relief of the show. He continued by claiming that he is fun but also has a darker side. Hardin said that he would enjoy the challenge posed by the switching in and out of characters.

Robert took to the stage for the first time when he was a kid attending Lakeside Presbyterian Church with his family. He has fond words for his mother. She was his first director. Hardin believes that his mother has the best eye and insight. Hardin also recognizes the role of Alissa Ayers in his career. She directed Beechwood High School’s Musicals when he was a student.


Hamilton and Other Theater Shows Speak Their Concerns

The 2016 election has left many with divided feelings. Each group is left wondering what they have in common and how things went the way they did. The cast of the Broadway musical Hamilton took to the stage to address Mike Pence directly with concerns they had when he went to see their show on November 18, 2016.


“We are the diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us, our planet, our children, our parents, or defend us and uphold our inalienable rights, sir. But we truly hope that this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and to work on behalf of all of us.” Hamilton actor Brandon Victor Dixon proclaimed to Vice President elect Mike Pence, on that fateful night at the theater.


Mike Pence later made statements praising the Hamilton cast’s use of their freedom of speech. Simultaneously, the president elect lashed out at the Hamilton cast saying it was an attack and that they should apologize.


Hamilton was not the only show voicing their opinion on their stage that night. Only a mere 40 blocks away the production of Party People was also using their freedom of speech to express their concern and frustration post the “election of fake news”.


“Why do you think Donald Trump is the president? This country has never wanted us to be free. After all these years, I live by this: no permanent friends, no permanent enemies, permanent principles.” said the character Amira, who was performed that night by Ramona Keller.


The director of Party People wanted this to be incorporated into their show after the election, because it is important that everyone who feels strongly about the election to stand up for what is right.


The playwright Warren Leight wrote the Union Square Incident after the election. This play is set in a fictional future, where protesters are illegally detained. He said that the play caused a very strong reaction to the audience, who appeared to almost be holding their breaths through the short play. He viewed the play as a warning that we shouldn’t be in denial of what could happen in the future.


George Takei -who is one of the most well-known people to have been in the Japanese-American internment camps during World War II- stated to Buzzfeed News that Trump is wrong about the theater being a “safe space” for people to gather without politics being involved. George Takei is currently promoting his play Allegiance, which is based on his real life experiences in the Japanese-American internment camps. His play and other plays are meant to inspire, disturb, and bring the audience into the story even if it is painful. Takei commented that in Ancient Greece theater was a place people often debated about all sorts of political, cultural and other parts of their society.


The stage will continue to be the place it needs to be for the people involved in the show and those in the audience. The theater is not a safe space for us to ignore everything. It is a place of commentary, open expression, and free creative thought and voice.