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Broadway Musicals from the Public Domain

by Ben Togut

This theatrical season, theatre lovers are experiencing a rarity: two musicals adapted from the same novel premiering within months of each other. The first, The Great Gatsby: A New Musical, is currently running at the Broadway Theatre, while another adaptation, Gatsby, is having its world premiere run at the ART in Cambridge, MA and aiming for a Broadway run. It makes sense that theater makers are seizing the opportunity to create Broadway magic from The Great Gatsby, as the novel only recently entered the public domain. In light of the dueling Gatsby adaptations, let’s take a look at some noteworthy musicals that were based on works in the public domain.

West Side Story

Based on Romeo and Juliet, West Side Story brings Shakespeare’s tragic romance to life in 1950s New York. Premiering on Broadway in 1957, this beloved musical portrays the animosity between two rival gangs and the love story that blossoms between Tony and Maria, young people with ties to the opposing gangs. With a score by Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim, West Side Story features several Broadway classics, including “Maria” and “I Feel Pretty.” Following a 1961 film adaptation and a series of Broadway revivals (most recently running in early 2020), West Side Story was adapted into a 2021Steven Spielberg film starring Rachel Zegler and Ansel Elgort.

Fiddler on the Roof' Closing on Broadway in December

Fiddler on the Roof

Fiddler on the Roof opened on Broadway in 1964. Based on Sholem Alecheim’s play Tevye and His Daughters, the musical tells the story of Tevye, a milkman who tries to maintain Jewish traditions against outside influences. The musical, which includes favorites such as “If I Were a Rich Man” and “Tradition,” has been revived on Broadway five times, mostly recently starring Danny Burstein as Tevye and Jessica Hecht as Golde. 

Chicago on Broadway guide to tickets, schedule and location info

Chicago 

A splashy musical featuring the choreography of Bob Fosse, Chicago premiered on Broadway in 1975. Based on the play of the same name by Maurine Dallas Watkins, Chicago explores the relationship between criminal behavior and celebrity through Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly, two murderers vying for the spotlight. The 1975 Broadway cast featured theater legends such as Gwen Verdon and Chita Rivera, who originated the roles of Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly, respectively. Revived in 1996, Chicago holds the record for longest-running musical revival in Broadway history as its historic run continues at the Ambassador Theatre.

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Big River

Big River opened on Broadway in 1985. Based on The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the musical features country and bluegrass to recreate the environment of Mark Twain’s classic. The original Broadway cast featured Daniel Jenkins and Ron Richardson, who won a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical for his performance as Jim. The 2003 revival, co-produced by Deaf West and Roundabout Theatre Company, is notable for including both deaf and hearing actors.

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Les Misérables

Based on Victor Hugo’s novel of the same name, Les Misérables opened on Broadway in 1987. Set in 19th-century France, this epic musical focuses on a group of characters as they struggle with personal hardships amid the mounting tide of the French Revolution. The original Broadway production starred Colm Wilkinson as Jean Valjean and Terrence Mann as Javert. Les Misérables has since been revived twice, mostly recently in 2014 starring Ramin Karimloo and Will Swenson.

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The Phantom of the Opera

The Phantom of the Opera opened on Broadway in 1988. Adapted from Gaston Leroux’s novel, this dark musical explores the relationship between soprano Christine Daaé and The Phantom, a masked figure who lives below the Paris Opéra House. The original Broadway production starred Sarah Brightman and Michael Crawford, who won a Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical for his portrayal of The Phantom. The musical holds the record for longest-running Broadway musical, having closed in 2023 after a more than 35-year-long run. 

Celebrate 25 Years of Jonathan Larson's Rent on Broadway | Playbill

Rent

Rent, which is based on Puccini’s La bohème by Giacomo Puccini, opened on Broadway in 1996. Bringing Puccini’s opera from 1830s Paris to New York City during the AIDS crisis, the musical focuses on a group of young artists trying to get by and make lives for themselves in the East Village. The original Broadway production featured Daphne Rubin Vega, Adam Pascal, Idina Menzel, and Anthony Rapp, many of whom also starred in the 2005 film adaptation. 

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What is Maybe Happy Ending?

by Ben Togut

Following his stint in the 2022 revival of American Buffalo, Darren Criss is returning to Broadway in the new musical Maybe Happy Ending, coming to the Belasco Theatre in September. Written by Will Aronson and Hue Park, this one-act original musical tells the story of Oliver, an obsolete life-like robot living out the rest of his days in the suburbs of Seoul. A romantic comedy, the musical follows Oliver’s unexpected relationship with robot neighbor Claire as it blossoms from a friendship into something more.

Maybe Happy Ending originally premiered in South Korea in 2016 at the Daemyung Cultural Factory in its original Korean-language form. It has since been revived in Seoul four times, receiving six Korean Musical Awards including Musical of the Year and Best Composer. Maybe Happy Ending made its English-language premiere in 2020 at Atlanta’s Alliance Theater, where it was directed by Michael Arden, who is set to direct the upcoming Broadway production. New York Times theater critic Jesse Green praised the production, calling Maybe Happy Ending “a charming, Broadway-ready new musical about robots in love.”

Helen J. Shen, most recently seen on the New York stage in MCC’s The Lonely Few, will be making her Broadway debut as Claire alongside Criss. Dez Duron will be reprising the role of Gil, which he played in the Atlanta production.

Ahead of Maybe Happy Ending’s Broadway beginning, Criss has provided sneak peeks from the production on social media, including a cover of the title song ‘Maybe Happy Ending’ and a music video with Shen of the number ‘When You’re in Love.’

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Creative

The Broadway Career of Kara Young

On June 16, 2024, the 77th Annual Tony Awards will be held at the David H. Koch Theater, celebrating the best and brightest of this year’s Broadway season! The nominees include those onstage and off, mainstays and newcomers alike. In celebration, Broadway’s Best Shows is highlighting some of the Broadway perennials recognized with Tony nods in this incredibly fruitful year.

This season, Kara Young is nominated for Best Actress in a Featured Role in a Play for her performance in “Purlie Victorious: A Non-Confederate Romp Through the Cotton Patch.” Here’s a breakdown of the Broadway roles that got her there:


Uzo Aduba's New Broadway Play 'Clyde's' Will Be Live Streamed for At-Home  Viewing!: Photo 4665958 | Broadway, Edmund Donovan, Kara Young, Reza  Salazar, Ron Cephas Jones, Uzo Aduba Photos | Just Jared:

Clyde’s (2022)

Young’s Broadway career began with her breakout performance as Letitia in Lynn Nottage’s Clyde’s. This performance earned her a Tony Award and Drama Desk nomination, as well as a Theatre World Award.


Martyna Majok's Cost of Living Extends on Broadway | Broadway Buzz |  Broadway.com

Cost of Living (2023)

The following season, Young went on to portray the role of Jess in Cost of Living, earning her a second Tony Award and Drama Desk nomination. Young’s journey epitomizes the essence of a rising star. Critics lauded her ability to seamlessly transition between comedic and dramatic roles, captivating audiences with her authenticity and depth.


Purlie Victorious: A Non-Confederate Romp Through the Cotton Patch (2023)

For a third season in a row, she graced Broadway by portraying the role of Lutiebelle Gussie Mae Jenkins in the acclaimed revival of Purlie Victorious: A Non-Confederate Romp Through The Cotton Patch. This role earned her her third Tony Award nomination, as well as Outer Critics Circle and Drama League nominations. She has already won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Performer in a Play for Purlie Victorious. Young has made history for being the first Black performer nominated in three consecutive seasons in the same category, Best Featured Actress in a Play, at the Tony Awards. With each performance, she deftly navigates complex characters, leaving an indelible mark on the theater landscape. Young’s Broadway career serves as a testament to her passion for storytelling and her unwavering dedication to her craft, ensuring her place among the brightest talents of her generation.

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Creative

The Broadway Career of Amy Herzog

On June 16, 2024, the 77th Annual Tony Awards will be held at the David H. Koch Theater, celebrating the best and brightest of this year’s Broadway season! The nominees include those onstage and off, mainstays and newcomers alike. In celebration, Broadway’s Best Shows is highlighting some of the Broadway perennials recognized with Tony nods in this incredibly fruitful year.

This season, Amy Herzog is nominated for Best Play for her poignant work in “Mary Jane” and Best Revival of a Play for her adaptation of “An Enemy of the People.” Here’s a breakdown of the Broadway productions that got her there:


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A Doll’s House (2023)

In this revival of Henrik Ibsen’s classic, Herzog’s adaptation breathed new life into the story of Nora Helmer, a woman struggling to break free from the confines of a suffocating marriage starring Jessica Chastain. The production, helmed by Jamie Lloyd, was critically acclaimed and earned Herzog a Tony nomination for Best Revival of a Play.


Mary Jane' Broadway Review: Rachel McAdams is Solid In Gripping Play

Mary Jane (2023)

Herzog’s poignant play, “Mary Jane,” centers on a single mother, played by Rachel McAdams, navigating the challenges of caring for a chronically ill child. The play is a testament to Herzog’s ability to craft deeply human and relatable stories, earning her a Tony nomination for Best Play.


An Enemy of the People' Theater Review: Jeremy Strong Ignites Ibsen

An Enemy of the People (2024)

Herzog’s latest work, an adaptation of Ibsen’s “An Enemy of the People,” tackles themes of political corruption and environmental crisis. This timely and powerful play has garnered Herzog another Tony nomination for Best Play this season.

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Creative

The Broadway Career of Michael Greif

On June 16, 2024, the 77th Annual Tony Awards will be held at the David H. Koch Theater, celebrating the best and brightest of this year’s Broadway season! The nominees include those onstage and off, mainstays and newcomers alike. In celebration, Broadway’s Best Shows is highlighting some of the Broadway perennials recognized with Tony nods in this incredibly fruitful year.

This season, five-time Tony Award nominee Michael Greif achieved the rare feat of directing three Broadway productions in a single season: “Days of Wine and Roses,” “The Notebook” (co-directed with Schele Williams), and “Hell’s Kitchen.” Greif is nominated for Best Direction of a Musical for his work on “Hell’s Kitchen.” Here’s a breakdown of the Broadway productions that got him here!


Rent (1996)

Greif’s breakout moment came with Jonathan Larson’s rock musical Rent, a modern adaptation of Puccini’s “La Bohème” set in New York City’s East Village. This production, with its raw portrayal of artists struggling with love, life, and AIDS, won the Tony Award for Best Musical and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Greif’s direction was pivotal in capturing the spirit of the era, blending gritty realism with hopeful idealism, and introducing a new, diverse audience to Broadway.


Never Gonna Dance (2003)

The musical, featuring the music of Jerome Kern, marked the return of Greif to Broadway after the success of Rent. Based on the 1936 film Swing Time, the musical had a short run at the Broadhurst theater and featured choreography by Broadway legend Jerry Mitchell. 


Grey Gardens (2006)

Greif received his second Tony Award nomination for his Direction of this musical adaptation of the 1975 documentary. With book by Doug Wright, music by Scott Frankel, and lyrics by Michael Korie, Grey Gardens starred Christine Ebersole and Mary Louise Wilson, and earned critical acclaim for its intimate portrayal of eccentricity and decline. Greif’s sensitive direction highlighted the nuanced performances, helping Ebersole and Wilson win Tony Awards for their roles.


Next to Normal (2009)

A staple in the musical theater canon, Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey’s Next to Normal was Greif’s third Tony Award nomination for Best Direction. The rock musical which explores mental illness and its impact on a suburban family. Greif’s ability to navigate the show’s emotional intensity and complex subject matter resulted in a powerful, empathetic production that resonated deeply with audiences and critics alike. 


If/Then (2014)

The 2014 musical marked Greif’s second Broadway production with writing team Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey. Starring Idina Menzel, If/Then played a total of 401 performances and 19 previews at the Richard Rodgers Theatre, closing on March 22, 2015. The musical also features Broadway regulars LaChanze, Anthony Rapp, and Jen Colella. 


Dear Evan Hansen (2016)

Greif earned his fourth Tony Award nomination for his work on Dear Evan Hansen. The musical, with book by Steven Levenson, music by Justin Paul, and lyrics by Benj Pasek, follows the life of a socially anxious teenager caught in a web of lies, struck a chord with its contemporary themes of social media and mental health. Under Greif’s direction, the production received six Tony Awards, including Best Musical. His sensitive handling of the material and the compelling performances he drew from the cast, particularly Ben Platt, played a significant role in the show’s success.


War Paint (2017)

Starring Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole, War Paint told the story of two pioneering women in the beauty industry: Elizabeth Arden and Helena Rubinstein. The musical explored themes of rivalry, ambition, and empowerment. Greif’s direction brought out the competitive spirit and underlying respect between the two characters. War Paint concluded its Broadway run on November 5th, 2017, after 269 performances. 


Days of Wine and Roses (2024)

Greif’s first musical of the 2023-2024 Broadway season was the Broadway transfer of Adam Guettel and Craig Lucas’ Days of Wine and Roses. Starring Kelli O’Hara and Brian d’Arcy James, the musical adaptation of the 1962 film following a young couple and their decent into alcoholism. The musical earned critical acclaim for its score and handle of the intense subject matter, and the production ended its Broadway engagement at Studio 54 on March 31st


The Notebook (2024)

The Ingrid Michaelson and Bekah Brunstetter adaptation of the Nicholas Sparks novel marks Greifs second production of the 2023-2024 Broadway season. Co-directed by Greif and Schele Williams,  the musical follows the harrowing love story of a young couple at three stages of their life and opened at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre in March following its world premiere in Chicago. 


Hell’s Kitchen (2024)

Hell’s Kitchen is Greif’s third production of the 2023-2024 Broadway season and his fifth Tony Award nomination for Best Direction of a Musical. Currently playing at the Shubert Theatre,  Hell’s Kitchen features the music of Alicia Keys and is a semi-autobiographical story of her childhood in central Manhattan. The show has earned 13 Tony Award nominations, including Best Musical. 


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Creative

The Broadway Career of Leslie Odom, Jr.

by Ben Togut

On June 16, 2024, the 77th Annual Tony Awards will be held at the David H. Koch Theater, celebrating the best and brightest of this year’s Broadway season! The nominees include those onstage and off, mainstays and newcomers alike. In celebration, Broadway’s Best Shows is highlighting some of the Broadway perennials recognized with Tony nods in this incredibly fruitful year.

This season, Leslie Odom Jr. is nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role in a Play for his performance in “Purlie Victorious: A Non-Confederate Romp Through the Cotton Patch.” Here’s a breakdown of the Broadway roles that got him there:


Rent (1998)

Odom Jr. made his Broadway debut in Rent at the age of 17. As Paul, the leader of a support group, Odom Jr. was part of the group number “Life Support,” a song where characters affected by HIV/AIDS express their fears about living with the condition.


Leap of Faith (2012)

In 2012, Odom Jr. returned to Broadway in Leap of Faith, a musical about a con artist who poses as a reverend and a healer. Odom Jr. played bible college student Isaiah Sturdevant opposite Raúl Esparza and Jessica Phillips, together singing the music of Alan Menken and Glenn Slater.


Hamilton (2015)

Odom Jr. made his big break in Hamilton opposite Lin-Manuel Miranda and Phillipa Soo. Odom Jr. starred as Aaron Burr, Hamilton’s political rival who ultimately kills him in a duel. For his villainous portrayal of the Founding Father, Odom Jr. won his first Tony Award, gaining widespread recognition for his role in this musical juggernaut.


Purlie Victorious: A Non-Confederate Romp Through the Cotton Patch (2023)

Odom Jr. most recently appeared in the Broadway revival of Purlie Victorious as Reverend Purlie Victorious Judson, a traveling preacher who comes back to his hometown in Georgia to save his church. In the production, Odom Jr. once again showcased his abilities as a leading man, embodying the titular role with charisma and intensity. For his inspired performance, Odom Jr. earned his second Tony nomination.

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Creative

The Broadway Career of Kelli O’Hara

by Ben Togut

On June 16, 2024, the 77th Annual Tony Awards will be held at the David H. Koch Theater, celebrating the best and brightest of this year’s Broadway season! The nominees include those onstage and off, mainstays and newcomers alike. In celebration, Broadway’s Best Shows is highlighting some of the Broadway perennials recognized with Tony nods in this incredibly fruitful year.

Over her career, Kelli O’Hara has cultivated a reputation that is synonymous with Broadway excellence. For almost 25 years, O’Hara has been a force to be reckoned with on the Broadway stage, captivating audiences with her operatic vocals and expressive onstage presence.

This season, O’Hara is nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical for her performance in “Days of Wine & Roses.” Here’s a breakdown of the Broadway productions that got her here!


Sweet Smell of Success (2002)

O’Hara originated her first Broadway role in Sweet Smell of Success as Susan, a woman whose older brother uses his connections to thwart her relationship with a man he dislikes. O’Hara starred alongside Brian d’Arcy James and John Lithgow in the production, which featured a score by Marvin Hamlisch and Craig Carnelia.


The Light in the Piazza (2005)

O’Hara’s next Broadway role was in The Light in the Piazza, where she played a young girl with a developmental disability who falls in love with an Italian man while vacationing with her mother. O’Hara starred opposite Victoria Clark and Matthew Morrison, showcasing her soprano performing the music of Adam Guettel. For her performance as Clara Johnson, O’Hara garnered her first Tony nomination.


The Pajama Game (2006)

O’Hara earned her second Tony nomination for her performance in the 2006 revival of The Pajama Game. In this musical comedy, O’Hara played Babe, a woman fighting for labor rights who falls in love with a superintendent, played by Harry Connick Jr. in his Broadway debut.


South Pacific (2008)

O’Hara next starred in the 2008 revival of musical South Pacific opposite Paul Szot and Danny Burstein. As Nellie Forbush, a young nurse stationed on a Pacific island who falls in love with a plantation owner during WWII, O’Hara performed Rodgers and Hammerstein standards such as “I’m in Love with a Wonderful Guy” and “I’m Gonna Wash That That Man Right Outa My Hair,” earning her third Tony nomination.


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Nice Work If You Can Get It (2012)

O’Hara next appeared opposite Matthew Broderick and Michael McGrath in Nice Work If You Can Get It, a musical featuring the classics of Ira and George Gershwin. In her role as Billie Bendix, a bootlegger who falls in love with a wealthy man, O’Hara showcased vulnerability and vocal prowess singing Broadway standard “Someone to Watch Over Me.”


Bridges of Madison County (2014)

In the 2014 musical adaptation of Bridges of Madison County, O’Hara took on another romantic lead as Francesca Johnson, a married woman who falls in love with a National Geographic photographer, played by Steven Pasquale. O’Hara’s heartfelt performance and mastery of Jason Robert Brown’s lush score earned her her fifth Tony nomination.


The King and I (2015)

O’Hara next appeared alongside Ken Watanabe and Ruthie Ann Miles in the 2015 revival of The King and I as Anna Leonowens, a British school teacher hired to be the governess of the children of the King of Siam. O’Hara once again proved her abilities as a leading lady, tackling Rodgers and Hammerstein classics such as “Getting to Know You” and “Hello, Young Lovers,” winning her first Tony award for her performance. 


Kiss Me, Kate (2019)

O’Hara starred in another revival of a classic musical, this time in 2019’s Kiss Me Kate. As Lilli Vanessi, a movie star playing Katharine in The Taming of the Shrew, O’Hara starred opposite Will Chase and Corbin Blue, singing Cole Porter standards such as “So in Love” and “From This Moment On.”


Days of Wine and Roses (2023)

O’Hara most recently starred in “Days of Wine and Roses,” for which she received her eighth Tony nomination alongside Brian D’Arcy James. O’Hara had a large role in conceiving the musical alongside Adam Guettel, a composer she collaborated with at the beginning of her career almost 20 years ago.


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Creative

Generational Clash: N/A Explores Pelosi and Ocasio-Cortez’s Political Rift

by Marie France

As Democratic Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi made history in 2007 as the first woman to serve as Speaker of the House, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez won a prestigious science fair prize as a senior in high school. 11 years later, at the age of 28, Ocasio-Cortez would go on to become the youngest woman elected to Congress – posing a threat to Pelosi’s leadership and Democratic Party unity.

That battle – between the most consequential, Democratic House Speaker and the fresh-faced, Puerto-Rican congressional newcomer from the Bronx – takes centerstage, literally, in the new Off Broadway play, “N/A.”

While not naming names, former Congressional Aide turned playwright, Mario Correa, delves into fundamental fractures that arose within the party amid disagreements between the two women during Former President Trump’s first term. Pelosi at times clashed with progressive members of the House, known as “The Squad” – a group comprised of newly elected women of color, including Ocasio-Cortez.

Holland Taylor plays N in “N/A.”

Emmy Award winner Holland Taylor (“The Practice,” “Two and a Half Men”) stars in the show as “N,” seemingly inspired by Pelosi, and Theatre World Award winner, Ana Villafañe, plays “A,” a politician likely based on Ocasio-Cortez. Both stars have experience playing powerful women with big personalities. In 2013, Taylor earned a Tony Award nomination after writing and starring in Broadway’s “Ann,” a one-woman show about the late Democratic Texas Governor Ann Richards. Villafañe made her Broadway debut in 2006, starring as Latin Pop icon, Gloria Estefan, in “On Your Feet!” 

Ana Villafañe plays A in “N/A.”

On stage — as “A” rises in prominence, “N” realizes she is a force to be reckoned with. In real life — the two, powerhouse politicians famously had a contentious meeting in 2019. Speaker Pelosi said it “cleared the air” and that the leaders doubled down on their efforts to represent their districts and tackle the challenges ahead. 

Born in Chile, Correa worked in around politics in D.C. before becoming a writer. His hit play TAIL! SPIN!, starring Saturday Night Live veteran, Rachel Dratch, was nominated for Best Unique Theatrical Experience by the Off-Broadway Alliance.  On “N/A,” he teams up with Tony winner, Diane Paulus, who was behind musicals “Pippin,” “Hair,” and “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess,” and has helmed the plays of Eve Ensler, Suzan-Lori Parks, Emily Mann (Gloria: A Life about Gloria Steinem), and more, to deliver a message and power, politics, and the perilous path to progress. Inspired by real people and events, producers describe the riveting two-hander as “the tale of the person whom many consider the most powerful woman in American history and the once-in-a-generation political talent who defied her.”

Playwright Mario Correa and Director Diane Paulus pose with the poster for “N/A.”

Catch the battle of wills and wits between two congresswomen, generations apart, when previews for “N/A” begin on June 11 at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater at Lincoln Center in New York City. Opening night is June 25.

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Creative

The Broadway Career of Camille A. Brown

On June 16, 2024, the 77th Annual Tony Awards will be held at the David H. Koch Theater, celebrating the best and brightest of this year’s Broadway season! The nominees include those onstage and off, mainstays and newcomers alike. In celebration, Broadway’s Best Shows is highlighting some of the Broadway perennials recognized with Tony nods in this incredibly fruitful year.

This season, Camille A. Brown is nominated for Best Choreography for her work on “Hell’s Kitchen.” Here’s a breakdown of the Broadway productions that got her here!


A Streetcar Named Desire (2012)

Brown made her Broadway debut as the choreographer for the 2012 revival of Tennessee Williams’ classic, directed by Emily Mann. Her choreography was set against the original score by 5-time Grammy Award winner Terence Blanchard.


Once on This Island (2017)

Brown returned to Broadway to choreograph the Tony Award-winning revival of Once on This Island, which played in the round at Circle In The Square Theatre. Set in the French Antilles, it follows a young peasant girl named Ti Moune who falls in love with a wealthy boy from the other side of the island and faces the gods who rule their world. The immersive revival, directed by Michael Arden, received critical acclaim for its creative use of design and storytelling, and Brown was commended for her choreography which blended traditional and contemporary styles of dance.


Choir Boy (2019)

Mendez was part of the cast in the 2011 revival of Godspell, where she brought the house down with “Bless the Lord.”  This production allowed her to further exhibit her dynamic range as a performer in a show known for its eclectic musical style.


For colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf (2022)

In the 2022 revival of Ntozake Shange’s groundbreaking work, Brown made history as both the director and choreographer. The play, which is a series of poetic monologues accompanied by dance and music, describing the experiences of African American women. Exploring themes of love, empowerment, struggle, and loss, Brown’s choreography seamlessly blended with Shange’s powerful text, using movement to express the emotional depth and cultural resonance of the poems. Brown received two Tony Award nominations for her work; Best Direction of a Play and Best Choreography.


Hell’s Kitchen (2024)

Alongside Dogfight co-star Derek Klena, Mendez took to oz as the infamous green witch in Wicked. Mendez is remembered for her notable blog series “Fly Girl” which took audiences backstage at the Gershwin Theater, giving exclusive behind the scenes insight of the smash musical.


Gypsy (Upcoming)

Brown is set to choreograph the highly anticipated revival of Gypsy, starring Audra McDonald. The revival, directed by George C. Wolfe, is set to begin performances this fall at the newly renovated Majestic Theatre.


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Creative

The Broadway Career of Lindsay Mendez

On June 16, 2024, the 77th Annual Tony Awards will be held at the David H. Koch Theater, celebrating the best and brightest of this year’s Broadway season! The nominees include those onstage and off, mainstays and newcomers alike. In celebration, Broadway’s Best Shows is highlighting some of the Broadway perennials recognized with Tony nods in this incredibly fruitful year.

This season, Lindsay Mendez is nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical for her performance in “Merrily We Roll Along.” Here’s a breakdown of the Broadway roles that got her here!


Grease (2007)

Mendez made her Broadway debut as Jan in the 2007 revival of Grease. The production, directed and choreographed by Kathleen Marshall, starred Max Crumm and Laura Osnes, who had been selected via the realities series competition “Grease: You’re the One that I Want!”


Everyday Rapture (2010)

Following a well-received Off-Broadway run, Mendez appeared in the Broadway transfer of the mixed jukebox musical. Starring Sherie Rene Scott, the musical featured songs from artists including Judy Garland, David Byrne, Johnny Mercer and more.


Godspell (2011)

Mendez was part of the cast in the 2011 revival of Godspell, where she brought the house down with “Bless the Lord.”  This production allowed her to further exhibit her dynamic range as a performer in a show known for its eclectic musical style.


Dogfight (2012)

While not on Broadway, the Off-Broadway premiere of Pasek and Paul’s Dogfight is widely known by theater lovers across the globe. Starring opposite Derek Klena, Mendez touching portrayal of shy waitress, Rose, received rave reviews and Drama League, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Award nominations.


Wicked (2013)

Alongside Dogfight co-star Derek Klena, Mendez took to oz as the infamous green witch in Wicked. Mendez is remembered for her notable blog series “Fly Girl” which took audiences backstage at the Gershwin Theater, giving exclusive behind the scenes insight of the smash musical.


Significant Other (2017)

Mendez returned to Broadway in the transfer of Joshua Harmon’s Significant Other, directed by Trip Cullman. Alongside Mendez, the cast featured Gideon Glick, John Behlmann, Rebecca Naomi Jones, Sas Goldberg, Luke Smith, and Barbara Barrie. Significant Other concluded its limited engagement on April 23, 2017.


Carousel (2018)

Following in the footsteps of Jean Darling and Audra McDonald, Mendez took on the role of Carrie Pipperidge in the 2018 Broadway revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel, directed by Jack O’Brien and choreographed by Justin Peck. The cast also featured notable Broadway stars Joshua Henry, Jessie Mueller, and Renée Fleming. Mendez’ performance won her the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical.


Merrily We Roll Along (2023)

Mendez is yet again nominated for a Tony Award for her performance in the Broadway revival of Stephen Sondheim and George Furth’s Merrily We Roll Along. A standout of the season, this beloved revival starring Mendez, Daniel Radcliffe and Jonathan Groff is currently running at the Hudson Theatre until July 7th.