Michael Riedel Recommends Some Broadway "Must-Sees" for 2024

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Despite its attendance woes in recent years in the wake of the Covid crisis, Broadway is still humming along. The Great White Way is resilient, and the adage “The show must go on!” certainly applies to the heart of the American theatrical experience. The 2024 calendar year is no exception, as WOR morning host Michael Riedel is quick to point out. The former New York Post theatre critic told listeners to 710 WOR’s “Len Berman and Michael Riedel in the Morning” about three of the new Broadway productions they can expect to see in the coming months.

March 29th is when the curtain goes up at the Marquis Theater on a revival of “The Wiz”, the musical adaptation of the L. Frank Baum book that spawned the classic 1939 movie. It stars Wayne Brady in the titular role as The Wizard of Oz. “I hear ‘The Wiz’ is great fun,” Riedel told Larry Mendte, sitting on for Berman. “Remember the old Diana Ross movie, with Diana Ross and Nipsey Russell? That was a great movie, and the song, ‘Ease on Down the Road,’ that’s the most famous one, but there are a lot of other good songs. Anyway, 'The Wiz’ is going to be tons of fun, and they’ve had a tryout, I think in Baltimore, and got very good reviews.”

Another revival, “Cabaret,” is set to open with Eddie Redmayne at the August Wilson Theatre on April 20th and is high on Riedel’s list. “I saw this ‘Cabaret’ in London; it was absolutely terrific, and you’ve got to read my [upcoming] piece in Vanity Fair, because it’s the whole history of ‘Cabaret,’ how it all came together. It was the idea of the great, legendary Broadway director, Hal Prince… I think Eddie Redmayne with ‘Cabaret’ is going to be a sensation, as long as he’s in it. In fact… they’re having a Saturday night opening and a Sunday night opening, because there are so many celebs and VIP’s who want to be there for Eddie Redmayne, that’s how popular he is.”

Finally, Alicia Keys recently dazzled her fans alongside Usher at the Super Bowl halftime show; now, she becomes the newest pop star to extend their legendary catalog to a Broadway show. Riedel reported, “She’s written a new musical about her life, called ‘Hell’s Kitchen.’ I don’t know if you know this, guys, but she grew up in subsidized housing [in] Manhattan Plaza, where a lot of artists live… She has tremendous affection for Manhattan Plaza and that neighborhood… she’s not in it, but it uses her songs and her life story.” “Hell’s Kitchen” opens at the Shubert on March 28th.

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