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The student news site of Colonia High School

The Declaration

The student news site of Colonia High School

The Declaration

Broadway presents a year of surprises
Photo Credit: Broadway Tour
The 2022-2023 Broadway season had an attendance of 12.3 million people and grossed nearly $1.6 billion. Broadway Tour via under creative commons license

Since being shut down due to Covid-19, 2022-2023 was the first full season on Broadway. With this came the debut of many new shows and revivals of stories that have been loved for years. Both plays and musicals brought droves of theater enthusiasts to the Broadway district for yet another season. Many shows received glowing reviews from the public while others did not so much.

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

The first Broadway performance of “Sweeney Todd” was on March 1, 1979. It is a classic masterpiece by Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler. This revival opened on March 26, 2023, at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre. It starred Josh Groban as Sweeney and Annaleigh Ashford as Mrs. Lovett. The cast of 25 included other well-known actors such as Jordan Fisher and Gaten Matarazzo. It is a very well-sung show by every performer in the cast. The majority of the humor comes from Ashford’s brilliant comedic timing and subtle nod to Angela Landsbury, the original Mrs. Lovett.

Bad Cinderella

Andrew Lloyd Webber, creator of “Phantom of the Opera,” wrote a spin on the classic tale of Cinderella. In this story, “Cinderella” is the source of all the trouble in the town. “Bad Cinderella” did poorly as it only ran for a little over two months. The New York Post titled it a “wacko storybook dumpster fire” that was dull, confusing, and lacked brain cells. It is silly yet oddly sexual and stays true to the adjective “Bad” in its title.  The music and writing are poor, but the set and costume concepts add an extra layer of confusion. There are many different adaptations of the iconic Cinderella story and frankly, this one was not necessary.

Reviews of productions showing in 2023
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Many found this show to be a pleasant surprise! It is a pun-filled musical about the fictional “Cobb County” that is in the midst of a dying corn crisis. The humor is corny. It is two hours straight of dad jokes and one-liners that force you to give a chuckle. Shucked proves that even when comedy is considered “simple” sometimes that is all you need. It includes unique aspects like “cornography” that add to the show’s silliness and charm. It was easily the biggest surprise on Broadway in 2023. Shucked played its final performance at the Nederlander Theatre on January 14, 2024.

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“Parade” is a musical by Alfred Uhry and Jason Robert Brown about the lynching of a Jewish-American man who was wrongly accused of murder. It premiered on Broadway in 1998 and returned for its revival last March. Ben Platt and Micaela Diamond portrayed Leo and Lucille Frank. Many say that this show contains some of Brown’s best and worst music making it not the greatest musical but certainly a very good one. It is a gut-wrenching story and Michael Arden’s direction made it even more powerful. As Usual, Platt gave an intense and touching performance that even included him remaining on stage and in character for the duration of the intermission. “Parade” is a beautiful production with a very relevant message of anti-hate.

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About the Contributor
Alyssa Cifelli
Alyssa Cifelli, Reporter
Alyssa Cifelli, a Senior at Colonia High School, is very involved in theater in and outside of school and plans to continue through college. Cifelli is an aspiring director of plays and movies who spends her free time gardening and listening to true crime podcasts. She works at a local youth center as a counselor a few days a week along with being a part of Heroes and Cool Kids and five different honor societies. She loves autumn, art, and trying new foods. Cifelli is very excited to be part of The Declaration and hopes to grow as a writer in the process.

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