This year marks a milestone for several Concord Theatricals shows and authors. Here’s a list of selected plays, musicals and authors celebrating an anniversary in 2023.
Our Town by Thornton Wilder (US/UK)
85th premiere anniversary (January 22, 1938)
(Full-Length Play, Drama / 7f, 17m)
Hailed as “the greatest American play ever written,” Our Town depicts the simple daily lives of the Webb and Gibbs families as their children fall in love, marry and die. Wilder’s masterpiece won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1938. Concord Theatricals also proudly licenses Our Town (Multilingual) (US), a special version of the play celebrating Grover’s Corners as an international address in English, Spanish and Creole.
The Phantom of the Opera by Andrew Lloyd Webber (US)
35th Broadway anniversary (January 26, 1988)
(Full-Length Musical, Drama / 4f, 6m)
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s timeless musical of seduction and despair is the longest-running show in Broadway history. Fun fact: Every performance on Broadway requires 281 candles, 230 costumes, 22 scene changes, 120 automated cues and 250 kg of dry ice, plus ten smoke and fog machines!
In The Heights by Lin-Manuel Miranda (US/UK)
15th Broadway anniversary (March 9, 2008)
(Full-Length Musical, Comedy / 6f, 6m)
The Tony Award-winning musical combines Latin salsa and hip-hop to tell the story of a community on the brink of change, full of hopes, dreams and pressures. Creator Lin-Manuel Miranda mounted the show’s first production at Wesleyan University. Nine years later, the show debuted on Broadway, starring Miranda as Usnavi, the central character.
Cabaret by Joe Masteroff, John Kander, Fred Ebb, John Van Druten and Christopher Isherwood (US)
25th anniversary of the Broadway revival (March 19, 1998)
(Full-Length Musical, Drama / 8f, 8m)
The daring, provocative and exuberantly entertaining Cabaret was revived in 1998, winning four Tony Awards, including Best Revival. This new staging, which incorporated songs from the Oscar-winning film adaptation, presented an edgier, more dangerous portrait of life in prewar Berlin.
Hands on a Hardbody by Doug Wright, Amanda Green and Trey Anastasio (US/UK)
10th Broadway anniversary (March 21, 2013)
(Full-Length Musical, Dramatic Comedy / 6f, 9m)
The musical is based on true events captured in a 1997 documentary following a group of ten down-on-their-luck Texans, who have entered a stamina competition. To win a pickup truck, they must keep one gloved hand on the vehicle’s “hardbody” as long as possible. Fun fact: The word “truck” is spoken or sung 68 times in the show.
Kiss of the Spider Woman by Terrence McNally, John Kander, Fred Ebb and Manuel Puig (US/UK)
30th Broadway anniversary (May 3, 1993)
(Full-Length Musical, Drama / 3f, 15m)
The musical by legendary duo Kander and Ebb juxtaposes joyous optimism and melody against a harrowing tale of persecution in a Latin American prison. In 1990, when the musical was still in development, critics prematurely reviewed the show and declared it a disaster. Three years later, after successful runs in Toronto and the West End, the musical made a triumphant Broadway debut, earning rave reviews and winning the Tony Award for Best Musical.
Runaways by Elizabeth Swados (US/UK)
45th Broadway anniversary (May 13, 1978)
(Full-Length Musical, Drama / 9f, 11m)
Runaways is a collection of songs, dances and spoken word pieces performed by children who have run away from their homes – blending pop, hip-hop, jazz and reggae, while asking why children can’t remain children. Swados developed the show while workshopping and interviewing a cast of 12 child actors.
Torch Song Trilogy by Harvey Fierstein (US/UK)
45th Off-Broadway anniversary (May 22, 1978)
(Full-Length Play, Dramatic Comedy / 2f, 4m)
Torch Song Trilogy is constructed of three interrelated plays: International Stud, Fugue in a Nursery, and Widows and Children First! Harvey Fierstein’s brazen comedy became the first commercially successful play to openly feature homosexuality as both star and theme.
Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II (US/UK)
80th Broadway anniversary (March 31, 1943)
(Full-Length Musical, Comedy / 4f, 6m)
Rodgers & Hammerstein’s first collaboration marked a new era in the American musical and began the most successful songwriting partnership in Broadway history. During the show’s pre-Broadway engagement in Boston, the showstopping chorale “Oklahoma” proved so popular that the producers chose to add an exclamation point and make it the title of the show.
First Date by Austin Winsberg, Alan Zachary and Michael Weiner (US/UK)
10th Broadway anniversary (August 8, 2013)
(Full-Length Musical, Comedy / 4f, 3m)
The “fun and very funny” musical with a soft-rock score depicts the first-date encounter between blind date newbie Aaron and serial-dater Casey. Their casual drink at a busy New York restaurant turns into a hilarious high-stakes dinner.
La Cage aux Folles by Harvey Fierstein, Jerry Herman an
d Jean Poiret (US/UK)
40th Broadway anniversary (August 21, 1983)
(Full-Length Musical, Comedy / 3f, 7m)
The crowd-pleasing, rollicking and heartwarming musical is the first Broadway musical ever to give center stage to a gay love affair, while touching on the subjects of family, commitment, show biz and drag. In addition to winning the 1984 Tony Award for Best Musical, the show took home two Tonys for Best Revival, in 2005 and 2010.
Witness for the Prosecution by Agatha Christie (US/UK)
70th premiere anniversary (September 28, 1953)
(Full-Length Play, Drama / 4f, 9m)
This courtroom drama written by the Queen of Crime invites audiences to experience a gripping story of justice, passion and betrayal. A commercial and critical hit on Broadway, the play was adapted into a 1957 film starring Tyrone Power, Marlene Dietrich, Charles Laughton and Elsa Lanchester.
Raisin by Robert Nemiroff, Charlotte Zaltzberg, Judd Woldin, Robert Brittan and Lorraine Hansberry (US/UK)
50th Broadway anniversary (October 18, 1973)
(Full-Length Musical, Drama / 6f, 9m)
This “pure magic… dazzling and tremendous” musical adaptation of Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun (US/UK) won the 1974 Tony Award for Best Musical. Judd Woldin’s brilliant score combines jazz, gospel and 70s pop. The show is one of few American musicals to tackle the problem of evading class distinction in American society.
Barefoot in the Park by Neil Simon (US)
60th Broadway anniversary (October 23, 1963)
(Full-Length Play, Comedy / 2f, 4m)
After a six-day honeymoon, two newlyweds get a surprise visit from the wife’s loopy mother and decide to play matchmaker with their neighbor-in-the-attic, Velasco, during a dinner where everything that can go wrong does. The comedy was Neil Simon’s longest-running hit, and it remains the tenth longest-running play in Broadway history, running an astonishing 1,530 performances.
Footloose by Tom Snow, Dean Pitchford, Walter Robbie, Eric Carmen, Sammy Hager, Kenny Loggins and Jim Steinman (US/UK)
25th Broadway anniversary (October 22, 1998)
(Full-Length Musical, Dramatic Comedy / 7f, 8m)
This ebullient stage adaption of the hit 1984 movie features songs from the movie and original music and lyrics by Tom Snow and Dean Pitchford. The day after it opened on Broadway, the musical broke the box office record for the Richard Rodgers Theatre, where it continued to thrill audiences through July 2000.
Irving Berlin’s White Christmas by Irving Berlin, David Ives and Paul Blake (US/UK)
15th Broadway anniversary (November 23, 2008)
(Full-Length Musical, Comedy / 5f, 6m, 1 girl)
An uplifting and wholesome musical to delight audiences of all ages, this stage adaptation of Paramount Pictures’ White Christmas features a dazzling score including well-known standards like “Blue Skies,” “I Love A Piano,” “How Deep Is the Ocean” and the perennial title song, “White Christmas.”
Noises Off by Michael Frayn (US/UK)
40th Broadway anniversary (December 11, 1983)
(Full-Length Play, Comedy / 4f, 6m)
British Playwright Michael Frayn created this hilarious ensemble comedy as a love letter to the theatre and an inside joke to those who are familiar with the thrilling and unpredictable nature of the stage. The play-within-a-play presents a manic menagerie of itinerant actors rehearsing a flop called Nothing’s On.
Kiss Me, Kate by Cole Porter, Sam and Bella Spewack (US/UK)
75th Broadway anniversary (December 30, 1948)
(Full-Length Musical, Comedy / 3f, 6m)
A raucous, romantic lark, Kiss Me, Kate was Cole Porter’s longest-running show, running for a total of 1,077 performances. The original cast album, issued in 1948 by Columbia Records, was the first Broadway cast recording to be issued on LP, and the show won the very first Tony Award for Best Musical in 1949.
Edward Albee’s 95th Birthday (March 12) (US/UK)
Playwright Edward Albee (1928–2016) was “widely considered to be the foremost American playwright of his generation” by The New York Times. His works include the Tony Award-winning Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Seascape.
Andrew Lloyd Webber‘s 75th Birthday (March 22) (US)
Andrew Lloyd Webber is one of the select group of artists with EGOT status, having received Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Awards. When Sunset Boulevard joined School Of Rock, CATS and The Phantom Of the Opera, he equaled Rodgers & Hammerstein’s record of four shows running simultaneously on Broadway.
Fred Ebb’s 95th birthday (April 8) (US/UK)
Fred Ebb (1933–2004) was an award-winning lyricist, librettist and director who frequently and successfully collaborated with composer John Kander. The duo created Chicago, Cabaret and others. Ebb earned four Tony Awards and four Primetime Emmy Awards.
Irving Berlin‘s 135th Birthday (May 11) (US/UK)
th a life that spanned more than 100 years and a catalogue that boasts over 1,000 songs, Irving Berlin (1888-1989) epitomized Jerome Kern’s famous maxim that “Irving Berlin has no place in American music – he is American music.” Works by Berlin include Annie Get Your Gun, Holiday Inn and Top Hat.
Dan Goggin‘s 80th Birthday (May 31) (US/UK)
Originally trained as a classical countertenor, Dan Goggin segued into writing for musical theatre. His Nunsense received the 1986 Outer Critics’ Circle Awards for Best Musical, Best Book and Best Music. Since then, Goggin has created a heavenly host of sequels, including Nunsense II, Nuncrackers and Meshuggah-Nuns!
Charles Strouse’s 95th Birthday (June 7) (US/UK)
Charles Strouse’s first Broadway musical, Bye Bye Birdie (1960), written with his longtime collaborator Lee Adams, won him a Tony Award and the London Critics Best Foreign Musical Award. In addition to his critically acclaimed scores for Broadway musicals like Applause, Golden Boy and It’s A Bird… It’s A Plane… It’s Superman!, Strouse composed “Those Were the Days,” the theme song for All in the Family .
George Gershwin‘s 125th Birthday (September 26) (US/UK)
One of the greatest musicians of the modern era, George Gershwin (1898-1937) wrote 22 musical comedies with his older brother, Ira, including Lady, Be Good!, Oh, Kay!, Strike Up The Band, Girl Crazy and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Of Thee I Sing. His most lauded work, Porgy and Bess, is a folk opera incorporating jazz and blues idioms.
Eugene O’Neill‘s 135th Birthday (October 16) (US/UK)
For his debut Broadway play, Beyond the Horizon, Eugene O’Neill (1888-1953) won the first of four Pulitzer Prizes, paving the way for serious commercial theatre in the US. In 1936, O’Neill became the only American playwright ever awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.
Sam Shepard‘s 80th Birthday (November 5) (US)
Playwright Sam Shepard wrote 58 plays, 11 of which won Obie Awards, including True West, Chicago, The Tooth of the Crime and Curse of the Starving Class. As a writer and director, he filmed Far North and Silent Tongue. As an actor, he appeared in numerous films, including The Right Stuff, Days of Heaven and Resurrection.