As another year dawns, we wait with bated breath for the big news sure to come down the pike from the always dramatic and surprising world of theater. Who but the most clairvoyant would have guessed that Andrew Lloyd Webber was writing the score to School of Rock — The Musical, set to bow this year on Broadway? While few can anticipate such epic curveballs, we at TheaterMania have some hunches about the big stories to come in the next 365 days. Here are five predictions for 2015:
1. This awards season, the big contest will be between mega-musicals Finding Neverland and Doctor Zhivago. Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein is pouring big money into Neverland, his first excursion (as lead producer) on Broadway. Based on the 2004 film, it’s one of the most anticipated musicals in years. Not to be outdone, Doctor Zhivago is also based on a popular film, and as well as a Boris Pasternak novel. With music by Lucy Simon (The Secret Garden) and direction by Tony Award winner Des McAnuff (Jersey Boys), it comes with an undeniable pedigree. Both shows are looking to snag the all-important Best Musical prize at the 69th Annual Tony Awards, so expect heavy lobbying and chatter after they open in April.