The Sunday Giveaway: Two tickets to Allegiance on Broadway!

It’s only fitting that on the day of my opening of Spring Awakening, we’re giving away a couple of tickets to the next show I’m a part of on Broadway (you’ve always gotta be thinking about your next project in this business).

If you haven’t heard about Allegiance, click here to read why I’m one of the producers on this new American musical about a difficult time in American history (and if you dig through the comments on that blog linked above, you’ll find one from the star of the show, Lea Salonga herself!).

Allegiance isn’t the only new musical based on historical events this season (Hello Hamilton).  And there certainly have been other big ones in the past.

But what other musicals could there be based on American history?  That’s right, guys, think about to your mandatory US History classes from high school, and tell me what American historical events, big or small, lunar landing or the invention of bubble gum, that you think deserves a Broadway musical treatment.

Comment below with your idea and you could win two tickets to see George Takei and Lea Salonga in Allegiance on Broadway!

 

(Got a comment? I love ‘em, so comment below! Email Subscribers, click here then scroll down to say what’s on your mind!)

– – – – –

FUN STUFF:

– Looking for a job, or want to tell the world about your upcoming show?  Do it in our forum!  Click here.

– Listen to Podcast Episode #38 with Spring Awakening composer Duncan Sheik!  Click here.

– Follow Spring Awakening‘s journey to opening night!  Click here to read The Associate Producer’s Perspective.

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Comments
  • Aaron Deitsch says:

    Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad

  • Jordan Mann says:

    I’d love to see a show about Richard Feynman (I know there’s already Peter Parnell’s QED) whose career as physicist, raconteur and defender of science ranged from the Manhattan Project to a nobel prize win, to the Challenger Disaster. Actually I want to write that show.

  • Shiraz Biggie says:

    I’d like to see an anti-war musical about the Manhattan Project with a singing Einstein.

  • Debbie Shrager says:

    Women’s Suffrage—perhaps all the way through to the contemporary woman’s movement. Could find a vehicle to cross time periods or be true history. Musical style could change with time periods (or not). Could create lead characters that are historical fiction or adapt the lives of the famous names in the women’s movement. Their private romantic lives would no doubt conflict with their efforts to get the vote. Best of all—a cast led by great female actors.

  • Sue Cohen says:

    The Dutch founding Manhattan and eventually losing control to the British. Base it on the book “The Island at the Center of the World: The Epic Story of Dutch Manhattan and the Forgotten Colony That Shaped America” by Russell Shorto.

  • Lynne says:

    Definitely something about a woman – maybe Eleanor Roosevelt or someone more contemporary like Sonia Sotomayor (her book has some great stories about her early life).

  • Faith says:

    A Civil War musical that showed how hard the war was on everyone. It really did pit brother against brother. Things seem so clear to us now with the benefit of hindsight, just like how the Japanese internment camps seem so wrong. It would be nice to get a view into whar people who lived through the civil war were thinking and feeling.

  • Luci Jo DeVoy says:

    Just like allegiance, another story that most americans know very little about is the trail of tears.
    I would like to see a musical produced that tells the story of how generations after this horrific event, Native people are striving to keep the culture alive for this generation. About Native history in general would be a huge accomplishment.

  • Dara Ely says:

    I’m always excited to see musicals about women. Sticking with the WWII era, how about something that focused on life on the homefront – Rosie the Riveter, A League of Their Own (please, please make this)!

  • Sarah P. says:

    I was gonna go with the women’s suffrage movement, but I see someone else already volunteered that excellent idea! 🙂 I was also thinking – how about the JFK assassination? Yeah, I know ‘Assassins’ has been done, but a whole show specifically dealing with JFK, and there just happens to be a new musical that’s been kicking around in workshops called ‘Oswald’, that I’ve seen and think would make a fantastic Bway production! It’s thought-provoking, it’s edgy, and definitely something original.

  • Sean S says:

    Unconventional, but I’d love a good show about the Golden Age of Piracy in America.

  • Tom L says:

    Something about Warren G. Harding and the Teapot Dome Scandal! Almost no one knows about him, but he was into some pretty crazy stuff that would be a fascinating source for a musical.

  • I would die to see a musical about the Women’s suffrage movement!!! The suffrage movement was an important time in United State history: WW1 was happening at the same time. President Wilson was being picketed outside of the White House. Women were torn between supporting a wartime president or fighting for the universal right to vote. A very important, and often overlooked event in history.

  • Brandon Suisse says:

    I’ve always wondered when we’re getting a musical about the Stonewall riots. (PS not the Roland Emmerich version.)

  • Sam says:

    * The Space Race
    * Nellie Bly’s undercover journalism from her point of view
    * A West Coast version of Ragtime, except focused on San Francisco, Angel Island, and the aftermath of the gold rush

  • Joseph Peter says:

    The California Gold Rush. The whole dream of the unknown “West” is very musical friendly and think how many visual puns you can center around GOLD? Maybe it could play at the Golden Theatre… Endless marketing opportunities.

  • Liz Wollman says:

    Either the rise of the Theater Syndicate in Gilded Age Manhattan or the red scare/McCarthy hearings. Maybe both.

  • Laurie B. says:

    Senator Joseph McCarthy and the communist witch hunt from the 50’s.

  • Jessica says:

    Margaret Sanger! I think she has a fascinating history with the Birth Control Movement plus her eugenics ties. It could be a more modern Unsinkable Molly Brown, albeit more depressing…

  • Randy Turner says:

    I think the events leading up to the death of Franklin Roosevelt would make for an interesting musical. The personal lives of Eleanor and Franklin, and his mistresses, would provide a good balance with world events of that time.

  • Geri Weinstein says:

    1969 the musical! All about getting to the moon

  • Peter Saxe says:

    The conspiracy between Hearst, DuPont, and Anslinger to trick the American public and Congress into criminalizing cannabis to preserve corporate profits. The musical “Reefer Madness” only tells a tiny part of the story. The whole story is astonishing.

  • Robert Rubin says:

    First came a musical based on some anti-heroes called Assassins. It reveled a lot of the truth issues in American History. We then had a successful musical called 1776 which told the story of the birth of our nation. Now comes Hamilton, which is a rap musical based on the story of one American hero. Shortly comes a musical based on a whole group of American heroes. Allegiance tells the story of a very painful time in American history. It questions why we locked up some of citizens because they looked a certain way. The Broadway historical musical can be an effective tool in bringing attention to issues that should no longer have a place in our society

  • Emily Lang says:

    The Spanish Inquisition!!

  • Claire says:

    I’d like to see a show that takes place during the Civil Rights Movement. Maybe related to integrating schools?

  • Ethan says:

    McCarthy and the Black List / red scare / lavender scare.

  • I love political musicals like a The Fix. How about a musical about the election of our first black President!

  • Evan says:

    Steve jobs and the invention of iPhones / apple.

  • Eddie says:

    The War of 1812, leading up to Dolly Madison saving priceless items from the White House when it was set on fire.

  • I can’t say that I know exactly the details of what the show would be, or that it would necessarily work, but the first thing that popped into my mind was my high school history teacher who LOVES the Presidents and the first one that came to mind was Woodrow Wilson. And to borrow her phrase to remember what time he was president, I think a good title would be:

    Woodrow Wilson: World Ward One

  • Stephanie says:

    Alexander Hamilton is my favorite Founding Father so I’m so so happy that he finally has a musical dedicated to him on Broadway this season. That said, I’d love to see more musicals about times when our nation faced great moral dilemmas such as when Harry Truman made the decision to use the Atomic Bombs during World War II–it could make for extremely powerful subject matter.

  • Natalie R. says:

    A musical called “1863” about Slavery being abolished…And it would be a really cool concept if the first act portrayed how slaves thought their lives would be once Slavery was abolished and the second act show the truth or vice versa.

  • Larry Segall says:

    Teddy Roosevelt and The Rough Riders And Spanish War….

  • Leslie R says:

    My idea for a musical hasn’t happened- yet
    It’s the election of the first woman president- Hillary Rodham Clinton, with Bernie Sanders as VP!
    I really hope this happens, and I really think/feel, that it would make a Tony award winning musical!!

  • Jessie K says:

    I would love a musical about women’s suffrage and the ways in which the women’s suffrage movement intersected with race and class issues at the time.

  • Olson Kelly says:

    I would love to see a musical written about the women who worked in the factory’s and did a lot of the jobs men typically did, during the World War I or II era

  • Rob N says:

    Would be great to see a Boardwalk Empire musical regarding the advent prohibition/bootlegging in New Jersey. Musicals already love cracking jokes about Jersey, and the opportunity is there for a big band score, lots of tap, and gangsters! These are already proven elements of great musicals and would be great inserted into a very specific, nuanced telling of the start of prohibition/the Volstead act in Atlantic City/New Jersey under Nucky Thompson and clan.

  • Ed Katz says:

    ‘Walking on the Moon’- a four character play with actors portraying Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, Michael Collins and one actor who plays everyone at Mission Control in Houston.
    Yes, you would probably need some great special effects to pull it off, but I think it would be a compelling drama.

  • Brian says:

    A musical about the end of prohibition. The first act in the prohibition era with the 1st act ending as the amendment is repealed. The 2nd act ending with a number that describes the issues with the new way of thinking.

  • LARRY ABRAMSKY says:

    SOJOURNER TRUTH & HARRIET TUBMAN & THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD TO FREEDOM

  • An operatic tragedy about the life of John Brown.

  • Rosie says:

    I’d like to see a musical about Muriel Siebert, the first woman who got a seat on the NY Stock Exchange, built a financial empire, and paved the way for women in finance.

  • Marc Raco says:

    The first moon landing told from the perspective of the people behind the scenes–the scientists, the wives, the stand-by alternates, the public, families witnessing the event.

  • Jennifer says:

    Mary Todd Lincoln
    Her life was full of trumoil that led to her insanity. A war, a marraige ,loss of children , loss of a husband, spiritualism trying to cope with great losses. She had a many bouts of breakdowns. You can call it the road to insanity or insanity . Wouldn’t it be interesting the woman behind the man

  • Annabelle W says:

    A great musical could definitely be made about Prohibition (not just the Boardwalk Empire-like figureheads and mafiosos, but also about “regular man” characters like the movers, or someone who is dependent on the alcohol that was forbidden).

  • Becca Stoll says:

    Well, since “Hamilton” tells the story of our nation’s founding (albeit through a certain lens), and “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson” picks up roughly where it left off, I’d like to see the story of our presidents get continued in some sort of new-fashioned way. Maybe jump ahead to Lincoln and make a musical about his presidency, the civil war, and abolition? But definitely have the story be told in an “alternative” broadway style 🙂

  • A musical celebrating and exposing the African American inventors who had their inventions stolen or brushed under the rug would be cool.

  • A.J. says:

    I can’t think of a particular project at the moment, but thank you Ken for helping to make this Broadway season one of the most diverse on record including the re-envisioning of “Spring Awakening” and the NYC premiere of “Allegiance.”

  • Rick Reynolds says:

    Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and the other American writers of the 1930’s.

  • Jeff says:

    Definitely Stonewall… just as long as we make it as genderfucked, racially mixed, and trans-friendly as Hamilton is, well, racially mixed. 😉 There is a challenging piece of theater in there…

  • Eric Williams says:

    I think something with an amazing history that includes music in its story would translate well. First thing that comes to mind is musicalizing Dorothy Dandridge’s life- the Halle Berry film really captured my attention and her story would be great on stage. Maybe we can call it I Got Rhythm?

  • Kaoru says:

    I’d like to see Susan B Anthony story to be told on Broadway.

  • Allison M says:

    I think woman’s suffrage would be interesting to see as a musical.

  • Iris says:

    I like the Gold Rush idea, that sounds great (Paint Your Wagon is a bit in that vein and I loved it at Encores last year).
    Also, are there any musicals about native Americans? And you know, just turn Pocahontas into a stage musical 😉

  • David H. says:

    I think something relating to the turmoil of the 60s could be a good backdrop for a musical and the musical possibilities are considerable from that period.

  • Elliot says:

    I’d love to see a musical about the Stonewall Riots

  • Sarah Safford says:

    Immigrants coming to Ellis Island – the long hard journey at sea and then all the hoops they had to jump through to get off that island.

  • john costa says:

    what about a musical based around the “Trail of Tears” ….In 1838 and 1839, as part of Andrew Jackson’s Indian removal policy, the Cherokee nation was forced to give up its lands east of the Mississippi River and to migrate to an area in present-day Oklahoma. The Cherokee people called this journey the “Trail of Tears,” because of its devastating effects.

  • Lisa Weiss says:

    there are so many….
    1. first black president
    2. marriage equality passing in the supreme court
    3. the labor movement with fair labor practices, and the garment factory fire, that spurred the change
    4. the “kiss” that became a symbol of the end of World War II
    5. any fleet week…would be fine with me
    6. maybe too big to do, but the evolution of NY, through one’ family generations, would be fascinating

  • Candace says:

    The Salem Witch trials! Oooh!

  • Nelson Montoya says:

    Inspired by my recent trip to St. Augustine,FL I think the story of Henry Flagler would make a great musical! He was a ruthless business man, lover of the arts and built help make St. Augustine what it is today. He also had three wives and had a lot of interesting personal problems.

  • Lyndsay Austin says:

    Clara Barton!

  • Christine Garfinkel says:

    I have a couple ideas. First , a musical about civil rights with Martin Luther King and other historical figures. The Oscar winning song “Glory” from Selma would be great and maybe John Legend would write more music. Or a show based on the movie The Butler, again with a civil rights theme. Or you could base it on the All American Girls Professional Baseball League. Great music from that time period. It worked great as a movie. Lastly, how about the California gold rush? I could come up with more…just give me a little while.

    • Christine Garfinkel says:

      Or best idea so far: a musical based on the life of Louis Armstrong. He is most certainly one of the most influential jazz musicians in American history! And what great music!

  • Marina Barry says:

    I think a musical about the making of Mt Rushmore! It was sculpted by Danish-American Gutzon Borglum and his son, Lincoln Borglum. Talk about drama. And you’ve also got the presidents: Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Roosevelt who could make cameos – there’s so much going on. And right by that is Crazy Horse! Native American history – you never hear about that part of the country. The designers would have so much fun.

  • Fran kitchell says:

    A musical about the wright brothets

  • Jeryl M. says:

    I’d like to see a musical about John and Jackie Kennedy.

  • Adam says:

    The Trail to Nowhere: A New Musical
    (Based on the 1835 Trail of Tears genocide)
    Music: Ahrens & Flaherty
    Book: Rhiana Yazzie

    Directed by: Liesl Tommy
    Choreographed by: Louie Mofsie

    A heart-wrenching journey of a father and son, forcibly removed from traditional lands during relocation to a designated “Indian territory”. This piece forces us to reflect on the horror of our past choices while acknowledging the potential we have moving forward.

  • EllenFD says:

    A musical about how rock ‘n’ roll forever changed the definition of a teenager and created a subculture different from that of the previous generation, a distinction that became permanent, starting with the story of Bill Haley & the Comets.

  • Robert Piper says:

    Ken, I’d love to see a dramatic musical where the 1st act takes place during WWI and act 2 during WWII. It would focus on the impact of being drafted upon a newly formed romance in the first act, and then their son gets drafted in the second.

  • Theo says:

    I would love to see a musical about the Apollo 11 moon landing. I really enjoyed The Astronaut Wives Club miniseries and think such an event would inspire not only a solid book, but really creative set designs, costumes, and songs.

  • Calvin says:

    I would love to produce a musical I saw in LaJolla a few years back called MOST WANTED about the Andrew Cunanan murders. It was fantastic then and deserves a real commercial life. If I have to be original, give the Evita treatment to the fabulous Martha Mitchell of Watergate fame.

  • Andrew says:

    The driving of the golden spike completing the transcontinental railroad–including the role of immigrants in making it possible; or a musical about Frank Lloyd Wright and his wives and his children

  • Stephen says:

    Someone beat me to it on here, but seeing SPRING AWAKENING the other day made me think about The Salem Witch Trials – another time when bad things happened because children were ignored and not considered worthy of full attention (at least in one theory that Arthur Miller continued in THE CRUCIBLE) – but you’ve got a community torn apart and huge stakes and drama…perfect fodder for a musical.

  • Shane H says:

    Seduction of the Innocent: Set against the Cold War backdrop of the McCarthy-era hearings, Frederick Wortham lead a witch-hunt against the comic book industry in a supposed effort to protect the easily corruptible minds of our nation’s youth. Now imagine incorporating that story with fantasical elements of comic book genres like superheroes, sci-fi, horror, and romance. Add music and voila!

  • Brian pier says:

    The Lincoln Douglas debates

  • Tony P says:

    I’m still surprised we haven’t seen s musical about MLK. I think there’s probably a gem of a story about Coretta Scott King, who was a singer, wife, mother, activist.

  • Joseph Giglio says:

    The Cuban Missile Crisis and the Cold War.

    I can just see the Ari Raid Drill sung with everyone under their desk waiting for the A Bomb to hit

    Perhaps I am just too old but I think Stephen Sondheim would be the perfect composer for the piece.

  • Mary says:

    The rise of Punk rock – CBGB – Blondie
    The Salem Witch Trials
    Black Friday

  • With the advent of the American Civil War families, lovers, friends etc, suffered cruel impact to their relationships as many were domiciled North and South of the Mason Dixon Line. Thus with whom do their allegiances lie? Reduction of this to intimate family terms will engender impassioned Broadway ballads and dirges of lament while exploring the struggles of simple Americans caught up in a sociopolitical maelstrom beyond their control. Fertile territory for powerful musical drama. Then comes war, which, when well developed, can powerfully meditate on other absurdities that plague the human condition.

  • Phyllis Buchalter says:

    The Lewis and Clark exposition – the opening of the West.

  • Ian Yue says:

    Not many Americans know the story of Queen Liliʻuokalani and the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom. I think that story would make a dynamic musical and would spark a lot of interesting conversation.

  • Sierra Rein says:

    Would love a musical based on Charley Parkhurst, who was a spittoon-filling, swearing, rough, stagecoach driver in California in the latter half of the 1800s. After 20 years of getting into brawls and generally being a character, he died and was revealed in funereal preparations to be a woman. Something about her (his?) character always intrigued me.

  • John Dallal says:

    Guy Gabaldon, born in LA in 1926, to a Mexican-American family. One of 7 children. At 12 moving
    in with what he considered his extended family, who were Japanese-American, from whom he
    learned about their customs, culture & spoken language. And, when WW2 broke out his family
    was sent to a relocation camp in Wyoming. And Guy, at 17, joined the Marines, where speaking
    fluent Japanese served him well as he was able to capture, or persuade to surrender, over a
    thousand Japanese soldiers & civilians while on Saipan & Tiniain. He was recommended for the
    Medal of Honor. A movie was made on him with Jeffrey Hunter entitled ‘Hell To Eternity’. I think,
    as with Allegiance, this could be made into a formidable Musical.

  • Janie Downey Maxwell says:

    Oh! Let’s do a show based on Doris Kerns Goodwin’s Team of Rivals – about Lincoln’s election and cabinet. Such strong characters, and so much first-hand materials (letters, diaries, newspaper articles) to pull dialog from. Rivalries, drama, and love. Great stories. I’ll go start writing now… 🙂

  • Nancy Paris says:

    The New York City Draft Riots of 1863. Pretty shameful, very dramatic and unfortunately, still a relevant subject.

  • Brian says:

    The Boston tea party: the lead up, the event, the aftermath. So many details seem to be missing or left out. This would be a great opportunity to bring them all forward.

  • Matthew Lynn says:

    A Musical about McCarthyism! Think of it. It’s like Finks by Joe Gilford set to rap music.

  • Steve says:

    How about a musical about the Bush v. Gore presidential election?
    I foresee a big eleven o’clock number about hanging chads and lots of jokes about Florida.

  • A dramatization of deciding to secede from the Union

  • Cara says:

    I’m gonna go with The Underground Railroad, or the Wright Brothers.

  • Phoebe says:

    Seconding the comment requesting a Stonewall musical…preferably one that focused on the actual people involved in the riots.

    Also, I’d be super into a musical about Emma Goldman and the anarchist movement. I know she’s a bit player in both Assassins and Ragtime, but she deserves to be the star of her own story.

  • Kristen McG says:

    The Oregon Trail. There could be a great song about shooting 500 pounds of buffalo meat and only being able to carry 40 pounds back to the wagon.

  • Alexa Bishop says:

    54’40 or Fight with James K Polk!

  • I’d love to see a musical about Doc Pomus. It was started a long time ago but never happened.. Doc passed away in 1992. He wrote Save The Last Dance With, Why Must I Be a Teenager in Love, This Magic Moment, Viva Las Vegas, Just to name a few. The list goes on and on.I worked with him for over 10 years. He had polio at age 6 and was confined to a wheel age later in life. his documentary AKA Doc Pomus is amazing. One of the most inspirational men that I’ve ever known.
    His story would move all ages!!! He made so much history in the music business…!!!

  • Abe C says:

    People of the State of California v. Orenthal James Simpson

  • Ed says:

    *Little Big Horn- from a variety of perspectives

  • Taxterry says:

    “The Whiskey Rebellion” The US has a long history of unsuccessful tax protests. The Whiskey Rebellion was an armed insurrection to protest the first production tax imposed by the US Congress — on cheap, foul-tasting corn whiskey — in 1791. President George Washington himself led US troops to defeat the movement in 1794. This was the first and only time our POTUS, as civilian commander-in-chief, personally led US soldiers in combat. Many comic elements in the details of this uprising that threatened not only the authority of the national government and the presidency but also the existence of the new nation.

  • Mark S. says:

    The excitement and drama surrounding the 2000 presidential election would make for a great stage and/or movie musical.

  • Patrick McGregor II says:

    I’d like a musical about the American Revolution. 1776 is a classic and never to be forgotten. But there are so many interesting stories and characters that could be examined. Paul Revere, Sam Adams, or my personal favorite Francis Marion. Marion, one of the great partisan leaders of the American Revolutionary War, was known as the “Swamp Fox” because of his craftiness in eluding pursuers in the Carolina swamps and his brilliant guerrilla operations. He is who the movie, The Patriot, is loosely based on.

  • Stuart Green says:

    I’d love to see something that deals with the domestic side of WWI – what the general atmosphere in America was as well as how newly arrived immigrants felt about leaving one world and embracing another.

  • Jeremy Terry says:

    I’ve always enjoyed researching the life of George Washington. Whether or not it would be a great musical, I’m not sure, but I’d pay top dollar to see a play about that man.

  • Karl P says:

    Paul Revere’s Midnight Ride!

  • Grace Toy says:

    Hi,

    I’d love to see a show based on the Angel Island Station internment of Chinese Americans from 1910-1943, those such as my paper son grandfather. This is also a little-known piece of American history that should be dramatized. Thanks for the chance.

  • Alyssa Mandel says:

    I like the idea making a musical of when burr attempted to take over Mexico.or Musical about Andrew Jackson he was a fascinating individual

  • Kyrsten Louchen says:

    I think it would be wonderful to tell a story of Elizabeth Freeman and the 447th battalion. Both shows would be amazing stories and make sure these people aren’t forgotten.

  • Corey S. says:

    I think a show about Henry Ford and his perfection of the assembly line process to mass produce the Model T has potential. America and the world were never the same afterward. From the the board room to the assembly line, there would be no lack of excitement or drama.

  • Hannah Crews says:

    The civil rights movement! Big choral numbers, and enough drama and high stakes to keep anyone entertained for two hours.

  • Francesca says:

    A musical about the creation of the New York City Ballet!

  • Qun says:

    Knowing Nothing – The Musical : A musical about Know-Nothing Party…..

    I’m sure the anti-immigrant party can easily find its audience these days…

  • Miriam says:

    The Battle of the Sexes: Billie Jean King beating Bobby Riggs in tennis. It was a pivotal moment nationally and globally in how women see themselves, and it was a giant leap in getting everyone to think of men and women as equals (which, of course, we’re still working on).

  • April C says:

    I would love to see a musical based on the life and death of America’s most notorious outlaw Jesse James! Or any of the other myriad outlaw “heroes” of the American past.

  • Ging says:

    A musical about the events leading up to and the actual battle for the Alamo. It would include music from both US and Mexico.

  • Jared Wietbrock says:

    I believe it’s been said already, but I second the idea of a musical about the Stonewall riots. I think it’s an incredibly important story to tell, especially to the next generation of LGBT youth so are finally starting to see the benefits of what was started so long ago.

  • Sarah Guan says:

    The Manhattan Project has already come up in comments, but I’d specifically love to see (or write!) a musical based on the life of Sir Joseph Rotblat, the only scientist to leave the Manhattan Project for ethical reasons. He was Polish, with a British passport, residing in the U.S. during the war years — so there’s a diverse range of musical influences to draw upon!

  • I think the story of Nellie Bly would make an incredible musical- especially now! Broadway is still obsessed with Disney’s Newsies, which recently closed, and Katherine Plumber (daughter of Pulitzer and inspired by Bly). Not to mention the rise of feminism among Americans.

    She’s known for traveling around the world in just 72 days (which was inspired the famous “Around the World in 80 Days” by Jules Vernes). She also is known for her expose on mental hospitals which changed the game for mental illness care when she got herself admitted to a mental hospital just to get the true story. She even did a piece on Women’s Suffrage a few years before women won the right to vote in presidential elections.

    I can definitely see an incredible, powerful musical being made of her story and adventures. Possibly even just the asylum or world travel portions for a musical rather than her entire life. I’d see it in a heartbeat!

    • Mark Kaufman says:

      Too soon for a 9/11 musical……????
      The buildings that stood for America, we believed we would never be attacked on our own soil……
      the loss, the horror, the eventual successful search for Bin Laden……

  • Kelly says:

    Prohibition. Stories of speakeasies and the rum runners. Turn the theater into a speakeasy. Theater? Alcohol? Yes!!!

  • Randi says:

    I’d love to see one about Claudette Colvin. That could be remarkable. She was the first person arrested for refusing to move to the back of the bus in 1955, when she was only 15. It was 9 months before Rosa Parks did the same thing. How interesting could it be to see her story told, a child violently arrested, and also her reaction to Parks being somehow chosen as the one the entire world knows?

    She’s still alive and lives in New York. She could go to opening night 🙂

  • Phyllis Drohan says:

    So many possibilities!

    I’d like to see a musical about Hurricane Katrina set in New Orleans, focusing on the resilience of the people, after the devastation. It could show the range of emotions, political issues, and of course, it would have great jazz & blues!

  • Margaret Rose says:

    The story of the ill-fated Donner Party. Most people’s reactions to this idea is either repulsion – a musical about a bunch of cannibals? – yuck! Or delight: a musical about a bunch of cannibals – delicious! But how about if a musical treated the Donners and their companions with respect? A musical to tell the truth behind the horrific, gruesome events. Because the truth of their story is a sweeping tale of courage, of the strength of the human spirit in the darkest hour, and of the power of the will to live. Ultimately, it would be a musical with a message of hope.

    Or, I should say, WILL be a musical with a message of hope. THE DONNER PARTY will have its world premiere in California in the spring of 2017.

  • Amram Zeitchik says:

    A musical marking the rise of Transgender awareness

  • Linus Goldsteinn says:

    A musical based on not the JFK assassination but the BOBBY KENNEDY assassination. The Ambassador hotel, the bus boy who held his hand… This one can be done without cars and it would pack an emotional punch for sure.

  • Elena Muslar says:

    Thomas Jefferson & Sally Hemings

    ….need I say more….

  • Matthew Turkle says:

    I’m hoping for a musical telling of the Kennedy era. The Cuban missile crisis, Bay of Pigs, his assassination. Maybe throw in some Marilyn Monroe for good measure!

  • Cheryl Dzubak says:

    The Watergate fiasco, but make it a “historical comedy”.

  • Paula says:

    Benjamin Franklin’s impact on America……..
    Thomas Edison’s contributions to American life, as well as Henry Ford’s impact on American life. Their friendship
    would add to either inventor’s story.
    Alexander Graham Bell is another inventor to consider.

  • Harley Diamond says:

    Stonewall the Musical

  • How about Walter Reuthers? Talk about a turn around from socialist to liberal AND an advocate for civil rights? You’d bring in a brand new audience — for many, their first Broadway show — special prices for union members — special prices for union workers. You do it “Fiorella”-style with great music and a great story…a winner, for sure!

  • Amanda says:

    I would love a musical inspired by Ruby Bridges, the girl who was the face of desegregating schools.

  • Sabrina says:

    A musical about Amelia Earhart! The “I want” song would be absolutely “soaring” – and the rest of the score could be fantastic 20s/30s music. There would be great storylines, what with her career, marriage, and rumored love affairs with people like Eleanor Roosevelt. Jessie Mueller would be perfect as Amelia!

  • Laurett Gannon says:

    I would like to see a show about Marie Leveau that highlights her struggle and history of that time in New Orleans. Fascinating!!

  • Kati says:

    I’d love to see a musical about Harriet Tubman, not just her work with the underground railroad, but her work as a spy would be really interesting!

  • Rob Cote says:

    Boston Tea Party the Musical

  • Definitely JFK’s Presidency!! He was a man of the people.

  • Reilly Hickey says:

    I would love to see a show about women in history. I want to see Hamilton completely from Eliza’s perspective and all that she did after he died play out.

  • Cody Andrus says:

    I’ve always thought that a musical focusing on the great women in our history would be amazing. Like LaChiusa’s First Lady suites, I guess, but focusing on women who didn’t need a man to gain power.

  • Deborah says:

    German Submarines spotted off the coast of North Carolina during WW II.

  • Sarah says:

    A musical on slavery could be really educational and help move us forward in society (and if done well so much more artistically).

  • Paula says:

    Entertainment history–this is the 100th Anniversary of the
    birth of Francis Albert Sinatra. This musical would celebrate the great talent of Frank Sinatra. What a collection of music it could include!

  • Adam L. says:

    I would love to see a musical based on Nikola Tesla. I think he was such an interesting and exciting historical figure. And his feud with Edison could make for good theater too.

  • Margarita Viera says:

    George Washington would be a good one or even Abe Lincoln.

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Ken Davenport
Ken Davenport

Tony Award-Winning Broadway Producer

I'm on a mission to help 5000 shows get produced by 2025.

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