Looking Back At This Season’s Musicals Ahead Of Tuesday’s Tony Nominations

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Bette Midler is the talk of the Great White Way for her starring role in a recent Broadway revival.

“Hello Dolly” is just one of the many shows attracting theater fans from across the world.

The nominations for this year’s Tony awards will be announced on Tuesday, and CBS2’s Jill Nicolini took a look back at this season’s best Broadway musicals.

The face of one of the hottest tickets in town, Bette Midler stars as matchmaker Dolly Levi — with David Hyde Pierce co-starring — in the lavish production of the “Hello Dolly” revival.

The musical’s popularity adds to a booming box office this spring.

In the early 1900’s, Helena Rubenstein and Elizabeth Arden broke barriers in the cosmetics industry. Now, their beauty battles are revealed on stage in “War Paint.” Tony winners Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole play the make-up mavens.

“There was this intense rivalry and competition that kind of inspired them and spurred them on,” Ebersole, who plays Arden, said.

“They may have resented one another’s success, but I think they also used that competition to be creative,” LuPone, who plays Rubenstein, added.

The musical “Bandstand” swings, in a story about a World War II veteran who returns home to find a different world. So how does he find his way? He strikes up the band and enters a radio contest.

“These guys put all of what they cared about on hold to serve their country and they come back expecting to take off in the same spot and they can’t,” star Corey Cott said.

Actress Phillipa Soo makes a star turn in the production of “Amelie,” based on the 2001 film. She takes center stage after her Tony nominated role last year in “Hamilton.”

Another screen to stage adaptation has been “Groundhog Day.” Andy Karl plays the weatherman stuck in time.

Karl and the musical just won London’s top theater award.

“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” also transferred from London. Now on Broadway, two-time Tony winner Christian Borle plays Willy Wonka — the iconic role played onscreen by the late Gene Wilder.

“I was introduced to this story through the Gene Wilder movie and I fell in love immediately because he’s a genius,” Borle said.

“A Bronx Tale: The Musical” opened in December and is based on the hit film written by Chazz Palminteri, who also wrote the book for the stage production.

“Come From Away” takes us to Gander, Newfoundland where residents to 6,700 people on September 11th after the terror attacks and 38 airplanes were diverted to the small town.

Fans are still buzzing about “Dear Evan Hansen.” The show and its star have become a social media sensation.

“To get to create a character from scratch with all the writers on a very sort of collaborative experience is just the greatest gift as an actor,” star Ben Platt said. “That’s all you dream of.”

“Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812” stars Josh Groban in his Broadway debut along with Denee Benton. The musical takes its cues from Tolstoy’s “War and Peace” set in 19th century Russia.

“Anastasia” continued the Russian theme on Broadway this season. In early 1900’s St. Petersburg, the title character loses her family and her memory during the Russian Revolution.

“I just love her journey from start to finish, star Christy Altomare said. “She has such a massive transformation so as an actor, it’s such a meaty thing that any actress would want to experience.”

Three more musical revivals continue to play to packed houses; “Cats,” “Miss Saigon,” and Glenn Close in “Sunset Boulevard.”

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