Theater has always been political — now’s the time to lean into that.
President-elect Donald Trump would likely be delighted if Evita got another Broadway revival: It’s his favorite musical, a fact that is hard not to read into. Evita is an interesting litmus test — whether you think it’s ultimately favorable to the Peróns or an unequivocal takedown of their faux-populist, self-promotional tactics depends largely on the beliefs you bring to it. A 2017 revival would be, at the very least, a conversation starter.
“Every now and then the country goes a little wrong.” Assassins does not glorify its titular killers (or would-be killers) in exposing their motivations; it’s actually a searing indictment of American mythology and the limitations of the American dream. Assassins is often bleak and painful, but it’s a fascinating exploration of the righteous anger and despair of those who feel marginalized.
Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson
While the original run of Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson failed to find its audience, Broadway would likely be a lot more welcoming to it now. Unlike Hamilton, it’s a much more scathing look at its central figure. Both shows do address the idea of legacy, although this one suggests that all Americans are complicit in the subjugation of marginalized people in the name of greed and entitlement.
Yes, Cabaret was just revived, but there’s always room for another interpretation of the show, which depicts the seedy, hedonistic world of 1930s Berlin at the end of the Weimar Republic. With a now constant debate over the rise of global nationalism and fascism, Cabaret is a reminder to stay vigilant, and of how quickly things can change.