Start Spreading The News! New York, New York Opens With New Music From Lin Manuel Miranda

NEW YORK, NEW YORK production images, April 2023, for Charles McNulty review. Credit: Paul Kolnik

By Joe Contreras, Latin Life Denver Media. Some text from CBS Sunday Morning News

Broadway’s newest musical New York, New York officially opened at New York City’s St. James Theatre on April 26, 2023. One reviewer said, “Loved it! This musical hit a “major chord” for my friends and me. The actors- were superb. The music- went straight to the heart. The dancing- was phenomenal. The set- stunning. This show brought joy. The storylines resonated and leaned into many contemporary themes. Go see it. You will not be disappointed.”

Jim Borstelmann in New York, New York (Photo: Paul Kolnik)

The all-star creative team is led by five-time Tony winner Susan Stroman, who directs and choreographs the production with music and lyrics by John Kander and Fred Ebb, a book by David Thompson and co-written by Sharon Washington, and additional lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda. It feature the music of John Kander and Fred Ebb whose credentials include scores they wrote for Broadway shows like “Cabaret,” “Chicago,” and “Curtains,”. Together they have won four Tony Awards, two Grammys, two Emmys – and have a street named after them in Times Square. Kander is now 96 years old and talked with David Pogue on a recent edition of CBS Sunday Morning about this new show. (See video below) .

It’s a story about aspiring immigrant musicians struggling to make a life and a name for themselves in New York City shortly after world war II. This new production is loosely based on the 1977 Martin Scorsese film of the same name staring Robert De Niro and Liza Minnelli. It features some new songs lyrics or additional lyrics by a famous Broadway talent: Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator of “In the Heights” and “Hamilton.”

John Kander and Lin-Manuel Miranda. CBS NEWS

One new song written by Miranda, “Can You Hear Me?,” is set in Grand Central’s whispering arch, an architectural quirk that lets you hear a whisper from 30 feet away: (See Sunday Morning video below)

When I heard you sing, it changed everything
Can you hear me?
Could you ever be with a wreck like me
Can you hear me?
Could I ever be a part of the song inside your heart? 

The musical is set in 1947, and tells five interwoven stories about aspiring musicians. “We wanted to celebrate artists who come to New York to change their lives, to be the best at what they do,” said said Susan Stroman, the director and choreographer, in a recent interview with CBS Sunday Morning

“It was right after the war; New York was hopeful,” said Stroman, “People were pulling plywood off the storefronts. There’s something about that particular time that feels like the time now in New York. You know, We are gonna pull this city back up to where it used to be.

I don’t believe I will be able to wait for this production to come to Denver so, “Start Spreading The News…” Tickets at the St. James Theatre start at $20 and go to $140.