In which this spring will be CRAZYPANTS.

Recently, we took it upon ourselves to update those sidebars on the right side of your screen that you probably never look at. And if you take a gander at the box labeled "Upcoming Shows," you'll see the impetus for this post.

We try our best not to become serial show-repeaters - moving too quickly among one-show obsessions (like a preacher through whiskey - ba-doom-ching!). But when a show comes along and grabs us by the heart, there's not much we can do about it. The only problem with shows that require (yes, require) multiple visits? WHEN MULTIPLE SHOWS LIKE THIS OPEN AT THE SAME TIME.

Read: this spring, we can count the number of new shows that we feel indifferent about on one hand. In summary...uh-oh.

In this spirit, we present to you our Top Five Shows We Know Will Become Raging Addictions Before They've Even Opened:

Now. Here. This. Hillary was graced with the opportunity to see the workshop production of Now.Here.This. at the Vineyard Theatre last summer, and from her complete inability to describe the awesomeness of what happened that night to me, I can only expect a phenomenal whirl of wit, wisdom, heartbreak, life advice, and catharsis. The artwork for the show alone evokes so much - Susan is cooly pondering the wonders of the universe, Jeff is gazing skyward in awe, Heidi is basking in the hilarity of a joke that Susan told a minute ago, and Hunter looks vaguely afraid that the Earth is going to fall on his head. It's the latest gig from the [title of show] gang, and the world actually will fall on Hunter's head before we miss this.

Newsies. Please watch this. And this. And this. Note the most awesome choreography ever. And the way that Jeremy Jordan sings the mother-effin' hell out of "Santa Fe." (Why are all musicals obsessed with Santa Fe, anyways? What's so great about New Mexico?) And tell us that you're not excited. Christian Bale, step aside. We love the movie, but we're going to love the stage version more.

Leap of Faith. Although Leap of Faith didn't get glowing reviews during its premiere a few years back in Los Angeles, buzz seems to indicate that positive revisions have been made. If nothing else, finally getting to see Raul Esparza sing in person is going to leave both of us in a giant puddle on the floor. OH, AND DID WE MENTION THAT JESSICA PHILLIPS IS FINALLY OBTAINING LEADING LADY STATUS ON THE BROADWAY?! Add in the inevitable evening where Raul calls out of the show in favor of serenading his mirror with "Being Alive," and we have a major situation in which Louis Hobson, the cover for Esparza, goes on opposite Ms. Phillips, and the entire universe goes up in proud-Next-to-Normal-fan flames.

Pipe Dream. Full disclosure: we bought our tickets for this Encores production, playing at New York City Center in March, one week after a single person in the cast had been announced. And we NEVER buy tickets in advance for things. Laura Osnes, back on stage. What other justification do you need, dear readers? Our excitement has since gained momentum with Will Chase, Tom Wopat, and Leslie Uggams joining the cast. We don't know much (read: anything) about the 1955 Rodgers and Hammerstein flop, but the original cast recording is an absolute gas to listen to. (One of the lyrics is "stupid sons of fishes to live in a tide pool." We're not sure about the context of that line yet, but it seems like a real gem.)

Peter and the Starcatcher. Let it be known that we will be taking up residency at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre beginning March 28 for an indefinite period of time. We saw Peter and the Starcatcher three times during its NYTW run last spring. (Our review of that is here.) The large majority of the original cast is transferring with the show to Broadway, including the brilliant Adam Chanler-Berat, Celia Keenan-Bolger, and the biggest surprise of the bunch, Christian Borle, who somehow finagled his filming schedule for Smash to reprise his role as Black Stache. Our anticipation to see this show again can only be summarized with a cliche smash of my keyboard: SLKDFJSLDKFJSKDLJF. Herein lies the biggest obstacle to seeing shows that are not Peter and the Starcatcher this spring. So very excited to re-experience the magic of this production.


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