You can't see the future, but if you stop and listen, you can hear which way the wind is blowing. With that in mind, here are seven predictions from TheaterMania about the trends and ideas that will shape the theater in the coming year:
1. More A-List Musicians Will Play Broadway
Bruce Springsteen is changing the game at the Walter Kerr Theatre. While numerous high-profile musicians have created "theatri-concerts" for the Broadway stage — a list that ranges from the likes of Bette Midler to Duran Duran — Springsteen's solo show, complete with dark, brooding monologues about his life and new acoustic takes on his extensive song catalogue, plays more like Billy Crystal's introspective 700 Sundays than a career retrospective highlighting his greatest hits.
Springsteen on Broadway is a cash cow, with the intense demand for tickets resulting in every single show selling out (to the point that the run has been extended through the end of June). High-profile artists have always been interested in shifting the paradigm of what audiences expect, and viewers are obviously eager to see their heroes perform in intimate settings. In 2018, we're predicting that more A-list musicians will follow suit and create intimate concerts of their own. Here's looking at you, Gaga.