With recent out-and-out successes like The Book of Mormon and favorite standbys including The Lion King and Phantom of the Opera continuing to pack theaters, 2012 has been good to Broadway. But, as with everything showbiz, even the biggest thing can’t compare with the next big thing. With four shows already generating buzz, spring of next year is shaping up to be even bigger, better and more star-studded than Broadway’s current offerings – that is, at least until 2014 rolls around.

1)Matilda

This musical adaption of the beloved Roald Dahl children’s book is already a runaway hit on London’s West End. The winner of the 2011 Laurence Olivier Award (the British equivalent of the Tonys) for Best New Musical, Matilda has quite the pedigree: produced by the prestigious Royal Shakespeare Company, its seven-award sweep at the Oliviers not only made it the most successful, “winningest” production of the year, but the only musical to have won so many awards in the ceremony’s history. Check out this montage of musical clips below, while for those living or traveling abroad, we’ve got ticket links to upcoming Matilda performances in London:

Clip Montage from Matilda

Matilda The Musical Tickets 2012

Date
Event
Tuesday 7:00 PM London, UK
Wednesday 2:30 PM London, UK
Wednesday 7:30 PM London, UK
Thursday 7:30 PM London, UK
Friday 7:30 PM London, UK
Saturday 2:30 PM London, UK
Saturday 7:30 PM London, UK
Sunday 3:00 PM London, UK
Tuesday 7:00 PM London, UK
Wednesday 2:30 PM London, UK
Wednesday 7:30 PM London, UK
Thursday 7:30 PM London, UK
Friday 7:30 PM London, UK
Saturday 2:30 PM London, UK
Saturday 7:30 PM London, UK
Sunday 3:00 PM London, UK
Tuesday 7:00 PM London, UK
Wednesday 2:30 PM London, UK
Wednesday 7:30 PM London, UK
Thursday 7:30 PM London, UK

2)Diner

The next three shows on our list all have big names attached to their productions, not the least of which belongs to Sheryl Crow. The Grammy award-winning singer/songwriter has written the music for Diner, an adaption of the cult film of the same name. While the musical about six high-school buddies who reunite at the titular restaurant to talk girls, sports, and their philosophies on both was scheduled to have a preparatory run in San Francisco this fall, those plans have been scrapped. Producers are reportedly looking to scale the production down in order to use more intimate venues, placing the show in less direct competition with the spring’s large-scale productions (see below). In the meantime, Sheryl Crow’s rounding out 2012 with several tour dates, which we’ve got the ticket links to here:

Sheryl Crow Tickets 2012

Date
Event
Monday 8:00 PM Interlochen, MI tickets from $168
Tuesday 6:30 PM Lewiston, NY tickets from $87
Thursday 7:30 PM Carmel, IN tickets from $263
Friday 9:00 PM New Buffalo, MI tickets from $132
Saturday 6:00 PM Kent, OH tickets from $84
Sunday 7:00 PM East Lansing, MI
Saturday 7:30 PM Broomfield, CO tickets from $277

3)Kinky Boots

In a natural fit akin to a calf and legwarmer, Cyndi Lauper has signed on to pen the music for Kinky Boots, yet another film-to-stage adaptation. The 2005 British comedy tells the tale of the unlikely friendship between average-joe Charlie Price, a struggling shoemaker, and Lola, the sassy drag queen who convinces Charlie to start making “fetish footwear for transvestites” in order to save his failing business. The first song from the upcoming musical has already been released – here’s the composer herself, shod in a pair of the aforementioned shoes, performing “Sex Is In the Heel:”

Cyndi Lauper:”Sex Is In the Heel” from Kinky Boots

4)Hands on a Hardbody

Last though by no means least in concept or star power is Hands on a Hardbody, the new musical scored by Trey Anastasio of Phish. Technically speaking, Hardbody rounds out our list of movie adaptions, although the film that inspired the musical is not your standard fictive fare, but rather a documentary of the same name. Both works follow contestants who enter a car dealership contest: each must place a hand on the body of a car, and whoever keeps his or her fingers on the goods the longest, gets to keep it. Helping out Anastasio with the score is Amanda Green of Bring it On: The Musical fame. Check out both songwriters discussing their new production, as well as ticket links to upcoming shows featuring Anastasio’s other project, Phish, below:

Hands on a Hardbody Song Preview

Phish Tickets 2012

Date
Event
Wednesday 7:30 PM Long Beach, CA tickets from $64
Friday 7:30 PM San Francisco, CA tickets from $148
Saturday 7:30 PM San Francisco, CA tickets from $157
Sunday 7:30 PM San Francisco, CA tickets from $135
Wednesday 7:30 PM Kansas City, MO tickets from $77
Friday 7:30 PM Pelham, AL tickets from $104
Saturday 7:30 PM Atlanta, GA tickets from $63
Sunday 7:00 PM Charlotte, NC tickets from $74
Tuesday 7:30 PM Saint Louis, MO tickets from $74
Wednesday 7:00 PM Oklahoma City, OK tickets from $80
Friday 7:00 PM Commerce City, CO tickets from $82
Saturday 7:30 PM Commerce City, CO tickets from $89
Sunday 7:30 PM Commerce City, CO tickets from $80