Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Playhouse Square 2010-11 KeyBank Broadway Series

PlayhouseSquare raises the curtain on exciting new season.

When I was invited to attend the Broadway Season Announcement I wasn't sure quite what to expect -- either in terms of format or shows. I was pleasantly surprised on both fronts (how can you say no to an event that not only gives you the season "from the horse's mouth" but also provides quite delicious hot dogs?)

The presentation opened with a fantastic video of Playhouse Square's past and present, and was followed by VP of Theatricals Gina Vernaci introducing the season ahead of us -- and I have to say that I'm impressed. I actually found myself considering joining the 19,000 subscribers.

Blue Man Group - October 5-17, Palace Theatre - It's the Blue Man Group. If you haven't seen them, see them at least once. If you have seen them, I don't need to say any more.

Billy Elliot the Musical - November 19-December 12, State Theatre - Score by Elton John, young boxer-turned-dancer and the journey to make dreams come true. It sounds interesting, the New York Times called it "inspiring", and according to Ms. Vernaci, Elton John felt a personal connection to the story which may explain why the New York Post called it "his best score yet".

South Pacific - February 1-13, 2011, Palace Theatre - The tony-award winning Lincoln Center Theater revival, with an orchestra of 26 and cast of 34. My initial reaction was to pass, but considering how much out of context play individual songs get from this Richard and Hammerstein musical, it may be hard to pass up the opportunity to see and hear them in context.

Shrek The Musical - March 1-13, 2011, Palace Theatre - Based on the DreamWorks film, and DreamWorks first foray into live theater 19 new songs and humor for all ages.

Les Miserables - April 5-17, 2011, Palace Theatre - This is the show that as a self-proclaimed musical theater fan, I frequently find myself embarrassed to admit I've never seen (the only other show in that category was, until January, Phantom of the Opera). A show with true holding power that has had 31 cast albums and 38,000 live professional performances of the music. You can bet that I'm going to make an effort to see it while I have the chance.

West Side Story - May 3-15, 2011, Palace Theatre - This Sondheim and Bernstein musical is at least as well known as South Pacific, and likewise, I'm not sure how excited I am about seeing it, but once again, the opportunity to see and hear the music live and in context may be hard to resist. Oh, and the closing weekend will mark my 27th birthday.

Next to Normal - June 7-19, 2011, Palace Theatre - I saw this show during my trip to New York in January and while I initially had mixed feelings this is a powerful show with great music that really seeps into your consciousness and makes sense on so many levels when you start to think about it. I'm looking forward to see this show again.

Other shows, not part of the KeyBank season announcement but listed in the brochure:

Legally Blonde The Musical - October 22-24, 2010 - Once is enough for me, but could be good "girls night out" material for those so inclined.
Cirque Dreams Holidaze - December 14-19, 2010
Cats - January 21-23, 2010 - I don't know if I can justify not seeing this famously long-running musical.
Golda's Balcony - January 29, 2011
The Peking Acrobats - February 20, 2011
The Color Purple - March 25-26, 2011


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