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‘Once’, ‘Kinky Boots’ & ‘Newsies’ in ’14-’15 Broadway@TPAC Season

‘Book of Mormon’ Among Special Presentations in Strong Slate

 

The Tennessee Performing Arts Center today announced its upcoming 2014-15 HCA/TriStar Health Broadway at TPAC series as well as special engagements that comprise one of its strongest slates ever.

CEO Kathleen O’Brien unveiled the seven-show season package that features four productions in their first year on tour, including Kinky Boots (Winner of six 2013 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, and a show in which TPAC has been an investor both for its run on the Great White Way and on tour), Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, featuring Broadway/television star Diana DeGarmo and Broadway star Ace Young, Pippin (Winner of four 2013 Tony Awards) and Newsies (Winner of two 2012 Tony Awards, which TPAC previously announced would be part of its schedule). The 2014-15 slate also will include the Nashville debut of Once (Winner of eight 2012 Tony Awards including Best Musical), plus the return of two classics, Camelot as well as Chicago with Broadway/television star John O’Hurley (Seinfeld, National Dog Show).

Leading the pack of special engagements is The Book of Mormon, the musical from the creators of “South Park” and winner of nine 2011 Tony Awards including Best Musical. It along with a Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer holiday offering and the return of The Blue Man Group are special presentations that round out the 34-year-old facility’s upcoming theatrical bookings.

“Every year when we sit down and curate a season we look at spacing them out as best we can so they’re not all clumped together, we look at providing an anchor show, stuff that’s right off Broadway and hot, stuff for families,” O’Brien told ArtsNash before the announcement. TPAC has been an independent producer since the 2007-08 season after being aligned with Broadway Across America for several years. “We also look for shows that are artful and might push the envelope as well as classics. We are very careful how we choose those so they’re very diverse…and have distinctively different personalities and performance qualities about them.

“We’re thrilled that four of the seven shows in our main package are in the first year of their tours. We think that speaks volumes about Nashville. It really makes it even more evident that our city is perceived by others as a community for all the arts. …We’ve created relationships and shown our worth and so we get these kinds of shows.”

How does she characterize the season? “As we looked at all these different shows one of the common denominators is about finding yourself,” O’Brien noted. “You’re going to be entertained, but it also gives you the chance to lift up the carpet, look under there and perhaps find something to think about and hopefully talk about with others.”

And the main season has affordable options. “We have packages starting at under $150,” said O’Brien. “Seven shows for under $150. How good is that?”

How are the special presentations picked? “We look for shows that will fit here as stand-alones,” O’Brien explained. “Blue Man Group did so well before and we wanted to bring it back. For the holidays we need to find something to fit into the Polk that fits the season so we have Rudolph. And then our most asked-about title is Book of Mormon – we are thrilled to get it in its first national tour. Every market wants it and we’re happy to be one of the chosen ones!”

The current Broadway series concludes with Million Dollar Quartet (May 6-11) and War Horse (June 3-8). A full calendar of the 2014-15 HCA/TriStar Health Broadway at TPAC series and special presentations is listed below followed by pictures and full descriptions of the titles from the producers of each show:

2014-15 HCA/TriStar Health Broadway at TPAC

Once – September 16-21

Chicago with John O’Hurley – October 21-26

Camelot – November 4-9

Kinky Boots – February 3-8 (2015)

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat – February 17-22 (2015)

Pippin – March 10-15 (2015)

Newsies – May 26-31 (2015)

NOTE: Season ticket holders receive priority seating for Broadway special presentations, including:

2014-15 Broadway Special Presentations

The Book of Mormon – November 18-23

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer– December 16-21

Blue Man Group – January 6-11 (2015)

OnceOnce (www.OnceMusical.com) Winner of eight 2012 Tony Awards including Best Musical, Once is a truly original Broadway experience. Featuring an impressive ensemble of actor/musicians who play their own instruments onstage, Once tells the enchanting tale of a Dublin street musician who’s about to give up on his dream when a beautiful young woman takes a sudden interest in his haunting love songs. As the chemistry between them grows, his music soars to powerful new heights… but their unlikely connection turns out to be deeper and more complex than your everyday romance. Emotionally captivating and theatrically breathtaking, Once draws you in from the very first note and never lets go. It’s an unforgettable story about going for your dreams… not living in fear… and the power of music to connect all of us.

ChicagoChicago with John O’Hurley (www.ChicagoTheMusical.com) A true New York City institution, Chicago has everything that makes Broadway great: a universal tale of fame, fortune and all that jazz; one show-stopping-song after another; and the most astonishing dancing you’ve ever seen. No wonder Chicago has been honored with six Tony Awards, two Olivier Awards, a Grammy, and thousands of standing ovations. It’s also no surprise that Chicago has wowed audiences all around the world, from Mexico City to Moscow, from Sao Paulo to South Africa. Whether you’re looking for your first Broadway musical, whether you’ve seen the Academy Award-winning film and want to experience the show live on stage or whether you’ve seen it before and want to recapture the magic, Chicago always delivers.

Photo 3CAMELOT(CamelotTour.com)The story as you’ve never seen it before. Experience Camelot’s “one brief shining moment” as Lerner and Loewe envisioned it in one of theater’s most legendary musicals. Recount the time-honored legend of King Arthur, Guinevere, Lancelot, and the Knights of the Round Table in an enchanting fable of chivalry, majesty, and brotherhood in this four-time Tony Award® winning show. Camelot tells the story of the legend of King Arthur who rules his kingdom with new ideals, bringing peace to a troubled land. But when his beautiful new Queen Guinevere and the dashing Sir Lancelot, his most trusted knight, give in to their passion for one another, one of the most fabled love triangles of all time ensues. When Mordred, King Arthur’s illegitimate son, catches on and sees a kingdom in chaos, he attempts to destroy all that is Camelot! Intimate and fresh, never has this story of passion, pageantry and betrayal been more captivating. The celebrated score includes the classics “If Ever I Would Leave You,” “The Simple Joys of Maidenhood,” and the title song “Camelot.”

Kinky BootsKinky Boots (www.KinkyBootsTheMusical.com) Kinky Boots is the exhilarating Broadway musical that will lift your spirits to new high-heeled heights! Winner of six Tony Awards including Best Musical, this inspirational story follows a struggling shoe factory owner who works to turn his business around with help from Lola, a fabulous entertainer in need of some sturdy stilettos. Together, this unlikely pair finds that they have more in common than they ever dreamed possible… proving that when you change your mind about someone, you can change your whole world. Inspired by a true story, Kinky Boots features a joyous, Tony-winning score by Cyndi Lauper, direction and Tony-winning choreography by Jerry Mitchell and a hilarious, uplifting book by four-time Tony winner Harvey Fierstein. Come join the sold-out audiences who’ve discovered why – sometimes – the best way to fit in is to stand out! “There is no show hotter than Kinky Boots.” – CBS News

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor DreamcoatJoseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (www.JosephTheMusical.com) One of the most enduring shows of all time, Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is the irresistible family musical about the trials and triumphs of Joseph, Israel’s favorite son. Directed and choreographed by Tony Award-winner Andy Blankenbuehler, this new production will feature Broadway/television star Diana DeGarmo (Hairspray, Hair) as The Narrator and Broadway star Ace Young (Grease, Hair) as Joseph. Retelling the Biblical story of Joseph, his eleven brothers and the coat of many colors, this magical musical is full of unforgettable songs including “Those Canaan Days,” “Any Dream Will Do” and “Close Every Door.”

PippinPippin (www.PippinTheMusical.com) Join us…for this magical, unforgettable production The New York Times declared “Astonishing!  A Pippin for the 21st Century.” The 2013 Tony Award winner for Best Musical Revival is back there for the first time since it thrilled audiences 40 years ago. With a beloved score by Tony nominee Stephen Schwartz (Godspell, Wicked), Pippin tells the story of a young prince on a death-defying journey to find meaning in his existence. Will he choose a happy but simple life? Or will he risk everything for a singular flash of glory? This captivating new production is directed by Tony winner Diane Paulus (Hair and The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess). Pippin features sizzling choreography in the style of Bob Fosse and breathtaking acrobatics by Les 7 Doigts De La Main, the creative force behind the nationwide sensation Traces.

NewsiesNewsies (www.NewsiesTheMusical.com) They delivered the papers, until they made the headlines… Direct from Broadway comes Newsies, the smash-hit, crowd-pleasing new musical from Disney. Winner of the 2012 Tony Awards for Best Score and Best Choreography, Newsies has audiences and critics alike calling it “A MUSICAL WORTH SINGING ABOUT!” (The New York Times) Filled with one heart-pounding number after another, it’s a high-energy explosion of song and dance you just don’t want to miss.

2014-15 Special Presentations

Book of MormonThe Book of Mormon (www.BookofMormonTheMusical.com) Ben Brantley of The New York Times calls it “the best musical of this century.” Entertainment Weekly says it’s “the funniest musical of all time.” From South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, it’s The Book of Mormon, winner of nine Tony Awards® including Best Musical. Jon Stewart of “The Daily Show” calls it “a crowning achievement. So good it makes me angry.” Contains explicit language.

Rudolph the Red Nosed ReindeerRudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (website link unavailable) Based on the beloved stop-motion classic “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical soars off the screen and onto the stage this holiday season. From fleeing the Abominable Snow Monster to saving Christmas, join Rudolph and his friends Clarice, Hermey the Elf, and Yukon Cornelius as their adventures teach us that what makes you different can be what makes you special.

Blue Man GroupBlue Man Group (www.BlueMan.com) Experience the Phenomenon. Blue Man Group is best known for their wildly popular theatrical shows and concerts which combine comedy, music, and technology to produce a totally unique form of entertainment. The New York Times heralds the show as “One of the most delightful performance pieces ever staged.” “E! Entertainment News” exclaims, “Blue Man Group is what every live performance aspires to be.” The Baltimore Sun raves, “Blue Man Group packs a wallop. It’s a big, loud, funny, silly, visually arresting production!” Although it is impossible to describe, people of all ages agree that Blue Man Group is an intensely exciting and wildly outrageous show that leaves the entire audience in a blissful, euphoric state. With no spoken language, Blue Man Group is perfect for people of all ages, languages, and cultures.

BroadwayatTPACThe HCA/TriStar Health Broadway at TPAC series is supported by The HCA Foundation on behalf of HCA and the TriStar Family of Hospitals. Institutional sponsors for TPAC include Nissan North America, American Airlines, and Coca-Cola. TPAC is funded in part by support from the Tennessee Arts Commission and the Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission.

TPAC reminds ticket buyers that the only official place to buy tickets online is tpac.org.

Season tickets and group tickets are now available. The cost of a seven-show season package for the HCA/TriStar Health Broadway at TPAC series starts at under $150. Single tickets for individual shows will go on sale approximately six to eight weeks prior to the performance.

Season ticket holders receive exclusive benefits and services not available to the general public, including free ticket exchange privileges if they have a change of schedule, lower ticket processing fees, additional pre-sale offers to TPAC shows, and flexible payment plans.

Current season ticket holders will be mailed information on how to renew their season tickets for the next season. TPAC Subscriber Services is accepting new orders, processed on a “first come-first served” basis after seating assignments are made for renewing season ticket holders.

For more information on the HCA/TriStar Health Broadway at TPAC series, visit us at www.tpac.org/broadway, where season tickets may be purchased, or call TPAC Subscriber Services at (615) 782-6560 or (800) 410-4216 if you live outside the Nashville area. You may also visit the TPAC Box Office at 505 Deaderick Street in downtown Nashville. For information on group tickets, call the TPAC Group Sales Office at (615) 782-4060.

*Series logo and production photos by Joan Marcus, Paul Kolnik, Richard Termine, Matthew Murphy, Daniel Brodie and Deen van Meer courtesy Tennessee Performing Arts Center.

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About Evans Donnell

Evans Donnell is the chief theater, film and opera critic as well as co-founder of ArtsNash. He wrote reviews and features about theater, opera and classical music for The Tennessean from 2002 to 2011. He was the theater, film and opera critic for ArtNowNashville.com from 2011 to 2012. Donnell has also contributed to The Sondheim Review, Back Stage, The City Paper (Nashville), the Nashville Banner, The (Bowling Green, Ky.) Daily News and several other publications since beginning his professional journalism career in 1985 with The Lebanon (Tenn.) Democrat. He was selected as a fellow for the 2004 National Critics Institute at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, and for National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) arts journalism institutes for theater and musical theater at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism in 2006 and classical music and opera at the Columbia University School of Journalism in 2009. He has also been an actor (member of Actors Equity Association and SAG-AFTRA), founding and running AthensSouth Theatre from 1996 to 2001 and appearing in Milos Forman's "The People vs Larry Flynt" among other credits. Donnell is a member of the American Theatre Critics Association (www.americantheatrecritics.org).