Sunday, March 5, 2017

Broadway Comes to the CLE... & Next Year's Gonna Be Huge

I love musicals. A lot of people think this is surprising or amusing because, I don't know, maybe something about me doesn't scream, "Musical theater is my jam!" - but it so is. As I kid, I auditioned for Annie; in high school, I was in State Fair, Guys & Dolls, & Fiddler on the Roof. I've seen a few shows in NYC (Aida, Lion King, Newsies), & living in Cleveland, fortunately, gives me the opportunity to see plenty of other shows as they tour the country.

Cleveland has the second biggest theater district in the U.S., second only to Broadway itself, & our Playhouse Square has 36,000 season ticket-holders for the 2016-2017 season. How's that for impressive?!

Last week, Playhouse Square hosted its annual Key Bank Broadway Series reveal event, unveiling the shows that are coming to town for their upcoming season. The 2016-2017 season is, of course, still in full swing right now, with shows like The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time & Something Rotten still yet to come, plus The Wiz, Mamma Mia!, & others.

It was so much fun to be there live for the big announcements about next year - & they're huge! Here's what's coming to Playhouse Square next season.


Waitress

Scored by the incomparable Sara Bareilles & based on the film of the same name starring Keri Russell, Waitress tells the story of a pregnant server who falls in love with someone who is very much not her husband. For the event last week, Sara Bareilles herself showed up to discuss the show... & then sang one of its songs for us! What a treat. Running October 17-November 5, 2017.


On Your Feet! The Emilio & Gloria Estefan Musical

Did you know such a musical existed?! I, for one, did not, but alas, it does exist, & I've heard from friends that it's incredible - & that it gets audience members literally doing the conga down the aisles of the theater! It tells the life story of Cuban immigrants Emilio & Gloria Estefan, from international superstardom to life-threatening tragedy. Running December 5-23, 2017.


Love Never Dies

Musical theater legend Andrew Lloyd Weber came out of retirement to pen this musical, a sequel to his smash hit, The Phantom of the Opera. The show, which has been running in Berlin, will make it's North American debut right here in Cleveland. Running January 9-28, 2018.


RENT

Everyone's favorite '90s musical is celebrating its 20th anniversary, & even though I've seen it on stage three times, I'll definitely be hitting up Playhouse Square to catch it again. I dare you not to cry as you consider measuring your own life in love. Running March 6-25, 2018.


The Humans

Key Bank's Broadway series isn't all musicals! Stephen Karam's play has won four Tony Awards, includingBest Play. It takes place over the course of a family dinner on Thanksgiving, with family dysfunction on full display, both hilarious & heartbreaking. Running April 10-29, 2018.


Aladdin

I've long wanted to see this Disney animated  classic come to life on the stage, & now I can! Set in the fictional Middle Eastern town of Agrabah, it's equal parts love story & a story of heartfelt friendship between its titular character & the hysterical, grandiose Genie. Running May 2-27, 2018. 


Hamilton

Annnnd the big one: Hamilton is hitting the CLE for a whopping six-week run... over my birthday! It's the story of founding father Alexander Hamilton, set to hip-hop, rap, & R&B. Though I can't believe we've got to wait so long to see it, I know the wait (& the cost) will be worth it. Running July 17-August 26, 2018.

I can't decide what I most want to see because I most want to see everything. My mom & I are talking about getting season tickets so that we can, in fact, go see everything together... which sounds like the perfect solution, don't you think?!

Thanks to Playhouse Square for inviting me to attend last week's Key Bank Broadway Launch Party in exchange for my social media coverage. As always, all opinions & excitement are my own.
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