For its 40th anniversary season, the annual Broadway in Atlanta series is heralding five premieres — including its first play since 2012 — and a handful of classics.
The seven-show docket includes the tour debuts of “Disney’s Frozen,” “Mean Girls,” “To Kill a Mockingbird,” “Ain’t Too Proud — The Life and Times of The Temptations” and “Tootsie,” along with revivals of “Jesus Christ Superstar” and “Fiddler on the Roof.”
An additional trio of shows are available as season add-ons: “Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical”; “Beautiful — The Carole King Musical”; and Riverdance’s 25th Anniversary Show.
“Five premieres is big for us, but we’ve always been about bringing the best of Broadway direct,” said Russ Belin, vice president of the southeast region for Broadway Across America, which produces Broadway in Atlanta.
On a slate filled with marquee titles, the inclusion of “To Kill a Mockingbird” is especially noteworthy, as it’s the first drama in the Broadway series since “War Horse” eight years ago.
“It’s not that we’re against doing plays, but it’s been harder for New York to find the right product that has a mainstream audience,” Belin said. “The staging of this one is phenomenal, and Aaron Sorkin, how he put it together, it’s so great.”
Richard Thomas — who last performed in Atlanta in 2006’s “Twelve Angry Men” — will play Atticus Finch on the “Mockingbird” national tour.
Belin is effusive about the entire lineup, but considers “Disney’s Frozen” and “Mean Girls” the anchors of the season.
“Frozen is in (the Pacific Northwest) now and people who have seen it think it’s better than New York. The changes (producers) made for the tour, people feel it works very well. It’s a family favorite. Atlanta always loves Disney (shows), and this will be no different,” Belin said.
As for celebrating the anniversary of Broadway in Atlanta, patrons will notice some “goodwill” events closer to and during the season. An allotment of $40 tickets is planned for all shows as well.
Belin said the Atlanta organization has presented nearly 7 million guests with about 3,000 performances in its history, and theatergoing has been on a positive trajectory.
“I think more than ever people are coming to the theater,” Belin said. “And it’s not just for the ‘Hamiltons’ — they’re loving ‘Come from Away’ and the revival of ‘Hello Dolly.’ They’re trying things other than the ‘Wickeds.’ We’re seeing that difference in our numbers, which are going up for single sales on the other titles. Being at the Fox has also always been just as important to our success.”
The Fox Theatre will again host this season’s shows.
Subscription package renewal will begin at 10 a.m. Thursday via broadwayinatlanta.com/season. New subscriptions will go on sale in May, with prices starting at $294 for all seven shows (prices vary depending on showtime, day of the week and seat location). Single-show tickets typically go on sale about two months prior to opening night. As well, subscribers can purchase additional tickets before they go on sale to the public. Performances are Tuesday-Thursday at 7:30 p.m.; Friday at 8 p.m.; Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m.; and Sunday at 1 and 6:30 p.m.
Here is a quick look at the 2020-21 season:
“Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of The Temptations
Jukebox musical fans will encounter many rousing singalongs in this journey of The Temptations from Motown to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The show scored a 2019 Tony Award for best choreography, and its heady playlist includes “My Girl,” “Get Ready,” “Just My Imagination” and “Papa Was a Rolling Stone.”
“To Kill a Mockingbird”
Oct. 27-Nov. 1
Aaron Sorkin’s adaptation of Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning classic has earned raves on Broadway. Richard Thomas (“The Waltons,” “The Little Foxes”) leads the cast in the role of Atticus Finch.
Based on the 1982 movie, the show remains true to the story of Michael Dorsey, a volatile actor who becomes so difficult to work with; he forms a new identity as a woman to land a job. The production features music by David Yazbek (“The Band’s Visit,” “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels”) and won a 2018 Tony Award for best book of a musical.
Jan. 27-Feb. 7, 2021
Aside from the familiarity with the hit Disney movie, “Frozen” has also been highly regarded for its special effects, sets and costumes. The well-worn songs are there, of course, along with a dozen new tunes from the film’s songwriters, Oscar winner Kristen Anderson-Lopez and EGOT champ Robert Lopez.
“Jesus Christ Superstar”
March 2-7, 2021
A new production will be unveiled for the 50th anniversary of the Andrew Lloyd Webber-Tim Rice classic. Set against the backdrop of a series of events in the final weeks of Jesus’ life, as seen through the eyes of Judas, the show reached a new generation when NBC aired a live concert version with John Legend and Sara Bareilles in 2018.
“Fiddler on the Roof”
March 30-April 4, 2021
It’s a timeless story about fathers and daughters, husbands and wives and cultural traditions. The original Broadway production opened in 1964, but this tour is based on the 2015 Tony-nominated revival directed by Bartlett Sher.
April 20-25, 2021
Tina Fey’s hilariously snarky worldview imbues the Broadway hit – adapted from her insta-classic movie – about the catty shenanigans of a group of girls growing up in suburban Illinois.
“Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical” (Dec. 15-20, 2020); “Beautiful – The Carole King Musical” (March 19-21, 2021); and Riverdance 25th Anniversary Show (April 30-May 2, 2021).
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