In a market that thrives on revivals, it is hard for a long-running touring Broadway series to come up with a season free of repeats. But that is what Lexington Opera House general manager Luanne Franklin has done with the 2014-15 Broadway Live at the Opera House series.
The five-show series features productions that have never played Broadway Live before, including a recent Tony Award-winner that Franklin called, “One of the most imaginative and creative shows I have ever seen.”
That show would be Peter and the Starcatcher, a Peter Pan prequel that explains how Peter became the boy who never grew up. The show’s Broadway production nabbed five Tony Awards, sweeping design categories including former Actors Theatre of Louisville sound man Darron L. West, who won for best sound design.
“It’s like you’re watching a child’s dream come to life on the stage,” Franklin said of the show, which she saw in the original production featuring Christian Borle, who won a Tony for his performance. “I can’t wait for audiences in Lexington to see this show.”
Playing February 6 to 8, Peter sits at the center of a lineup the Opera House is promoting as “Come Play!”
Nov. 14-16: Elf. The musical adaptation of the hit 2003 movie starring Will Ferrell and Bob Newhart about a man who was raised as an elf but has to come to terms with the fact he’s not and find his place in the world.
Jan. 23-25: Guys and Dolls. Yep. Despite it’s storied history, the iconic Frank Loesser musical has never played the Broadway Live series.
Feb. 6-8: Peter and the Starcatcher. See above.
March 13-15: The Great Gatsby. Montana Repertory Theatre, which brought this just-past season’s The Miracle Worker, presents Simon Levy’s adaptation of the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel which just re-entered pop culture consciousness through Baz Luhrmann’s 2013 film starring Leonardo DiCaprio.
April 24-26: Sister Act. The original Whoopi Goldberg movie about a murder witness hidden in a convent comes to the stage with music by Oscar-winning veteran Disney composer Alan Menken.
Just as this past season, all performances will be at 8 p.m. Fridays, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturdays and 1 and 6 p.m. Sundays. Franklin said the new 6 p.m. Sunday evening time has been very popular with audiences, some shifting their Sunday matinee subscriptions to the evening with the earlier curtain time.
Season subscriptions are on sale and start are $192 to $320 for Friday, Saturday and the Sunday matinee, $172 to $280 for Sunday evening. They include perks like a 20 percent savings on single tickets, the ability to exchange tickets for a different performance of the same show if you cannot make it on you subscription time and first refusal on tickets to Variety Live performances. This season, they are:
Sept. 12: The Marcus Roberts Trio, performing in celebration of the Opera House’s nine-foot Steinway grand piano being returned after a complete restoration.
2015, dates TBA: Chuggington LIVE! The stage version of the Disney Junior show about trains working together and learning life lessons comes to the Opera House.
Single tickets to all Broadway Live shows will go on sale Aug. 25.
As in seasons past, Broadway at the Opera House will get started with a University of Kentucky Opera Theatre production. This year it will be Stephen Sondheim’s dark tale, Sweeney Todd, in October.
Franklin says the just-finished Broadway Live season was one of the most successful in recent memory. The biggest hit was January’s presentation of Million Dollar Quartet, the show about a recording session with Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis, which Franklin says broke several revenue records for the series.