$62M Is ‘Broadway’ Bound
I used to spend my Sunday afternoons on Broadway.
I saw Patti LuPone sing “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina” in “Evita;” Richard Harris brandish the mythical Excalibur in “Camelot;” Jim Dale tame a circus of characters in “Barnum;” Frank Langella, as Antonio Salieri, plot against Wolfgang Mozart in “Amadeus” and even the Brady Bunch’s Robert Reed play the murderous playwright Sidney Bruhl in “Deathtrap.”
Before every school year began, my parents used to hide sets of theater tickets around the house and send my sister and me on a scavenger hunt to find them. We’d run back to our living room with fistfuls of tickets for “Brigadoon,” “Cats,” “Hello, Dolly!,” “Arsenic and Old Lace,” “Starlight Express” and “West Side Story.”
And when we came home after every performance we displayed our Playbills, or theater programs, in the slats of our louvered doors that framed our kitchen in our New York City apartment.
Other favorite theater swag included an inked paw print autograph by Sandy, who faithfully wagged its tail across the stage with Andrea McArdle in “Annie,” and the red velvet bracelet that Luisa (the Girl) wore in the Off-Broadway production of "The Fantasticks."
Live theater is culturally transformative, and there’s a renewed promise with every curtain call that anything is possible. When I moved to New Orleans, I kept a close eye on what was happening on The Great White Way and flew up to see Sting star as Mack the Knife in “Threepenny Opera,” Richard Chamberlin transform his muse in “My Fair Lady” and Kathleen Turner bare a full frontal in “The Graduate.”
But, with the Hancock Whitney Broadway in New Orleans 2019-2020 season’s offerings, Broadway fans down south don’t have to travel any further than the Saenger Theatre’s box office on 1111 Canal St. to buy tickets to some of the best touring stage productions available this season.
Just in time for Mother’s Day this Sunday, May 12, season subscriptions are still available for purchase and start at $279 for a seven-show package that includes seats for “Dear Evan Hansen,” “A Christmas Story,” “Miss Saigon,” “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” “Mean Girls,” “Anastasia” and “Fiddler on the Roof.”
Season subscription lagniappe includes premium seating, discounted beverages, a shout out in the local Playbill and the exclusive option to buy tickets for the return of Broadway sensation “Wicked” that will precede the Hancock Whitney Broadway in New Orleans 2019-2020 season line-up for a three-week engagement.
Over the past three years, the Hancock Whitney Broadway in New Orleans series averaged approximately 200,000 guests. Theatre reps are projecting the economic impact from the 11-week 2019-2020 Hancock Whitney Broadway in New Orleans season at the Saenger, from guests and the approximately 50-60 traveling actors, show crew and management per show, will be $62 million.
“We are thrilled to bring some of Broadway’s latest smash hits like “Dear Evan Hansen” and “Mean Girls” to New Orleans,” said Sam Voisin, general manager of the Saenger Theatre. “This season celebrates the beauty of Broadway and is sure to entice audiences of all ages with great market debuts, revivals, family favorites and Broadway blockbusters.”
“For more than 100 years, Hancock Whitney has been a part of the fabric of New Orleans and we are honored to support music, arts and culture across the region,” said Hancock Whitney regional president Gary Lorio. “We are proud to be the title sponsor of the Hancock Whitney Broadway in New Orleans series at the Saenger which will host an exciting lineup coming to New Orleans.”
The 2019-2020 season is presented by the New Orleans Theatre Association, a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation whose mission is to attract and present the finest theatrical and performing arts attractions available in New Orleans. The group is also dedicated to the financial and technical support of local nonprofit institutions in New Orleans that are dedicated to the furtherance of theatrical and musical education and production.
The Saenger Theatre’s synopsis of the Hancock Whitney Broadway in New Orleans 2019-2020 season includes:
Starting the season in the Emerald City for season subscribers only, “Wicked,” the Broadway sensation, returns to New Orleans as a special season option for a three-week engagement.
Based on the novel by Gregory Maguire, “Wicked,” the Broadway sensation, has music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, and a book by Winnie Holzman. “Wicked” looks at what happened in the Land of Oz… but from a different angle. Long before Dorothy arrives, there is another young woman born with emerald-green skin – smart, fiery, misunderstood and possessing an extraordinary talent. When she meets a bubbly blonde who is exceptionally popular their initial rivalry turns into the unlikeliest of friendships… until the world decides to call one “good,” and the other one “wicked.”
From the first electrifying note to the final breathtaking moment, “Wicked” – the untold true story of the Witches of Oz—transfixes audiences with its wildly inventive story that USA Today cheers is “a complete triumph! An original musical that will make you laugh, cry, and think.”
Dear Evan Hansen
The Hancock Whitney Broadway in New Orleans 2019-2020 season will be headlined by the six-time Tony Award and 2018 Grammy Award-winning Best Musical “Dear Evan Hansen,” a deeply personal and profoundly contemporary musical about life and the way we live it.
A letter that was never meant to be seen; a lie that was never meant to be told; a life he never dreamed he could have. Evan Hansen is about to get the one thing he’s always wanted: a chance to finally fit in.
“Dear Evan Hansen” features a book by Tony Award winner Steven Levenson, a score by Grammy, Tony and Academy Award winners Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (“La La Land,” “The Greatest Showman”) and direction by four-time Tony Award nominee Michael Grief (“Rent,” “Next to Normal”).
A Christmas Story, The Musical
From the songwriting team behind the smash hit Tony Award ®-winning musical “Dear Evan Hansen” and the Academy Award®-winning film “La La Land,” “A Christmas Story, The Musical” brings the classic 1983 movie to hilarious life on stage. Set in 1940s Indiana, a young and bespectacled Ralphie Parker schemes his way toward the holiday gift of his dreams, an official Red Ryder® Carbine-Action 200-Shot Range Model Air Rifle. Nominated for three 2013 Tony Awards® including Best Musical, the Associated Press calls “A Christmas Story, The Musical” “a joyous Christmas miracle,” while The New York Timeswrites “I was dazzled. You’d have to have a Grinch-sized heart not to feel a smile spreading across your face.”
Jan. 21-26, 2020
Experience the acclaimed new production of the legendary musical “Miss Saigon,” from the creators of “Les Misérables.” This is the epic story of a young Vietnamese woman named Kim. In a bar run by a notorious character called The Engineer, Kim meets an American G.I. just before the fall of Saigon. That encounter will change their lives forever. Featuring stunning spectacle, a sensational cast of 42, and a soaring score including Broadway hits like “Last Night of the World,” “The Movie in My Mind” and “American Dream,” this is a theatrical event you will never forget.
Roald Dahl’s Charlie And The Chocolate Factory
Feb. 11-16, 2020
Roald Dahl’s amazing tale is now New Orleans’ golden ticket! It’s the perfect recipe for a delectable treat: songs from the original film, including “Pure Imagination,” “The Candy Man,” and “I’ve Got a Golden Ticket,” alongside a toe-tapping and ear-tickling new score from the songwriters of Hairspray.
Willy Wonka is opening his marvelous and mysterious chocolate factory… to a lucky few. That includes Charlie Bucket, whose bland life is about to burst with color and confection beyond his wildest dreams. He and four other golden ticket winners will embark on a mesmerizing joyride through a world of pure imagination. Now’s your chance to experience the wonders of Wonka like never before – get ready for Oompa-Loompas, incredible inventions, the great glass elevator, and more, more, more at this everlasting showstopper.
March 17-22, 2020
Direct from Broadway, “Mean Girls” is the hilarious hit musical from an award-winning creative team, including book writer Tina Fey (“30 Rock”), composer Jeff Richmond (“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”), lyricist Nell Benjamin (“Legally Blonde”) and director Casey Nicholaw (“The Book of Mormon”).
Cady Heron may have grown up on an African savanna, but nothing prepared her for the vicious ways of her strange new home: suburban Illinois. Soon, this naive newbie falls prey to a trio of lionized frenemies led by the charming but ruthless Regina George. But when Cady devises a plan to end Regina’s reign, she learns the hard way that you can’t cross a Queen Bee without getting stung.
New York Magazine cheers, “’Mean Girls’ delivers with immense energy, a wicked sense of humor and joyful inside-jokery.” USA Todaysays, “We’ll let you in on a little secret, because we’re such good friends: Get Your Tickets Now!”
April 14-19, 2020
From the Tony Award-winning creators of the Broadway classic “Ragtime” and inspired by the beloved films, “Anastasia” is the new Broadway musical that’s “one of the most gorgeous shows in years!” (New York Observer). This dazzling show transports us from the twilight of the Russian empire to the euphoria of Paris in the 1920s, as a brave young woman sets out to discover the mystery of her past. Pursued by a ruthless Soviet officer determined to silence her, Anya enlists the aid of a dashing conman and a lovable ex-aristocrat. Together, they embark on an epic adventure to help her find home, love and family.
Fiddler On The Roof
May 12-17, 2020
“Fiddler On The Roof” is the heartwarming story of fathers and daughters, husbands and wives, and life, love and laughter. This classic musical is rich with Broadway hits, including “To Life (L’Chaim!),” “If I Were A Rich Man,” “Sunrise Sunset,” “Matchmaker, Matchmaker” and “Tradition.” The original Broadway production of “Fiddler On The Roof,” which opened in 1964, was the first musical in history to surpass 3,000 performances. The show won the 1965 Tony Award® for Best Musical in addition to eight other Tony Awards® that year. This acclaimed revival proudly introduces a new generation to the iconic musical adored across the globe.
Check out today’s Daily Biz Minute for a preview of the Hancock Whitney Broadway in New Orleans 2019-2020 season.