‘Escape To Margaritaville’ To Kick Off Saenger’s 2017-2018 Season, ‘Hamilton’ In 2018-2019

NEW ORLEANS – The East Jefferson General Hospital Broadway in New Orleans 2017 – 2018 season was announced today. Presented by the New Orleans Theatre Association, the new season will play at the historic Saenger Theatre in downtown New Orleans beginning fall 2017.

         More than a musical, “Escape to Margaritaville” is a way of life and will kick-off the 2017 – 2018 season in October, theater reps said. The new musical, featuring both original work as well as the most-loved songs of legendary singer-songwriter-author Jimmy Buffett, will feature an original story by co-book writers Greg Garcia (“My Name is Earl”) and Mike O’Malley (“Survivor’s Remorse” and “Shameless”), and will be directed by two-time Tony Award® nominee Christopher Ashley.

         “Escape to Margaritaville” will launch in New Orleans as the pre-Broadway premiere before visiting key cities around the country on its road to Broadway – further emphasizing Jimmy Buffett’s adoration for the Big Easy. As a teenager, Buffett frequented the French Quarter, playing the guitar on a street corner singing for change. In the late 60’s, Buffett formed a folk trio, the Upstairs Alliance, and headlined The Bayou Room on Bourbon Street the same summer that the New Orleans Saints came to town. He attended the first New Orleans Saints game at Tulane Stadium in 1967, solidifying his position as an eternal Saints fan.

         “It is exciting enough to bring the song ‘Margaritaville’ to life, but to be a part of the team that is bringing ‘“Escape to Margaritaville’ to the city and the theatre where I got my start is a storybook ending even I couldn’t make up,” Buffett said.

         In November, one of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s finest works, “The King and I,” will play in New Orleans, boasting a score of beloved classics including, “Getting to Know You,” “Shall We Dance” and “Something Wonderful” among others. The week before Christmas, the must-see holiday classic “Irving Berlin’s White Christmas” will captivate audiences and fill their hearts with holiday cheer as it tells the story of a song-and-dance team putting on a show in a magical Vermont inn and falling for a stunning sister act in the process.

         The season will resume in 2018 with the hit new musical and romantic story of “An American in Paris” in January. In February, 2016 Tony Award® winner for Best Musical Revival, “The Color Purple” will make its debut at the Saenger Theatre with its soul-raising score of jazz, gospel, ragtime and blues ballads and Pulitzer Prize-winning story. It’s the musical sensation that New York Magazine calls “one of the greatest revivals ever.” In March, Cameron Mackintosh’s spectacular new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “The Phantom of the Opera” will return to the Saenger Theatre, retaining the beloved story and thrilling score. Hailed by critics as “bigger and better than ever before,” this production boasts many exciting special effects including the show’s legendary chandelier and more.

         April welcomes the premiere of original rock musical “Rent” 20th Anniversary Tour. With its inspiring message of joy and hope in the face of fear, this timeless celebration of friendship and creativity reminds us to measure our lives with the only thing that truly matters—love. The new season concludes in June with a new musical baked from the heart, “Waitress.” Brought to life by a groundbreaking all-female creative team, this irresistible new production features original music and lyrics by 6-time Grammy® nominee Sara Bareilles.

         "We are pleased to offer a diverse lineup for our upcoming season of Broadway in New Orleans,” said David Skinner, general manager of Ace Theatrical Group, Inc., and the Saenger Theatre. “Through the trials and triumphs of each story, fortified with award-winning music, this season delivers an exhilarating experience that I hope our audiences will appreciate.”

         The New Orleans Theatre Association also proud announced the Broadway musical, “Hamilton,” will play New Orleans as part of the 2018 – 2019 season. The best way to guarantee tickets to “Hamilton” is to purchase a season subscription for the 2017 – 2018 season, theater reps said. Subscribers who renew their subscription for the 2018 – 2019 season will be able to guarantee their tickets for the premiere New Orleans engagement of “Hamilton” before tickets become available to the general public. Information regarding engagement dates and how to purchase group and single tickets will be announced at a later time.

         With book, music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda, direction by Thomas Kail, choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler and musical supervision and orchestrations by Alex Lacamoire, “Hamilton” is based on Ron Chernow’s biography of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton.

         “Hamilton” is the story of America's Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, an immigrant from the West Indies who became George Washington's right-hand man during the Revolutionary War and was the new nation’s first Treasury Secretary. Featuring a score that blends hip-hop, jazz, blues, rap, R&B, and Broadway, “Hamilton” is the story of America then, as told by America now.

         2017 – 2018 East Jefferson General Hospital Broadway in New Orleans series shows include:

 

“Escape to Margaritaville”

Pre-Broadway Premiere

October 20 – 28, 2017

         Featuring both original songs and Jimmy Buffett classics, “Escape to Margaritaville” launches in New Orleans as part of a limited pre-Broadway engagement.

         “Escape to Margaritaville” will include brand new music, specifically written for the musical by Buffett, along with many of his hits songs that are near-and-dear to fans’ hearts. The original story is created by co-book writers Greg Garcia (“My Name is Earl”) and Mike O’Malley (“Survivor’s Remorse,” “Shameless”). Two-time Tony Award® nominee Christopher Ashley will direct, and the creative team will also include Tony®-nominated Choreographer Kelly Devine, Scenic Designer Walt Spangler, Tony Award®-winning Costume Designer Paul Tazewell, two-time Tony Award®-winning Lighting Designer Howell Binkley, two-time Tony Award®-winning Sound Designer Brian Ronan, Tony Award-nominee Christopher Jahnke as Music Supervisor and 101 Productions, Ltd. as General Management.

         Imagine a place where the sun is hot, the ocean’s warm, and the drinks are as cold as they are plentiful. Welcome to Margaritaville, the island paradise where city folk get away from it all and the locals get into the kind of trouble you can almost always sweet talk your way out of. This new musical is the story of a part-time bartender, part-time singer, and full-time charmer named Tully who thinks he’s got life all figured out. Until a beautiful career-minded tourist steals his heart and makes him question everything.

 

“The King and I”

November 14 – 19, 2017

         Set in 1860’s Bangkok, the Lincoln Center Theater Production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “The King and I” tells the story of the unconventional and tempestuous relationship that develops between the King of Siam and Anna Leonowens, a British schoolteacher whom the modernist King, in an imperialistic world, brings to Siam to teach his many wives and children. Directed by Bartlett Sher and winner of the 2015 Tony Award® for Best Musical Revival, “The King and I” is “too beautiful to miss,” according to New York Magazine.

 

“Irving Berlin’s White Christmas”

December 19 – 24, 2017

         Based on the 1954 movie starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen, “Irving Berlin’s White Christmas” tells the story of a song-and-dance team putting on a show in a magical Vermont inn and falling for a stunning sister act in the process. Full of dancing, laughter and some of the greatest songs ever written including “Happy Holiday,” “Sisters,” “The Best Things Happen While You’re Dancing,” “Snow” and the unforgettable title song. “Irving Berlin’s White Christmas” promises to be a merry and bright musical for the whole family.

 

“An American in Paris”

January 30 – February 4, 2018

         “An American in Paris” is the new hit musical about an American soldier, a mysterious French girl, and an indomitable European city, each yearning for a new beginning in the aftermath of war. Acclaimed director/ choreographer and 2015 Tony Award®-winner Christopher Wheeldon brings the magic and romance of Paris into perfect harmony with unforgettable songs from George and Ira Gershwin in the show that earned more awards than any other musical in the 2015 season.

 

“The Color Purple”

February 20 – 25, 2018

         “The Color Purple” is the 2016 Tony Award® winner for Best Musical Revival! Hailed as “a direct hit to the heart,” according to The Hollywood Reporter, this joyous American classic about a young woman’s journey to love and triumph in the American South has conquered Broadway in an all-new "ravishingly reconceived production that is a glory to behold” (The New York Times).

 

“Rent” 20th Anniversary Tour

April 17 – 22, 2018

         In 1996, an original rock musical by a little-known composer opened on Broadway… and forever changed the landscape of American theatre. Two decades later, Jonathan Larson’s “Rent” continues to speak loudly and defiantly to audiences across generations and all over the world. And now, this Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award®-winning masterpiece returns to the stage in a vibrant 20th anniversary touring production. A re-imagining of Puccini's La Bohème, “Rent” follows an unforgettable year in the lives of seven artists struggling to follow their dreams without selling out. With its inspiring message of joy and hope in the face of fear, this timeless celebration of friendship and creativity reminds us to measure our lives with the only thing that truly matters—love.

 

“Waitress”

June 12 – 17, 2018

         Inspired by Adrienne Shelly's beloved film, “Waitress” tells the story of Jenna, a waitress and expert pie maker, who dreams of a way out of her small town and loveless marriage. A baking contest in a nearby county and the town's new doctor offers her a chance at a fresh start, while her fellow waitresses offer their own recipes for happiness. Brought to life by a groundbreaking all-female creative team, the irresistible new hit features original music and lyrics by six-time Grammy® nominee Sara Bareilles, a book by acclaimed screenwriter Jessie Nelson and direction by Tony Award® winner Diane Paulus.

 

         The following production is not included as part of the seven-show Season Subscription Package.

         Season Subscribers have first access and can add each show to their Season Subscription upon renewal.

 

“The Phantom of the Opera”

March 14 – 25, 2018

         Critics are raving that Cameron Mackintosh’s new production is “bigger and better than ever before” and features a brilliant new scenic design by Paul Brown, Tony Award®-winning original costume design by Maria Björnson, lighting design by Tony Award®-winner Paule Constable, new choreography by Scott Ambler, and new staging by director Laurence Connor. The production, overseen by Matthew Bourne and Cameron Mackintosh, boasts many exciting special effects including the show’s legendary chandelier. The beloved story and thrilling score – with songs like “Music of the Night,” “All I Ask Of You,” and “Masquerade” – will be performed by a cast and orchestra of 52, making this “The Phantom of the Opera” one of the largest productions now on tour.

 

         Season tickets for the 2017 – 2018 East Jefferson General Hospital Broadway in New Orleans series are on sale now. Season tickets can be purchased by calling (800) 218-7469 or online at www.BroadwayInNewOrleans.com.

         Subscriber seven-show packages starting at $220. Starting at $47.75, season option “The Phantom of the Opera” can be added to the package. The final deadline for current Season Subscribers to renew and keep their same seats is Feb. 17. On sale dates for individual shows will be announced in the coming months. For group pricing, please call (504) 287-0372.

         Broadway Across America is part of The John Gore Organization family of companies, which includes Broadway.com and is operated by John Gore (Owner & CEO). BAA is the foremost presenter of first-class touring productions in North America, operating in 38 markets, theater reps said. Current and past productions include “Beautiful,” “Chicago,” “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Finding Neverland,” “Million Dollar Quartet,” “Hairspray,” “On Your Feet!,” “The Producers” and “CATS.” Broadway.com is the premier theater website for news, exclusive content and ticket sales, theater reps said.

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