By Seth Reines, October 2018 Web Exclusive.
From Tony Award-winning Broadway musicals to an internationally acclaimed, classically-trained drag ballet company to America’s best out humorists, Arizona’s 2018-2019 theatrical season offers LGBTQ audiences a cornucopia of entertainment. (* indicates shows with LGBTQ themes.)
Broadway Across America | asugammage.com
Brought to life by a groundbreaking all-female creative team, this current Broadway hit features original music and lyrics by six-time Grammy nominee Sara Bareilles. 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 sexy new doctor may offer her a chance at a fresh start, while her fellow waitresses offer their own recipes for happiness.
On Your Feet!
From their humble beginnings in Cuba, Emilio and Gloria Estefan came to America and broke through all barriers to become a crossover sensation at the very top of the pop music scene. But just when they thought they had it all, they almost lost everything. Featuring some of the most iconic songs of the past quarter-century, On Your Feet! takes audiences behind the music and inside the real story of this record-making and groundbreaking couple who, in the face of adversity, found a way to end up on their feet.
Dear Evan Hansen*
Nov. 27-Dec. 2
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. Winner of six Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Dear Evan Hansen is the deeply personal and profoundly contemporary musical about life and the way we live it. The Washington Post called Dear Evan Hansen “one of the most remarkable shows in musical theatre history.”
Jan. 8-13, 2019
Tony Award-winning Broadway legend Betty Buckley stars in this vibrant revival of the universally acclaimed Jerry Herman hit musical about matchmaker Dolly Levi. Winner of four Tony Awards including 2017 Best Musical Revival, director Jerry Zaks’ gorgeous new Hello, Dolly! pays tribute to the original work of legendary director/choreographer Gower Champion, hailed both then and now as one of the greatest musical stagings of all time.
Jan. 31-Feb. 17, 2019
From the producer of The Lion King comes a thrilling new production filled with unforgettable beauty, magic, comedy and breathtaking spectacle. An extraordinary theatrical event where one lamp and three wishes make the possibilities infinite, Aladdin features all the favorite songs from the film as well as new music written by Tony and Academy Award winner Alan Menken. Directed and choreographed by Tony Award winner Casey Nicholaw, Aladdin is “Exactly What You Wish For!” (NBC-TV).
The Play That Goes Wrong
March 19-24, 2019
What would happen if Sherlock Holmes and Monty Python had an illegitimate Broadway baby? You’d get The Play That Goes Wrong, Broadway and London’s award-winning smash comedy! Welcome to opening night of The Murder at Haversham Manor where things are quickly going from bad to utterly disastrous. With an unconscious leading lady, a corpse that can’t play dead, and actors who trip over everything (including their lines), it’s “tons of fun for all ages” (HuffPost) and “comic gold” (Variety).
April 3- May 5, 2019
With music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz (Pippin, Godspell), Wicked is the untold true story of the Witches of Oz. Long before Dorothy arrives, there is another young woman, born with emerald-green skin. Smart, fiery, misunderstood, and possessing an extraordinary talent, Elphaba meets Glinda, 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.”
May 28-June 2, 2019
In 1996, RENT opened on Broadway and forever changed the landscape of American theatre. Over two decades later, Jonathan Larson’s Pulitzer and Tony Award-winner continues to speak loudly and defiantly to audiences across generations and around the world. 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 the looming AIDS crisis, this timeless celebration of friendship and creativity reminds us to measure our lives with the only thing that truly matters-love.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
June 11-16, 2019
Roald Dahl’s amazing tale is 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 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!
The Book of Mormon*
Aug. 6-11, 2019
This nine-time Tony Award-winning musical follows the misadventures of a mismatched pair of missionaries, sent halfway across the world to spread the Good Word. With standing room only productions in London, on Broadway, and across North America, The Book of Mormon has truly become an international sensation. The New York Times calls it “the best musical of the century.”
Broadway at the Orpheum | theaterleague.com
Singin’ in the Rain: In Concert
Nov. 30-Dec. 2
Dubbed one of the top 25 movie musicals of all time by the American Film Institute, Singin’ in the Rain marked the pinnacle of the golden age of Hollywood musicals. A live on-stage orchestra, elegant silent movie era costumes and an “all-singing, all dancing” cast bring this American treasure to life on the Orpheum stage. Filled with every memorable moment from the original film and a downpour of unforgettable songs, Singin’ in the Rain: In Concert is not to be missed!
Jan. 25 – 27, 2019
A fabulously fun award-winning musical based on the popular film, Legally Blonde The Musical, follows the transformation of Elle Woods as she tackles stereotypes and scandal in pursuit of her dreams. Exploding with memorable songs and dynamic choreography, Legally Blonde is so much fun, it should be illegal!
March 1-3, 2019
With a Tony and Grammy Award-winning score by Andrew Lloyd Weber and Tim Rice (Jesus Christ Superstar and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat), Evita follows the rise of ambitious Eva Peron as she becomes the iconic First Lady of Argentina. Combining Latin rhythms, pop, jazz and musical theatre styles, Tony winner Evita has captivated international audiences for more than 40 years!
March 28-31, 2019
The longest-running American musical in Broadway history, jazzy Chicago is the winner of six Tony Awards, two Olivier Awards, a Grammy Award and the coveted Academy Award for Best Picture. Chicago’s brilliant Bob Fosse inspired choreography continues to wow audiences on Broadway and around the world!
Broadway in Tucson | broadwayintucson.com
ON YOUR FEET! | Nov. 13-18
(See show description above.)
WAITRESS | December 4-8
(See show description above.)
Feb. 5-10, 2019
Something Rotten! is “Broadway’s big, fat hit!” (New York Post). Set in 1595, this hilarious smash hit tells the story of Nick and Nigel Bottom, two brothers who are desperate to write a hit play. When a local soothsayer foretells that the future of theatre involves singing, dancing and acting all at the same time, Nick and Nigel set out to write the world’s very first musical!
The Illusionists-Live from Broadway
March 22-23, 20
Dubbed “Magic’s Cirque Du Soleil” by The Times of London, this mind-blowing spectacular showcases the jaw dropping talents of five of the most incredible Illusionists on earth. The Illusionists-Live from Broadway has shattered box office records around the globe and dazzled audiences of all ages with a powerful mix of the most outrageous and astonishing magic acts ever to be seen on stage.
Fiddler on the Roof
April 9-14, 2019
Audiences across the country are toasting this exciting new production of Fiddler on the Roof ! Tony-winning director Bartlett Sher, and the team behind South Pacific and The King and I, bring a fresh and authentic vision to this beloved theatrical masterpiece by Tony Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winners Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick. With stunning choreography by Israeli Hofesh Shechter, Fiddler on the Roof will introduce a new generation to this uplifting celebration to life!
April 30-May 5, 2019
Winner of 7 Tony Awards including Best Musical, CATS is the record-breaking musical spectacular by Andrew Lloyd Webber that has captivated audiences in over 30 countries and 15 languages. With exciting new choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler (Hamilton) based on the original choreography by Gillian Lynne (Phantom) and direction by Trevor Nunn (Les Misérables), this production is a new CATS for a new generation!
Chandler Center for the Arts | chandlercenter.org
Best known as “Big Boo” on “Orange is the New Black,” openly gay Lea DeLaria is a powerful presence whose manic, campy style hints at a combination of Bette Midler and Robin Williams. Her show weaves hearty be-bop blues and jazz singing with hilariously racy comedy routines about the lesbian experience and social stigmas assigned to homosexuals.
Les Ballet Trockadero de Monte Carlo*
Feb. 2, 2019
“The best ballerinas at the moment are hairy and male!” exclaimed The London Spectator. One of the great comic creations of the American stage, this outrageous company of professional male dancers in drag has delighted audiences around the world with their hilarious parody of classic ballet. For Echo‘s 2017 interview with Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo dancer Alberto Pretto visit echomag.com/the-trocks.
The Doo Wop Project
Feb. 23, 2019
Back by popular demand! Three parts Jersey Boys, two parts Motown: The Musical, these charismatic, triple-threat Broadway stars and their five-piece band tear it up with their musicality, dancing and showmanship.
Dixie’s Tupperware Party*
March 14, 2019
The show, part drag, part double-entendre, began as a dare! In 2001, struggling LA actor Kris Andersson attended a Tupperware party with a friend who dared him.to put on a party of his own “as a ’50s housewife in drag.” Eighteen years later, Dixie Longate from Mobile, Alabama, is still selling out with her side-splitting, plastic-selling extravaganzas!
Mesa Arts Center | mesaartscenter.com
This family-friendly percussion show has been a part of the New York and international theatre scene since 1994, using everyday objects to celebrate the power of rhythm and the sheer joy of banging on things. With matchboxes, brooms, garbage cans, Zippo lighters and more filling the stage with energizing beats, Stomp is an inventive and invigorating stage show that’s dance, music and theatrical performance blended together in one electrifying rhythm. The San Francisco Chronicle raved “Stomp can’t be beat! Infectious, Inventive Pulse-Pounding Entertainment! A Roaring Good Time!”
Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts | scottsdaleperformingarts.org
The Capitol Steps: Make America Great Again
Nov. 23 and 24
Returning for their annual Thanksgiving pilgrimage to Scottsdale, The Capitol Steps plan to bring down the House … and Senate … with their unique blend of sharp political satire set to popular music. The irreverent D.C.-based troupe, with 38 albums to its credit, pokes fun at all sides of the issues, from left to right, with fresh, up-to-the-minute material inspired by the latest headlines, scandals and more.
May 4, 2019
David Sedaris has become one of America’s most celebrated out humorists. With sardonic wit and incisive social critiques, he slices through cultural euphemisms and political correctness, proving himself one of the most observant writers addressing the human condition today. Dubbed “Humorist of the Year” by Times magazine, Sedaris’s essays have appeared in The New Yorker and featured on NPR’s This American Life.