Casting announced for THE SOUND OF MUSIC national tour, set to include Ashley Brown and Ben Davis!

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Casting has been announced for the brand new production of THE SOUND OF MUSIC, directed by three-time Tony Award® winner Jack O’Brien. This lavish new production launches this September at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles, under the auspices of the Center Theatre Group, and will then tour North America for multiple seasons, playing multi-week and week-long engagements. North Texans will have two opportunities to see the show, first at the Music Hall at Fair Park Nov. 3-22, presented by Dallas Summer Musicals, and then at Bass Performance Hall Aug. 17-21, 2016, presented by Performing Arts Fort Worth.

Ashley Brown and Ben Davis will star in the national tour of THE SOUND OF MUSIC, coming to Bass Hall next summer.

Ashley Brown and Ben Davis will star in the national tour of THE SOUND OF MUSIC, coming to Bass Hall next summer.

BEN DAVIS (Broadway’s Violet, A Little Night Music, La Bohème) will play Captain Georg von Trapp and ASHLEY BROWN (Broadway’s Mary Poppins, NBC’s The Sound of Music) will play The Mother Abbess with MERWIN FOARD as Max Detweiler, TERI DALE HANSEN as Elsa Schraeder, DAN TRACY as Rolf and PAIGE SILVESTER as Liesl. The von Trapp children will be played by ERICH SCHUETT (Friedrich), MARIA KNASEL (Louisa), QUINN ERICKSON (Kurt), SVEA JOHNSON (Brigitta), MACKENZIE CURRIE (Marta) and AUDREY BENNETT (Gretl).

And introducing Jack O’Brien’s brand new discovery, KERSTIN ANDERSON as Maria Rainer. A current student at Pace University, Ms. Anderson won the coveted role from hundreds who auditioned. This will be her first national tour.

“I’ve always believed Maria was a “star-making” part, rather than the leading role we remember from the movies; so I went looking for someone with star-making magic,” says director O’Brien. “And in through the audition door one day walked Kerstin Anderson, still studying at Pace University in New York. She opened her mouth, she sang and the tears welled up in my eyes. If ever there were an enchanting young woman standing on the brink of discovery — this was it! And now, the discovery is about to be all of ours!”

The ensemble includes Carey Rebecca Brown, Ron Brown, Caitlin Burke, Christopher Carl, Kyla Carter, Austin Colby, Daniella Dalli, Elisabeth Evans, Donna Garner, Meghan Hales, Adam Hill, Jenavene Hester, Jeremy Lanuti, Darren Matthias, Kelly McCormick, Julia Osborne, Andrea Ross, Brent Schindele and Jim Schubin.

THE SOUND OF MUSIC features music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse, suggested by The Trapp Family Singers by Maria Augusta Trapp. This new production is directed by Jack O’Brien (credits include: Hairspray, The Full Monty, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, The Coast of Utopia), and choreographed by Danny Mefford (Fun Home, The Bridges of Madison County and Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson). The design and production team is comprised of Douglas Schmidt, Set Design (Tony Award® nominee: 42nd Street, Into the Woods); Jane Greenwood, Costume Design (2014 recipient of Special Tony Award ® for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre), Natasha Katz, Lighting Design (Five-time Tony Award® winner: An American in Paris, Once, Aida, The Coast of Utopia, The Glass Menagerie) and Ken Travis, Sound Design (Aladdin, Newsies, Memphis).

According to director Jack O’Brien, “THE SOUND OF MUSIC has been in our ears for decades, as it deserves to be. But it might be time to look once more, and more closely, at this remarkable work which, I feel, begins to reveal itself as deeper, richer, and more powerful than ever. It’s no longer ‘your mother’s’ familiar SOUND OF MUSIC. We are tearing off the varnish of the past from one of the great glories of our theatergoing experience and making it fresh! This is an opportunity we’ve all longed to create!”

Producer Beth Williams (Grove Entertainment) said, “It’s a great privilege to bring this beloved Rodgers & Hammerstein musical to theaters across North America. We hope that people of all ages will continue to fall in love with it for the first time, or all over again, and that it will truly become one of their ‘favorite things.’ From our distinguished team led by the creative master Jack O’Brien, audiences can expect a truly magnificent production of THE SOUND OF MUSIC.”

In the words of Ted Chapin, President of Rodgers & Hammerstein, “THE SOUND OF MUSIC continues to be the world’s most beloved musical. When a major national tour was suggested, I not only agreed, but was willing to roll up my sleeves and do whatever I could to fashion a new stage production that would re-engage today’s theatergoing public. The show was originally created for Broadway, and seeing it on stage only reinforces the power of the story and the score. And with Jack O’Brien at the directorial helm – well, we simply couldn’t do better. Landing somewhere between The Coast of Utopia and Hairspray (shows for which Jack won the Tony®), his production will be smart, focused, and surprising. I can’t wait.”

THE SOUND OF MUSIC enjoyed extraordinary success as the first live television production of a musical in over 50 years when “The Sound of Music Live!” aired on NBC in December, 2013; 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the film version, which continues to be the most successful movie musical in history. The spirited, romantic and beloved musical story of Maria and the Von Trapp Family will once again thrill audiences with such songs as “My Favorite Things,” “Do-Re-Mi,” “Climb Ev’ry Mountain,” “Edelweiss” and the title song.

Tickets to the show are currently available only in season packages. Single tickets will go on sale TBA. For more information, please visit http://www.basshall.com or call (817) 212-4450.

For more information, please visit http://www.TheSoundOfMusicOnTour.com.
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“Cirque du Soleil is like the grandfather, and we are the rebellious teenagers.” An interview with Pippin circus creator Gypsy Snider

Pippin's gravity-defying stunts were created by Gypsy Snider. Photo: Joan Marcus.

Pippin’s gravity-defying stunts were created by Gypsy Snider. Photo: Joan Marcus.

From now until showtime next Tuesday, we’ll be sharing interviews, video clips and other exclusive content about the Tony Award-winning musical PIPPIN, which makes its Bass Hall debut July 21-26. Today, we’re sharing an interview with PIPPIN “circus creator” Gypsy Snider, conducted by John Moore from the Denver Center for the Performing Arts.

by John Moore
Denver Center for the Performing Arts

Diane Paulus, Stephen Schwartz and Gypsy Snider on opening night of Pippin in New York. Photo:  Broadway.com

Diane Paulus, Stephen Schwartz and Gypsy Snider on opening night of Pippin in New York. Photo: Broadway.com

In Pippin the Musical, a family of circus performers defies death to tell their story with every flip, tumble and mid-air spin.

The same is true of those actors performing in the show, which makes its Bass Hall debut July 21-26.

And the same has been true of Pippin Circus Creator Gypsy Snider since she began her career as a circus performer at the tender age of 4.

With all respect to Stephen Schwartz, composer of Wicked and Pippin, Snider was defying gravity long before Elphaba was a green twinkle in his orchestral eye.

Snider’s parents are the founders of San Francisco’s pioneering Pickle Family Circus, an acclaimed alternative circus often cited as a primary influence on the creation of Cirque du Soleil. Snider is the co-founder of Montreal’s 7 Fingers (Les 7 doigts de la main), a pioneering form of live entertainment responsible for the respected show Traces. That innovative show used astonishing displays of athletic skill to tell the real-life stories of seven street teens.

Snider embraces circus as its own narrative storytelling form. Her brand of physical theatre requires strength, agility and grace.

Her upbringing was like no other. She grew up around the likes of circus legends Bill Irwin and Geoff Hoyle. She appeared among an entire town of street performers in Robert Altman’s 1980 film Popeye. By 18, she was attending a physical-theater school in Switzerland.

She co-founded 7 Fingers in 2002 and, for her first foray into Broadway, she was called upon by Pippin director Diane Paulus to help re-tell Schwartz’s iconic story of a young prince’s quest for meaning in life set within the world of circus. Pippin won the 2013 Tony Award for best musical revival.

Modern audiences who have a familiarity with circus generally think of Cirque du Soleil. But while Snider toured with Cirque and has a deep love for it, she says Pippin should not be mistaken for it. If anything, she said, it should evoke the old days of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus.

“This is old-school circus,” she said.

We’re talking juggling knives and swallowing fire.

“I would say that Cirque du Soleil is like the grandfather, and we are the rebellious teenagers,” she said.

A “circus performer” rolls along the stage in Pippin. Photo: Joan Marcus.

Pippin culminates with a boy becoming a man, having to choose between a life of adventure or family. Snider has never had to pick between the two – her small children are also embracing the circus life. But Snider’s life turned upside down in 2008, when she were diagnosed with advanced-stage colon cancer.

“It was definitely a life-changing experience,” she said. Much surgery, chemotherapy and radiation followed.

“Suddenly, my work felt trivial and my family became more important than ever before,” Snider said in a previous interview with Broadway Buzz. “I began to question how taxing show business can be and wondered if I should just move to the country and raise my two daughters in a stress-free environment, instead of in the glory of this wonderful but all consuming lifestyle. It was during this difficult time that Diane Paulus reached out to me about the possibility of collaborating on a new production of Pippin.”

And when she did, her charge to Snider was simple:

“Come make this thrilling.”

Here are more excerpts from our recent conversation with Snider.

John Moore: How do you think Bob Fosse would have liked the idea of setting Pippin in a circus?

Gypsy Snider: I feel like Bob Fosse would have wanted us to do this, and that he would have done it himself if this were available to him at the time. Maybe not to this extent, but … it was there. It was already there in the words.

John Moore: With this reimagined version of Pippin – both setting it in the circus and, more tellingly, in consideration of the life choice Pippin faces in the end – it seems to me as if maybe Diane Paulus is saying that Pippin is you.

Gypsy Snider: I think so. Diane and I are both the same age, and we both have two daughters. We have discussed on a very personal level the seduction of the business and this balance you try to achieve, being professional women who have families. It’s really like we are the Catherines — but we are also being seduced like the Pippins. It was interesting for both of us how we connected on an emotional level to this musical. Pippin has this choice to make, and one of them it to embrace this simple home life with an older woman and her child living out in the country where there is no magic and there is no makeup — which is something Fosse presented in a very boring, very pejorative manner. And yet here I am talking to you right now while I am out here in the country with my children — and I love it. But I also love my work. I feed on it so much, and I am proud to show my children how passionate I am about my work.

John Moore: For 40 years, both audiences and writers alike have argued whether the ending to Pippin is a tragedy … or a compromise … or a perfect, happy ending. I imagine, given your life story, that you are split right down the middle.

Gypsy Snider: I am split down the middle. For me, circus is like eating and sleeping and family. It’s my brother; it’s my mother; it’s my father. Just talking about it makes me so emotional. There were maybe a few moments in my life when I felt like walking away from it, or perhaps trying something totally different. Circus is a very physically demanding life. It’s a very itinerant life. And when my kids started going to school, I was like, ‘What am I doing?’ But circus is my family, too. Sometimes I like to think of it as the mafia because it’s a very closed, tight-knit circle. But the reason is because there is so much danger and risk and sacrifice involved. True circus people know each other, and there is a whole sort of respect and value system to it that is so honorable and so genuine and so truthful. To true circus people, there is no nonsense. There is no competition. There is no, ‘I am better than you are.’ There is no, ‘I am going to be a star, but you are not going to be a star.’ Each individual circus performer is absolutely unique, and that uniqueness is valued.

PIPPIN runs July 21-26 at Bass Performance Hall. To purchase tickets, click here.

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How the Guy Who Wrote WICKED ran off with the circus

Over the course of four decades,  Stephen Schwartz has written such blockbuster musicals as GODSPELL, PIPPIN and WICKED.

Over the course of four decades, Stephen Schwartz has written such blockbuster musicals as GODSPELL, PIPPIN and WICKED.

From now until showtime next Tuesday, we’ll be sharing interviews, video clips and other exclusive content about the Tony Award-winning musical PIPPIN, which makes its Bass Hall debut July 21-26. First up is an interview with Stephen Schwartz, conducted by John Moore from the Denver Center for the Performing Arts.

by John Moore
Denver Center for the Performing Arts

Stephen Schwartz likes to joke that somewhere, “Bob Fosse is surely looking up and laughing.”

He kids about the direction. But not the director. Fosse was Schwartz’s legendary collaborator on the musical Pippin, which in war-torn 1972 brought a surreal collision of violence, innocence and sexuality to the Broadway stage.

Fosse, known for his provocative choreography and fiery temper, died in 1987. Last year, a significantly reimagined Pippin won the Tony Award for Best Musical Revival, and its new national touring production visits Bass Performance Hall July 21-26.

“I think Bob would be thrilled with this,” said Schwartz, the composer who 40 years ago openly questioned the darkness and overindulgence that Fosse brought to Schwartz’s sweet story of a naïve boy searching for meaning in his life.

“There were specific choices Bob made that I honestly thought were heavy-handed and crude, and not in a good way,” Schwartz said. But now at age 66, Schwartz added, “I joke that I have ironically become the defender of Bob’s vision.”

Schwartz and book writer Roger O. Hirson have been approached dozens of times over the years by artists wanting to revisit Pippin.

“Frankly, I think merely reproducing the original — if that were even possible — would have felt quite dated,” Schwartz said. “And none of the new approaches made much sense to us.”

Any revival would bring big challenges. “The Fosse choreography is so iconic, and the performance of Ben Vereen (seen in the YouTube clip below) was so indelible, even to people who didn’t actually see it,” Schwartz said. “So it really would need a concept that was going to overcome all that without obliterating the show. And that would be quite difficult to come by.”

Enter Diane Paulus, the groundbreaking director who brought the Vietnam musical Hair back to explosive life on Broadway in 2009. Her new idea? The original mysterious troupe would now be a circus family performing the story of Pippin. Now the young prince’s quest for meaning would be a death-defying one, set against live and often breathtaking acrobatics.
Schwartz and Hinson were apprehensive at first. “But I think I can speak for Roger when I say we have been totally won over,” Schwartz said. “Frankly, I think Diane is a better director of scenes and actors than Bob Fosse was. And consequently, I think the story is better told.”

Pippin began as a 17-year-old Schwartz’s spin-off of The Lion in Winter, a play about the foibles of King Henry II in 1183. Over the next seven years, the Pippin project came to reflect Schwartz’s own journey as a young man in his 20s.

Fosse, then 47, agreed to direct and choreograph Pippin on Broadway if allowed to make the story more dark and sophisticated. Fosse brought in Ben Vereen, fresh off his electric performance in Jesus Christ Superstar, to play the Leading Player, a narrator of sorts who leads Pippin down many dangerous roads.

Schwartz says it’s “absolutely accurate” to suggest that, essentially, he is Pippin, “particularly in talking about me at age 24,” he said. “I think more and more that the character of Pippin became a great deal like me at that time.”

Sam Lips plays the role of PIPPIN in the national tour.

Sam Lips plays the role of PIPPIN in the national tour.

Read more about this and more in this expansive interview with one of the leading figures in American theatre history. Schwartz, who has contributed to Wicked, Godspell, Children of Eden and many more, is a member of the Theatre Hall of Fame and president of the Dramatists Guild. He has three Academy Awards, four Grammy Awards, four Drama Desk Awards and, shockingly, no Tony Awards.

John Moore: I am sure you have been told over and over about how your music has changed the course of young peoples’ lives. But for my generation, it was Godspell and Pippin doing the life-changing, and now you have this whole new generation of theatre kids all geeked out because, hey: You’re the guy who wrote Wicked.

Stephen Schwartz: It is sort of strange, isn’t it? But obviously it’s nice that at my … advanced … age, if you will, that I have come up with something – along with my collaborators — that has spoken to people of all ages, but particularly to a young generation.

John Moore: So whose idea was it to revisit Pippin now?

Stephen Schwartz: It was really (Director) Diane Paulus, who had been wanting to do it for quite a while. I was an admirer of her work, particularly on (the Broadway revival of) Hair, which I thought was excellent. I felt Diane had managed to both honor the original but also make it fresh, and that is a quite tricky line to walk. After I really got to see her way of thinking, and her creativity, in a show called Blue Flower at her (American Repertory Theatre) in Boston, I became enthusiastic that she was someone who might be able to pull this off. And, of course, she has proven that in spades.

John Moore: So what did you think when Diane said, ‘I want to put this in a circus’?

Stephen Schwartz: I had actually heard the idea of a circus before. And it wasn’t something that I thought was a great idea, to be honest, because I was picturing a different kind of circus. But then Diane, who has done work with Cirque du Soleil, told me about this troupe from Montreal called Les 7 doigts de la main, or ‘The 7 Fingers of the Hand.’ I went to see a show of theirs that happened to be touring the States. We discussed it further and I began to have a glimmer of what Diane was talking about. But I have to say that until I saw it, I really didn’t truly understand what she meant, and what her vision was. I just didn’t. I think that’s one of the things about someone who is as gifted and as visionary as Diane. She had these ideas in her head that are difficult to express verbally — but then when you see them, you get them.

John Moore: And so now that you have lived in it, how do you articulate to people that this is the winning formula?

Stephen Schwartz: That is a good question. Other than by assertion, I’m not sure that I know how to do that. It’s important for you to understand that Diane did not just overlay circus performance on top of the show as some kind of gimmick. First of all, she integrated the idea of the circus performances into the storytelling. It’s not as if the show grinds to a halt and they do a circus trick, and then the story starts up again. Secondly, the way that she and Gypsy Snider did the circus part of the show, and the way Chet Walker did the choreography, is very special, I think. In some instances, the choreography is a very faithful re-creation of Bob Fosse’s work. And in other places, I think what Chet has done is a very creative interpretation of what Bob might have done under these new circumstances. So it really is a complete re-envisioning of Pippin. This is a revisal as well as a revival of the show — on all levels.

Bob Fosse (center) leads the cast during a rehearsal of his musical Big Deal on Broadway in 1986.

Bob Fosse (center) leads the cast during a rehearsal of his musical Big Deal on Broadway in 1986.

John Moore: How do you think Bob Fosse would have liked this new approach?

Stephen Schwartz: I think Bob would be thrilled with this. I think if we had been able to think of some of these changes together, he would have been extremely enthusiastic about them. Just the sheer sort of theatricality of the staging and this presentation, I think would have pleased him very much.

John Moore: You have said the inspiration for Pippin actually comes from James Goldman’s play The Lion in Winter.

Stephen Schwartz: That’s true. It started as a sort of a medieval court intrigue musical melodrama. And then it gradually transmogrified into being semi-autobiographical. And then it turned into the story of my generation — as I saw it.

John Moore: I’ve noticed over the years that whenever you are interviewed, you are so disarmingly honest in your answers. One might even say Pippin-esque —

Stephen Schwartz: Yes, and that gets me into trouble a lot of the time.

John Moore: You may get a kick out of the headline of my essay after having seen the new revival on Broadway last October. It read: “Broadway wins over a Pippin pessimist.”

Stephen Schwartz: Well you know what? That could MY headline on this one, too.

John Moore: You’re kidding … Really?

Stephen Schwartz: Oh, yeah. Because Roger and I resisted for so long going forward. I don’t know if we were pessimistic, but we certainly had trepidation about it. And I think I can speak for Roger when I say we have been totally won over. I am just a huge fan of this production.

Sasha Allen plays the role of Leading Player, the role popularized by Ben Vereen. Photo: Joan Marcus.

Sasha Allen plays the role of Leading Player, the role popularized by Ben Vereen. Photo: Joan Marcus.

John Moore: You mentioned Ben Vereen. Obviously a huge change is having your Leading Player be played by a woman.

Stephen Schwartz: I knew one of the problems we would have to overcome in doing any big, commercial revival of Pippin would be memory of Ben Vereen everybody would bring into it. You’d start out with people wanting to see that. And, of course, that’s impossible. So we had to either somehow break that — or overcome that. So when Diane said, ‘Well, what if the character of the Leading Player is a woman?’ — that made us think, ‘Well … then you can’t be sitting there saying, ‘He’s no Ben Vereen!’ — which is what I think any male performer would have encountered. Oddly enough, I feel like, now that we have done this — If at some point in the future we wanted to go back to a male Leading Player, there are certain things about the way the show is written, and some of the new things that we have added — particularly between the Leading Player and Catherine — that I think would not go down as well if the Leading Player were male. It would seem a little brutal.

John Moore: And before we leave: How great is it that you have John Rubinstein coming on board to play Pippin’s father after having originated the role of Pippin in 1972?

Stephen Schwartz: Is that the best? I mean, is that the best ever? And this was not stunt casting. We walked into the auditions and John Rubinstein’s name was on the list. There were some other really good people, too. Of course, we were amazed and delighted that John was coming in to audition. But he was the best. Frankly, I don’t think we would have done it if we hadn’t felt that he was the best choice. But the idea of it was so irresistible. There was one moment in auditions, and it was only for Roger and me. John read the chapel scene and there is a line where Pippin says, ‘Time has passed you by, father.’ And Charlemagne’s line back is, ‘And your time has come, my son?’ I mean, hearing that from John? I can’t even talk about it. It was just so emotional to hear John Rubinstein say that line. I know it doesn’t have the same resonance for people who are just seeing the show for the first time. But for Roger and me? That was a pretty emotional moment.

PIPPIN runs July 21-26 at Bass Performance Hall. To purchase tickets, click here.

#EmptyBassHall launches Saturday!

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After initiating wildly successful Instagram campaigns for The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth and The Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth photographer Olaf Growald is now pointing his camera lenses toward Bass Performance Hall.

Growald

Growald

On Saturday, Growald and a team of local photographers will begin their third #empty campaign, capturing and sharing Instagram images of one of Fort Worth’s most iconic buildings.

Users will be able to search and find the images using the #emptybasshall hashtag. The images will also be shared through Bass Hall’s Instagram feed @basshall

The photographers will go beyond the angels and painted ceilings to explore off-the-grid areas of Bass Hall, from underground tunnels to the belly of the orchestra pit; many of these areas have never before been photographed.

“You’ll see Bass Hall like you haven’t seen it before,” says Growald, who organized the event.

Inspired by a similar program at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Growald began the #empty project last year at The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, then mounted a second #empty project at The Amon Carter Museum of American Art.

The goals of the #emptybasshall initiative are to offer alternative and new perspectives of the downtown performing arts center and to showcase the works of participating photographers. A second #emptybasshall event is planned for July. For information on participating, please email Olaf Growald.

2015 Tony Award winners!

From left, Judy Kuhn, Oscar Williams, Ms. Lucas, Zell Steele Morrow and Michael Cerveris in the show “Fun Home,” winner of five Tony Awards tonight. Credit Sara Krulwich/The New York Times

From left, Judy Kuhn, Oscar Williams, Ms. Lucas, Zell Steele Morrow and Michael Cerveris in the show “Fun Home,” winner of five Tony Awards tonight. Credit Sara Krulwich/The New York Times

The winners of the 2015 Tony Awards:

BEST PLAY
**** WINNER The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Disgraced
Hand to God
Wolf Hall

BEST MUSICAL
An American in Paris
**** WINNER Fun Home
Something Rotten!
The Visit

BEST REVIVAL OF A PLAY
The Elephant Man
**** WINNER Skylight
This is Our Youth
You Can’t Take it With You

BEST REVIVAL OF A MUSICAL
**** WINNER The King and I
On the Town
On the Twentieth Century

BEST BOOK OF A MUSICAL
An American in Paris (Craig Lucas)
**** WINNER Fun Home (Lisa Kron)
Something Rotten! (Karey Kirkpatrick and John O’Farrell)
The Visit (Terrence McNally)

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE (MUSIC AND/OR LYRICS) WRITTEN FOR THE THEATRE
**** WINNER Fun Home (Music: Music: Jeanine Tesori; lyrics: Lisa Kron)
The Last Ship (Music & lyrics: Sting)
Something Rotten! (Music & lyrics: Wayne Kirkpatrick and Karey Kirkpatrick)
The Visit (Music: John Kander; lyrics: Fred Ebb)

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE IN A PLAY
Steven Boyer, Hand to God
Bradley Cooper, The Elephant Man
Ben Miles, Wolf Hall
Bill Nighy, Skylight
**** WINNER Alex Sharp, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE IN A PLAY
Geneva Carr, Hand to God
**** WINNER Helen Mirren, The Audience
Elisabeth Moss, The Heidi Chronicles
Carey Mulligan, Skylight
Ruth Wilson, Constellations

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE IN A MUSICAL
**** WINNER Michael Cerveris , Fun Home
Robert Fairchild, An American in Paris
Brian d’Arcy James, Something Rotten!
Ken Watanabe, The King and I
Tony Yazbeck, On the Town

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE IN A MUSICAL
Kristin Chenoweth, On the Twentieth Century
Leanne Cope, An American in Paris
Beth Malone, Fun Home
**** WINNER Kelli O’Hara, The King and I
Chita Rivera, The Visit

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A FEATURED ROLE IN A PLAY
Matthew Beard, Skylight
K. Todd Freeman, Airline Highway
**** WINNER Richard McCabe, The Audience
Alessandro Nivola, The Elephant Man
Nathaniel Parker, Wolf Hall
Micah Stock, It’s Only a Play

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A FEATURED ROLE IN A PLAY
**** WINNER Annaleigh Ashford , You Can’t Take it With You
Patricia Clarkson, The Elephant Man
Lydia Leonard , Wolf Hall
Sarah Stiles, Hand to God
Julie White, Airline Highway

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A FEATURED ROLE IN A MUSICAL
**** WINNER Christian Borle , Something Rotten!
Andy Karl, On the Twentieth Century
Brad Oscar, Something Rotten!
Brandon Uranowitz, An American in Paris
Max von Essen, An American in Paris

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A FEATURED ROLE IN A MUSICAL
Victoria Clark, Gigi
Judy Kuhn, Fun Home
Sydney Lucas, Fun Home
**** WINNER Ruthie Ann Miles, The King and I
Emily Skeggs, Fun Home

BEST SCENIC DESIGN OF A PLAY
**** WINNER The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Bunny Christie and Finn Ross)
Skylight (Bob Crowley)
Wolf Hall (Christopher Oram)
You Can’t Take it With You (David Rockwell)

BEST SCENIC DESIGN OF A MUSICAL
**** WINNER An American in Paris (Bob Crowley/Benjamin Pearcy/Leo Warner for 59 Productions)
On the Twentieth Century (David Rockwell)
The King and I (Michael Yeargan)
Fun Home (David Zinn)

BEST COSTUME DESIGN OF A PLAY
The Audience (Bob Crowley)
You Can’t Take it With You (Jane Greenwood)
**** WINNER Wolf Hall (Christopher Oram)
Airline Highway (David Zinn)

BEST COSTUME DESIGN OF A MUSICAL
Something Rotten! (Gregg Barnes)
An American in Paris (Bob Crowley)
On the Twentieth Century William Ivey Long
**** WINNER The King and I (Catherine Zuber)

BEST LIGHTING DESIGN OF A PLAY
**** WINNER The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Paule Constable)
Wolf Hall (Paule Constable and David Plater)
Skylight (Natasha Katz)
Airline Highway (Japhy Weideman)

BEST LIGHTING DESIGN OF A MUSICAL
The King and I (Donald Holder)
**** WINNER An American in Paris (Natasha Katz)
Fun Home (Ben Stanton)
The Visit (Japhy Weideman)

BEST DIRECTION OF A PLAY
Stephen Daldry , Skylight
**** WINNER Marianne Elliott, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Scott Ellis, You Can’t Take It With You
Jeremy Herrin, Wolf Hall
Moritz von Stuelpnagel, Hand to God

BEST DIRECTION OF A MUSICAL
**** WINNER Sam Gold, Fun Home
Casey Nicholaw , Something Rotten!
John Rando, On the Town
Bartlett Sher, The King and I
Christopher Wheeldon, An American in Paris

BEST CHOREOGRAPHY
Joshua Bergasse, On the Town
Christopher Gattelli, The King and I
Scott Graham & Steven Hoggett, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Casey Nicholaw, Something Rotten!
**** WINNER Christopher Wheeldon, An American in Paris

BEST ORCHESTRATIONS
**** WINNER An American in Paris (Christopher Austin, Don Sebesky, Bill Elliott)
Fun Home (John Clancy)
Something Rotten! (Larry Hochman)
The Last Ship (Rob Mathes)

SPECIAL TONY AWARD® FOR LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT IN THE THEATRE
Tommy Tune

SPECIAL TONY AWARD
John Cameron Mitchell

REGIONAL THEATRE TONY AWARD
Cleveland Play House

ISABELLE STEVENSON TONY AWARD
Stephen Schwartz

TONY HONORS FOR EXCELLENCE IN THE THEATRE
Arnold Abramson
Adrian Bryan-Brown
Gene O’Donovan

The 2015-2016 Broadway at the Bass Season is here!

Billy Harrigan in THE BOOK OF MORMON. Photo: Johan Persson.

Billy Harrigan in THE BOOK OF MORMON. Photo: Johan Persson.


Performing Arts Fort Worth proudly announces its 2015-2016 Broadway at the Bass Season at Bass Performance Hall. From the creators of “South Park” and winner of nine Tony Awards ®, THE BOOK OF MORMON will open the season and play a limited six-day engagement Dec. 1-6. The New York Times calls it “the best musical of this century” and Entertainment Weekly says it’s “the funniest musical of all time.”

The season will close with Cameron Mackintosh’s spectacular new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA.

In between will be the direct-from-Broadway MOTOWN THE MUSICAL, the story of Berry Gordy’s journey from featherweight boxer to heavyweight music mogul; Dallas Summer Musical’s production of Disney’s THE LITTLE MERMAID; a revival of the classic backstage romp 42ND STREET; the timeless classic THE WIZARD OF OZ; and a brand-new production of THE SOUND OF MUSIC.

In addition, MAMMA MIA!, BLUE MAN GROUP and RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER THE MUSICAL will return as add-on specials, along with the previously announced JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT. The series also includes two shows in the intimate McDavid Studio – the previously announced DIXIE’S NEVER WEAR A TUBETOP WHILE RIDING A MECHANICAL BULL (AND 16 OTHER THINGS I LEARNED WHILE I WAS DRINKING LAST THURSDAY) and an all-new show in the “Late Night Catechism” series, BACK TO SCHOOL CATECHISM: THE HOLY GHOST AND OTHER TERRIFYING TALES. Both shows can be added on to season packages.

Continuing a partnership that blossomed last season, Dallas Summer Musicals and Performing Arts Fort Worth will co-present three of these titles: Disney’s THE LITTLE MERMAID, 42nd STREET and THE SOUND OF MUSIC. These shows will perform for two weeks at the Music Hall at Fair Park, then come to Bass Hall for limited, one-week engagements.

Broadway at the Bass season tickets go on sale online at http://www.basshall.com at 10 a.m. Sunday, June 7, and over the phone at 817-212-4280 and in person at the Bass Hall Box Office at 10 a.m. Monday, June 8. For more information, call 817-212-4280 or click here.

Here’s the lineup:

BROADWAY AT THE BASS

The Book of Mormon will anchor the 2015-2016 Broadway at the Bass season at Bass Performance Hall. Photo: Joan Marcus.

The Book of Mormon will anchor the 2015-2016 Broadway at the Bass season at Bass Performance Hall. Photo: Joan Marcus.

THE BOOK OF MORMON (December 1-6, 2015)
The New York Times calls it “the best musical of this century.” The Washington Post says, “It is the kind of evening that restores your faith in musicals.” And Entertainment Weekly says, “Grade A: the funniest musical of all time.” Jon Stewart of The Daily Show calls it “a crowning achievement. So good it makes me angry.” It’s THE BOOK OF MORMON, the nine-time Tony Award® winning Best Musical from the creators of South Park. Contains explicit language. For more information, visit BookofMormonTheMusical.com.

Patrice Covington as Martha Reeves (center) and cast of MOTOWN THE MUSICAL. Photo: Joan Marcus.

Patrice Covington as Martha Reeves (center) and cast of MOTOWN THE MUSICAL. Photo: Joan Marcus.

MOTOWN THE MUSICAL (January 13-17, 2016)
It began as one man’s story… became everyone’s music… and is now Broadway’s musical. MOTOWN THE MUSICAL is the true American dream story of Motown founder Berry Gordy’s journey from featherweight boxer to the heavyweight music mogul who launched the careers of Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Smokey Robinson and many more. Motown shattered barriers, shaped our lives and made us all move to the same beat. Featuring classic songs such as “My Girl” and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” experience the story behind the music in the record-breaking smash hit MOTOWN THE MUSICAL!.

Dallas Summer Musical’s production of Disney’s THE LITTLE MERMAID will make its Bass Hall debut in 2016. Photo: Chris Waits.

Dallas Summer Musical’s production of Disney’s THE LITTLE MERMAID will make its Bass Hall debut in 2016. Photo: Chris Waits.

Disney’s THE LITTLE MERMAID (March 29-April 3, 2016)
In a magical kingdom beneath the sea, the beautiful young mermaid Ariel longs to leave her ocean home to live in the world above. Based on one of Hans Christian Andersen’s most beloved stories, with music by eight-time Academy Award winner Alan Menken, Disney’s THE LITTLE MERMAID is a hauntingly beautiful love story for the ages. Come fall in love with the magic for the first time – or all over again! “One of the most ravishing things I have ever seen on a Broadway stage.” – Time

Follow the yellow brick road to Bass Hall for THE WIZARD OF OZ. Photo: Troika Entertainment.

Follow the yellow brick road to Bass Hall for THE WIZARD OF OZ. Photo: Troika Entertainment.

THE WIZARD OF OZ (June 7-12, 2016)
This new production of THE WIZARD OF OZ is an enchanting adaptation of the all-time classic, totally reconceived for the stage. Developed from the ever popular MGM screenplay, this production contains the beloved songs from the Oscar®-winning movie score, all the favorite characters and iconic moments, plus a few surprises along the way, including new songs by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber. Click your heels together and join Scarecrow, Tin Man, Lion, Dorothy and her little dog Toto, as they journey through the magical land of Oz to meet the Wizard and obtain their hearts’ desires. Watch out for the Wicked Witch of the West and her winged monkeys as you rediscover the real story of Oz in this fantastic musical treat for the whole family.

42nd STREET (July 12-17, 2016)
The quintessential backstage musical comedy classic, 42nd STREET is the song and dance fable of Broadway! It includes some of the greatest songs ever written, such as “We’re In The Money,” “Lullaby of Broadway,” “Shuffle Off To Buffalo,” “Dames,” “I Only Have Eyes For You” and of course “42nd Street.”
Based on a novel by Bradford Ropes and Busby Berkeley’s 1933 movie, 42ne STREET tells the story of a starry-eyed young dancer named Peggy Sawyer who leaves her Allentown home and comes to New York to audition for the new Broadway musical Pretty Lady. When the star breaks her ankle, Peggy takes over and becomes a star. With a book by Michael Stewart and Mark Bramble, music by Harry Warren and lyrics by Al Dubin, this sparkling new production will be directed by co-author Mark Bramble and choreographed by Randy Skinner, the team who staged the 2001 Tony Award-winning Best Musical Revival.

THE SOUND OF MUSIC (August 17-21, 2016)
The hills are alive! A brand-new production of THE SOUND OF MUSIC, directed by three-time Tony Award®-winning director Jack O’Brien, is coming to Bass Performance Hall. The spirited, romantic and beloved musical story of Maria and the Von Trapp Family will once again thrill audiences with its Tony®, Grammy® and Academy Award®-winning Best Score, including “My Favorite Things,” “Do-Re-Mi,” “Climb Ev’ry Mountain,” “Edelweiss” and the title song. THE SOUND OF MUSIC enjoyed extraordinary success as the first live television production of a musical in over 50 years when “THE SOUND OF MUSIC Live!” aired on NBC in December, 2013 (seen by over 44 million people). This year marks the 50th anniversary of the film, which continues to be the most successful movie musical in history.

Katie Travis and Chris Mann in THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA. Photo: Matthew Murphy.

Katie Travis and Chris Mann in THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA. Photo: Matthew Murphy.

THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (October 20-30, 2016)
Cameron Mackintosh’s spectacular new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA will come to Fort Worth as part of a brand new North American tour. Critics are raving that this breathtaking 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 PHANTOM one of the largest productions now on tour.

BROADWAY AT THE BASS

JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT will be here Sept. 18-20. Photo: Troika Entertainment.

JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT will be here Sept. 18-20. Photo: Troika Entertainment.

JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT (September 18-20, 2015)
One of the most enduring shows of all time, Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT is the irresistible family musical about the trials and triumphs of Joseph, Israel’s favorite son. Directed and choreographed by Tony® Award-winner Andy Blankenbuehler, this new production is a reimagining of the Biblical story of Joseph, his 11 brothers and the coat of many colors. The magical musical is full of unforgettable songs, including “Go Go Go Joseph,” “Any Dream Will Do and Close Every Door.” Book your tickets and be part of the magic!

Yeeee-Hawwww: Dixie Longate returns to McDavid Studio in an all-new show!

Yeeee-Hawwww: Dixie Longate returns to McDavid Studio in an all-new show!

DIXIE’S NEVER WEAR A TUBE TOP WHILE RIDING A MECHANICAL BULL (AND 16 OTHER THINGS I LEARNED WHILE I WAS DRINKING LAST THURSDAY) (November 11-22, 2015, McDavid Studio)
America’s favorite fast-talking Tupperware lady Dixie Longate is hitting the road with her new show NEVER WEAR A TUBE TOP WHILE RIDING A MECHANICAL BULL (AND 16 OTHER THINGS I LEARNED WHILE I WAS DRINKING LAST THURSDAY). Put on your cowboy boots and walk into her favorite honkytonk as Dixie shares lessons learned after a hard night of drinking. What do a jeweled crown, a cardboard cutout of Julie Andrews and a box of moon pies have in common? Spend the night with Dixie and find out as she swaps her Tupperware bowls for a mechanical bull.
Content Warning: Contains strong adult content and language. For mature audiences only. Recommended for ages 16+.

Rudolph returns Nov. 24-25. Photo: Wishing Star Productions.

Rudolph returns Nov. 24-25. Photo: Wishing Star Productions.

RUDOLPH THE RED NOSED REINDEER: THE MUSICAL (November 24-25, 2015)
The beloved TV classic RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER soars off the screen and back onto Bass Hall’s stage this holiday season. See all of your favorite characters come to life in RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER: THE MUSICAL

The BLUE MAN GROUP returns for a limited engagement Feb. 19-21.

The BLUE MAN GROUP returns for a limited engagement Feb. 19-21.

BLUE MAN GROUP (February 19-21, 2016)
Blue Man Group will thrill Fort Worth with its high-octane theatrical experience. Escape the ordinary and surround yourself in an explosion of comedy, music and technology. If you’ve never seen Blue Man Group, it’s a must-see. If you’re already a fan, don’t miss it.

Put on your dancin' shoes: MAMMA MIA! returns May 20-22!

Put on your dancin’ shoes: MAMMA MIA! returns May 20-22!

MAMMA MIA! (May 20-22, 2016)
MAMMA MIA! is the ultimate feel-good show that has audiences coming back again and again to relive the thrill. Now it’s your turn to have the time of your life at this smash-hit musical that combines ABBA’s greatest hits, including “Dancing Queen,” “S.O.S.,” “Super Trouper,” “Take A Chance on Me” and “The Winner Takes It All,” with an enchanting tale of love, laughter and friendship. Whether it’s your first visit or your 14th, see the show that has the whole world coming back for more, because every time feels like the first time at MAMMA MIA!

BACK TO SCHOOL CATECHISM: THE HOLY GHOST AND OTHER TERRIFYING TALES (October 5-9, 2016, McDavid Studio)
It is that time of year again and Sister is preparing her classroom for another long year of Catechism. You are in store for another hysterical lesson with BACK TO SCHOOL CATECHISM: THE HOLY GHOST AND OTHER TERRIFYING TALES. In this session we find out the Church’s take on all the familiar Halloween tales of ghosts and goblins. The show is full of Sister’s signature class participation. You may get hands-on experience in how to build a Catholic-appropriate Halloween costume! Join us and remember DON’T BE LATE!

CONTEST: Win tickets to PIPPIN and a big bag of Broadway swag!

Win tickets to PIPPIN, starring Sasha Allen!

Win tickets to PIPPIN, starring Sasha Allen!

THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED! We’ll announce the winner on Monday!

Welcome to Performing Arts Fort Worth’s 2015 PICK THE TONY AWARDS WINNERS CONTEST!

Here’s how to play: Using the nominees list below, choose who you think will win at the Tony Awards, which will be broadcast at 7pm Sunday, June 7 on CBS.

Email your answers by midnight Saturday, June 6. The person with the most number of correct answers wins! If there’s a tie, a winner will be randomly selected.

What you win: A pair of tickets to the Tuesday, July 21 performance of the Tony Award-winning hit musical PIPPIN. You’ll also receive a big bag of Broadway swag, including a beautiful THE SOUND OF MUSIC coffee table book, a NEWSIES bobblehead and much more!

Good luck!!!

1. BEST PLAY
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Disgraced
Hand to God
Wolf Hall

2. BEST MUSICAL
An American in Paris
Fun Home
Something Rotten!
The Visit

3. BEST REVIVAL OF A PLAY
The Elephant Man
Skylight
This is Our Youth
You Can’t Take it With You

4. BEST REVIVAL OF A MUSICAL
The King and I
On the Town
On the Twentieth Century

5. BEST ORIGINAL SCORE (MUSIC AND/OR LYRICS) WRITTEN FOR THE THEATRE
Fun Home (Music: Music: Jeanine Tesori; lyrics: Lisa Kron)
The Last Ship (Music & lyrics: Sting)
Something Rotten! (Music & lyrics: Wayne Kirkpatrick and Karey Kirkpatrick)
The Visit (Music: John Kander; lyrics: Fred Ebb)

6. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE IN A PLAY
Steven Boyer, Hand to God
Bradley Cooper, The Elephant Man
Ben Miles, Wolf Hall
Bill Nighy, Skylight
Alex Sharp, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

7. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE IN A PLAY
Geneva Carr, Hand to God
Helen Mirren, The Audience
Elisabeth Moss, The Heidi Chronicles
Carey Mulligan, Skylight
Ruth Wilson, Constellations

8. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE IN A MUSICAL
Michael Cerveris , Fun Home
Robert Fairchild, An American in Paris
Brian d’Arcy James, Something Rotten!
Ken Watanabe, The King and I
Tony Yazbeck, On the Town

9. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE IN A MUSICAL
Kristin Chenoweth, On the Twentieth Century
Leanne Cope, An American in Paris
Beth Malone, Fun Home
Kelli O’Hara, The King and I
Chita Rivera, The Visit

10. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A FEATURED ROLE IN A PLAY
Matthew Beard, Skylight
K. Todd Freeman, Airline Highway
Richard McCabe, The Audience
Alessandro Nivola, The Elephant Man
Nathaniel Parker, Wolf Hall
Micah Stock, It’s Only a Play

11. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A FEATURED ROLE IN A PLAY
Annaleigh Ashford , You Can’t Take it With You
Patricia Clarkson, The Elephant Man
Lydia Leonard , Wolf Hall
Sarah Stiles, Hand to God
Julie White, Airline Highway

12. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A FEATURED ROLE IN A MUSICAL
Christian Borle , Something Rotten!
Andy Karl, On the Twentieth Century
Brad Oscar, Something Rotten!
Brandon Uranowitz, An American in Paris
Max von Essen, An American in Paris

13. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A FEATURED ROLE IN A MUSICAL
Victoria Clark, Gigi
Judy Kuhn, Fun Home
Sydney Lucas, Fun Home
Ruthie Ann Miles, The King and I
Emily Skeggs, Fun Home

14. BEST DIRECTION OF A PLAY
Stephen Daldry , Skylight
Marianne Elliott, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Scott Ellis, You Can’t Take It With You
Jeremy Herrin, Wolf Hall
Moritz von Stuelpnagel, Hand to God

15. BEST DIRECTION OF A MUSICAL
Sam Gold, Fun Home
Casey Nicholaw , Something Rotten!
John Rando, On the Town
Bartlett Sher, The King and I
Christopher Wheeldon, An American in Paris

16. BEST CHOREOGRAPHY
Joshua Bergasse, On the Town
Christopher Gattelli, The King and I
Scott Graham & Steven Hoggett, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Casey Nicholaw, Something Rotten!
Christopher Wheeldon, An American in Paris

THE FINE PRINT: The winner with the most number of correct answers will be notified by email on Monday, June 8. The winner will have 24 hours to respond. No purchase necessary. Prize package includes 2 tickets to Tuesday, July 21 performance of PIPPIN at Bass Performance Hall. The prize(s) that may be awarded to the eligible winner(s) are not transferable, redeemable for cash or exchangeable for any other prize. Participants and winner(s) must be U.S. residents and 18 years of age or older. In the event of a tie, a winner will be selected at random.

Rodgers + Hammerstein’s CINDERELLA is coming to North Texas!

Andy Huntington Jones and Paige Faure in the national tour of Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella. Photo: Carol Rosegg.

Andy Huntington Jones and Paige Faure in the national tour of Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella. Photo: Carol Rosegg.

Rodgers + Hammerstein’s CINDERELLA, the 2013 Tony® Award-winning Broadway musical from the creators of SOUTH PACIFIC and THE SOUND OF MUSIC, will play at Bass Performance Hall June 23-28, presented by Performing Arts Fort Worth. The tour will also stop at Music Hall at Fair Park June 9-21, presented by Dallas Summer Musicals.

With its fresh new take on the beloved tale of a young woman who is transformed from a chambermaid into a princess, this hilarious and romantic Rodgers + Hammerstein’s CINDERELLA combines the story’s classic elements – glass slippers, pumpkin, and a beautiful ball along with some surprising twists.

The cast of the national tour of Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella. Photo: Carol Rosegg

The cast of the national tour of Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella. Photo: Carol Rosegg

More than just a pretty face with the right shoe size, this Cinderella is a contemporary figure living in a fairytale setting. She is a spirited young woman with savvy and soul who doesn’t let her rags or her gowns trip her up in her quest for kindness, compassion and forgiveness. She longs to escape the drudgery of her work at home and instead work to make the world a better place. She not only fights for her own dreams, but forces the prince to open his eyes to the world around him and realize his dreams too.

CINDERELLA has music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, a new book by Douglas Carter Beane and original book by Oscar Hammerstein II. The musical is directed by Mark Brokaw and choreographed by Josh Rhodes. Music adaptation, supervision and arrangements are by David Chase and orchestrations are by Danny Troob.

One of Rodgers + Hammerstein’s most popular titles, CINDERELLA was written for television — debuting in 1957 starring Julie Andrews. In 2013, the show made its long-overdue Broadway debut. Along with CINDERELLA, Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein’s legendary musicals include OKLAHOMA!, CAROUSEL, THE KING AND I, SOUTH PACIFIC and THE SOUND OF MUSIC. Mr. Beane’s book for CINDERELLA blends masterfully with the musical’s cherished score with songs including “In My Own Little Corner,” “Impossible/It’s Possible,” “Ten Minutes Ago” and “Do I Love You Because You’re Beautiful?”

Tickets are on sale now! For Bass Hall tickets, call 817-212-4280 or click here. For Dallas Summer Musical tickets, click here or call 1-800-514-3849. Groups of 10 or more receive discounts.

Peter Pan flies again; Something Rotten! was anything but! Our last day at the Spring Road Conference 2015

Finding Neverland was one of the highlights of our trip to New York.

Finding Neverland was one of the highlights of our trip to New York.

Our final day at The Broadway League’s Spring Road Conference had us in tears – and that was before we even saw FINDING NEVERLAND.

It’s always hard to leave our friends, old and new. So the last few hours we spend with our industry colleagues at this yearly Broadway conference are always a little, sniff, sniff, bittersweet.

The annual conference went out with a bang on Thursday. One special guest after another graced the stage of New York’s historic Hudson Theatre, where the conference was held.

The day included an appearance from the star-studded cast and creative team for the new musical THE VISIT: Broadway veteran Chita Rivera, composer John Kander and playwright Terrence McNally, all multiple Tony-winners.

Moderated by none other than actress Sutton Foster, a SOMETHING ROTTEN! creative conversation was more laughs than conversation, and we loved every giggle of it. North Texan Tony Award-winner Victoria Clark, currently starring in a musical rendition of GIGI, also made a surprise appearance, as did AN AMERICAN IN PARIS’ choreographer Christopher Wheeldon and leads Robert Fairchild and Leanne Michelle Cope. AN AMERICAN IN PARIS is tied with FUN HOME for the most number of Tony nominations this season, 12.

To top it off, we were given an exclusive sneak preview of THE BODYGUARD, an upcoming touring musical based on the Oscar-nominated 1992 film that starred Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston (it’s currently on stage in the U.K.).

Playing Houston’s character will be Grammy-nominated R&B singer Deborah Cox, who, during the lunchtime sneak peek, made a surprise appearance and belted out the show’s signature song, I Will Always Love You. Cox, who provided the vocals for Lifetime’s Whitney Houston movie, “Whitney,” has been seen on Broadway in the title role of AIDA.

Among the shows we saw Thursday night were two of our conference favorites: The outrageously hilarious SOMETHING ROTTEN! and FINDING NEVERLAND.

Something Rotten! is a vibrant, fresh, all-new original musical. From the first note of “Welcome to the Renaissance” you know you’re in for a journey filled with laughter and great music.

This show is in the same category as THE PRODUCERS and SPAMALOT, with witty and clever writing. Christian Borle and Brian d’Arcy James are at the top of their game.

Performing Arts Fort Worth Marketing Director Jason Wise at SOMETHING ROTTEN!

Performing Arts Fort Worth Marketing Director Jason Wise at SOMETHING ROTTEN!

At a time when many new musicals are based on already-existing material, it’s refreshing to see a new original musical. Its 10 Tony nominations, including best musical, are well deserved!

Fort Worth audiences are going to love this show. We look forward to bringing it in an upcoming season.

We think Fort Worth will also fall in love with FINDING NEVERLAND. Like the movie on which it is based, the story revolves around author/playwright J. M. Barrie and how he came to write the 1904 play “Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up.”

The show has an all-star cast featuring Matthew Morrison, Kelsey Grammer and Laura Michelle Kelly, all of whom shine in their roles. There’s plenty of eye candy, too, including a neat flying sequence that we won’t give away.

We’re also hoping to bring this show to the Bass Hall stage sometime in the future.

Thanks to The Broadway League for once again hosting a terrific, informative and entertaining conference. See you guys next year!

Showtime!

One of the many perks of attending The Broadway League’s annual Spring Road Conference is, of course, getting to see all the new Broadway shows before they hit the road.

Over the course of the four-day conference, we’ve seen nearly a dozen shows. Here are some of our faves (and some we’re hoping to bring to Bass Hall in the future):

IMG_453306823Hedwig and the Angry Inch: We saw this rock and roll musical when Neil Patrick Harris was in the lead role of Hedwig, but we are just as impressed with Darren Criss, who took over the role after Harris. Criss stars in the title role as a punk/metal band lead singer, whose career has been eclipsed by a past lover who has gone onto to massive success. Hedwig delivers his life story to us during a concert, in which Criss and his backup band give impassioned, believable performances, making you feel like you really are at a concert (which, technically, you are, since the musicians play real instruments and Criss belts out a number of catchy songs). It’s a fantastic show but not for everyone; there’s quite a bit of language and adult themes. We’d love to see it on our stage.

IMG_0490On the Town: If you like classic Broadway shows with big dance routines, you’ll love On the Town, a second revival of the 1944 musical (and basis for a 1949 hit film). Three sailors, on a 24-hour pass, embark on New York City in a quest for love, booze and fun. Featuring Fort Worth-reared actor Jay Armstrong Johnson in a lead role as one of the sailors, Chip, the show is a smart combination of slapstick humor, epic dance numbers (think West Side Story) and romance, all set against the backdrop of Leonard Bernstein’s timeless music. We’re really hoping to bring this show to Bass Hall!

IMG_0496Beautiful: The Carole King Musical: For many of us, this jukebox musical was an education, as it explored the early life of songwriter/singer Carole King and her catalog of hits that she wrote for other artists, such as Will You Love Me Tomorrow, Chains, One Fine Day and many others. Chilina Kennedy doesn’t miss a beat as King. Matter of fact, the entire cast did a great job of recreating the look and sound of other artists of the 60s and 70s, such as Neil Sedaka, The Drifters, The Shirelles and Janelle Woods. It was a fun and interactive show, as many people in the audience sang along. This will be a great show for the road and one we’re hoping to book!

Leanne Cope and Robert Fairchild in the musical “An American in Paris.” Credit: Sara Krulwich/The New York Times

An American in Paris: Up for 12 Tony Awards, this musical adaptation of the 1951 film of the same name embodies what many hopeless American romantics desperately want Paris to symbolize – art, passion, lights, love, culture, mystery. It has it all. The blend of musical theater, punctuated by the music of Ira and George Gershwin, makes perfect sense, and the scene transitions are flawless. This show is slated to tour soon. We hope Bass Hall will be one of its stops.

IMG_0521Matilda:We’d seen Matilda many times in the past during The Broadway League’s conference, but we had to see it again, its story of a little girl who overcomes hurdle after hurdle is so uplifting. The show is also rife with catchy music, remarkable set pieces and many, many, many talented children. Our fingers are crossed that we’ll be able to land this show in an upcoming season!

Other shows we’ve seen or seeing tonight (our last night here!) include Finding Neverland, Something Rotten!, Fun Home, Hand to God and The Visit. Check back in tomorrow for our final post!

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