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!

Starry Eyed: Helen Mirren, Matthew Morrison, Bill Nighy and other celebs appear at The Broadway League’s Spring Road Conference

The historic Hudson Theatre, where The Broadway League's Spring Road Conference is being held this week.

The historic Hudson Theatre, where The Broadway League’s Spring Road Conference is being held this week.

Helen Mirren was a special guest yesterday at the Broadway League's Spring Road Conference in New York.

Helen Mirren was a special guest yesterday at the Broadway League’s Spring Road Conference in New York.

The Broadway League’s Spring Road Conference kicked off its daytime sessions yesterday in royal style. We’re talking a visit from Queen Elizabeth II herself, Helen Mirren.

“You always remember a theater performance,” said Mirren, who currently plays Queen Elizabeth II in the Broadway play The Audience “Even if it’s terrible.”

Finding Neverland's cast and creative team.

Finding Neverland’s cast and creative team.

Mirren was just one of many celebrity guest speakers yesterday at the annual Broadway conference. She was followed by the fantastic four from Finding Neverland, a musical tracing the origins of the Peter Pan story. Famed Broadway producer Harvey Weinstein, popular dance choreographer Mia Michaels and actors Laura Michele Kelly, who originated the role of Mary Poppins on Broadway, and Matthew Morrison, best known for his role on Glee, all took the stage for a lively fireside chat.

They weren’t the only ones to receive standing O’s. Grammy and Tony-winner Lin-Manual Miranda brought down the house with his fiery and funny talk about his new show, Hamilton, a hip-hop musical about the life of Andrew Hamilton.

Cast members of Skylight.

Cast members of Skylight.

Carey Mulligan, Matthew Beard and Bill Nighy were among the cast and creatives who took part in a discussion of their current play Skylight, which is up for seven play-related Tony Awards, including Best Revival, Best Actress for Mulligan and Best Actor for Nighy.

At lunch, we were treated to a special performance from the cast of the hysterical Something Rotten!, a musical comedy up for 10 Tony Awards.

Finally, two of our own graced the stage of the Hudson Theatre, where the conference is taking place. Performing Arts Fort Worth President & CEO Dione Kennedy moderated an energetic panel about patron loyalty programs.

And big congratulations are in order for Dallas Summer Musicals Marketing Director Paulette Hopkins, who was awarded Outstanding Achievement in Road Marketing during the conference’s annual awards ceremony. Holly Reeves, a longtime DSM board member and fundraiser, received a Star of Touring Broadway Award. Congrats, DSM!

We saw several shows last night and we’ll share our thoughts on them in tomorrow’s blog post!

Hello, New York!

Times Square!

Times Square!

Greetings from the City That Never Sleeps – and for the next four days, we won’t, either.

The Performing Arts Fort Worth marketing team is here in New York this week for the Broadway League’s annual Spring Road Conference – four days of industry panels, discussions, promotional parties and of course shows, shows, shows.

In the course of four days, the six of us (marketing plus our Prez & CEO Dione Kennedy) will see more than a dozen new Broadway musicals, including 2015 Tony Award nominees An American in Paris and Fun Home. The conference allows us the opportunity to see the shows before they go on the road. Some may be coming to Bass Performance Hall in future seasons.

Monday night was the conference’s first big shebang – a party to promote the upcoming tour of Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn, a musical based on the hit 1942 movie of the same name. The invite-only soiree was held in the historical studio of NBC’s Saturday Night Live and featured song-and-dance performances from cast members.

Tag along on our adventures here in New York by following us on Twitter and Instagram.

2015 Tony Nominations!

An American in Paris is up for 12 Tony Awards.

An American in Paris is up for 12 Tony Awards.

And the nominees are:

Best Leading Actor in a Play
Steven Boyer, Hand to God
Bradley Cooper, The Elephant Man
Ben Miles, Wolf Hall Parts One & Two
Bill Nighy, Skylight
Alex Sharp, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Best Leading Actress in a Play
Geneva Carr, Hand to God
Helen Mirren, The Audience
Elisabeth Moss, The Heidi Chronicles
Carey Mulligan, Skylight
Ruth Wilson, Constellations

Best Leading Actor 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

Best Revival of a Play
Skylight
The Elephant Man
This Is Our Youth
You Can’t Take It With You

Best Revival of a Musical
On the Town
On the Twentieth Century
The King and I

Best Leading Actress 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

Best Musical
An American in Paris
Fun Home
Something Rotten!
The Visit

Best Play
Disgraced by Ayad Akhtar
Hand to God by Robert Askins
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Simon Stephens
Wolf Hall Parts One & Two by Hilary Mantel and Mike Poulton

Best Book of a Musical
Karey Kirkpatrick and John O’Farrell, Something Rotten!
Lisa Kron, Fun Home
Craig Lucas, An American in Paris
Terrence McNally, The Visit

Best Score
John Kander and Fred Ebb, The Visit
Wayne Kirkpatrick and Karey Kirkpatrick, Something Rotten!
Sting, The Last Ship
Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron, Fun Home

Best Scenic Design of a Musical
Bob Crowley and 59 Productions, An American in Paris
David Rockwell, On the Twentieth Century
Michael Yeargan, The King and I
David Zinn, Fun Home

Best Orchestrations
Christopher Austin, Don Sebesky and Bill Elliott, An American in Paris
John Clancy, Fun Home
Larry Hochman, Something Rotten!
Rob Mathes, The Last Ship

Best Costume Design of a Play
Bob Crowley, The Audience
Jane Greenwood, You Can’t Take It With You
Christopher Oram, Wolf Hall Parts One & Two
David Zinn, Airline Highway

Best Lighting Design of a Play
Paule Constable, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Paule Constable and David Plater, Wolf Hall Parts One & Two
Natasha Katz, Skylight
Japhy Weideman, Airline Highway

Best Director 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

Best Scenic Design of a Play
Bunny Christie & Finn Ross, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Bob Crowley, Skylight
Christopher Oram, Wolf Hall Parts One & Two
David Rockwell, You Can’t Take It With You

Best Featured Actor in a Play
Matthew Beard, Skylight
K. Todd Freeman, Airline Highway
Richard McCabe, The Audience
Alessandro Nivola, The Elephant Man
Nathaniel Parker, Wolf Hall Parts One & Two
Micah Stock, It’s Only a Play

Best Featured Actress 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

Best Director 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 Parts One & Two
Moritz von Stuelpnagel, Hand to God

Best Featured Actress in a Play
Annaleigh Ashford, You Can’t Take It With You
Patricia Clarkson, The Elephant Man
Lydia Leonard, Wolf Hall Parts One & Two
Sarah Stiles, Hand to God
Julie White, Airline Highway

Best Lighting Design of a Musical
Donald Holder, The King and I
Natasha Katz, An American in Paris
Ben Stanton, Fun Home
Japhy Weideman, The Visit

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

Best Featured Actor 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

Best Costume Design of a Musical
Gregg Barnes, Something Rotten!
Bob Crowley, An American in Paris
William Ivey Long, On the Twentieth Century
Catherine Zuber, The King and I

Tony Nominations by Production
An American in Paris – 12
Fun Home – 12
Something Rotten! – 10
The King and I – 9
Wolf Hall Parts One & Two – 8
Skylight – 7
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time – 6
Hand to God – 5
On the Twentieth Century – 5
The Visit – 5
You Can’t Take It with You – 5
Airline Highway – 4
The Elephant Man – 4
On the Town – 4
The Audience – 3
The Last Ship – 2
Constellations – 1
Disgraced – 1
Gigi – 1
The Heidi Chronicles – 1
It’s Only a Play – 1
This Is Our Youth – 1

CHICAGO THE MUSICAL razzle dazzles at Bass Hall April 3-4

North Texas native Dylis Croman will star in CHICAGO at Bass Hall April 3-4.

North Texas native Dylis Croman will star in CHICAGO at Bass Hall April 3-4.

Performing Arts Fort Worth welcomes CHICAGO THE MUSICAL to Bass Performance Hall, where the Tony Award-winning show will razzle-dazzle audiences April 3-4. Tickets are $49.50-$121 and are on sale NOW.

Dallas native Dylis Croman stars in the leading role as Roxie Hart. A graduate of Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Croman has performed in CHICAGO THE MUSICAL on Broadway and also SWEET CHARITY, FOSSE and OKLAHOMA!

With a legendary book by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse, music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb, CHICAGO is now the No. 1 longest-running American musical, and on Sunday, Nov 23, 2014, it became the second longest-running show in Broadway history! Produced by Barry and Fran Weissler, CHICAGO is the winner of six 1997 Tony Awards, including Best Musical Revival; it also won a Grammy Award for Best Musical Cast Recording.

Terra C. MacLeod portrays Velma Kelly in CHICAGO. Photo: Paul Kolnik

Terra C. MacLeod portrays Velma Kelly in CHICAGO. Photo: Paul Kolnik

Set amidst the decadence of the 1920s, CHICAGO is the story of Roxie Hart, a housewife and nightclub dancer who maliciously murders her on-the-side lover after he threatens to walk out on her. Desperate to avoid conviction, she dupes the public, the media and her rival cellmate, Velma Kelly, by hiring Chicago’s slickest criminal lawyer to transform her malicious crime into a barrage of sensational headlines, the likes of which might just as easily be ripped from today’s tabloids.

The national tour is directed by David Hyslop and choreographed by David Bushman. Walter Bobbie is the director of the original New York production and Ann Reinking was the original choreographer in the style of Bob Fosse. CHICAGO features set design by John Lee Beatty, costume design by William Ivey Long, lighting design by Ken Billington and sound design by Scott Lehrer. The production also features orchestrations by Ralph Burns, supervising music direction by Rob Fisher.

Roz Ryan stars as Matron "Mama" Morton in the Tony Award-winning hit musical CHICAGO.  Photo: Jeremy Daniel.

Roz Ryan stars as Matron “Mama” Morton in the Tony Award-winning hit musical CHICAGO. Photo: Jeremy Daniel.

In addition to Croman, the cast includes Roz Ryan (Matron “Mama” Morton), Terra C. MacLeod (Velma Kelly), Brent Barrett (Billy Flynn), D. Ratell (Mary Sunshine) and Jacob Keith Watson (Amos Hart).

Performance times are 7:30pm Friday, April 3; and 1:30 and 7:30pm Saturday, April 4.

To charge tickets by phone, call (817) 212-4280 in Fort Worth; 1-877-212-4280 (toll free) outside Fort Worth; or order online by clicking here. Tickets are also available at the Bass Performance Hall ticket office at 525 Commerce Street. Ticket office hours: Monday through Friday 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. and Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. For group sales, call 817-212-4248.

MARCH MADNESS BEGINS AT BASS HALL!

Performing Arts Fort Worth presents its own version of “March Madness” this month, with six shows spanning a musical globe: Hank and My Honky Tonk Heroes, The Pink Floyd Experience, Rhett Butler & Don Ross, One Night of Queen, Betty Buckley and Mary Chapin Carpenter will all perform at Bass Performance Hall this month. Tickets for each show are on sale NOW!


HANK AND MY HONKY TONK HEROES

Thursday, March 12
Bass Performance Hall
7:30 p.m.
Tickets: $27.50-$66
Jason Petty takes you on a trip through the life and music of country music forefather Hank Williams. Petty, whose portrayal of Williams in the off-Broadway musical Lost Highway garnered him an Obie award and other accolades, will sing many of Williams’ best-known hits and share the stories of how those songs became timeless classics.

PFX Saskatoon-1_1THE PINK FLOYD EXPERIENCE
Tuesday, March 17
Bass Performance Hall
7:30 p.m.
Tickets: $44-$66
Pink Floyd’s groundbreaking music and theatrical live show come alive in this ultimate tribute concert, described as “a must-see for any Pink Floyd enthusiast” (C-News).

RHETT BUTLER & DON ROSS
Friday, March 20
McDavid Studio
7:30 p.m.
Tickets: $33
Dallas guitar hero Rhett Butler teams up with award-winning Canadian fingerstyle guitarist Don Ross for an evening of fiery guitar picking.

ONE NIGHT OF QUEEN
Friday, March 27
Bass Performance Hall
7:30 p.m.
Tickets: $27.50-$55
One Night of Queen, performed by Gary Mullen & The Works, is a spectacular live concert, recreating the look, sound, pomp and showmanship of one of the greatest rock bands of all time and its flamboyant lead singer Freddie Mercury.

BETTY BUCKLEY “IN MY OWN BACKYARD: FROM BROADWAY TO GHOSTLIGHT”
Saturday, March 28
McDavid Studio
5:30 & 8:00 p.m.
Tickets: $60.50
Broadway legend – and Texas native – Betty Buckley has starred in ten Broadway shows and has been called “The Voice of Broadway.” These intimate concerts will include some of Ms. Buckley’s favorite songs by some of Broadway’s greatest composers and lyricists, including Rodgers & Hammerstein, Lerner & Lowe and Andrew Lloyd Weber. Ms. Buckley will also feature songs from her latest album, Ghostlight.

APPROVEDMary_Chapin_Shot_C_0486_B_FinalMARY CHAPIN CARPENTER
With AOIFE O’DONOVAN
Saturday, March 28
Bass Performance Hall
7:30 p.m.
Tickets: $27.50-$66
Five-time Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter and 2012 Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee Mary Chapin Carpenter is bringing to Bass Hall an intimate, acoustic performance. The tour marks Carpenter’s return to singing timeless hits and deep cuts from her expansive and beloved 13-album catalog.

To charge tickets by phone, call (817) 212-4280 in Fort Worth; 1-877-212-4280 (toll free) outside Fort Worth; or order online at http://www.basshall.com. Tickets are also available at the Bass Performance Hall ticket office at 525 Commerce Street. Ticket office hours: Monday through Friday 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. and Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. For group sales, call 817-212-4248.
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Back in the Big Apple!

Jason Wise

Jason Wise

Jason Wise, our Director of Marketing & Sponsorships, just returned from a whirlwind trip to New York, where he caught seven new Broadway shows in five days – and still managed to be awake for meetings. Jason shares his latest NYC adventures with us!

I packed my bags and headed up to The Big Apple earlier this month to take in some of the new shows on Broadway and participate in meetings with The Broadway League and a few booking agents.

The week started off with The Broadway League’s Annual Meeting. The Broadway League, which Performing Arts Fort Worth is a member of, is the national trade association for the Broadway industry. Its 700-plus members include theatre owners and operators, producers, presenters, and general managers in North American cities, as well as suppliers of goods and services to the commercial theatre industry. Each year, League members bring Broadway to more than 30 million people in New York and more than 200 cities across the U.S. and Canada.

It’s always good to hear the latest developments and initiatives from The Broadway League. There are several exciting programs that we’ll be implementing in the future!

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time at the Barrymore Theatre.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time at the Barrymore Theatre.

The first show of the week was THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME, based on the best-selling novel. I only have one word to describe this play from the National Theatre – brilliant! Fifteen-year-old Christopher has an extraordinary brain. He is exceptionally intelligent but ill-equipped to interpret everyday life. When he falls under suspicion for killing his neighbor’s dog, he sets out to identify the true culprit, which leads to an earth-shattering discovery and a journey that will change his life forever. The production values are unlike anything I’ve seen before on stage. This is what live theater is about! Go see this play if you’re up in NYC!

I was able to catch two shows on Wednesday – THE REAL THING starring Maggie Gyllenhaal, Ewan McGregor and Cynthia Nixon in Tom Stoppard’s Tony Award-winning play that examines the boundaries of relationships. That evening I saw the hilarious, star-studded IT’S ONLY A PLAY featuring Matthew Broderick, Nathan Lane, Megan Mullally, Stockard Channing, Rupert Grant and F. Murray Abraham. The show did not disappoint. It was a night of pure entertainment!

Thursday was spent in back-to-back meetings with booking agents working on the details and finalizing our lineup for the 2015-2016 Broadway at the Bass season. I think everyone will be pleased with the current lineup of shows we’ll be bringing!

Thursday evening I caught the limited engagement of THE ILLUSIONISTS at the Marquis Theatre. This magic and illusion show was entertaining and will be headed to North Texas in April for a two-week run at Dallas Summer Musicals.

I closed out my trip with three shows. First up was THE LAST SHIP. Sting is now starring in his musical in which he wrote the score and the story is inspired by his own childhood experiences. It was worthwhile to see Sting perform in this new and fresh musical.

Tony Danza as Tommy Korman in “Honeymoon in Vegas.” Photo: Jerry Dalia

Tony Danza as Tommy Korman in “Honeymoon in Vegas.” Photo: Jerry Dalia

Saturday was a two-show day. For the matinee I saw the revival of ON THE TOWN. This is a lavish, throwback musical with a 29-piece orchestra performing a score by Leonard Bernstein. There’s talk of a national tour of this show so stay tuned.

I closed my trip in NYC with a brand-new musical comedy, HONEYMOON IN VEGAS, inspired by the 1992 film of the same name. Starring Tony Danza and Rob McClure, this fun-filled musical will leave you laughing and smiling as you exit the theatre.

Spending time in New York City is always fun and action-packed, but I’m glad to be back home in Fort Worth. I hope everyone has a great holiday season!

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Roars Back Into Fort Worth Jan. 14-18!

Jillian Butterfield as Belle and Ryan Everett-Wood as Beast in Disney's BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. Photo by Matthew Murphy.

Jillian Butterfield as Belle and North Texan Ryan Everett Wood as Beast in Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. Photo by Matthew Murphy.

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, the award-winning worldwide smash hit Broadway musical, is returning to Fort Worth as part of Performing Arts Fort Worth’s Broadway at the Bass series. Produced by NETworks Presentations, this elaborate theatrical production will come to life on stage at Bass Performance Hall January 14-18. Tickets start at $33 and are on sale now!

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast features the Academy Award®-winning score with music by Alan Menken and lyrics by the late Howard Ashman, with additional songs composed by Alan Menken and lyrics by Tim Rice. The book is written by Linda Woolverton.

The original creators of the Broadway production have reunited for this touring production. The play is directed by Rob Roth and choreographed by Matt West, with Costume Design by Ann Hould-Ward (Tony Award® winner for her work on Disney’s Beauty and the Beast), Lighting Design by Natasha Katz (three-time Tony Award® winner), Scenic Design by Stanley A. Meyer, Sound Design by John Petrafesa Jr. and Music Supervision by Michael Kosarin.

Photo: Matthew Murphy.

Photo: Matthew Murphy.

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is the classic story of Belle, a young woman in a provincial town, and the Beast, who is really a young prince trapped in a spell placed by an enchantress. If the Beast can learn to love and be loved, the curse will end and he will be transformed to his former self. But time is running out. If the Beast does not learn his lesson soon, he and his household will be doomed for all eternity.

Based on the 1991 Academy Award®-winning animated feature film and celebrating 20 years since its Broadway premiere in 1994, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast has become an international sensation that has been seen by over 35 million people worldwide in 22 countries, and has been translated into 9 different languages. This production launched in February 2010 and has been seen by 2.5 million people while playing over 1,000 performances in all 50 United States and 6 Canadian Provinces. Currently, there are four other productions playing around the world including Paris, tours in Japan and Germany, and a new international tour that currently will visit over 12 countries in two years.

To charge tickets by phone, call (817) 212-4280 in Fort Worth; 1-877-212-4280 (toll free) outside Fort Worth; or order online at http://www.basshall.com. Tickets are also available at the Bass Performance Hall ticket office at 525 Commerce Street. Ticket office hours: Monday through Friday 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. and Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. For group sales, call 817-212-4248.

Garrison Keillor returns to Bass Hall Oct. 30!

A Prairie Home Companion's Garrison Keillor returns to Bass Hall for his one-man show on Oct. 30.

A Prairie Home Companion’s Garrison Keillor returns to Bass Hall for his one-man show on Oct. 30.

Performing Arts Fort Worth presents An Evening with Garrison Keillor at Bass Performance Hall on Thursday, October 30, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $33 and are on sale NOW.

In a rare solo performance, the acclaimed host of A Prairie Home Companion shares hilarious anecdotes about growing up in the American Midwest, the people of Lake Wobegon and “late-life fatherhood.”

Garrison Keillor was born in 1942 in Anoka, Minnesota, and began his radio career as a freshman at the University of Minnesota, from which he graduated in 1966. He went to work for Minnesota Public Radio in 1969, and on July 6, 1974, he hosted the first broadcast of A Prairie Home Companion in St. Paul. The show ended in 1987, resumed in 1989 in New York as The American Radio Company, returned to Minnesota, and in 1993 resumed the name A Prairie Home Companion. Over 17 million listeners on more than 900 public radio stations now hear the show each week.

Keillor’s most recent role was playing himself in the movie adaptation of his show, A Prairie Home Companion (June 2006). It features Meryl Streep and Lily Tomlin as the singing Johnson sisters, Lindsay Lohan as Streep’s daughter, Woody Harrelson and John C. Reilly as singing cowboys Lefty and Dusty, and Tommy Lee Jones as the Axeman, who is dispatched by the radio station’s new corporate owners in Texas to shut down the show.

He is also the author of many books, including Lake Wobegon Days (1985); The Book of Guys (1993); The Old Man Who Loved Cheese (1996); Wobegon Boy (1997); Me: By Jimmy “Big Boy” Valente As Told to Garrison Keillor (1999); Love Me (2003); Homegrown Democrat (2004); Pontoon (2007); Liberty: A Lake Wobegon Novel (2008); and Life Among the Lutherans (2009).

In 2013, Keillor released his first book of poetry called O, What a Luxury: Versus Lyrical, Vulgar, Pathetic & Profound. This volume is written with his characteristic combination of humor and insight on love, modernity, nostalgia, politics, religion, and other facets of daily life.

Keillor has received numerous awards, including a Grammy Award for his recording of Lake Wobegon Days. He has also received two Cable ACE Awards and a George Foster Peabody Award. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and recently was presented with a National Humanities Medal by the National Endowment for the Humanities. In 1994, he was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame at Chicago’s Museum of Broadcast Communications.

With Philip Brunelle, he has performed with many orchestras, including the Chicago, Milwaukee, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Minnesota, Dallas, and National symphonies. He has appeared at Wolf Trap, Carnegie Hall, and other major concert halls as a member of The Hopeful Gospel Quartet, and he has performed on his own in one-man shows across the country and on tour broadcasts of A Prairie Home Companion.

To charge tickets by phone, call (817) 212-4280 in Fort Worth; 1-877-212-4280 (toll free) outside Fort Worth; or order online at http://www.basshall.com. Tickets are also available at the Bass Performance Hall ticket office at 525 Commerce Street. Ticket office hours: Monday through Friday 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. and Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. For group sales, call 817-212-4248.

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