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2016-17 Broadway season: 'Frozen,' 'Fun Home,' 'Finding Neverland' and more

by John Moore | Feb 11, 2016

Fun Home 4177 Beth Malone, Sydney Lucas, Michael Cerveris -- Photo Credit Jenny Anderson
The Broadway cast of 'Fun Home' features Beth Malone, Sydney Lucas and Michael Cerveris. Photo by Jenny Anderson. 


The Denver Center for the Performing Arts today announced a landmark 2016-17 season lineup that includes both of the most recent Tony Award-winners as well as the pre-Broadway debut of the highly anticipated stage adaptation of Disney's record-breaking hit Frozen, the highest-grossing animated film in history.

2016-17 Broadway announcement partyThe season will include both Best Musical Fun Home and Best Play The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. This is believed to be only the second time in history the DCPA has landed the most recent winners in both categories during the same season.*

Frozen, featuring the Oscar-winning hit song "Let It Go," continues a strong pipeline from Disney to Denver, which hosted the launch of national touring productions of The Lion King and Peter and the Starcatcher as well as the pre-Broadway engagement of The Little Mermaid.

A 2018 Broadway production of Frozen was announced earlier this week, but Denver audiences will see it first in the summer of 2017.

"We are incredibly excited to have an opportunity to partner with Disney again on Frozen. That is a huge announcement for us, and for Denver," said DCPA Executive Director John Ekeberg. And as a whole, I really think this is a season that is both very artistic and very emotional. One of the ways I often describe Broadway shows is that they are either 'lean back' or 'lean-in.' And for the most part, this is a season of 'lean-in' shows. This is theatre you really engage with."

The 2016-17 Broadway season will kick off in August with a celebration of the 25th anniversary of the opening of The Buell Theatre with a spectacular new production of The Phantom of the Opera. The season also includes Roundabout Theatre Company's Cabaret, Finding Neverland, An American in Paris and, in the Garner Galleria Theatre, An Act of God.

Subscriptions are now available starting as low as eight payments of $27.50 at denvercenter.org. A single-ticket on-sale will be announced at a later date.

SUBSCRIBE TODAY

Additional individual offerings that are not part of the season subscription package will include Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Motown the Musical, Kinky Boots and The Illusionist.

It is uncommon for the DCPA's Broadway Division to schedule non-musical plays, but notable exceptions in the recent past have included August: Osage County (2008) and War Horse (2013). Ekeberg said The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, about an extraordinary special-need 15-year-old who falls under suspicion for killing his neighbor’s dog, is almost musical in its technological presentation, which finds a way to let the audience see into the boy's brain.

"The play itself is amazing, but the story is told in an inventive, designed language that to me screams the future of theatre," Ekeberg said. "I think the type of engagement in this production is the kind that will inspire people to come to plays."

DCPA CEO Scott Shiller said the Broadway announcement, along with the forthcoming March 8 season announcement from the homegrown DCPA Theatre Company, "show how the DCPA continues to change and evolve and grow the face of the American theatre."
   
(*Note: The DCPA offered War Horse (Best Play) and The Book of Mormon (Best Musical) during the 2012-13 season, but not in the same subscription package.)

(Photo above right taken at today's announcement party at the Studio Loft theatre in The Ellie Caulkins Opera House. Photo by Olivia Jansen for the DCPA NewsCenter.)

Broadway season 2016-17


THE 2016-17 BROADWAY SEASON BY SHOW:

(Descriptions provided by DCPA)

THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA 1 - Katie Travis and Chris Mann - photo by Matthew Murphy Katie Travis as Christine Daaé and Chris Mann as The Phantom in Broadway's 'The Phantom of the Opera.' Photo by Matthew Murphy. 

THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA
phantom-operaBuell Theatre, Aug. 25-Sept. 11, 2016
Cameron Mackintosh’s spectacular new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera comes to Denver as part of a brand new North American tour. Hailed by critics as “bigger and better than ever before,” this production boasts many exciting special effects including the show’s legendary chandelier, new scenic and lighting designs, new staging and choreography. The beloved story and thrilling score will be performed by a cast and orchestra of 52, making this Phantom one of the largest productions now on tour. The Buell Theatre opened in 1991 with The Phantom of the Opera.



CabaretTour2The 2015 Broadway Cast of Roundabout Theatre Company’s 'Cabaret.' Photo by Joan Marcus.

Roundabout Theatre Company’s CABARET
cabaretBuell Theatre, Sept 27-Oct. 9, 2016
Direct from Broadway, the acclaimed masterpiece returns to Denver. As part of its 50th anniversary season, the critically acclaimed and award-winning Roundabout Theatre Company is proud to present Sam Mendes (Skyfall, American Beauty) and Rob Marshall’s (Into the Woods and Chicago, the films) Tony Award-winning production of CABARET.  Come hear some of the most memorable songs in theatre history, including “Cabaret,” “Willkommen” and “Maybe This Time.” Leave your troubles outside – life is beautiful at CABARET, John Kander, Fred Ebb and Joe Masteroff’s Tony-winning musical about following your heart while the world loses its way.


AN ACT OF GOD
an-act-of-godGarner Galleria Theatre, opening fall 2016
After conquering Broadway, the King of the Universe is coming to Denver for the first time ever! God takes human form in An Act of God, the sinfully funny and critically acclaimed new play direct from Broadway. He’s finally arrived to set the record straight…and He’s not holding back! Don’t miss this hilarious 90-minute comedy written by 13-time Emmy Award winner David Javerbaum (“The Daily Show with Jon Stewart”). The New York Times calls it it’s “deliriously funny,” and the Toronto Star said, “Thou Must See it!” Denver casting to be announced at a later date.


12 Finding Neverland. Laura Michelle Kelly (center) of the Original Broadway Cast (c)Carol Rosegg

Laura Michelle Kelly of the original Broadway cast of 'Finding Neverland.' Photo by Carol Rosegg.

FINDING NEVERLAND
finding-neverlandBuell Theatre, Dec. 20, 2016-Jan. 1, 2017
This breathtaking smash “captures the kid-at-heart” (Time magazine). Vogue cheers, “It’s a must-see you’ll remember for years to come!” Directed by visionary Tony winner Diane Paulus, Finding Neverland tells the incredible story behind one of the world’s most beloved characters: Peter Pan. With a little bit of pixie dust and a lot of faith, Playwright J.M. Barrie takes a monumental leap, leaving his old world behind for Neverland, where nothing is impossible and the wonder of childhood lasts forever. The magic of Barrie’s classic tale springs spectacularly to life in this heartwarming theatrical event. Finding Neverland is “far and away the best musical of the year” (NPR).


FUN HOME
2015 Tony Award-winning Best Musical
The Ellie, Jan. 10-22, 2017

fun-homeEvery once in a while a Broadway musical comes along that surprises, moves and excites audiences in ways only a truly landmark musical can. The “groundbreaking” “uplifting” and “exquisite” new musical Fun Home was the event of the Broadway season, receiving raves from critics and audiences alike, winning five 2015 Tony Awards including Best Musical, and making history along the way. Based on Alison Bechdel’s best-selling graphic memoir, Fun Home introduces us to Alison at three different ages, as she explores and unravels the many mysteries of her childhood. A refreshingly honest musical about seeing your parents through grown-up eyes, "Fun Home is extraordinary, a rare beauty that pumps fresh air into Broadway” (The New York Times).


An American In Paris-0894

The original Broadway cast of 'An American in Paris.' Photo by Matthew Murphy.

AN AMERICAN IN PARIS
american-in-parisBuell Theatre, March 8-19, 2017
An American in Paris
is the new Tony Award-winning musical about an American soldier, a mysterious French girl and an indomitable European city, each yearning for a new beginning in the aftermath of war. Acclaimed director/ choreographer and 2015 Tony Award winner Christopher Wheeldon brings the magic and romance of Paris into perfect harmony with unforgettable songs from George and Ira Gershwin in the show that earned more awards than any other musical in the 2014/2015 season! The New York Times raves, “An American in Paris is a triumph! Pure joy!” and the Wall Street Journal declares, “Once you’ve seen it, you’ll find it hard to settle for less ever again.” Don’t miss this stunning Broadway hit when it arrives in Denver on its first national tour.


01.CuriousIncident1127rThe original Broadway company of 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.' Photo by Joan Marcus.

THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME

2015 Tony Award-winning Best Play
The Ellie, May 30-June 18, 2017

curious-incidentThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, winner of five 2015 Tony Awards including Best Play, is coming to Denver. Hailed as “One of the most fully immersive works ever to wallop Broadway” by The New York Times, this “dazzling” (Associated Press) adaptation by Simon Stephens, adapted from Mark Haddon’s best-selling novel and directed by Tony winner Marianne Elliott. 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.


FROZEN
frozenBuell Theatre, Opening summer 2017
From Disney, the producers of The Lion King, Mary Poppins and Beauty and the Beast, comes the beloved tale of two sisters torn apart and their journey to find themselves and their way back to each other. Denver will be the first to see this highly anticipated new musical before it makes its Broadway debut. Frozen  features music and lyrics by creators of the film score Kristen Anderson-Lopez (In Transit, Up Here) and Robert Lopez (Avenue Q, The Book of Mormon, Up Here) and a book by Jennifer Lee (Wreck-It Ralph), the film’s screenwriter and director (with Chris Buck). Frozen won 2014 Oscars for Best Song (“Let It Go”) and Best Animated Feature. The design team includes lighting design by five-time Tony Award winner Natasha Katz (Aladdin, An American in Paris, The Glass Menagerie) and sound design by four-time Tony nominee Peter Hylenski (The Scottsboro Boys, Motown, After Midnight).  Two-time Tony Award winner Stephen Oremus (Avenue Q, Wicked, The Book of Mormon) is music supervisor and creates vocal and incidental arrangements. Frozen is produced by Disney Theatrical Productions, under the direction of Thomas Schumacher.


Broadway 2016-17 season subscribers may purchase these added attractions before they go on sale to the public:

HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH
hedwigBuell Theatre, Dec. 6-11, 2016
Brilliantly innovative, heartbreaking, and wickedly funny, Hedwig and the Angry Inch is the landmark American musical by John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask that is “groundbreaking and undoubtedly ahead of its time” (Entertainment Weekly). This genre-bending, fourth-wall-smashing musical sensation, with a pulsing score and electrifying performances, tells the story of one of the most unique characters to ever hit the stage. Directed by Tony Award winner Michael Mayer (Spring Awakening) and winner of four 2014 Tony Awards including Best Musical Revival, Hedwig and the Angry Inch played to record-breaking sellout crowds on Broadway and promises to take Denver by storm with what Time magazine proclaims is “the most exciting rock score written for the theatre since, oh, ever!”



Motown_Reed L Shannon as Michael Jackson (center) with the Jackson 5. MOTOWN THE MUSICAL First National Tour. (c) Joan Marcus,

MOTOWN THE MUSICAL
motownBuell Theatre, Feb 15-19, 2017
It began as one man's story…became everyone's music…and is now Broadway's musical. Motown the Musical  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.



1196_KINKY_BOOTS_TOUR

KINKY BOOTS
kinky_bootsBuell Theatre, March 21-26, 2017
Kinky Boots
is Broadway’s huge-hearted, high-heeled hit. With songs by Grammy and Tony winning pop icon Cyndi Lauper, this joyous musical celebration is about the friendships we discover, and the belief that you can change the world when you change your mind. Inspired by true events, Kinky Boots takes you from a gentlemen’s shoe factory in Northampton to the glamorous catwalks of Milan. Charlie Price is struggling to live up to his father’s expectations and continue the family business of Price & Son. With the factory’s future hanging in the balance, help arrives in the unlikely but spectacular form of Lola, a fabulous performer in need of some sturdy new stilettos. With direction and choreography by two-time Tony Award-winner Jerry Mitchell (Legally Blonde, Hairspray) and a book by Broadway legend and four-time Tony Award-winner Harvey Fierstein (La Cage Aux Folles), Kinky Boots is the winner of six Tony Awards including Best Musical, Best Score and Best Choreography.  Take a step in the right direction and discover that sometimes the best way to fit in is to stand out. “There is no show hotter than Kinky Boots!” – CBS News


THE ILLUSIONISTS
illusionistsThe Ellie, May 19-21, 2017
Direct from Broadway, the world’s best-selling magic show is coming to Denver for the first time. This mind blowing spectacular showcases the jaw dropping talents of seven of the most incredible Illusionists on earth.  The Illusionistslive from Broadway has shattered box office records across the globe and dazzles audiences of all ages with a powerful mix of the most outrageous and astonishing acts ever to be seen on stage.  This non-stop show is packed with thrilling and sophisticated magic of unprecedented proportions.


Photos from the announcement party:

2016-17 Broadway Season Announcement



A note to ticket-buyers:

Please be advised that the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, online or in person, is the only authorized online ticket provider for these productions in Denver.

2016-17 DCPA Theatre Company season announcement
Save the date for the Denver Center for the Performing Arts 2016/17 Theatre Company announcement on March 8.

2016-17 Broadway Season Sponsors
The 2016/17 Broadway season sponsors are United Airlines and Murray BMW.  Media sponsorship is provided by The Denver Post and CBS4. The DCPA supported in part by the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD). For nearly 30 years, the SCFD has enabled the DCPA to offer world-class theatre and educational programs, and has contributed to the vibrant, flourishing entertainment scene in Colorado.

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ABOUT THE EDITOR
John Moore
John Moore
Award-winning arts journalist John Moore has recently taken a groundbreaking new position as the DCPA’s Senior Arts Journalist. With The Denver Post, he was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the US by American Theatre Magazine. He is the founder of the Denver Actors Fund, a nonprofit that raises money for local artists in medical need. John is a native of Arvada and attended Regis Jesuit High School and the University of Colorado at Boulder. Follow him on Twitter @moorejohn.

DCPA is the nation’s largest not-for-profit theatre organization dedicated to creating unforgettable shared experiences through beloved Broadway musicals, world-class plays, educational programs and inspired events. We think of theatre as a spark of life — a special occasion that’s exciting, powerful and fun. Join us today and we promise an experience you won't soon forget.