Adjusting its schedule but once more to the challenges of the continuing coronavirus pandemic, the Orpheum has introduced new dates for “Cats,” “Hamilton,” “The Lion King” and the other shows booked for what initially was to be the theater’s 2020 Broadway Season.
The season now begins in March, with “Mean Girls,” and continues with seven other shows into early 2022, when “Jesus Christ Superstar” ends its run.
“Since our initial season announcement in March, the world has continued to change,” mentioned Brett Batterson, president of the Orpheum Theatre Group, in an announcement. “It isn’t a query of if we can have Broadway once more; it’s merely a matter of when.”
Arguably the annual spotlight of the historic Downtown theater’s annual schedule, the so-called “Broadway Season” regularly brings touring musicals and stage plays to the Orpheum, ranging from popular revivals (“Cats”) to blockbusters (“Hamilton”) to acclaimed new work (“Hadestown”).
“Hamilton” is among the show’s on the Orpheum’s adjusted “Broadway Season” schedule. (Photo: Orpheum)
The newest Broadway Season had been scheduled to begin this month with the Jimmy Buffett-inspired “Escape to Margaritaville” and to end in August 2021, with “Hamilton.” The scheduled was adjusted in May within the wake of COVID-19 issues, so Wednesday’s announcement represents a second revision of the unique slate.
Although the dates have modified, nevertheless, all eight shows initially introduced for the season stay on the schedule, though the order has been shuffled.
Here is the present Orpheum Broadway Season schedule:
“Mean Girls,” March 9-14. A 2018 Broadway musical, impressed by the 2004 movie that starred Lindsay Lohan as a 16-year-old pupil negotiating the social cliques of her new highschool.
“Escape to Margaritaville,” April 13-18. A bartender falls for a vacationer on this 2017 musical, which mixes authentic songs with such “Parrothead” favorites as “Cheeseburger in Paradise,” “Son of a Son of a Sailor,” “A Pirate Looks at Forty” and “Volcano” (co-written by Memphis’ personal Keith Sykes).
“Hadestown,” May Four-9. Winner of eight Tonys in 2019, this love story impressed by Greek myths involving Orpheus, Persephone and other characters takes viewers on what’s described as a “hell-raising journey” — actually.
“Hamilton,” July 13-25. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s smash hit about Alexander Hamilton did not simply win 11 Tonys in 2016, it additionally gained the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The play offered out each accessible ticket when it made its Orpheum debut during a three-week run in 2019.
“The Band’s Visit,” Aug. 24-29. Inspired by a 2007 Israeli film, this tale of an Egyptian police orchestra stranded in an isolated desert town in Israel won 11 of its 12 Tony Award nominations in 2018.
“Disney’s The Lion King,” Nov. 10-28, 2021. One of the most cleverly designed of all stage shows, this Orpheum crowd-pleaser (it previously sold out its runs here in 2003, 2007 and 2015) uses spectacular stagecraft to evoke the original 1994 film’s animated world of lions, hyenas, giraffes and other African animals. Winner of the Tony Award for Best Musical in 1998, the musical should draw new fans thanks to last year’s digitally animated movie remake.
“Cats,” Dec. 1-5, 2021. Another Andrew Lloyd Webber hit, inspired by “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats,” a whimsical (not to mention jellicle) collection of verses released by T.S. Eliot in 1939.
“Jesus Christ Superstar,” Dec. 28, 2021 to Jan. 2, 2022. Arriving days after Christmas, the Tim Rice-Andrew Lloyd Webber musical this year celebrates the 50th anniversary of the 1970 record album that preceded the stage adaptation by one year.
The Broadway Season readjustment comes at a challenging time for the Orpheum, which recently has developed some innovative ways to generate revenue in a year of canceled concerts and plays. These include an onstage min-golf course, and the launching of “Onward,” an ambitious campaign devoted to “Funding the Orpheum’s Future.”
Previously purchased tickets are good for the rescheduled dates. For season tickets and more information, visit Orpheum-Memphis.com.
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