If you want really, really good tickets to see “Wicked” in the fall of 2009, you might have to sit through “Mamma Mia!” again this fall. For musical theater lovers, that shouldn’t be much of a problem.
At least that’s what Philip Morris and the staff at Proctors are hoping, and based on how the show did in Schenectady in the fall of 2006, it’s hard to argue with them.
“The people in this community loved ‘Mamma Mia,’ and we’re thrilled to get it back,” said Morris, who announced the 2008-2009 season Thursday and also revealed that “Wicked,” the winner of three Tonys in 2004, will highlight the theater’s 2009-2010 season.
“I’m delighted with our season next year, and it’s really big to get ‘Wicked’ in the fall of 2009. This is all part of what we promised to deliver when we built our bigger stage three years ago.”
“Mamma Mia” opens the season on Oct. 28 and will run through Nov. 2, the first of five musical theater hits that make up the Key Private Bank Broadway Series. Following “Mamma Mia,” a 2001 Broadway smash based on the music of ABBA, will be a production of “Legally Blonde: The Musical,” Nov. 25-30.
Next up will be “Avenue Q” Jan. 20-25, “Happy Days: A New Musical” Feb. 17-22, and “The Rat Pack: Live at the Sands” March 10-15.
Benefit to subscribers
Those people who subscribe to the 2008-2009 season will be first in line to get tickets for “Wicked.”
“If we’re going to bring shows like this to the area, we’re looking for a commitment from our audience,” said Morris. “They’ve been great, and we’re trying to make things easier and better, and at the same time bigger and stronger. When we brought ‘Phantom’ in [in Febrary 2006] for four weeks it was a fantastic success. We’re just doing the five one-week runs next season, but ‘Wicked’ will be for the month, and we’re convinced our audience will love it. It’s all about trying to build a stronger base of subscribers and we think we can do it. If we’re going to play in this arena, we need our audience to play along with us.”
Subscribers to the 2008-2009 season won’t only get the first opportunity to buy great seats for “Wicked,” they’ll also have a chance to exchange one of their 2008-2009 Broadway-series tickets for any other show.
“I think it’s a great lineup, but if there’s something up there you don’t like, no problem,” said Morris. “You can replace it with anything else. We’re going to be announcing our entire season in May, and if there’s something in there you want to see, you just let us know and we can move things around.”
“Happy Days: A New Musical” and “The Rat Pack: Live at the Sands” are two shots that seem destined for Broadway but haven’t got there yet. “Happy Days,” a collaboration between Garry Marshall and Paul Williams, opened in Los Angeles in 2006 to rave reviews and has been touring the country ever since.
“The Rat Pack,” meanwhile, which focuses on the Las Vegas lounge acts of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and their circle of friends, was a huge smash in London’s West End in 2003 and played for four years in that country before beginning its U.S. tour in 2007. The play is set in 1963 and stars Stephen Triffit as Sinatra, Nigel Casey as Dean Martin and David Hayes as Sammy Davis Jr.
“Legally Blonde: The Musical,” which opened on Broadway in April of 2007, is a show that Proctors is also producing.
“We invested in the show on Broadway and we invested in the national tour,” said Morris. “Our name is on the bottom line, along with 55 other theaters around the country, and we’re very happy to be one of the first theaters to present it around the country.
Proctors will officially announce its complete lineup for 2008-2009 on May 15. For more information call the Proctors Box Office at 346-6204.
Here is the Key Private Bank Broadway Series schedule:
Oct. 28-Nov. 2 — “Mamma Mia,” based on the songs of the Swedish rock group ABBA, is an enchanting tale of love, laughter and relationship.
Nov. 25-30 — “Legally Blonde: The Musical,” still going strong on Broadway, is based on the movie about sorority star Elle Woods and her adventures at Harvard Law.
Jan. 20-25, 2009 — “Avenue Q,” performed by a combination of people and puppets, won the 2004 Tony Award for Best Musical. The show is for adult audiences.
Feb. 17-22, 2009 — “Happy Days: A New Musical,” written by Garry Marshall and Paul Williams, is based on the popular TV show about Richie, Potsie, Ralph Malph and the king of cool, “The Fonz.”
March 10-15 — “The Rat Pack: Live at the Sands,” the story of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and their friends performing in Las Vegas, opened in January 2000 in London’s West End and began touring nationally in the United States in October 2006.