“Kinky Boots” is coming to Proctors, and while that may have been the big news at Thursday night’s Key Private Bank Broadway Series Bash, the 2013 Tony Award winner for Best Musical is still more than a year away.
“Newsies,” meanwhile, is just around the corner.
The winner of two Tonys in 2012 (it lost Best Musical to “Once”), “Newsies” will be at Proctors Oct. 11-17 to kick off the 2014-15 Broadway Series. Nominated for eight Tonys, “Newsies,” like “Kinky Boots,” is still running on Broadway. “Kinky Boots,” winner of six Tonys in all, will come to Proctors June 16-21 in 2015.
“We’re so pleased to present these amazing shows to the community,” said Proctors CEO Philip Morris. “There will be magic on our stage.”
Along with the two new shows, Proctors’ schedule includes the return of “Jersey Boys,” as well as two of the biggest Broadway musicals in history, “Annie” and “Pippin.” Rounding out the season will be “The Illusionists: Witness the Impossible.”
The production of “Newsies” at Proctors, which was announced last November, will be the launch of the show’s North American tour. Thursday night, two stars of the current Broadway production, Liana Hunt and Brendan Stimson, showed up to give a large crowd a glimpse of what to expect in six months.
Hunt, who plays Katherine, talked about the show with Bash emcee Karen Tararache of Time Warner Cable, and then sang one of her solos, “Watch What Happens.” She was joined on stage by Stimson, who is serving as an understudy for the lead character of Jack Kelly. The pair chatted with the audience and then sang their duet, “Something to Believe In.”
Representatives from “Pippin” and “Jersey Boys” also performed Thursday night, while one of the stars of “Annie,” the dog named Sandy, did some tricks for the crowd with his trainer, Bill Berloni.
Also performing tricks were Dan Sperry and Kevin James, two performers with “The Illusionists.” James, with the help of a young Proctors patron named Mary Kate Musto, got one of the biggest rounds of applause of the night with his magic act.
But Morris saved his biggest announcement, “Kinky Boots,” for last. Nominated for 11 Tonys, “Kinky Boots” opened on Broadway in April 2013. The show, written by Harvey Fierstein with a Tony Award-winning score by Cyndi Lauper, tells the story of a struggling shoe factory owner who is aided in his endeavor to turn around the business by a dancer named Lola. Jerry Mitchell, who has been nominated for eight Tony Awards in the category of Best Choreography, was the director and choreographer of “Kinky Boots” on Broadway.
Based on the 2005 British film of the same name, “Kinky Boots” was originally inspired by a 1999 BBC documentary about Steve Pateman. Fighting to keep his family’s shoe factory in business, Pateman — the character’s name is Charlie Price in the musical — decided to produce fetish footwear for men. When Tony Award-winning producer Daryl Roth saw the film at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival she thought it would make a great musical.
“Newsies,” meanwhile, is set in New York City and tells the story of the Newsboys Strike of 1899. The show has music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Jack Feldman and a book by Fierstein. It is currently still running on Broadway.
Following “Newsies,” the Broadway package resumes in 2015 with the return of the “Jersey Boys.” Set for Jan. 13-18, the four-time Tony Award winner from 2005, including Best Musical, “Jersey Boys” was in Schenectady in the winter of 2012. The show tells the story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons.
Next up is “The Illusionists: Witness the Impossible” from Feb. 17-22, a magic show that brings together seven of the world’s top illusionists on one stage to perform various feats of illusion, levitation, mind-reading, escape and disappearing acts.
On March 3-8, “Annie” will come to town. This brand-new production is being directed by Martin Chamin, who wrote the lyrics for the original show in 1977. “Annie” won seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical.
“Pippin,” originally produced on Broadway in 1972 when it won five Tony Awards and was nominated for 11, also won the Tony for Best Revival in 2013. The show, which runs from May 26-31 in 2015, tells the story of a young prince on a death-defying journey to find meaning in his existence.