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Proctors announces Broadway shows for next season

Proctors announces Broadway shows for next season

Award-winning "Hadestown" will be the opener
Proctors announces Broadway shows for next season
Damani VanRensalier and Trent Saunders perform a number from "Hadestown" at Proctors on Monday.
Photographer: Erica Miller
SCHENECTADY -- “Hadestown,” the winner of eight Tony Awards and a Grammy Award, is slated to open the 2020-2021 Broadway season at Proctors, which was announced at the theater’s Bash on Monday evening.
 
The musical, written by Anaïs Mitchell, intertwines two mythic tales: Orpheus and Eurydice and the King of Hades and his wife Persephone. It premiered on Broadway last year, scoring a Tony Award for Best Musical.
 
“I’m especially excited about ‘Hadestown’ because I loved it," said Proctors CEO Philip Morris. "I went and saw it three times. I couldn’t get over what a fabulous adaptation of a myth [it was].”
 
Actors Trent Saunders and Damani Van Rensalier performed a moving medley of songs from the musical on Monday evening, giving the packed audience a taste of the show’s many layers.

“Because it’s such an expansive experience, there are multiple genres, you don’t really know what to expect," Saunders said. "There’s the old and the new, there’s this fusion in such a spectacular way. It also is incredibly representative. It’s this female-led, female-empowering story with a multi-ethnic cast that will blow your socks off,” Saunders said.

Beyond “Hadestown” the season also includes highlights like “Mean Girls,” (Feb. 2-7, 2021) which was written by Tina Fey, “To Kill a Mockingbird,” (Dec. 29-Jan.3, 2021) and “Pretty Woman: The Musical” (Dec. 2-6).  
 
“‘Mean Girls’ delivers with immense energy, a wicked sense of humor and joyful inside-jokery,” said New York Magazine of the production, which, like the movie, follows Cady Heron, who grows up on an African savanna and relocates to suburban Illinois, where she’s unprepared to deal with a trio of charming and ruthless frenemies.  

“My goal on the Broadway [series] is to try to be at the leading edge of it," Morris said. "Of course, [we’ll] take some revivals because they’re appropriate and pertinent. Overall though, many of the shows included in the Proctors’ season are new and some are still running on Broadway, like “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

Aaron Sorkin’s adaptation of Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prizewinning novel makes its Proctors debut on Dec. 29 and is part of both Proctors’ and theREP’s subscription package. The New York Times called it “the most successful American play in Broadway history.”
 
There also will be several other Broadway classics like “My Fair Lady,” directed by Bartlett Sher, and Disney’s “The Lion King,” directed by Julie Taymor.

Tshidi Manye, who plays Rafiki and has been with the show for 19 years, said that there’s a reason the show has been so successful since it premiered in 1997.

“I know when people think of ‘The Lion King’ they think of animals," Manye said. "They think of how animals [will] talk before they think of the bigger picture, the story. We’re talking about something that’s happening in everyday lives, even though we’re playing it with animals, it’s a story that everybody can receive. Everybody can relate to.”
 
Before “The Lion King” comes to town, “Aida,” a Grammy and Tony Award-winning musical by Elton John, Tim Rice and a revised book by David Henry Hwang, will head to the stage on March 16-21, 2021.

TheREP’s 2020-2021 season, which will be the first year of programming at theREP’s new facility at 251 North Pearl St. in Albany, was also announced on Monday. Highlighting the season is a world premiere of “The Way North,” (Jan. 22-Feb. 14, 2021). The production follows Freddy Hansen, a retired sheriff who must decide whether to blindly follow the law or to follow her heart.

The season kicks off on Sept. 25 with a production that delves into Albany’s Democratic machine, “The True.” Then theREP will bring the classic story of “The Wizard of Oz” to the stage from Nov. 20-Dec. 27, 2021. “Fly,” which illustrates the experiences of the Tuskegee Airmen, will run from April 9-May 2, 2021. “Jersey Boys” finishes out the season from July 9-Aug. 8, 2021.

According to Paul Lamar, a theater reviewer for The Gazette, there’s a lot to look forward to in the coming months.

“A lot of these shows are really about transformation and ‘the other.’ For example, ‘My Fair Lady’ and ‘Pretty Woman’ they’re about those kinds of transformations. ‘The Way North’ and ‘Fly’ are clearly about ‘the other’ and how we are transformed when we encounter ‘the other,’” Lamar said.

His best bets for the season ahead are “Fly,” “The Wizard of Oz” and “The Way North” at theREP, along with “To Kill a Mockingbird,” “Mean Girls” and both musicals featuring music by Elton John; “Aida” and Disney’s “The Lion King.”  

Tickets for the 2020-2021 Key Private Bank Broadway Series go on sale at 10 a.m. today at the Proctors Box Office and by phone, 518-346-6204. Subscription prices for the series at Proctors run from $194-$526 and $145-$353 at theREP. For more information visit protors.org.

Here’s the full Key Private Bank Broadway Series schedule:
Oct. 13-18 - “Hadestown”
Nov. 10-15 - “My Fair Lady”
Dec. 2-6 - “Pretty Woman: The Musical”
Dec. 29-Jan. 3, 2021 - “To Kill a Mockingbird”
Feb. 2-7, 2021 - “Mean Girls”
March 16-21, 2021 - “Aida”
March 30-April 4, 2021 - “The Prom”
April 15- May 2, 2021 - Disney’s “The Lion King”

2020-2021 season at the Capital Repertory Theatre
Sept. 25-Oct. 18 - “The True”
Nov. 20-Dec. 27 - “The Wizard of Oz”
Jan. 22-Feb. 14, 2021 - “The Way North”
Apr. 9-May 2, 2021 - “Fly”
Jul. 9-Aug. 8, 2021 - “Jersey Boys”

 
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