Broadway Comes to Segerstrom Center

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Lila Coogan as Anya in the national tour of “Anastasia,” coming for the first time ever this year to Segerstrom Center for the Arts.
— Photo by Matthew Murphy/MurphyMade ©

Subscriptions and single tickets are now on sale for the Segerstrom Center for the Arts 2019-20 Broadway and Curtain Call series.

The shows run the gamut from new productions to classic blockbusters and Tony Award winners.

Coming to the Center for the first time are “Anastasia,” “A Bronx Tale,” “Mean Girls,” “The Band’s Visit” and “Escape to Margaritaville.”

Returning favorites include “Miss Saigon,” “Les Misérables,” “Blue Man Group,” “Chicago” and the beloved Disney musical “The Lion King.”

Kicking off the 2019-20 Broadway Series on Oct. 1 is “Miss Saigon,” which debuted in London 30 years ago yet is as timely as ever.

Performers in “Miss Saigon” tour, coming to Segerstrom Center next month.
— Photo by Matthew Murphy/MurphyMade ©

This “new” production, from the creators of “Les Miserables,” which comes to Segerstrom Center next May, is the story of a young Vietnamese woman named Kim who is orphaned by war and forced to work in a bar run by a notorious character known as the Engineer. There she meets and falls in love with an American G.I., an encounter that will change their lives forever.

Featuring a cast of 42 and several epic show-stopping moments, from the helicopter to the production number “American Dream.”

Next is “Anastasia” Nov. 5–17 from the Tony Award-winning creators of the Broadway classic “Ragtime.”

This show transports audiences from the twilight of the Russian Empire to the euphoria of Paris in the 1920s, as a brave young woman sets out to discover the mystery of her past. Pursued by a ruthless Soviet officer determined to silence her, Anya enlists the aid of a dashing conman and a lovable ex-aristocrat. Together, they embark on an epic adventure to help her find home, love, and family.

Victoria Bingham as little Anastasia and Joy Franz as Dowager Empress in the national Tour of “Anastasia.”
— Photo by Evan Zimmerman/MurphyMade ©

The book is by playwright Terrence McNally, who wrote the book for “Kiss of the Spider Woman” and “Master Class.”

“A Bronx Tale” comes to Segerstrom Center March 10–22.

Three years ago, Academy Award nominee Chazz Palminteri teamed up with Academy Award winner Robert De Niro, Tony Award winner Jerry Zaks and Tony Award nominee Sergio Trujillo to create this streetwise musical based on Palminteri’s true life story.

The show takes you to the Bronx in the 1960s, where a young man is caught between the father he loves and the mob boss he’d love to be. High-energy dance numbers and doo-wop tunes come courtesy of Academy Award and Tony Award-winner Alan Menken (“Beauty and the Beast”) and Tony Award-nominee Glenn Slater (“Love Never Dies”).

And then there’s the classic “Les Miserables” May 5–17.

This is another “new” production presented by Cameron Mackintosh, direct from an acclaimed two-and-a-half-year return to Broadway. Featuring the songs “I Dreamed A Dream,” “On My Own,” “Stars,” “Bring Him Home,” and “One Day More,” this epic story has become one of the most celebrated musicals in theatrical history.

The company of “Les Misérables” performs
“Master House” with J Anthony Crane and Allison Guinn.
— Photo by Matthew Murphy/MurphyMade ©

The show features a new staging, which is not too much unlike the old staging, minus the large rotating stage. However, the new staging retains the emotional impact of the original.

“Mean Girls” arrives June 16–28, and is the hilarious hit musical from an award-winning creative team, including writer and actress Tina Fey (“30 Rock,” “SNL”), composer Jeff Richmond (“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”), lyricist Nell Benjamin (“Legally Blonde”) and director Casey Nicholaw (“The Book of Mormon”).

As the season starts to wrap up next year, “The Band’s Visit” makes its Segerstom Center debut from Aug. 13–23.

The show won 10 Tony Awards including best musical, making it one of the most celebrated musicals ever. The plot revolves around an Israeli desert town where every day feels the same, until something different is suddenly in the air. Dina, the local café owner, had long resigned her desires for romance to daydreaming about exotic films and music from her youth. When a band of Egyptian musicians shows up lost at her café, she and her fellow locals take them in for the night. Under the spell of the night sky, their lives intertwine in unexpected ways, and this once sleepy town begins to wake up.

The 2019-20 Encore series that starts in January is also impressive, with three shows on tap: “Blue Man Group,” “Escape to Margaritaville” and “Chicago.”

Blue Man Group performances are euphoric celebrations of human connection through art, music, comedy and non-verbal communication. Their live shows virtually defy description.

“Escape to Margaritaville” is a musical comedy featuring both original songs and the most-loved Jimmy Buffett classics, including “Fins,” “Volcano,” “Cheeseburger in Paradise” and many more.

Cheetah and giraffes characters during the opening number for “Lion King,” scheduled to close the 2019-20 season at the Segerstrom Center.
— Photo by Joan Marcus/Disney ©

“Chicago” is the winner of six Tony Awards and is the longest-running American musical in Broadway history. The show delivers one show-stopping song after another. It was originally directed by Bob Fosse, and his distinctive choreographic style remains with the show.

And finally, Sept. 2–27, 2020, is Disney’s “The Lion King.” More than 95 million people around the world have experienced the show during its lifetime. Winner of six Tony Awards, including best musical, this landmark musical offers a memorable story, unforgettable songs and stunning visuals.

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