Utah Announces Its 2012-3 Touring Musical Line-up, With 'Donny and Marie Christmas In Salt Lake' as Part of Special Event Slate
Salt Lake Tribune
by Ben Fulton
March 15, 2012
Donny and Marie singing Christmas carols wowed New Yorkers on Broadway two years ago, and now the Osmonds are bringing their holiday spirit back to their home state.
"Donny and Marie Christmas in Salt Lake," which will play at Abravanel Hall, is one of the special events for sale to Broadway Across America — Utah subscribers. For the 2012-13 season, the series will present five nationally touring musicals, including the 2006 Tony Award-winning "Jersey Boys."
2012-13: Broadway Across America — Utah
When » Season ticket packages on sale April 30; individual tickets available at a later date.
Nov. 13-19 » “The Addams Family”
Feb. 5-10 » “Dreamgirls”
Feb. 26-March 3 » “Shrek The Musical”
June 5-23 » “Jersey Boys”
Aug. 11-Sept. 12 » “West Side Story”
Also » Special events include “Donny and Marie Christmas in Salt Lake,” at Dec. 26-29 at Abravanel Hall; “A Kurt Bestor Christmas,” Dec. 13-15 at Abravanel Hall; “Hair,” Jan. 19 and 20 at Kingsbury Hall; “Cesar Milan Dog Whisperer,” Jan. 25 at Abravanel Hall; and “Lord of the Dance, April 2, at Kingsbury Hall.
Where » Capitol Theatre, 50 W. 200 South, Salt Lake City;
Kingsbury Hall, 1395 Presidents Circle, Salt Lake City;
Abravanel Hall, 123 West South Temple, Salt Lake City.
Info » Ticket packages start at $187.25 (plus service and handling fees); visit BroadwayInUtah.com for more information.
While the Osmond brother and sister draw continual interest in their native state, the show itself is of national caliber, having proved itself in the markets of New York City, Chicago, Detroit and Toronto, said John Ballard, president of MagicSpace Entertainment, the Broadway presenting company. "It’s not just ‘local kids make good,’" Ballard said. "This is a big deal."
Booking touring theater productions comes and goes in cycles, Ballard said. Securing a show’s run depends on the unpredictable variables of price, the touring schedules of productions playing in larger markets, and the availability and size of local performing venues. "We’ve been very lucky this year," Ballard said. "In relation to other years, putting together this lineup was quite smooth. I’ve learned over the years that there’s a lot promoters have no control over."
The season kicks off in November with "The Addams Family," the musical comedy that opened in 2010 on Broadway, based on the dark humor of the 1960s-era television series created by Charles Addams. The musical won critics awards for its set design and the Broadway.com Audience Award for Favorite New Broadway Musical.
Coming in February is "Dreamgirls," the Tony- and Academy Award-winning 1981 musical about the tumultuous fortunes of an early-1960s, all-girl singing group from Chicago, inspired by the real-life story of The Supremes. The musical was adapted to a 2006 film, starring Jamie Foxx, Beyoncé Knowles and Jennifer Hudson, who won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.
Later in the month will be "Shrek The Musical," based on the animated film series (adapted from William Steig’s 1990 book Shrek!) about the adventures of an ogre, donkey and princess.
Perhaps the most glittering jewel in the lineup is the first national tour of the jukebox musical "Jersey Boys," the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. The group rose from hard-scrabble, blue-collar, Italian-American beginnings to world fame and 175 million in record sales. "Of all the shows we have next season, ‘Jersey Boys’ will probably be the most fun, with ‘Dreamgirls’ the one I probably like the most," Ballard said.
Rick Elice, who co-wrote the book for "Jersey Boys" with Marshall Brickman, speaking by phone from New York City, said the touring production is the genuine Broadway experience. "[Valli and The Four Seasons] were never written about because they came from the wrong side of the river and had no glamour quotient," Elice said. "The title tells you it’s about a specific place and specific people, but it’s really a great American story about family and triumph over adversity."
In the summer, MagicSpace is presenting the granddaddy of American musical classics, Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim’s "West Side Story." The new touring revival is a bilingual show, spoken partly in Spanish authentic to the Puerto Rican characters, with even some of the Sondheim lyrics translated. The changes were approved by Arthur Laurents, who wrote the original book for the musical based loosely on William Shakespeare’s "Romeo and Juliet."
The biggest disappointment of the season was not being able to book the acclaimed "War Horse," Ballard said. Magic Space instead booked the show’s national tour opening June 7-9 at the Morrison Center in Boise. The show about a young English boy’s horse sent to the French and German battlefields of World War I was adapted from a 1982 children’s book by British author Michael Morpurgo, became a London and Broadway stage play, then was further adapted into a 2011 film by director Stephen Spielberg. The stage play uses life-size, and lifelike, puppet technology to portray its horse characters.