Scoop: 09/10 B'way in Indy season

June 1, 2009
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"Wicked" hasn't yet opened at the Murat Theatre, but that doesn't mean we can't look ahead to what's happening in the about-to-be-announced 2009/2010 Broadway in Indianapolis series -- which contains four first-time-in-Indy musicals (and doesn't really get rolling until December).

--"The Color Purple." Oprah Winfrey's production of the musical based on Alice Walker's bestseller. Dec. 29-Jan. 3.

--"101 Dalmations: The Musical." You know the story, but how the heck are they going to put it on stage? A team of top theatrical talent is figuring that out. The new show is hitting the road rather than going right to Broadway. March 9-14.

--"A Chorus Line." On the heels of its recent New York revival, the "What I Did for Love" musical returns. April 20-25.

--"Legally Blonde." Oh, my God, you guys, it's the totally pinked out musical version of the hit. If your daughters already know the tunes, that's because the Broadway production was aired on MTV. May 4-9.

--"Jersey Boys." The best VH1 "Behind the Music" that you are ever likely to see on stage should be the big draw of the season. June 9-July 3.

There will also be outside-the-subscription revisits from "Chicago" and "Mamma Mia!"

Your thoughts?
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  • The Broadway Series. Big ticket prices for shows like Wicked make sense (Union talent, etc.), but has anyone else noticed that that the prices never drop for shows like 101 Dalmations . . . which won't ever see Broadway . . . . or for the shows where they pay non-union actors much less than their Equity counterparts?????
  • Not sure about the single tickets, but the prices for subscription tickets do differ between the big shows and the smaller ones. Not as much as you might think they should, but there is a difference.
  • What's the deal with Indianapolis and Spring Awakening? It's been in St. Louis, is opening in Louisville tonight and will be in Chicago in August. Are we too backward to handle a slightly controversial show?
  • No, we're too cheap to pay for season tickets - we're a 2nd or 3rd tier city - always have been, for Broadway series....we can't sell as well as other cities. (Which is why Avenue Q was a year later than in Cindy and Louisville.) It will get here, just later.

    They plan their business on the seasons, because the money comes in in advance....it's a safer bet, especially in this economy. And we are notoriously a bad season ticket city. So then they have to gamble on whether we'll buy single tickets when it's finally in town.

    In general, shows get to Cincinnati a year or more before we see them...even Columbus, OH and Louisville, KY sell better than we do, and consequently get better seasons. Take a look at their 09-10 seasons. It's likely I'll buy Cincinnati's season this year....you can swap between cities, so anything that is the same can be swapped to Indy to save the drive, but the shows themselves are better, and the prices are often better (6 show season in Cincy versus a 5 show season in Indy).
  • I saw The Color Purple in Chicago and was amazed by it -- glad to see it coming here.
  • Columbus Broadway series:

    Cirque Dreams: Illuminations
    Young Frankenstein
    In the Heights
    The 39 Steps
    Dreamgirls
    101 Dalmations

    Cincy Broadway season:

    White Christmas
    Spring Awakening
    The 39 Steps
    Mary Poppins
    Legally Blonde
    Dreamgirls

    Louisville Broadway season:

    A Chorus Line
    White Christmas
    The 39 Steps
    Legally Blonde
    Jersey Boys
  • FYI: 101 Dalmations is a new production with music by Styx's Dennis DeYoung. It's being directed by Tony-winner Jerry Zaks.
  • I won two tickets to any Live Nation this year (2009). Unfortunately, there's not much showing the rest of the year. I've already got a row 2 ticket for Wicked. Wonder if I can get my husband to go see The Color Purple. I'd love to carry it over into 2010 and buy a couple extra tickets for the kids to see 101 dalmations.
  • The other thing to point out about the Cincy and other cities' series is that Color Purple was in Cincy 2 years ago, along with Jersey Boys, and Chorus Line was there this year.

    The Avenue Q tour we saw this fall was in Louisville last spring.

    Columbus and Chicago are currently on the very short list of theaters where you can see In The Heights or Young Frankenstein (just off of Broadway or still on Broadway, depending on which one).

    Like I said - Indy gets them....eventually...but the other cities get them sooner. Also, prices are good in Cincy - $244 is balcony seats for all 6 shows, and $389 gets you loge or main floor. For $312, you're in the back of the main floor at Clowes or the balcony at the Murat - and only 5 shows.
  • Since I have theatre-loving friends in London, New York and Chicago, I've already seen many of these shows and can offer some informal reviews.

    I found Mary Poppins (on Broadway) totally delightful and heartwarming. See it with Ashley Brown, if possible. She is extraordinary.

    The 39 Steps is clever and fun - and especially amusing if you're a Hitchcock fan.

    I saw Jersey Boys last fall in Chicago and LOVED it far more than expected. Even 'tho the music was (a bit) before my time, I recognized most of the songs. The boys' language isn't pretty, but I would nonetheless classify this show as a must see.

    I saw Legally Blonde in Chicago two weeks ago. Admittedly, I expected it to be a bit silly and juvenile, and I was VERY surprised. The choreography was extraordinary, the vocal performances largely strong, and the humor surprisingly sophisticated. My aunt and I found it delightful!

    A Chorus Line was the first or second Broadway show I saw in New York City in the mid-70s. It may be the show most responsible for my love of theatre today.

    And I've seen Wicked three times. The story and music of this show have probably lingered in my mind far longer than any other show with the exception of Phantom...
  • One more recommendation: If you have an opportunity to see the Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winning play August: Osage County, RUN don't walk to see it. It is L-O-N-G and angst-ridden and the most powerful play you will ever see...
  • I went to see WICKED opening night and I think I have found my new favorite pasttime: MUSICALS! I am looking into season tickets. If Mamma Mia and Chicago come here, are there any ways to add them to season tickts? Should I wait until the season starts to see if better offers are made on packages? Can anyone help a newbie?
  • Here in Cleveland, we'll be getting Wicked for the 3rd time this fall, have the 2nd stop on the Mary Poppins tour next month - 24 performances - and our Jersey Boys 5 week run, last Summer, set the record for largest grossing single week of that production of that show anywhere in the world, as of that date - some $1.8MM - and sold out most of the rest of the run. Spring Awakening and Legally Blonde have come and gone months ago... and this year we'll get the 3rd stop on the Young Frankenstein tour - as well as In The Heights, Xanadu and others..

    At the same time, members of the Chorus Line cast - here last October - got mugged at gunpoint in our downtown - something not likely to happen in Indy anytime soon... Perhaps you should be glad you have a vibrant and safe downtown, regardless of how well-developed a theater scene a town like Cleveland has (some 16,000 Broadway season subscribers even in a slow economy - essentially a full week of sold out performances of any 2 week minimum run we get here - even in a bad year... In the best years, Cleveland will have up to 24,000 subscribers).

    Cincinnati is the next tier down but a good theater tour town - and Columbus (about 6,000 subscribers this year) - further down the list - but has a nice year lined up. I seem to recall Indy had 3,000 - 5,000 subscribers in a good year - though the same size as Columbus, 2/3 the size of Cincinnati and half the size of Cleveland metro.

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