Carole King musical highlights upcoming Broadway in Indy series

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The Broadway in Indianapolis 2016-17 season still has two heavy hitters to go with the tours of "Motown: The Musical" and "Kinky Boots" yet to come to town. 

But that doesn't make it too early to think about the 2017-18 season, which was being announced Thursday.

As opposed to this time around, when the higher-profile newcomers came late in the season, the next crop is front- loaded, with the local premieres happening earlier. 

Of most interest to Broadway watchers should be the first local appearance of "Beautiful—The Carole King Musical," which will be coming to town at the end of January, 

It will be preceeded by "Finding Neverland" in October and "A Christmas Story, the Musical," which will make a seasonal post-Thanksgiving stop.

The lineup will be filled out with returnees. "Les Miserables" and "Rent" come back for March and June stints, respectively. And "Wicked," not part of the subscription package this time, will fly back in April/May. All of the above, excluding "Rent," should still be Equity tours by the time they get here, which is a positive sign.

Side note: Considering how the Broadway series folks in other cities are attempting to hook subscribers the year before "Hamilton" comes to their towns–and no such promotion has been announced here—it's safe to assume that we won't be seeing that megahit in the upcoming season. (The Broadway in Indianapolis rep said he has no information yet on the matter.)

And for those up for a theatrical road trip or two, touring shows that will be visiting Cincinnati and Louisville but not Indianapolis next season include "Waitress," "Aladdin," "School of Rock," and "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas." Chicago's Broadway season includes "Something Rotten," "An American in Paris," and the new Jimmy Buffett tuner "Escape to Margaritaville."

Of course, keep in mind that all of those cities, like Indy, also have homegrown theater productions to sample. If you only go to the tours, you are missing out on a lot.  

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