The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall is thrilled to announce its 50th Anniversary Season Subscription Series, featuring an inspiring collection of Broadway performances in the 2019/20 season.
Mary Bensel, Executive Director of the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, expresses her enthusiasm for the upcoming season: “I am proud to announce the Subscription Series for our Golden 50th Anniversary Season at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. The 2019-2020 Broadway Series features 10 shows with 7 Sarasota premieres. These include the Sarasota premieres of the critically-acclaimed musicals, Come From Away, based on actual events that took place on September 11, 2001 and the days that followed, and Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. Both shows are winners of Tony and Drama Desk Awards and immediately gained sell-out audiences following their Broadway openings. Also included in our lineup of Sarasota premieres are Waitress, A Bronx Tale and An American in Paris. In addition, we are thrilled to bring back to our audiences two blockbuster hits, The Book of Mormon and Les Misérables. Please join us in celebrating our 50th Anniversary Season!”
The Broadway Series includes:
Escape to Margaritaville
A change in attitude, is headed to your latitude. Welcome to Margaritaville, where people come to get away from it all — and stay to find something they never expected. Get ready for a hilarious and heartwarming musical with the most unforgettable songs from one of music’s greatest storytellers – Jimmy Buffett. USA Today calls it “A little slice of paradise!” and Entertainment Weekly raves, “It will knock your flip-flops off!” So don’t let the party start without you. Jimmy Buffett’s Escape To Margaritaville is more than a musical. Set your mind on island time.
Beautiful – The Carole King Musical
The Carole King Musical tells the inspiring true story of King’s remarkable rise to stardom, from being part of a hit songwriting team with her husband Gerry Goffin, to her relationship with fellow writers and best friends Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann, to becoming one of the most successful solo acts in popular music history. Along the way, she made more than beautiful music, she wrote the soundtrack to a generation.
Featuring a stunning array of beloved songs written by Gerry Goffin/Carole King and Barry Mann/Cynthia Weil, including “I Feel The Earth Move,” “One Fine Day,” “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” “You’ve Got A Friend” and the title song. Beautiful has a book by and Tony Award-nominee and Academy Award-nominated writer Douglas McGrath, direction by Marc Bruni, choreography by Josh Prince, and took home two 2014 Tony Awards and a 2015 Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album. Beautiful is currently playing to huge crowds at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre on Broadway.
Brought to life by a groundbreaking all-female creative team, this irresistible new hit features original music and lyrics by six-time Grammy nominee Sara Bareilles (“Brave,” “Love Song”), a book by acclaimed screenwriter Jessie Nelson (I Am Sam), choreography by Lorin Latarro (Les Dangereuse Liasons, Waiting for Godot) and direction by Tony Award winner Diane Paulus (Hair, Pippin, Finding Neverland).
Inspired by Adrienne Shelly’s beloved film, Waitress tells the story of Jenna – a waitress and expert pie maker. Jenna dreams of a way out of her small town and loveless marriage. A baking contest in a nearby county and the town’s new doctor may offer her a chance at a fresh start, while her fellow waitresses offer their own recipes for happiness. But Jenna must summon the strength and courage to rebuild her own life.
“Waitress is a little slice of heaven!” says Entertainment Weekly and “a monumental contribution to Broadway!” according to Marie Claire. Don’t miss this uplifting musical celebrating friendship, motherhood, and the magic of a well-made pie.
The soldiers came home to a new America. They made the music that inspired the nation.
From Andy Blankenbuehler, winner of the 2017 Tony Award for Best Choreography and the 2016 Tony Award for Hamilton, comes Bandstand—the new musical that explodes with the most high-octane, heart-stopping and best dancing on stage today.
In 1945, as America’s soldiers come home to ticker-tape parades and overjoyed families, Private First Class Donny Novitski, singer and songwriter, returns to rebuild his life with only the shirt on his back and a dream in his heart.
When NBC announces a national competition to find the nation’s next great musical superstars, inspiration strikes! Donny joins forces with a motley group of fellow veterans, each an astonishing musician. Together, they form a band unlike any the nation has ever seen. Along the way, they discover the power of music to face the impossible, find their voice and finally feel like they have a place to call home.
An American in Paris
In post war Paris, romance is in the air and youthful optimism reigns. Gershwin’s soaring melodies are matched by gravity-defying dance as the world rediscovers the power of love in this breathtaking production. Hoping to start a new life, World War II veteran Jerry Mulligan chooses newly-liberated Paris as the place to make a name for himself as a painter. But Jerry’s life becomes complicated when he meets Lise, a young Parisian shop girl with her own secret – and realizes he is not her only suitor. Winner of four Tony Awards and inspired by the Academy Award-winning film, this exquisite production features your favorite Gershwin songs including “I Got Rhythm,” “Liza,” “’S Wonderful,” “But Not for Me,” and “Stairway to Paradise.”
A Bronx Tale
Broadway’s hit crowd-pleaser takes you to the stoops of 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. Bursting with high-energy dance numbers and original doo-wop tunes from Alan Menken, the songwriter of Beauty and the Beast, A Bronx Tale is an unforgettable story of loyalty and family. Based on Academy Award nominee Chazz Palminteri’s story, this streetwise musical has The New York Times hailing it as “A Critics’ Pick! The kind of tale that makes you laugh and cry.”
Come From Away
April 28-May 3
The true story of the small town that welcomed the world. Broadway’s Come From Away has won Best Musical all across North America!
The New York Times Critics’ Pick takes you into the heart of the remarkable true story of 7,000 stranded passengers and the small town in Newfoundland that welcomed them. Cultures clashed and nerves ran high, but uneasiness turned into trust, music soared into the night, and gratitude grew into enduring friendships.
Don’t miss this breathtaking new musical written by Tony nominees Irene Sankoff and David Hein, and helmed by this year’s Tony-winning Best Director, Christopher Ashley. Newsweek cheers, “It takes you to a place you never want to leave!”
ON 9/11, the world stopped. On 9/12, their stories moved us all.
These 3 additional show are return favorites to Sarasota:
The Book of Mormon
This outrageous musical comedy follows the misadventures of a mismatched pair of missionaries, sent halfway across the world to spread the “Good Word.” Now with standing room only productions in London, on Broadway, and across North America, The Book Of Mormon has truly become an international sensation. Contains explicit language.
February 26-March 1
Cameron Mackintosh presents the new production of Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg’s Tony Award-winning musical phenomenon, Les Misérables, direct from an acclaimed two-and-a-half-year return to Broadway. With its glorious new staging and dazzlingly reimagined scenery inspired by the paintings of Victor Hugo, this breathtaking new production has left both audiences and critics awestruck, cheering “Les Miz is born again!” (NY1). Set against the backdrop of 19th-century France, Les Misérables tells an enthralling story of broken dreams and unrequited love, passion, sacrifice and redemption – a timeless testament to the survival of the human spirit. Featuring the thrilling score and beloved songs “I Dreamed A Dream,” “On My Own,” “Stars,” “Bring Him Home,” “One Day More,” and many more, this epic and uplifting story has become one of the most celebrated musicals in theatrical history. Seen by more than a 130 million people in 44 countries and in 22 languages around the globe, Les Misérables is still the world’s most popular musical, breaking box office records everywhere in its 33rd year.
The Color Purple
The Color Purple is the 2016 Tony Award winner for Best Musical Revival! Hailed as “a direct hit to the heart” (The Hollywood Reporter), this joyous American classic about a young woman’s journey to love and triumph in the American South has conquered Broadway in an all-new “ravishingly reconceived production that is a glory to behold” (The New York Times).
To purchase tickets call the box office at 941-953-3368 or 800-826-9303 or visit their website at: Vanwezel.org/.