Walnut St. Thea. announces 2014-15 Season

PB ENT.
Broadway Legend
joined:6/11/03

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 2, 2013

For more information, contact:
Amy Rodgers, Communications Manager
215-574-3555; pr@walnutstreettheatre.org
Walnut Street Theatre Announces Its 206th Anniversary Season,
“A Season of Blockbusters!”


PHILADELPHIA, PA
– Walnut Street Theatre, America’s oldest theatre and a National Historic Landmark, is pleased to announce its landmark 206th season of live entertainment and its 32nd season as a not-for-profit producing theatre company. The line-up includes three spectacular musicals, an intoxicating comedy and a killer mystery. As a self-producing regional theatre, the Walnut has become not only the most popular theatre company in Philadelphia, but also the most subscribed theatre company in the world, boasting over 50,000 subscribers!

President and Producing Artistic Director Bernard Havard is proud to announce the 2014-2015 Mainstage season. Audiences will be treated to the delightful Broadway musical inspired by the hit Hollywood comedy 9 TO 5: THE MUSICAL, the high-flying musical MARY POPPINS and the Tony Award-winning musical MEMPHIS. In addition, they’ll enjoy Noël Coward’s honeymoon of a comedy PRIVATE LIVES and Agatha Christie’s AND THEN THERE WERE NONE.

THE SEASON
The Walnut will opens its 206th season with 9 TO 5: THE MUSICAL, the hilarious new Broadway musical based on the blockbuster film. Pushed to the boiling point by their boss, three female co-workers concoct a plan to get even with their sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical boss. They conspire to take control of their company and learn there’s nothing they can’t do, even in a man’s world! Set in the late 1970s, 9 TO 5: THE MUSICAL is a story of friendship and getting ahead in the Rolodex era. Outrageous, thought-provoking and even a little romantic, 9 TO 5: THE MUSICAL features Dolly Parton’s original hit title song along with her new Tony Award and Grammy-nominated score, including “Backwoods Barbie” and “Shine Like the Sun.” (September 2 – October 19)


Celebrate the holiday season with MARY POPPINS! Based on the classic Disney film, this is the story of a mysterious nanny who magically appears at the Banks household in Edwardian London to care for Jane and Michael Banks. Adventure abounds as she whisks them away to meet dancing chimney sweeps, shopkeepers and an array of colorful characters. Featuring an irresistible story, eye-popping sets and costumes, breathtaking dance numbers and beloved songs such as the Academy Award-winning “Chim Chim Cher-ee,” “A Spoonful of Sugar,” “Feed the Birds,” “Step in Time” and “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” audiences will have a “Jolly Holiday” with Mary and discover a world where “Anything Can Happen” if you let it. (November 4 – January 4)

Champagne and laughter will explode with Noël Coward’s timeless comedy PRIVATE LIVES. Glamorous, rich and reckless, Elyot and Amanda have been divorced from each other for five years. Now both are honeymooning with their new spouses in the South of France. When by chance they meet again across adjoining hotel balconies, their romantic feelings for each other are immediately rekindled. Without a care for scandal, new partners or memories of what drove them apart in the first place, they hurl themselves headlong into love and lust. PRIVATE LIVES is a dazzling, witty masterpiece and considered to be one of the greatest comedies ever written. (January 13 – March 1)

Next up its Agatha Christie at her murderous best! AND THEN THERE WERE NONE tells the story of ten strangers who are lured by a mysterious host for a relaxing weekend at a remote island resort. Once the guests have arrived there is a suspicious death. The guests are trapped. The host accuses each person, via a recording, of having escaped justice for a past murder. Unable to leave the island, the guests begin to share their darkest secrets…until they begin to fall, one by one! The ever dwindling party rushes to unmask the hidden killer in their midst. Who is the murderer? Who is next? Agatha Christie’s AND THEN THERE WERE NONE will keep you guessing right up until the very end. (March 10 – April 26)

Lastly, from the underground dance clubs of 1950s Memphis, Tennessee, comes a hot new Broadway musical that bursts off the stage with explosive dancing, irresistible songs and a thrilling tale of fame and forbidden love. Inspired by actual events, MEMPHIS is about a radio DJ who wants to change the world and a club singer who is ready for her big break. Winner of the Tony Award for Best Musical, MEMPHIS features an original score by Bon Jovi’s David Bryan that evokes the powerhouse funk of James Brown, the hot guitar riffs of Chuck Berry, the smooth harmonies of the Temptations and the silken, bouncy pop of the great girl groups of the period. Turn up that dial! It’s time for Broadway’s roof-raising rock ‘n’ roll musical, MEMPHIS! (May 12 – July 12)


TICKETS
The only way to guarantee the best seats is to subscribe. Subscriptions are available now for as little as $95 a season – up to a 77% savings off regular ticket prices!

This season, the Walnut has new $99 Super Saver Subscriptions. Thanks to generous sponsors, sixty seats have been set aside in Mezzanine Rows P-R at this reduced rate for all subscription series.

Individual tickets do not go on sale until August 17, 2014. All show titles, dates and subscription prices are subject to change. For information on season subscriptions, call the Walnut at 215-574-3550 ext. 6 (10AM – 10PM) or visit our website at http://www.WalnutStreetTheatre.org.

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www.pbentertainmentinc.com BWW regional writer "Philadelphia/South Jersey"
broadwaydevil
Broadway Legend
joined:2/16/11
What a terribly boring season.

Is there any good theatre in Philadelphia?
Scratch and claw for every day you're worth! Make them drag you screaming from life, keep dreaming You'll live forever here on earth.
willep
Broadway Legend
joined:9/20/08
There is plenty of good theatre in Philly, but I've never been a big fan of the Walnut.
PB ENT.
Broadway Legend
joined:6/11/03
To each his own opinion, of course. But I'm fairly sure Bernard Harvard & Co. are happy with the choices and the fact that the Walnut is the country's oldest theater, this being their 206th season with one of the most consistent largest theater subscription bases every year. So they'll have to live with all this.

The closer the city is to NY, the more Broadway artists come to perform and for the most part everyone benefits. That works for many.

www.pbentertainmentinc.com BWW regional writer "Philadelphia/South Jersey"
Updated On: 1/3/14 at 03:04 PM
Broadwaystar2
Featured Actor
joined:9/4/13
Nicely said PB! Some people just have to be negative no matter what.
JBradshaw
Stand-by
joined:10/10/04
Boring. And we'll see the same people we always see in each show.
Broadwaystar2
Featured Actor
joined:9/4/13
Well you know what J Bradshaw. How about you put up the money and produce some shows that aren't "boring". Until then, stop being so negative. And I HIGHLY doubt that with Memphis you will see the same people.
Phillytheatreguy10
Leading Actor
joined:7/22/12
Even if you ask Philly actors, the Walnut is not the place to go for ground-breaking theatre, they are more commercially minded than other companies in the city. Which is fine for them, they're doing something right, they are the oldest theatre still operating in the country! They do sometimes attract Broadway performers and even sometimes lose performers from their casts when they are called to Broadway.
Liza's Headband
Broadway Legend
joined:5/28/13
I smell Walnut St. Theatre employees in this thread....
It's been my policy to view the Internet not as an 'information highway,' but as an electronic asylum filled with babbling loonies. - Mike Royko, Columnist & Pulitzer Prize winner
Broadwaystar2
Featured Actor
joined:9/4/13
I have never worked or seen a show at the Walnut theater. I'm just not a moron that has to discourage or disclaim a theater that has been employing actors for decades. People always have something negative to say, but don't have the ability to do something about it. If the season is SO bad, please open a theater and produce shows that you feel are more than adequate for people to see.
PB ENT.
Broadway Legend
joined:6/11/03
There are enough theater companies in Philly to please all tastes between theaters like the Arden, Wilma, Walnut, Philadelphia Theater Co. @ Susan Roberts venue, Kimmel Center, Society Hill Playhouse etc. As well as hosting venues such as the Merriam, Forrest, Academy. Some offer works by new and or local playwrights, works popular in other countries (Arden, Wilma and PTC) and of course the "standards".

Walnut happens to cater to standard shows that appeal to the general theater public and frankly if that's how their bread is buttered and their attendance and subscriptions are in great shape then isn't that what counts?

RE: local Philly actors who make the rounds between them all, well some people balk at this and that's their choice. IMO, Philly has some of the most versatile, talented actors in the area. They are all grateful to make a living here in the Philly area. Philly bred actors such as Hugh Panaro, Josh Young, Rob McClure, Andrea McArdle, Laurie Beechman RIP all gained Broadway recognition with Philly area theater as their roots. Walnut also often turns to Broadway to fill lead spots in their productions. As one of my Philly actor friends admitted, "rather be a big fish in a small pond" (and earn a living) than "a small fish struggling in an ocean of fish all looking for food". Makes sense to me. That's just my take on Philly theater...nothing more.

Updating to address Liza's Headband. Your smeller is off kilter again. LOL! I've never worked at the Walnut in any capacity other than reviewing for BWW and knowing and supporting the folks who work there as well as ALL the theaters in Philly.

www.pbentertainmentinc.com BWW regional writer "Philadelphia/South Jersey"
Updated On: 1/4/14 at 01:21 PM
Broadwaystar2
Featured Actor
joined:9/4/13
Well said PB!!
quizking101
Broadway Legend
joined:12/25/09
To add to the list, Philly also gave us Evan Jonigkeit (HIGH and late of THE SNOW GEESE)
EricMontreal22
Broadway Legend
joined:10/31/11
I've seen clips and images from some of their past productions and they often seem well done, or even quite spectacular. But I would have expected one more "experimental" show (experimental compared to this list meaning virtually anything) to balance out the season.
PB ENT.
Broadway Legend
joined:6/11/03
Eric, in one of my past article series entitled "Philly People Behind the Curtain" I interviewed Bernard Havard, among other Philadelphia Art. Dirs. He expressed a desire to bring in some more "unconventional" shows but hesitated to take that direction likely because of public expectations. This was a few years ago. Who knows perhaps they'll take a risk one of these seasons. I wouldn't think they would go as far as the Wilma though, whose productions typically walk the line of "out there and different" Blanka Zizka has the edge on that in Philly!!!

Link to Interview:
http://www.broadwayworld.com/article/Philly-People-Behind-the-Curtain-Bernard-Havard-20071205

www.pbentertainmentinc.com BWW regional writer "Philadelphia/South Jersey"
Updated On: 1/4/14 at 08:54 PM
EricMontreal22
Broadway Legend
joined:10/31/11
Thanks, PB!

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