Blumenthal Performing Arts Announces 2016-2017 PNC Broadway Lights Season

Blumenthal brings the largest Broadway season yet, with more than 20 shows on tap in the 2016-2017 PNC Broadway Lights and Broadway Extras lineup. A season filled with award-winning titles, show fans can be sure Broadway's latest and greatest are headed to Charlotte.

"We are thrilled to bring an endless menu of titles to Charlotte next season with eight fantastic PNC Broadway Lights shows and many impressive Broadway Extras," said Blumenthal President Tom Gabbard. "We strive to bring nothing but the best here to the Queen City, and thanks to our loyal fans we are able to do it year after year as a top 10 touring market. Fans will quickly see this is one the most diverse and fun-filled seasons yet, with an astounding number of award-winning titles."

The new season brings a total of eight incredible productions in the 2016-2017 PNC Broadway Lights package, including the knock-'em-dead hit show that's earned unanimous raves and won the 2014 Tony Award for Best Musical, A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder; bringing the magic and romance of Paris into perfect harmony with unforgettable songs, An American in Paris, the most awarded musical at the 2015 Tony Awards; winner of five 2015 Tony Awards including Best Play, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time; a breathtakingly romantic thriller based on the smash hit film, The Bodyguard; the critically acclaimed production of Rodgers & Hammerstein's The King And I, winner of four 2015 Tony Awards including Best Revival of a Musical; Broadway's biggest new smash hit Directed by visionary Tony-winner Diane Paulus, Finding Neverland; and Matthew Bourne's magical adaptation of the beloved fairy tale and Academy Award-winning movie, The Red Shoes.

Fans who want maximum value can opt for an 8-show season ticket.

As the 8th show option, Fun Home is the "groundbreaking," "life-affirming" and "exquisite" new musical that was the event of the Broadway season, receiving raves from critics and audiences alike, winning five 2015 Tony Awards and making history along the way.

In addition to these season shows, Blumenthal will present an extraordinary lineup of Broadway Extras, including the returns of fan favorites in Charlotte, Dirty Dancing - The Classic Story On Stage and The Hip Hop Nutcracker, the 20th anniversary world tour of Riverdance, the theatrical re-invention of Into The Woods, winner of four 2014 Tony Awards including Best Musical Revival, Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Plus, from the producers of the bestselling magic show in the world, The Illusionists, comes a turn of the century circus spectacular, Circus 1903 - The Golden Age of Circus. Also included as a Broadway Extras is the return of the Tony, Grammy and Olivier Award-winning Best Musical Jersey Boys. Plus, Disney's The Little Mermaid and the return of the inspiring story that changed the landscape of American Theatre as it celebrates its 20th Anniversary, Rent!

Also included as Broadway Extras are Blue Man Group, The Wizard of Oz, If/Then, Newsies, First Date and Cabaret.

Because of the extraordinary number of shows on Blumenthal's Broadway calendar, a "Double Your Swap" benefit is being offered to those who purchase season tickets by May 31. The benefit will allow season ticket holders to trade up to four of their season shows for anything else on Blumenthal's Broadway or special attraction lineup.

"Typically, we have allowed season ticket holders to trade one or two season shows, but with so many great titles coming next year and many of them being beloved hits, we wants to make sure our season buyers could easily see their personal favorites," Gabbard said. "Allowing them up to four swaps will accomplish this."

Season ticket buyers will be able to purchase additional tickets to Broadway Extras with their season ticket order long before sales to many of these shows open to the public.

To order now:

- Visit BlumenthalArts.org/Broadway

- Call 704-335-1010

- Visit the Belk Theater box office, 130 N. Tryon St., Mon.-Sat., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Season ticket buyers can reserve their tickets now through May 31 with the option to select an extended payment plan. The balance of their order will be billed in ten equal installments. Season tickets begin as low as $21.70 per month with extended payments ($217 total).

Along with guaranteed seats for shows in the series, season ticket holders also receive access to the very best seats since they are seated before single ticket buyers. Season ticket buyers also get the best prices, as ticket prices often increase as availability declines. This season, most Broadway season shows had limited seat availability by the opening performance.

Buyers who purchase or renew season tickets by May 31 will also receive free parking for Belk Theater shows and a $25 restaurant gift card.

2016-2017 PNC BROADWAY LIGHTS

A GENTLEMAN'S GUIDE TO LOVE & MURDER (Nov. 24-Dec. 4, 2016 - Knight Theater)

AN AMERICAN IN PARIS (Jan. 10-15, 2017 - Belk Theater)

THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME (Feb. 14-19, 2017 - Belk Theater)

THE BODYGUARD (March 7-12, 2017 - Belk Theater)

THE KING AND I (July 11-16, 2016 - Belk Theater)

FINDING NEVERLAND (Oct. 3-8, 2017 - Belk Theater)

THE RED SHOES (Oct. 17-22, 2017 - Belk Theater)

Include FUN HOME (June 27- July 2, 2017 - Knight Theater) for an 8-show Package!

BROADWAY EXTRAS

DIRTY DANCING - THE CLASSIC STORY ON STAGE (Sept. 23-25, 2016 - Ovens Auditorium)

HIP HOP NUTCRACKER (Dec. 27-30, 2016 - Knight Theater)

RIVERDANCE 20TH ANNIVERSARY TOUR (Jan. 31-Feb. 5, 2017 - Ovens Auditorium)

INTO THE WOODS (Feb. 10-12, 2017 - Knight Theater)

HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH (April 11-16, 2017 - Knight Theater)

CIRCUS 1903 - THE GOLDEN AGE OF CIRCUS (May 2-7, 2017 - Knight Theater)

JERSEY BOYS (July 5-9, 2017 - Belk Theater)

THE LITTLE MERMAID (July 18-23, 2017 - Belk Theater)

RENT 20th ANNIVERSARY TOUR (Sept. 26- Oct.1 - Belk Theater)

ALSO INCLUDED IN BROADWAY EXTRAS LINEUP

BLUE MAN GROUP (June 17-19, 2016 - Belk Theater)

THE WIZARD OF OZ (July 5-10, 2016 - Belk Theater)

IF/THEN (July 19-24, 2016 - Belk Theater)

DISNEY'S NEWSIES (Aug. 9-14, 2016 - Belk Theater)

FIRST DATE (Sept. 27-Nov. 20, 2016 - Booth Playhouse)

CABARET (Nov. 8-13, 2016 - Belk Theater)

A GENTLEMAN'S GUIDE TO LOVE & MURDER
November 24- December 4, 2016 • Knight Theater

Getting away with murder can be so much fun... and there's no better proof than the knock-'em-dead hit show that's earned unanimous raves and won the 2014 Tony Award for BEST MUSICAL - A GENTLEMAN'S GUIDE TO LOVE & MURDER! GENTLEMAN'S GUIDE tells the uproarious story of Monty Navarro, an heir to a family fortune who sets out to jump the line of succession by-you guessed it-eliminating the eight pesky relatives who stand in his way. All the while, Monty has to juggle his mistress (she's after more than just love), his fiancée (she's his cousin but who's keeping track?), and the constant threat of landing behind bars! Of course, it will all be worth it if he can slay his way to his inheritance... and be done in time for tea. The Hollywood Reporter raves, "GENTLEMAN'S GUIDE RESTORES OUR FAITH IN MUSICAL COMEDY" and The New York Times cheers, "IT WILL LIFT THE HEARTS OF ALL THOSE WHO'VE BEEN PINING FOR WHAT SOMETIMES SEEMS A LOST ART FORM." Kindly get your tickets now for the musical that will have you dying with laughter.


AN AMERICAN IN PARIS
January 10-15, 2017 • Belk Theater

AN AMERICAN IN PARIS is the new Tony Award-winning musical about an American soldier, a mysterious French girl, and an indomitable European city, each yearning for a new beginning in the aftermath of war.

Acclaimed director/choreographer and 2015 Tony Award-winner Christopher Wheeldon brings the magic and romance of Paris into perfect harmony with unforgettable songs from George and Ira Gershwin in the show that earned more awards than any other musical in the 2015 season!

The New York Times raves, "AN AMERICAN IN PARIS is a triumph! Pure joy!" and the Wall Street Journal declares, "Once you've seen it, you'll find it hard to settle for less ever again." Don't miss this stunning Broadway hit when it arrives in Charlotte on its first national tour!

THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME
Feb. 14-19, 2017 • Belk Theater

THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME, winner of five 2015 Tony Awards including BEST PLAY, is coming to Charlotte as part of the 2016-2017 season! Hailed as "One of the most fully immersive works ever to wallop Broadway" by The New York Times, this "dazzling" (Associated Press) adaptation is the Tony Award-winning new play by Simon Stephens, adapted from Mark Haddon's best-selling novel and directed by Tony winner Marianne Elliott. Fifteen-year-old Christopher has an extraordinary brain; he is exceptionally intelligent but ill-equipped to interpret everyday life. When he falls under suspicion for killing his neighbor's dog, he sets out to identify the true culprit, which leads to an earth-shattering discovery and a journey that will change his life forever.

THE BODYGUARD
March 7-12, 2017 • Belk Theater

Based on the smash hit film, the award-winning musical will star Grammy Award-nominee and R&B superstar DEBORAH COX! Former Secret Service agent turned bodyguard, Frank Farmer, is hired to protect superstar Rachel Marron from an unknown stalker. Each expects to be in charge; what they don't expect is to fall in love. A breathtakingly romantic thriller, THE BODYGUARD features a host of irresistible classics including Queen of the Night, So Emotional, One Moment in Time, Saving All My Love, Run to You, I Have Nothing, I Wanna Dance with Somebody and one of the biggest selling songs of all time - I Will Always Love You.

FUN HOME
June 27-July 2, 2017 • Knight Theater

Every once in a while a Broadway musical comes along that surprises, moves and excites audiences in ways only a truly landmark musical can. The "groundbreaking," "life-affirming" and "exquisite" new musical FUN HOME was the event of the Broadway season, receiving raves from critics and audiences alike, winning five 2015 Tony Awards including BEST MUSICAL and making history along the way. Based on Alison Bechdel's best-selling graphic memoir, FUN HOME introduces us to Alison at three different ages as she explores and unravels the many mysteries of her childhood. A refreshingly honest musical about seeing your parents through grown-up eyes, "FUN HOME is extraordinary, a rare beauty that pumps fresh air into Broadway." (New York Times)

THE KING AND I
July 11-16, 2017 • Belk Theater

Lincoln Center Theater's critically acclaimed production of Rodgers & Hammerstein's THE KING AND I directed by Tony Award Winner Bartlett Sher won four 2015 Tony Awards including Best Revival of a Musical. Bartlett Sher is reunited with the award-winning creative team from South Pacific and The Light in the Piazza. THE KING AND I features sets by Michael Yeargan; costumes by Catherine Zuber; lighting by Donald Holder, sound by Scott Lehrer and choreography by Christopher Gattelli based on the original choreography by Jerome Robbins. One of Rodgers & Hammerstein's finest works, THE KING AND I boasts a score which features such beloved classics as "Getting To Know You," "I Whistle a Happy Tune," "Hello Young Lovers," "Shall We Dance" and "Something Wonderful." Set in 1860's Bangkok, the musical tells the story of the unconventional and tempestuous relationship that develops between the King of Siam and Anna Leonowens, a British schoolteacher whom the modernist King, in an imperialistic world, brings to Siam to teach his many wives and children.

FINDING NEVERLAND
October 3-8, 2017 • Belk Theater

Broadway's biggest new hit and the winner of Broadway.com's Audience Choice Award for Best Musical, this breathtaking smash "captures the kid-at-heart," says TIME Magazine. Vogue cheers, "It's a must-see you'll remember for years to come!" Directed by visionary Tony-winner Diane Paulus and based on the critically-acclaimed Academy Award winning film starring Johnny Depp, FINDING NEVERLAND tells the incredible story behind one of the world's most beloved characters: Peter Pan. Playwright J.M. Barrie struggles to find inspiration until he meets four young brothers and their beautiful widowed mother. Spellbound by the boys' enchanting make-believe adventures, he sets out to write a play that will astound London theatergoers. With a little bit of pixie dust and a lot of faith, Barrie takes this monumental leap, leaving his old world behind for Neverland, where nothing is impossible and the wonder of childhood lasts forever. The magic of Barrie's classic tale springs spectacularly to life in this heartwarming theatrical event. FINDING NEVERLAND is "far and away the best musical of the year!" (NPR).

THE RED SHOES
October 17-22, 2017 • Belk Theater

Based on the film by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger and the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale. Music by Bernard Herrmann. A beloved fairy tale and Academy Award-winning movie, The Red Shoes has seduced audiences and inspired generations of dancers with its tale of obsession, possession and one girl's dream to be the greatest dancer in the world. Victoria Page lives to dance but her ambitions become a battleground between the two men who inspire her passion. Matthew Bourne's magical adaptation is set to a new score arranged by Terry Davies using the mesmerizing music of golden-age Hollywood composer, Bernard Herrmann (most famous for his collaborations with Alfred Hitchcock and Orson Welles) and played live by the New Adventures Orchestra, with sumptuous set and costume designs by Lez Brotherston, Paule Constable (lighting) and Paul Groothuis (sound).

An intoxicating drama where life imitates art with fateful consequences; The Red Shoes will dazzle your senses and break your heart.


Broadway Extras

(Broadway Extras are available for purchase with a 2016-2017 PNC Broadway Lights Season ticket.)

DIRTY DANCING - THE CLASSIC STORY ON STAGE
Sept. 23-25, 2016 • Ovens Auditorium

DIRTY DANCING - THE CLASSIC STORY ON STAGE is an unprecedented live experience, exploding with heart-pounding music, passionate romance and sensational dancing.

Seen by millions across the globe, this worldwide smash hit tells the classic story of Baby and Johnny, two fiercely independent young spirits from different worlds who come together in what will be the most challenging and triumphant summer of their lives. Featuring the hit songs, "Hungry Eyes," "Hey Baby," "Do You Love Me?" and the heart-stopping "(I've Had) The Time of My Life." London's Sunday Express says, "This crowd-pleasing stage adaptation hits the jackpot!"

Don't miss your chance to see this record-breaking live theatre sensation. You'll have the time of your life!

THE HIP HOP NUTCRACKER
December 27-30, 2016 • Knight Theater

A holiday mash-up for the whole family, "The Hip Hop Nutcracker" reimagines Tchaikovsky's classic score through explosive hip hop choreography. A dozen all-star dancers, DJ, MC, and digital scenery bring the traditional Nutcracker story to life in a contemporary urban setting. This evening-length show celebrates love, family and the magic of New Year's Eve.

RIVERDANCE- 20TH ANNIVERSARY WORLD TOUR
Jan. 31 - Feb 5, 2017 • Ovens Auditorium

The international Irish dance phenomenon is back by popular demand with Riverdance - The 20th Anniversary World Tour. Celebrating an extraordinary milestone for an incredible show, Riverdance will perform in over 50 US cities during the 2016 season. Marking the eagerly awaited return of the show to North America the anniversary production features new costumes, new lighting, new projections and the addition of a brand new number, "Anna Livia," featuring the female members of the Irish dance troupe in an acapella hard-shoe number.

Riverdance - The 20th Anniversary World Tour is composed by Bill Whelan, produced by Moya Doherty and directed by John McColgan, and comes directly to North America from a sold out run across Europe and Asia.


INTO THE WOODS
Feb. 10-12, 2017 • Knight Theater

Venture back INTO THE WOODS as the Dodgers (Jersey Boys, Matilda) team up with Networks (Phantom, War Horse, South Pacific) to present the acclaimed Fiasco Theater production that became New York's surprise hit of this season. Unanimously acclaimed, extended twice at the Roundabout's Laura Pels Theater, the Tony Award-winning musical classic by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine has been mounted with boundless imagination. This witty and wildly theatrical re-invention is INTO THE WOODS like you've never seen it before!

Including dazzling songs like "Children Will Listen" and "No One Is Alone," this thrillingly clever new version made Ben Brantley of The New York Times fall "head over heels." Mind the wolf, heed the witch and honor the giant in the sky at this extraordinary musical about the power of wishes and what really happens after they come true.

HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH
April 11-16, 2017 • Knight Theater

Brilliantly innovative, heartbreaking, and wickedly funny, HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH is the landmark American musical by John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask that is "groundbreaking and undoubtedly ahead of its time" (Entertainment Weekly). This genre-bending, fourth-wall-smashing musical sensation, with a pulsing score and electrifying performances, tells the story of one of the most unique characters to ever hit the stage. Directed by Tony Award winner Michael Mayer (Spring Awakening) and winner of four 2014 Tony Awards including Best Musical Revival, HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH played to record-breaking sell-out crowds on Broadway and promises to take Charlotte by storm with what Time Magazine proclaims is "the most exciting rock score written for the theatre since, oh, ever!"

CIRCUS 1903 - THE GOLDEN AGE OF CIRCUS
May 2-7, 2017 • Knight Theater

The producers of the bestselling magic show in the world (The Illusionists) have teamed up with award-winning puppeteers to create a TURN OF THE CENTURY CIRCUS SPECTACULAR!

Cirque du Soleil made fame two decades ago when they removed the animals from the Circus, but with CIRCUS 1903 - THE GOLDEN AGE OF CIRCUS, they are back and more beautiful than ever! Featuring the most amazing, dangerous, and unique acts from all four corners of the globe, accompanied by the largest ever performing African elephant, CIRCUS 1903 transports the audience to the golden age of circus. This is a truly captivating circus extravaganza that is perfect for the entire family.

JERSEY BOYS
July 5- 9, 2017 • Belk Theater

JERSEY BOYS is the Tony, Grammy and Olivier Award-winning Best Musical about Rock and Roll Hall of Famers The Four Seasons: Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, Tommy DeVito and Nick Massi. This is the true story of how four blue-collar kids became one of the greatest successes in pop music history. They wrote their own songs, invented their own sounds and sold 175 million records worldwide - all before they were 30! JERSEY BOYS features their hit songs "Sherry," "Big Girls Don't Cry," "Rag Doll," "Oh What a Night" and "Can't Take My Eyes Off You." "THE CROWD GOES WILD!" proclaims The New York Times

THE LITTLE MERMAID
July 18-23, 2017 • Belk Theater

In a magical kingdom beneath the sea, the beautiful young mermaid Ariel longs to leave her ocean home to live in the world above. Based on one of Hans Christian Andersen's most beloved stories, with music by eight-time Academy Award winner Alan Menken, it's a hauntingly beautiful love story for the ages. Come fall in love with the magic for the first time-or all over again with classics such as "Under the Sea," "Kiss the Girl, "Part of Your World" and more! Disney's THE LITTLE MERMAID is produced by Pittsburgh CLO & Kansas City Starlight.

RENT
Sept. 26-Oct. 1, 2017 • Belk Theater

In 1996, an original rock musical by a little-known composer opened on Broadway... and forever changed the landscape of American theatre. Two decades later, Jonathan Larson's RENT continues to speak loudly and defiantly to audiences across generations and all over the world. And now, this Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning masterpiece returns to the stage in a vibrant 20th anniversary touring production. A re-imagining of Puccini's La Bohème, RENT follows an unforgettable year in the lives of seven artists struggling to follow their dreams without selling out. With its inspiring message of joy and hope in the face of fear, this timeless celebration of friendship and creativity reminds us to measure our lives with the only thing that truly matters-love.

Blumenthal Performing Arts serves the Carolinas as a leading cultural, entertainment and education provider. For more information, call (704) 372-1000 or visit BlumenthalArts.org. Blumenthal Performing Arts receives operating support from the Arts & Science Council and North Carolina Arts Council. Blumenthal Performing Arts is also supported by PNC Bank, sponsor of the PNC Broadway Lights.



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