BWW Preview: Launch of OKLAHOMA! National Tour, Plus MEAN GIRLS, FROZEN, LION KING, WICKED, HADESTOWN And More Coming To OK In 2020-2021
OKC Broadway and Celebrity Attractions recently announced the national tours that will be stopping in Tulsa and Oklahoma City for the 2020-2021 season. Most of these tours are either currently running on Broadway or closed very recently.
OKC Broadway is excited to welcome the tours of MEAN GIRLS, MY FAIR LADY, BLUE MAN GROUP, DEAR EVAN HANSEN, FROZEN, PRETTY WOMAN, and WICKED, as well as being the official launch site of the tour of Tony-winning Best Revival OKLAHOMA!
Celebrity Attractions will bring Tulsa audiences the tours of ESCAPE TO MARGARITAVILLE, MEAN GIRLS, THE LION KING, OKLAHOMA!, TOOTSIE, PRETTY WOMAN, and HADESTOWN.
There is a bit of overlap between each city with MEAN GIRLS, PRETTY WOMAN, and OKLAHOMA! which gives audiences across the state multiple opportunities to see these Broadway hits!
Elizabeth Gray, General Manager of OKC Broadway shared how honored she was to launch the tour of OKLAHOMA! right here in its namesake and home. This revival production, described by New York critics as "sexy," "daring," "dark," "reimagined for the 21st century," and "as you've never seen or heard it before." At the launch event for OKC Broadway, Tony winning producer Eva Price told us "This is the Oklahoma that's been there all along. We haven't changed a word, but in 2020 we have a job to look at art and entertainment a little more thoughtfully and differently. If you simply slow down some of the text, we're actually dealing with big questions: what does it mean to threaten and feel threatened? Also, the show is incredibly funny: this is a comedy! It's so joyous and entertaining."
Backed by an onstage bluegrass band with new orchestrations by Daniel Kluger which introduce a folk-rock sensibility, this new production of OKLAHOMA! will challenge and delight audiences. Attendees of the OKC Broadway Season Launch Party were treated to hear Sasha Hutchings - a cast member of the Broadway revival, and an Oklahoma City University alumna - sing Ado Annie's signature song "I Cain't Say No," which showcased these new orchestrations and the country-tinged vocal stylings of the new production. OKLAHOMA will play OKC from September 27 - October 3, 2020 and Tulsa from January 5-10, 2021.
As this reporter can personally attest - I'm someone who saw the revival in New York - to simply say "this ain't your grandma's OKLAHOMA!" is not enough. What director Daniel Fish and his team have done is create an in-your-face, modern take on a classic; exploring the depths, darkness, and rough edges of the original text without changing a word or a note - be prepared to be simultaneously confronted and deeply moved.
The rest of the touring season include MEAN GIRLS, in OKC September 8-13 and in Tulsa September 15-20. Direct from Broadway, MEAN GIRLS is the hilarious hit musical from an award-winning creative team, including book writer Tina Fey ("30 ROCK"), composer Jeff Richmond ("UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT"), lyricist Nell Benjamin (LEGALLY BLONDE) and director Casey Nicholaw (THE BOOK OF MORMON). New York Magazine cheers, "MEAN GIRLS delivers with immense energy, a wicked sense of humor and joyful inside-jokery." (Recommended for ages 10 & up.)
Before MEAN GIRLS, Tulsa will get to journey to the good life with Jimmy Buffett'S ESCAPE TO MARGARITAVILLE from August 18-23. Welcome to Margaritaville, where people come to get away from it all-and stay to find something they never expected. With a book by Emmy Award® winner Greg Garcia ("My Name is Earl," "Raising Hope") and Emmy Award® nominee Mike O'Malley ("Survivors Remorse," "Shameless") ESCAPE TO MARGARITAVILLE is the musical comedy featuring both original songs and your most-loved Jimmy Buffett classics, including "Fins," "Volcano," "Cheeseburger in Paradise" and many more. 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.
Next up in OKC is the classic musical MY FAIR LADY from October 27 - November 1. From Lincoln Center Theater and director Bartlett Sher comes "a sumptuous new production of the most perfect musical of all time" (Entertainment Weekly). Boasting such classic songs as "I Could Have Danced All Night," "The Rain in Spain," and "Wouldn't It Be Loverly," MY FAIR LADY tells the story of Eliza Doolittle, a young Cockney flower seller, and Henry Higgins, a linguistics professor who is determined to transform her into his idea of a "proper lady." But who is really being transformed? (Recommended for ages 8 & up.)
Meanwhile in November, down the road, Tulsa will experience Disney's THE LION KING November 11-29. Giraffes strut. Birds swoop. Gazelles leap. The entire Serengeti comes to life as never before. And as the music soars, Pride Rock slowly emerges from the mist. This is Disney's THE LION KING, making its triumphant highly anticipated return to the Tulsa Performing Arts Center! Winner of six Tony Awards®, including Best Musical, THE LION KING brings together one of the most imaginative creative teams on Broadway. Tony Award®-winning director Julie Taymor brings to life a story filled with hope and adventure set against an amazing backdrop of stunning visuals. THE LION KING also features the extraordinary work of Tony Award®-winning choreographer Garth Fagan and some of Broadway's most recognizable music, crafted by Tony Award®-winning artists Elton John and Tim Rice. "THE LION KING has always been warmly embraced by Tulsa audiences," said Jack Eldon, Vice President, Domestic Touring and Regional Engagements, Disney Theatrical Productions. "We are thrilled to return to Tulsa for a third time this fall."
While Tulsa experiences Pride Rock, OKC will be introduced to BLUE MAN GROUP from November 13-15. BLUE MAN GROUP returns to Oklahoma City for a limited engagement on their new North American tour. It's everything you know and love about BLUE MAN GROUP-signature drumming, colorful moments of creativity and quirky comedy-the men are still blue, but the rest is all new! Featuring pulsing, original music, custom-made instruments, surprise audience interaction and hilarious absurdity, join the Blue Men in a joyful experience that unites audiences of all ages. (Recommended for all ages.)
After the holidays, OKC will be treated to DEAR EVAN HANSEN from February 2-7, 2021. DEAR EVAN HANSEN is the deeply personal and profoundly contemporary musical about life and the way we live it. Winner of six Tonys - including Best Musical - and a Grammy, DEAR EVAN HANSEN was declared "One of the most remarkable shows in musical theater history" by the Washington Post and "an anthem resonating on Broadway and beyond" by NBC Nightly News. DEAR EVAN HANSEN has struck a remarkable chord with audiences and critics alike, including New York Times who called it a "gorgeous musical for anyone with a beating heart." DEAR EVAN HANSEN features a book by Tony Award winner Steven Levenson, a score by Grammy®, Tony® and Academy Award® winners Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (LA LA LAND, THE GREATEST SHOWMAN), and direction by four-time Tony Award nominee Michael Greif (RENT, NEXT TO NORMAL). (Recommended for ages 12 & up.)
Just in time for Valentines Day, Tulsa will fall in love with TOOTSIE from February 9-14, 2021. It's "far and away the funniest musical of the season" (Daily News). It's "the most uproarious new show in years" (The Hollywood Reporter). It's "the best comedy on Broadway" (Forbes). No matter how you say it, TOOTSIE is unanimously funny! It's a laugh-out-loud love letter to the theatre, based on the Oscar®-nominated film. Featuring a Tony Award®-winning book by Robert Horn and an outrageously clever score by 2018 Tony Award® winner David Yazbek (The Band's Visit, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels), this New York Times Critic's Pick is a "hilarious, thoroughly modern TOOTSIE" (People Magazine) that's "even funnier than the movie!" (New York Post). "In these turbulent times, with the world out of balance, we need a place to let the good times roll," says Rolling Stone, "TOOTSIE is it."
Spring may be rolling in, but OKC will stay FROZEN from March 11-21, 2021. From the producer of THE LION KING and ALADDIN, Critics agree FROZEN is "simply magical!" (LA Daily News). Heralded by The New Yorker as "thrilling" and "genuinely moving," FROZEN features the songs you know and love from the original Oscar winning film, plus an expanded score with a dozen new numbers by the film's songwriters, Oscar winner Kristen Anderson-Lopez and EGOT winner Robert Lopez. Joining them on a creative team that has won a cumulative 16 Tony Awards are Oscar winner Jennifer Lee (book), Tony and Olivier Award winner Michael Grandage (director), and Tony winner Rob Ashford (choreographer). An unforgettable theatrical experience filled with sensational special effects, stunning sets and costumes, and powerhouse performances, FROZEN is everything you want in a musical: It's moving. It's spectacular. And above all, it's pure Broadway joy. (Recommended for ages 6 & up.)
Attendees at the OKC Broadway launch event were treated to Broadway cast member Charissa Hogeland, who thrilled the audience with her powerful performance of "Let It Go."
Tulsa audiences will be introduced to PRETTY WOMAN from April 13-18, 2021, followed by an OKC run April 20 - 25, 2021. After an incredible record-breaking run on Broadway, Audience Choice Award winner PRETTY WOMAN: THE MUSICAL is coming to Oklahoma! PRETTY WOMAN: THE MUSICAL is brought to life by a powerhouse creative team representing the best of music, Hollywood, and Broadway. Featuring direction and choreography by two-time Tony Award winner Jerry Mitchell (KINKY BOOTS, LEGALLY BLONDE), an original score by Grammy winner Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance ("SUMMER OF '69", "HEAVEN"), and a book by the movie's legendary director Garry Marshall and screenwriter J.F. Lawton, PRETTY WOMAN: THE MUSICAL will lift your spirits and light up your heart. "If you love the movie, you'll love the musical!" (BuzzFeed News). Featured in the musical is Roy Orbison and Bill Dee's international smash hit song "Oh, Pretty Woman," which inspired one of the most beloved romantic comedy films of all time. Pretty Woman the film (produced by Arnon Milchan, New Regency Productions) was an international smash hit when it was released in 1990. Now, 30 years later, PRETTY WOMAN: THE MUSICAL still "Dazzles!" (Deadline) and is "Big romance and big fun!" (Broadway.com). "Irresistible! A romantic fantasy. A contemporary fairy tale," says The Hollywood Reporter. PRETTY WOMAN: THE MUSICAL delivers on all the iconic moments you remember. Get ready to experience this dazzling theatrical take on a love story for the ages. Are you ready to fall in love all over again? (Recommended for ages 12 & up.)
OKC audiences will be thrilled to welcome back WICKED from May 12-30, 2021. The Broadway sensation, WICKED looks at what happened in the Land of Oz...but from a different angle. Long before Dorothy arrives, there is another young woman, born with emerald-green skin-smart, fiery, misunderstood, and possessing an extraordinary talent. When she meets a bubbly blonde who is exceptionally popular, their initial rivalry turns into the unlikeliest of friendships...until the world decides to call one "good," and the other one "wicked." From the first electrifying note to the final breathtaking moment, WICKED-the untold true story of the Witches of Oz-transfixes audiences with its wildly inventive story that USA Today cheers is "a complete triumph! An original musical that will make you laugh, cry, and think." (Recommended for ages 8 & up.)
Closing out Tulsa's season is the 2019 Best Musical Tony winner HADESTOWN, playing June 15-20, 2021. Come see how the world could be: welcome to HADESTOWN, where a song can change your fate. Winner of eight Tony Awards, this acclaimed new musical by celebrated singer-songwriter Anaïs Mitchell and innovative director Rachel Chavkin (NATASHA, PIERRA & THE GREAT COMET OF 1812) is a love story for today... and always. HADESTOWN intertwines two mythic tales - that of young dreamers Orpheus and Eurydice, and that of King Hades and his wife Persephone - as it invites you on a hell-raising journey to the underworld and back. Mitchell's beguiling melodies and Chavkin's poetic imagination pit industry against nature, doubt against faith, and fear against love. Performed by a vibrant ensemble of actors, dancers and singers, HADESTOWN is a haunting and hopeful theatrical experience that grabs you and never lets go.