The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall Announces Its 50th Anniversary Season - COME FROM AWAY, WAITRESS, and More!
The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall is thrilled to announce its 50th Anniversary Season Subscription Series, featuring an inspiring collection of Broadway and Classical performances in 2019 and 2020.
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. Our Classical series features the world-acclaimed Academy of St Martin in the Fields with Joshua Bell, Salute to Vienna New Year's Concert and Itzhak Perlman in Recital. Please join us in celebrating our 50th Anniversary Season!"
The Broadway Series includes Sarasota premieres such as Jimmy Buffet's hilarious and heartwarming musical, Escape to Margaritaville (December 2), the stunning and widely-acclaimed production of Beautiful - The Carole King Musical (December 13-15), the uplifting and beloved production of Waitress (January 24-26), the new Tony Award-winning musical about six soldiers returning from World War II and, through the power of music, finally finding a place to call home, Bandstand (February 4-5), the exquisite production of George Gershwin's An American in Paris (March 16), the streetwise musical, A Bronx Tale (April 21-22), and the New York Times Critics' Pick telling the heartfelt and unique story of 7,000 stranded passengers in Newfoundland on 9/11, Come From Away (April 28-May 3). By popular demand, returning to the Van Wezel after sell-out runs are The Book of Mormon (January 7-12), the international sensation and outrageous musical comedy, Les Misérables (February 26-March 1), the breathtaking and timeless production, and The Color Purple (March 10), the exhilarating and powerful production that won the 2016 Tony Award for "Best Musical Revival."
The Classical Series includes one of Sarasota's favorite holiday traditions, the Salute to Vienna New Year's Concert on January 2, recreating the beauty of Vienna's golden era. Music Director and virtuoso violinist Joshua Bell leads the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, one of the world's finest chamber orchestras, on February 15. Itzhak Perlman returns to the Van Wezel after sold-out shows on March 21 to share his formidable skills and musical artistry, joined by pianist Rohan de Silva.
Subscriber Specials include the New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players production of The Pirates of Penzance (February 13), Neil Berg's 111 Years of Broadway (February 19) and the feel-good and fun-filled production of The Choir of Man (March 17). Executive Director Mary Bensel had the opportunity to preview the show, which was the hit of the famed Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2018. Rounding out a season of diverse, exciting programming is the classic production of Cinderella, performed by the Russian National Ballet on March 3.