The Boston-Broadway Connection: Back In A Big Way

If gas prices, the credit crisis, and the endless race for president have you wondering if there’s any good news out there, I’m here to throw a spotlight on some spectacular news for the Hub’s theatre scene — the return of the Boston-Broadway connection.

Broadway Across America’s just released 2008-2009 season will bring not one, but two Pre-Broadway shows to Boston in the coming months. Not too many years ago this wasn’t an uncommon occurrence — producers would experiment a bit in Boston before bringing the final cut to New York (The Odd Couple, and La Cage aux Folles are two well known examples). This was great for local audiences because we all had a role in the shaping of these shows. How we reacted had a major impact — and let’s face it who has better taste than Bostonians!

So why is Harry Connick Jr.’s chiseled mug at the top of this blog? Well, the world premiere of “Nice Work If You Can Get It” — a new musical featuring the music of George and Ira Gershwin — will play the Colonial Theatre beginning in December. That is just too cool for school! Harry last hit the boards in “The Pajama Game” back in 2006, and his performance drew raves. I can’t think of a better holiday present than tickets to “Nice Work.”

A couple months earlier our other world premiere rolls in — “Brigadoon.” Lerner & Loewe’s classic is probably best remembered for the film adaptation starring Gene Kelly and Cyd Charisse, but it’s true magic is on the stage. The production is under the direction of Tony Award winner Rob Ashford, and has a revised book written by another Tony winner, John Guare. “Brigadoon” will also play at the Colonial.

That’s all pretty amazing right? But wait there’s more! A national tour of the landmark musical “Spring Awakening” will absolutely blow the doors off the Colonial next April. I saw the show last year, a couple of months before it won the Tony, and I have to tell you, it was the most exciting evening of theatre I have ever experienced. Yes, it’s that good. More than a rock musical, it is a celebration of the creative spirit.

Want more? How’s this … the national tour of “A Chorus Line” kicks off the Broadway Across America season in September at The Opera House — after that “Legally Blonde The Musical” arrives in October.

For you drama sans music fans, Frost/Nixon starring Stacy Keach will play the Colonial in January. It’s the giddy tale of star-crossed lovers — just kidding, it’s a look inside the Post-Watergate interviews between British talk-show host David Frost and Richard Nixon. We also get Chaz Palminteri in “A Bronx Tale” next March.

The wild card of the season will be “Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story On Stage” at the Opera House in February. Classic? — well the jury’s still out on that one, but I’m sure the “Mamma Mia” crowd will be very happy.

For ticket information and the complete schedule check out the Broadway Across America website (the link is just below). It’s going to be fun folks, hope to see you at the shows.


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