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Archive for February, 2011

Some markets are beginning to announce the touring shows that they will be presenting on their Broadway Series in 2011-2012. These early samplings are probably also indications of what the Broadway Series line-ups will generally be looking like in other markets on The Road for next season:

MEMPHIS National Tour to Play Chicago in the Fall

What’s on the Menu for Bushnell’s 2011-12 Broadway Series?

THE ADDAMS FAMILY‘ Booked for The Bushnell

MEMPHIS‘ Tour Heading to Bushnell’s Broadway Series

Big Shows to Boost Broadway (Cincinnati)

‘Bring It On’ musical to kick of national tour at Ahmanson in November

Lion King‘ ‘Les Miserables‘ lead next touring season in Orlando

Broadway at DPAC

Something old and new for 2011-12 TUTS season

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In a previous post I talked about presenters who also produce. Perhaps the most high-profile current example of that situation involves the Broadway-bound production of WONDERLAND, which premiered at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa as the first production in the center’s Broadway Genesis Project. I first discussed WONDERLAND in a post back in September.

Well, the WONDERLAND marquis is now up at The Marquis and the show begins previews on March 21 with an opening of April 17. What will be interesting to see, for me at least, is if this production will have that certain New York-level quality that people have come to expect in this town. After having seen many, many shows in New York over the years, as well as touring shows and regional productions, I have always felt a difference between New York theatre productions and out-of-town productions and presentations. There is an unbelievably high level of excellence that we have simply come to expect from a New York production that shows produced and presented outside New York need not try to reach to still be viewed as a quality experience in their local markets. The stakes are simply much higher here in New York than elsewhere. There is a lot more exposure, more critics, and very high expectations all the way around.

I wish WONDERLAND well and look forward to seeing it, but I have to admit I have doubts that it will be a commercial success. There are Broadway musical veterans on the creative team, including composer, Frank Wildhorn of JEKYLL & HYDE and THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL fame, but neither of these shows were critical hits. I also think the reported weaknesses of the book, if not addressed well enough by opening, will ultimately weigh it down. That said, if the score finds enough of a fan base, it could turn into a word-of-mouth crowd-pleaser. WICKED was generally not embraced by the New York critics and look what happened there.

Here are some recent articles about WONDERLAND and its road to Broadway, including one mixed review of the most recent Tampa incarnation this past January…

“Wonderland” is better, but…

WONDERLAND website Unveils Song Previews!

Wonderland streamlined for Straz Center, then Broadway

Frank Wildhorn talks WONDERLAND changes and more

Behind the Poster: A Grown-Up Alice in “Wonderland”

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