Posts Tagged ‘Tampa’

Little by little, 2012-2013 seasons are being announced across North America. Here is what you can expect to see in a market near you!


















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I discussed WONDERLAND in a couple of previous posts. In this one, which I wrote prior to the opening of the show on Broadway, and then in this one, just a couple of weeks after it prematurely closed on the Great White Way. Now that the dust has settled, there has been some time for the people behind the show to think about what went wrong here. Below is a link to an article centering on Judith Lisi, President of The David A. Straz, Jr. Center for Performing Arts in Tampa, and one of the main champions of the work. In the article she tries to wrap her head around the whole WONDERLAND journey from Tampa to Broadway, and ominously predicts what the less than hoped for final result means for the future of developing new works at The Straz.

‘Lessons learned from trip to Wonderland’

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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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