Broadway Series Announces Season with Retro Rock, Classics

by Erin Keane on March 30, 2012

Louisville theater audiences may see the new stage musical adaptation of the film “Flashdance” even before it opens in New York. The show is planned to open on Broadway for a limited run on a date yet to be determined, but the touring production is already confirmed for the upcoming Broadway in Louisville season.

Broadway Across America Midwest president Leslie Broecker says it’s a risk to bring a new musical to the region before the show has proven itself on Broadway, but daring choices are as essential to her season as the tried and true classics.

“We want to be very bold,” says Broecker. “Just as in the past we’ve presented shows like ‘Angels in America,’ ‘Flashdance’ is one that we think will have the chops for Broadway and our audiences will get to see it first.”

Broadway Across America announced its 2012-13 season today. All shows will play at the Kentucky Center. “Flashdance,” which opens in January, will join a line-up strong on retro pop, including two musicals set in the cradle of rock and roll — “Memphis,” (April 2013) which won the 2010 Tony Award for best musical, and “Million Dollar Quartet” (February).

One night in 1956, Sun Records hosted a recording session featuring the four hottest young stars in rock and roll. “Million Dollar Quartet” portrays that legendary evening with what might have been rock’s first supergroup — Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis. The show features early rock hits like “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Folsom Prison Blues” and “Great Balls of Fire.”

Broecker says she didn’t know about this watershed moment in music history until a producer pitched the show, and she thinks audiences will also be intrigued.

“You have these icons all together for an evening. How can it not be a fabulous night of theater?”

Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” returns in October for the first time in nearly ten years, and it’s been 15 years since the Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim classic “West Side Story” (May 2013) last toured in Louisville. A balance of hot new shows and familiar fare is what Broecker says she seeks when planning a season.

“I’m always looking for something that’s family-oriented, something that’s ‘sophisticated Broadway,’ something that is a traditional classic. ‘West Side’ hasn’t been here for some time, and it’s easy to get your arms around that particular score,” she says.

The season will feature special engagements of perennial audience favorites “Wicked” (September) and “Jersey Boys” (November) as well.

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