Wow! I’m so excited about a number of these productions. Even the ones that have been through town a number of times over the years (STOMP, Blue Man Group) are still worth seeing, if you never have. And some of these really will be “never seen” for most folks in the DC area. Take a look at the musicals coming to the The National Theatre in Washington, DC as they announce their New Broadway Series for 2013-2014, “Broadway At The National,” with subscriptions On Sale May 30.
I am personally psyched to see American Idiot and West Side Story—the first, you couldn’t get tickets to, the second will never go out of style and never be anything other than quintessential Broadway. Count on my reviews of the shows in the coming year ahead.
The National Theatre presents its first subscription series in more than a decade with the announcement of Broadway at the National. Of special note is the pre-Broadway world premiere of If/Then, the Washington premiere of American Idiot, and the historic return of the Tony® Award-winning The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, the 2013-14 season at The National Theatre includes eight productions, and runs November 2013 through June 2014.
The four-show subscription series consists of If/Then, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, American Idiot, and West Side Story. The remainder of the season includes STOMP, Mamma Mia!, Blue Man Group, and Hal Holbrook In Mark Twain Tonight!.
Subscriptions start at $195 and will be available beginning Thursday, May 30, at www.thenationaldc.com or by calling the subscription hotline at (855) 486-2516. Single tickets will go on sale later in 2013.
Steve Traxler, part of the group which oversees the programming of The National says “It was our goal to offer a Broadway series this year… and we’re pleased with how this first one has turned out..It’s a wonderful mix of new and classic Broadway, and paves the way for future seasons.”
The highly-anticipated new musical If/Then, starring Tony® Award-winner Idina Menzel, reunites Tom Kitt (music), Brian Yorkey (book and lyrics), and Michael Greif (director), the creative team behind the Pulitzer Prize and Tony® Award-winning musical Next to Normal.
“All of us on the creative team of If/Then feel a very special connection to Washington, D.C., after we were given the unique opportunity to continue developing Next to Normal here back in 2008,” explains producer David Stone. “But long before that, Washington, and in particular, the National Theatre, has proved to be a wonderful place to develop new American work, including the historic pre-Broadway productions of West Side Story, Hello, Dolly!, and Fiddler on the Roof. We are excited to resume the tradition of creating original musicals in Washington with the world premiere of If/Then this fall.”
West Side Story once again returns to its theatrical home. Not only did the original production have its start at the National Theatre in 1957, but the most recent Broadway revival did as well in 2008.
American Idiot and The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, with four Tony® Awards and nine additional nominations between them, each provide their own window into complicated lives and difficult decisions. The two productions illustrate the diversity and range of theatrical productions that can be seen on stage today.
For additional information on the 2013-14 Broadway season at the National Theatre, please see below.
Subscription Series 2013-14
Synopses and Dates Follow, They were not written by me.
Pre-Broadway World Premiere
By Composer Tom Kitt and Lyricist/Book Writer Brian Yorkey
Directed by Michael Grief
Starring Tony® Award-winner Idina Menzel
November 5 – December 8, 2013
On the verge of turning 40, Elizabeth moves to New York City, the ultimate city of possibility, intent on a fresh start – new home, new friends, and hopes for a resurgent career. But even in her carefully planned new life, the smallest decision or most random occurrence will impact her world in ways she never dreamt possible. Set against the ever-shifting landscape of modern day Manhattan, If/Then is a romantic and original new musical about how choice and chance collide and how we learn to love the fallout. This original Broadway musical reunites the creative team behind the Pulitzer Prize- and Tony® Award-winning musical, Next to Normal.
The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess
By George Gershwin, Dubose and Dororthy Heyward, and Ira Gershwin
Directed by Diane Paulus
Book Adaptation by Suzan-Lori Parks; Musical Score Adaptation by Diedre L. Murray; Choreography by Ronald K. Brown
December 25 – 29, 2013
Based on DuBose Heyward’s novel “Porgy” and the play of the same name, which he co-wrote with his wife Dorothy Heyward, the Tony® Award-winning Broadway revival of The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess is a stunning and stirring new staging, including such legendary songs as “Summertime,” “It Ain’t Necessarily So,” and “I Got Plenty of Nothing.” The classic story is set in Charleston’s fabled Catfish Row, where the beautiful Bess struggles to break free from her scandalous past, and the only one who can rescue her is the courageous Porgy. Threatened by her formidable former lover Crown, and the seductive enticements of the colorful troublemaker Sporting Life, Porgy and Bess’ relationship evolves into a deep romance that triumphs as one of theater’s most exhilarating love stories.
Washington, D.C., Premiere
Music by Green Day; Lyrics by Billie Joe Armstrong; Book by Billie Joe Armstrong and Michael Mayer
Directed by Michael Mayer
Choreography by Steven Hoggett
February 18 – 23, 2014
Winner of two Tony® Awards, American Idiot is the story of three boyhood friends, each searching for meaning in a post 9-11 world, and forced to choose between their dreams and the safety of suburbia. Based on Green Day’s Grammy® Award-winning multi-platinum album, Americn Idiot features the hits “Boulevard of Broken Dreams,” “21 Guns,” “Wake Me Up When September Ends,” “Holiday,” and the blockbuster title track.
West Side Story
Music by Leonard Bernstein; Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim; Book by Arthur Laurents
Arthur Laurent’s Broadway direction recreated by David Saint
Jerome Robbin’s original choreography restaged by Joey McKneely
June 3 – 8, 2014
The Broadway revival of West Side Story returns to its theatrical home six years after its world debut, and 57 years after Washington first experienced the musical phenomenon of Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim’s score and Arthur Laurents’ libretto. The story of star-crossed lovers Tony and Maria as they struggle to rise above the hatred and intolerance that surrounds them remains as powerful, poignant, and timely as ever.
Additional Productions / Season 2013-14
Directed and created by Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas
February 4 – 9, 2014
Stiff-bristle brooms become a sweeping orchestra; Zippo lighters flip open and closed to create a fiery fugue; wooden poles thump and clack in a rhythmic explosion. STOMP uses everything but conventional percussion instruments – trashcans, tea chests, plastic bags, plungers, boots, and hubcaps – to fill the stage with compelling and infectious rhythms.
Music and Lyrics by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus; Book by Catherine Johnson
Directed by Phillida Lloyd
Choreography by Anthony Van Laat
March 4 – 9, 2014
Mamma Mia! is the ultimate feel-good show that has audiences coming back again and again to relive the thrill. This smash-hit musical combines ABBA’s greatest hits, including “Dancing Queen,” “S.O.S.,” “Super Trouper,” “Take A Chance on Me,” and “The Winner Takes It All,” with an enchanting tale of love, laughter and friendship.
Hal Holbrook In Mark Twain Tonight!
April 4 – 5, 2014
Emmy® and Tony® Award-winner Hal Holbrook has toured Mark Twain Tonight! in some part of every year since 1954, with more than 2200 performances, making 2014 the 60th consecutive year for this remarkable one man show. Mark Twain Tonight! has become perhaps the longest running show in theater history. Holbrook adds to his Twain material every year, editing and changing it to fit the times and has mined over sixteen hours of Twain with more coming all the time. He has no set program – he chooses material as he goes along. Holbrook is not simply an impersonator of Mark Twain, he is an authority on the writer with whom Hemingway said, “American literature began.”
Blue Man Group
Created and Written by Matt Goldman, Philip Stanton, and Chris Wink
May 6 – 11, 2014
The critically acclaimed Blue Man Group’s touring theatrical production creates experiences that defy categorization. Blue Man Group is best known for multi-media performances that feature three bald and blue characters that take the audience on a journey that is funny, intelligent, and visually stunning. A live band, whose haunting tribal rhythms help drive the show to its climax, accompanies the Blue Men.
Productions and dates are subject to change. For more information, visit: http://thenationaldc.com/