Gammage brings Broadway elite for 50th anniversary

Famous for bringing the best of Broadway to Tempe, Gammage has outdone itself with its 50th anniversary Broadway season. Announcing the 2014-15 season on Monday night, the lineup consists of theatergoer favorites and heavily praised shows to commemorate the golden anniversary.

The new season will kick off in September with “Kinky Boots,” the first of seven shows: “Pippin,” “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” “Dirty Dancing,” “Rogers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella,” “Motown: The Musical,” and “The Phantom of the Opera.”

The exclusion of the popular “The Book of Mormon” and “Newsies” was surprising, but the special engagements in 2015, “Chicago” and “Wicked,” quickly overshadowed any disappointment.

 

 

“Kinky Boots,” “Pippin” and “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” are among the lesser-known musicals, but each will please. Both “Kinky Boots” and “Pippin” were Tony award winners in 2013, “Kinky Boots” for Best Musical and “Pippin” for Best Revival. “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” is a religious musical comedy that teeters the line between biblicism and fusion of pop, country and rock music.

“Dirty Dancing” is the Broadway adaptation of the 1987 cult-classic starring the late Patrick Swayze. The final dance scene to “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” alone makes the musical a must-see. Theatergoers will fall in love with the story of Johnny and Baby at dance camp.

Bringing the rhythm and blues is “Motown: The Musical,” and it will be one for the music lovers. Featuring infectious hits such as “My Girl,” “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” the fire blazing show has earned much acclaim for its riveting storytelling of American history through music.

“Rogers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella” is as classic as the Disney movie. Notorious for its breathtaking costumes and sets, it also stays true to the elements of “Cinderella” that remain at the core of the classic tale such as the pumpkin, glass slipper and glamorous ball.

“The Phantom of the Opera” has recently undergone a new transformation since its last run at Gammage. Its 52-piece orchestra makes it one of the largest touring productions. The revamped show and, of course, the infamous chandelier drop will attract large audiences during its 11 days in Tempe.

The first special engagement, “Chicago,” will arrive at Gammage in March 2015. The story of pursuing fame, with large dance productions including the well-known “All That Jazz,” has won six Tony awards. The musical is a fan favorite that will win over new audiences.

“Wicked” is one of the longest-running Broadway shows of all time, and for good reason. The musical follows witches from “The Wizard of Oz” before Dorothy’s arrival. Having “The Wizard of Oz” at Gammage this season, “Wicked” is a wonderful addition for next year. It will have a six-week stay in Tempe.

Gammage has created a phenomenal season that can’t be missed. Learn more about this upcoming season’s shows here.

Reach the reporter at jurgiles@asu.edu or follow her on Twitter @MrsMathers94