‘Dear Evan Hansen' announced for the 2018-2019 Gammage season

'Wicked,' 'Book of Mormon' and 'Rent' will also be returning to the Gammage stage

ASU Gammage announced on March 12 its 2018-2019 Broadway season lineup with headliners such as the Tony Award-winning production "Dear Evan Hansen," Disney’s "Aladdin" and "Hello, Dolly!".

Gammage will also be hosting other hits fresh off Broadway such as "Waitress," "On Your Feet!" and "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," along with the return of favorites like "Wicked," "The Book of Mormon" and "Rent" as season options.

The 2018-2019 Gammage Season Poster courtesy of ASU Gammage.

Colleen Jennings-Roggensack, executive director of ASU Gammage, said the upcoming season took a little planning and a lot of networking. 

As Arizona’s sole Tony Awards voter, Jennings-Roggensack has carved out a respectable positon in the world of fine arts, which has been one of the reasons ASU Gammage is able to attract major productions. 

"Broadway is a business of relationships,” Jennings-Roggensack said. “I want to have the winner of the Tony, hopefully the best play and the best revival." 

But she said none of it would be possible without the great support from the community.

Natalie Jasso, a Gammage subscription holder, attended the announcement event on March 12, and has been attending Gammage events since she was in third grade.

She said although she is excited for the upcoming shows — especially "Rent" — it will be hard to top last season with the popularity of "Hamilton."

Read More: Tony Award-winning musical 'Hamilton' debuts at ASU Gammage

“I think I screamed the most when 'Rent' was shown on screen,” Jasso said. “To me, it’s the most important musical of all time. 'Hamilton' wouldn’t exist, 'Dear Evan Hansen' wouldn’t exist without 'Rent.'” 

"Rent" will be returning as part of its 20-year anniversary tour. Jennings-Roggensack said that when the musical first came to ASU Gammage, there was a great deal of risk to showcase it as a new production that was not yet well known.

She said that at the time people told her she would lose her job over bringing "Rent" to Gammage, but she was determined to take risks and bring new musicals to ASU.

Jennings-Roggensack said she took a similar approach to "Dear Evan Hansen" when producer Stacey Mindich called her and asked her to take a look at the show before it was "anywhere near Broadway." 

Jennings-Roggensack came back and told a Gammage staff member that the auditorium was going to do "Dear Evan Hansen," and this was before anyone even knew what it was or that is would soon acquire six awards at the 2017 Tony Awards and a Grammy in 2018.

‘Dear Evan Hansen,’ will no doubt bring a crowd, but premier family-friendly selections like Disney’s ‘Aladdin’ will have no struggle bringing in fans either. 

Micaela Martin, a theatre technical assistant at Gammage, is one such fan that will definitely be in attendance. She said that even though she knows how demanding it is to put on such a complicated production, 'Aladdin' is near and dear to her. 

“'Aladdin' holds a special place in my heart because (my husband) actually proposed to me at 'Aladdin.'"

Reach the reporter at qbingham@asu.edu or follow @quintinbingham on Twitter.

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