The Lexington Opera House’s Broadway Live series has made nods to the Tony Award-winning smash musical “Jersey Boys,” including two appearances by The Midtown Men, a vocal quartet of the show’s veteran performers.
But in the 2017-18 season, the series will finally bring the actual show to Lexington.
“Jersey Boys,” the jukebox musical about Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, will play March 2 to 4 as a bonus production on the Broadway Live series. Fans who buy tickets to the five-show Broadway Live series will be the first to have a crack at tickets to the show’s first Lexington run.
The 2017-18 lineup was unveiled Wednesday night in a gala event at the Opera House.
The other Lexington debuts on the 2017-18 season also will be on the ’18 side of the calendar: the musical version of the hit 1987 movie “Dirty Dancing,” Jan. 26 to 28, and “Motown the Musical,” April 27 to 29. “Motown” has a cool Lexington connection: It was the Broadway debut for School for Creative and Performing Arts graduate Rebecca Covington.
“Dirty Dancing,” which coincidentally was revived Wednesday night in a new TV movie for ABC, has been a strong title on tour, Lexington Opera House director Luanne Franklin said recently.
Rounding out the season are three time-honored musicals returning to Lexington: “The Wizard of Oz” opening the season Oct. 27 to 29, followed by “The Sound of Music,” Nov. 17 to 19. “Cabaret” returns Feb. 16 to 18 in the Tony Award-winning revival version by Sam Mendes and Rob Marshall that propelled Alan Cumming to fame though his performance as the emcee.
“The Sound of Music” will be this season’s entry in its Broadway Buddies program, which invites a group of underserved youth for behind-the-scenes talks and tours, and ultimately a performance of the show to introduce the students to theater.
In addition to the Broadway Live shows and “Jersey Boys,” the Opera House will present three shows in its Variety Live series: this summer’s production of “Legally Blonde — The Musical” by The Lexington Theatre Company, July 20 to 23; the company’s annual Concert with the Stars, a revue featuring Broadway and student performers, Jan. 6; and The Illusionists, a show featuring five world-renowned illusionists, Feb. 20 and 21.
“There is a real strong audience for magic and illusion,” Franklin said, “and we are excited to bring this show to our audience.”
Single tickets to the Broadway and Variety Live shows — except “Legally Blonde,” which is on sale now — will go on sale Aug. 21. As with “Jersey Boys,” Broadway Live subscribers may buy single tickets to all shows starting Wednesday night.
The “Jersey Boys” production will be a full Equity tour, meaning all the performers on stage are members of Actors Equity, the stage actors union. The show will finally reach Lexington more than a decade after its Broadway debut, and that is becoming the norm these days.
Franklin said Broadway tour producers now tend to keep larger-scale productions of Broadway blockbusters touring to larger markets longer, including for repeat engagements, before sending out tours to hit markets like Lexington.
That is why “Wicked” and “The Book of Mormon” hit Louisville and Cincinnati multiple times, but we haven’t seen them in Lexington. More than a decade ago, “Rent” and “The Producers” made much faster trips to Lexington.
Suffice to say, don’t count on seeing “Hamilton” in town anytime soon, but the “Jersey Boys” are finally coming to town.
Broadway Live 2017-18
What: Annual series of touring Broadway shows
▪ “The Wizard of Oz” 7:30 p.m. Oct. 27, 1 and 7:30 p.m. Oct. 28, 1 and 6:30 p.m. Oct. 29
▪ “The Sound of Music” 8 p.m. Nov. 17, 2 and 8 p.m. Nov. 18, 1 and 6:30 p.m. Nov. 19
▪ “Dirty Dancing” 8 p.m. Jan. 26, 2 and 8 p.m. Jan. 27, 1 and 6:30 p.m. Jan. 28
▪ “Cabaret” 8 p.m. Feb. 16, 2 and 8 p.m. Feb. 17, 1 and 6:30 p.m. Feb. 18
▪ “Jersey Boys” 8 p.m. March 2, 2 and 8 p.m. March 3, 1 and 6:30 p.m. March 4
▪ “Motown The Musical” 8 p.m. April 27, 2 and 8 p.m. April 28, 1 and 6:30 p.m. April 29
▪ “Legally Blonde — The Musical” by The Lexington Theatre Company, 7 p.m. July 20 and 21, 1 and 7 p.m. July 22, 1 p.m. July 23 (Tickets on sale now to all patrons, $35-$80)
▪ Concert with the Stars by The Lexington Theatre Company, 8 p.m. Jan. 6
▪ The Illusionists 8 p.m. Feb. 20 and 21
Where: Lexington Opera House, 401 W. Short St.
Tickets: Season tickets for five Broadway Live shows, not including “Jersey Boys,” are on sale now, starting at $210. Season subscribers will be able to buy tickets to “Jersey Boys” and Variety Live shows with their subscriptions. Single tickets to all shows go on sale Aug. 21.