On Thursday night, the Lexington Opera House announced a 2012-13 Broadway Live season that the venue's director says needs no introduction, including the musicals West Side Story, Catch Me If You Can, Dreamgirls and The Addams Family.
"What we have is a season of titles we don't have to educate people about," Opera House general manager Luanne Franklin said earlier this week, ahead of the season's formal announcement.
The lineup was unveiled to the public in a gala event at the Opera House featuring performances by members of the University of Kentucky Opera Theatre, Agape Theatre, Arthur Murray Dance and the Bluegrass Area Jazz Ambassadors.
Sheila Kenny, director of marketing at The Lexington Center, of which the Opera House is a part, points out that four out of five titles in the lineup have been movies, and the other one has strong ties to a couple of the most popular reality-competition shows on TV.
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"Today's consumer demands that," Kenny said. "They want to know what they are putting their money into."
Broadway Live regulars will note that the 2012-13 season will start in November, quite a bit later than most previous years, which bowed in September. Franklin said the culprit is the presidential election, specifically the availability of TV advertising time in the months leading up to the vote.
"TV advertising is very important to touring Broadway productions," Franklin said. "A lot of shows this year don't mount until after the election, and go out in November and December."
Creating a buffer for audiences will be the University of Kentucky Opera Theatre's production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera, Oct. 5 to 14, the first production of the iconic Broadway show in the Opera House.
Here is the lineup. All shows are presented at 8 p.m. Fridays, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturdays and 2 and 7 p.m. Sundays unless otherwise noted.
West Side Story, Nov. 16- 18: This is the touring version of the 2009 Spanish-influenced revival of the Leonard Bernstein show that some consider the greatest American musical ever written.
Ballroom With a Twist, Jan. 4-6. This show was conceived and choreographed by Dancing With the Stars' Louis van Amstel and features frequent DWTS dance pros Anna Trebunskaya and Jonathan Roberts. Adding more reality-competition show cache to the lineup will be two vocalists, American Idol finalists David Hernandez (season 7) and Gina Glocksen (season 8).
Catch Me If You Can, Jan. 31-Feb. 3. Based on the 2002 Steven Spielberg film starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks, which in turn had been based on a book, the musical tells the fact-based story of con man Frank W. Abagnale Jr., who traveled the world masquerading as a doctor, lawyer and pilot. The Broadway version, which was nominated for best musical last year, has a book by Terence McNally, music by Marc Shaiman and lyrics by Scott Wittman and Shaiman. Shaiman and Wittman previously collaborated on Hairspray: The Musical. This show will open with a Thursday night performance, which replaces the 7 p.m. Sunday show, so as not to conflict with the Super Bowl.
The Addams Family, March 15-17. Gomez, Morticia and the rest of the dark clan are the subject of the musical with music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa and a book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice.
Dreamgirls, April 19-21. The 1981 musical about a the stormy life of a 1960s girl group roared back into public consciousness with the 2006 film version and Jennifer Hudson's Oscar-winning turn as scorned diva Effie, who sings the iconic And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going.
In addition to the Broadway Live shows, the Opera House announced two Variety Live performances Thursday: Spencers Theatre of Illusion, a magic spectacle featuring Kevin and Cindy Spencer, on Feb. 15 and 16, and Motown in Motion, a revue of songs from the legendary Detroit label, on June 1, 2013. Broadway Live subscribers will have the first opportunity to buy tickets to these shows.
Season subscriptions go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday at the Lexington Center's ticket office or by calling (859) 233-3535. Single tickets to Broadway Live shows will go on sale Aug. 17.
A major feature of the season subscription is that subscribers get 20 percent off the entire season. Season tickets start at $216 for second balcony seats.