Broadway shows have never been more popular, or more expensive … but not in Santa Barbara, thanks to the Theater League organization based in Kansas City, Missouri. Each year, Theater League mounts touring companies of the top Broadway productions for shows through eight American cities that all have one thing in common — they’re not New York! For the musical fans who have experienced such recent Theater League triumphs as the knockout production of Dreamgirls that was here just a few weeks ago, the news that these shows are consistently excellent will come as no surprise, but for those of you out there who love Broadway and have not yet given the Theater League series a try, the upcoming 2013-14 season may be just the ticket(s).
Beginning with Million Dollar Quartet on November 12 and 13, the upcoming slate is probably the strongest one we’ve seen yet. Quartet is based on the legendary Sun Studios recording session, where Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, and Elvis Presley joined forces for a night of unforgettable music making. If you ever wondered what it would be like to hear “Great Balls of Fire” done by The Killer in his prime, this is the next best thing to time travel. The next show up is The Addams Family, a great example of just how current the Theater League series can be. This new musical focuses on the love life of Wednesday Addams and benefits from the amazing songwriting of Andrew Lippa (John & Jen, The Wild Party). The Addams Family will be here on December 10 and 11. Now that’s my idea of a holiday classic!
Speaking of classics, the final two shows of the regular season are major remountings of important Broadway shows from the golden age. Sally Struthers will star in Hello Dolly! on February 25 and 26, 2014, and the season concludes with what many consider to be the greatest of all musicals, West Side Story, on March 18 and 19, 2014. There’s also a special 20th-anniversary edition of the ever-popular STOMP on April 8-9, 2014. Series subscriptions start as low as $115 for all four shows, which is less than the price of a single ticket to most things on Broadway, so enjoy! For tickets and info, call (805) 899-2222 or visit granadasb.org.