Theater League and Broadway Across America will offer a 2015-16 Kansas City Broadway Series that includes familiar shows making repeat visits and Broadway hits coming to town for the first time.
Broadway Across America is responsible for big shows at the Music Hall, which will include “Dirty Dancing,” “Kinky Boots,” “Newsies” and a two-week reprise of “Wicked.”
Theater League will present “A Night With Janis Joplin” and a new tour of “Ragtime” at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.
Broadway Across America
▪ “Wicked,” Oct. 7-18 at the Music Hall. There’s an audience out there that seemingly can’t get enough of this prequel to “The Wizard of Oz.” A mix of imaginative fiction and female-empowerment themes, “Wicked” is based on a novel by Gregory Maguire. Winnie Holzman wrote the book and Stephen Schwartz wrote the music and lyrics. This isn’t the show’s first run in Kansas City and almost certainly won’t be the last.
▪ “Dirty Dancing,” Dec. 8-13 at the Music Hall. Based on the 1987 movie with Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey, this nostalgia-laden pop-song-saturated stage production originated and toured in Australia. It has also toured the United Kingdom and is now on the road in the U.S.
▪ “Newsies,” Feb. 23-28, 2016, at the Music Hall. The winner of the 2012 Tony Awards for best score and best choreography tells the story of scrappy turn-of-the-century newsboys and newsgirls battling the unfair business practices of publishers Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst. Based on a 1992 Disney movie, the creative team includes composer Alan Menken, lyricist Jack Feldman and book author Harvey Fierstein.
▪ “Kinky Boots,” April 5-10, 2016, at the Music Hall. Cyndi Lauper’s debut as a Broadway composer was a monster hit, claiming six Tony Awards, including one for Lauper. Based on an indie British film, the show tells the story of a struggling shoe factory that finds new life when a drag queen points the company in a new direction and the plant begins making flamboyant boots for drag performers. Harvey Fierstein wrote the book.
▪ “A Night With Janis Joplin,” Jan. 19-24, 2016, at the Kauffman Center. Mary Bridget Davies steps into the title role in this homage to the iconic hippie blues singer and the music of her generation. Davies played Joplin a few years ago in a different show, “Love, Janis,” at KC Rep.
▪ “Ragtime,” May 17-22, 2016, at the Kauffman Center. This multiple Tony-winning musical is based on the E.L. Doctorow novel about a changing America in the early 20th century. The score is by Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens; Terrence McNally wrote the book. This is an all-new touring production of a show that ranks as one of the best theatrical adaptations of a novel, respecting the source material while crafting a work of art for the stage.