Performing Arts

Starlight Theatre’s 2017 Broadway series brings recent Tony winners to KC

“Something Rotten!” highlights the 2017 Broadway season at Starlight Theatre. The musical comedy will play July 25-30.
“Something Rotten!” highlights the 2017 Broadway season at Starlight Theatre. The musical comedy will play July 25-30. Starlight Theatre

Starlight Theatre’s 2017 Broadway season will include proven crowd-pleasers “Grease,” “The Little Mermaid” and “Mamma Mia!” while also introducing straight-from-Broadway musicals “Something Rotten!” and “An American in Paris.”

“Something Rotten!” was nominated for 10 Tony Awards this year, taking home one for supporting actor Christian Borle. “An American in Paris,” adapting the 1951 Academy Award-winning film of the same name, was nominated for 12 Tonys, winning four technical awards.

Also making its Kansas City premiere is “The Bodyguard,” based on the 1992 Whitney Houston film.

Season ticket subscribers can renew their tickets now, with a new twist: Subscribers can choose from five to seven of the shows for their package. They can also add or swap into the two weekend specials

“We’ve heard from subscribers that half of them want the classic shows and half want the new shows straight from Broadway,” said Cindy Jeffries, vice president of marketing and sales at Starlight. “This is our way to try to please everybody.”

New season subscriptions and individual tickets will go on sale later. See KCStarlight.com or call 816-363-7827.

Here’s the full lineup:

▪ “The Little Mermaid,” June 3-11: The fairy tale of the mermaid who wants to be human includes popular Disney tunes “Part of Your World,” “Kiss the Girl” and “Under the Sea,” as well as imaginative props and visuals to create an underwater set. It played Starlight in 2013.

▪ “Jersey Boys,” June 27 through July 2: The true story of how Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons made chart-topping history includes hit songs “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry” and “Oh What a Night.” It played the Kansas City Music Hall in 2012.

▪ “An American in Paris,” July 11-16: Based on the film starring Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron, the musical follows an American soldier in Paris and the mysterious French girl he falls for. While the staging is new, the production incorporates many of the Gershwin standards of the film, including “I Got Rhythm” and “Our Love Is Here to Stay.”

▪ “Something Rotten!” July 25-30: In 1595, two brothers set out to create the first musical to overshadow their contemporary, William Shakespeare. With tongue-in-cheek references to numerous modern musicals, “Something Rotten!” is a hearty musical comedy.

▪ “The Bodyguard: The Musical,” Aug. 8-13: A former Secret Service agent is charged with protecting a young star — and, of course, they end up falling in love. Classic songs from the Houston movie include “So Emotional,” “Run to You” and “I Will Always Love You.”

▪ “Motown the Musical,” Aug. 22-27: The show, which played the Music Hall in 2014, follows Motown founder Berry Gordy as he discovers music stars Diana Ross, Michael Jackson and Smokey Robinson. Their hits (including “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and “My Girl”) comprise the majority of the musical’s score.

▪ “Grease,” Sept. 8-14: Step back into the ’50s with the beloved musical tale of star-crossed lovers Sandy and Danny, whose love story inspired a blockbuster film, an ill-fated sequel and a successful live TV musical.

Weekend specials:

▪ “Mamma Mia!” June 23-25: ABBA fans, rejoice: In the story of a young woman finding her father, you’ll find some of the band’s greatest hits, including “Dancing Queen,” “S.O.S.” and, of course, the title track. The show played the Music Hall in 2014.

▪ “Kinky Boots,” Aug. 18-20: With songs by Cyndi Lauper, “Kinky Boots” (which played the Music Hall this spring) tells how one man saves his family shoe factory by crafting boots for an entirely new audience: drag queens.

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