Once again, into the breach: The Bushnell Announces Its 20014-2015 Broadway Series

The national tour of Once: see it this week at the Shubert in New Haven, next year at the Bushnell in Hartford. Joan Marcus photo.


The Bushnell’s announced its 2014-2015 Broadway Series. Compared to recent years, there’s a touch less modernity (or post-modernity) and slightly fewer shows adapted from films or books. Pretty strong, balanced season; judge for yourself:

Sept. 23-28, 2014: Evita. This tour of the recent Broadway revival, directed by Michael Grandage and choreographed by Rob Ashford, is already happening, currently in Ohio and scheduled through June. There’ll likely be a hiatus and a cast change before it hits the Bushnell in the fall. Right now it’s starring Caroline Bowman from the national tour of Spamalot.

Oct. 14-19, 2014: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Back to back Andrew Lloyd Webber/Tim Rice collaborations. There’s only three of those; what are the odds? The cast for this one is already set: Diana DeGarmo as the narrator and Ace Young as Joseph. Andy Blankenbuehler directs. Both the Evita and Joseph tours are directly produced by Lloyd Webber’s own Really Useful Group. It’s just been announced, by the way, that Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is being made into an animated film co-produced by Elton John’s Rocket Pictures.

Nov. 5-23, 2014: Wicked. Not part of the Bushnell subscription package, probably because it has been several times before. As long as this show—biggest Broadway hit of the last decade and a divine first “real” theatergoing experience for tweenagers—continues to tour, the Bushnell is smart to keep booking it. (The latest book in Gregory McGuire’s “Wicked Years” series remains Out of Oz, published in 2011. The first Wicked book, subtitled The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West and published in 1995, is what inspired this musical.)

Jan. 6-11, 2015: Pippin. Whoa—back-to-back Rice/Lloyd Webbers followed by back-to-back Stephen Schwartzes! Diane Paulus directed this revival of the ever-timely anti-war parable, with respect paid to the lithe original direction and choreography of Bob Fosse. But Connecticut audiences may be most interested in the participation of acrobat/illusionists 7 Doigts de la Main, who wowed the International Festival of Arts & Ideas in New Haven with their show Sequence 8 last summer. 7 Doigts devised the onstage magic tricks performed by the Pippin cast.

Feb. 3-8, 2015: Nice Work If You Can Get It. This is the recent Broadway hit which was originally done at the Goodspeed Opera House in 2001 under the title They All Laughed. It cobbles a new book (by Joe DiPietro) around Gershwin songs. The show’s Broadway run ended in June 2013, and it was announced that a tour was likely for that year. Here it is now, and hopefully worth the wait. New script notwithstanding, this is certainly the most “classic” entry on the Bushnell Broadway sched, several decades older than the next oldest entry (see below…)

April 21-26, 2015: Camelot. I know it sounds a bit absurd. (Especially after all those tours of Spamalot.) But consider that this is a 55th anniversary production, of a Lerner & Loewe classic that has never really gone out of style, despite the chainmail costume design. You now have a year to reread T.H. White’s The Once and Future King in anticipation.

May 19-24, 2015: Once. It’s already been in the state once—this week, in fact, Feb. 26 through March 2 (2014) at the Shubert, a rare reversal since the much-bigger Bushnell gets first dibs on most first national tours. Thirteen months from now, you’ll surely be dying to see this desultory Irish/Czech love story again.

June 23-28, 2015: Kinky Boots. This is the big score of the Bushnell season: first national tour of last year’s biggest breakout Broadway hit, and revenge for Taboo and all those other hip Britishy musicals that weren’t quite as hipas they thought. Maybe it’s the fact that this ’50s Brit bootmaking saga was adapted by Americans (Harvey Feirstein and Cyndi Lauper) is what makes it so kinkily successful.

The Bushnell is offering season subscription packages at (860) 987-5900. Current subscribers get first crack, new subscribers get considered in summertime, and the date when tickets go on sale to non-subscribers hasn’t been announced yet.