Hershey Theatre reveals lineup for 87th Broadway season
Whether you like romance, turn-of-the-century American history, thrilling music, plucky little heroines, snappy dancing or more romance, the Hershey Theatre has a show for you.
This is Hershey's 87th season of bringing Broadway to central Pennsylvania.
This week, the theatre unveiled its upcoming 2015-2016 Broadway show season with a music-filled year that will truly offer something for everyone.
Sunday showtimes will be changing, with all matinees beginning at 1 p.m., and the evening shows beginning at 6:30 p.m., it was announced.
The Broadway productions coming to Hershey will be "Once," a story about an Irish street musician who finds love; "Matilda," a story about a determined little girl with a big imagination; "Cinderella," the tried and true romance that features love figuratively rising from the ashes; and "Ragtime,"about a talented immigrant and a Harlem musician in turn-of-the-century New York, trying to hit it big in the music world.
"This is big city entertainment," said Dennis Norton, entertainment programming manager for the theatre. "These shows touch us, they make us laugh and cry."
As each show was announced, the four high school students who were winners of the Apollo Awards, sang a song from each musical.
The winners were Rachel Bitner, Brendan McAlester, Meredith Batzler and Emily Homburger.
The musical "Once" is a 2013 Grammy-Award winner, and has garnered eight Tony Awards, including "Best Musical." The tag line for the musical is "His music needed one thing — her." It is a music-filled romance set in Ireland.
Andy Longenberger, marketing manager, said he was especially impressed by the fact that all performers in the show not only sing and dance, but play their own instruments.
"Once" is the tale of a Dublin street musician who is about to give up on his dream when a young woman takes an interest in his haunting love songs.
This is a musical story about going for your dreams, and how music has the power to connect people.
"It's powerful, emotional and romantic," Norton said.
The musical arrives at the Hershey Theatre on September 15 and runs until September 20. There will be no Sunday show for this musical due to scheduling conflicts.
"Matilda" is a musical based on the popular children's book by Roald Dahl, and it's coming to the theatre November 10, it will run until November 15.
The tagline for the show, "To change the world, it takes a little genius," is based on the young heroine and what she has to overcome to make life better.
The musical was named Time magazine's Number One Show of the Year, with the kudos, "It's the best musical since The Lion King." "Matilda the Musical" has won 50 international awards and four Tony Awards.
"Matilda the Musical" is about a girl with a vivid imagination and a lot of spunk who takes a stand to change her destiny. The songs are heartwarming, zany and sweet — all at the same time.
"Your family will love it," Norton said, adding that this is a show your children will enjoy, too.
The producers of the musical are donating a set of Dahl's books to the Hershey Library, Norton said.
The line "glass slippers are so back," introduces the tried-and-true "Cinderella" to the theatre world. Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Cinderella" is the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical from the creators of "The Sound of Music" that is delighting audiences with a contemporary take on the classic tale.
The show includes songs such as "In My Own Little Corner" and "Impossible/It's Possible."
"This is the ultimate make-over story," Norton said.
"Cinderella" will come to the ball at the Hershey Theatre from January 26 to January 31, 2016.
The fourth offering is "Ragtime, the Musical," and it profiles the lives of an upper-class wife, a Jewish immigrant and a young Harlem musician as they struggle to make it big in turn-of-the-century New York.
The musical was nominated for 13 Tony Awards, winning for Best Musical Score and Best Book.
"This is powerful; a great American classic," Norton said.
"Ragtime" played at the Hershey Theatre in 1999, and "took Hershey by storm," Norton said.
"Ragtime" will play from April 26 to May 1, 2016.
Along with the four main showcases, the theatre has added three 2015-2016 optional programs.
They are "The Illusionists," a high-tech magic extravaganza that will be in town on October 4 and 5. Comprised of several well-known and talented magicians, the show is known to get a standing ovation wherever it plays.
Just in time for Christmas will be "Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer, playing December 8 and 9.
"This is a wonderful Christmas offering," Longenberger said.
Norton said he was especially impressed, because "the reindeer really do fly."
Remember January 19, 2016, because "that'll be the day," that "The Buddy Holly Story" comes to town.
The biographical story about the early rock and roll singer is billed as a story of "music, ambition and love." It's a musical chock full of songs from the beginning of rock and roll. Many theatre-goers will remember these songs from their youth, while others will be happily introduced to the energetic, raw and vibrant early rock.
For more information, contact the Hershey Theatre Box Office at (717) 533-2882. Or call the theatre at (717) 534-3405 or go to: HersheyTheatre.com.