Friday, April 17, 2009

PPAC's 2009-2010 season

All right, the Providence Performing Arts Center has finally released the schedule for its 2009-2010 season.

Here's the lineup:

Young Frankenstein: Sept. 29 - Oct. 4; Avenue Q: Oct. 20 - 25; Wicked: Dec. 16 - Jan. 10; Xanadu: Feb. 16 - 21; Beauty and the Beast: Feb. 23 - 28; 101 Dalmations: March 16 - 21; A Bronx Tale: April 16 - 18; Jersey Boys: May 12 - June 6.

I'm excited about Xanadu, since I never got a chance to see it on Broadway and it's supposed to be tons of campy fun - on roller skates! I love the movie of 101 Dalmations. And Chazz Palminteri got great reviews for A Bronx Tale when he did the one-man show in New York.

On the other hand, while it's great that Young Frankenstein is starting its national tour in Providence, I was disappointed when I saw it on Broadway and it did get very lukewarm reviews. This was one of those shows where everyone around me was laughing hysterically and I was only mildly amused.

Plus, we seem to be getting a lot of musicals that have been around for awhile: Avenue Q and Jersey Boys, Disney's Beauty and the Beast. I'm a huge fan of Wicked and I'll definitely see it again, but it was just here two years ago.

Next year's lineup also seems a lot less diverse than this year's, which includes Fiddler on the Roof, A Chorus Line, Spring Awakening and The Color Purple.

Compare PPAC's season with Hartford's Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts, which is getting the national tours of three current, highly regarded Broadway shows: South Pacific, In the Heights and August: Osage County. I loved them all and they would have been in my lineup, along with Mary Poppins, Dreamgirls and Little House on the Prairie.

Granted, I'm looking at this as a theatre maven, not as your average theatre fan who doesn't get to New York - or even Boston. Jersey Boys and Avenue Q have the cachet of winning the Tony for Best Musical; Wicked, Young Frankenstein, 101 Dalmations and Beauty and the Beast have name recognition.

And who knows, maybe they weren't offered any of those other shows.

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