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Broadway Grand Rapids Announces 35th Anniversary Season

Broadway Grand Rapids recently announced its 2023-2024 season with a series of broadly appealing shows.
Les Miserables Tour

Les Miserables Tour /Broadway Grand Rapids

On Monday, February 27th, Broadway Grand Rapids announced its 35th anniversary season, which will run from September of this year through June of 2024. Featuring seven shows, it's the organization's biggest season yet. The shows' broad appeal and stylistic diversity offer, as Broadway Grand Rapids' CEO Meghan Distel put it, "something for everyone."

First up: Funny Girl (September 19th - September 24th). Nearly sixty years ago, the show debuted on Broadway, starring an impossibly young and talented Barbra Streisand. The songs "People" and "Don't Rain On My Parade" became part of the culture. 2022 saw a Broadway revival starring a (perhaps miscast) Beanie Feldstein and, later on, Lea Michele. This will be the Michigan premiere of the revival.

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical (November 7th - November 12th) will follow. Powered by the singer's scorching music, it tells the story of a woman whose inner strength allowed her to survive physical and emotional abuse, and not just survive it, but triumph over it. It's a jukebox musical, yes, but when the jukebox contains songs like "Proud Mary" and "What's Love Got To Do With It?," no one will be complaining.

Disney's Aladdin (January 16th - January 21st) should appeal to anyone who's dreamed of glittering treasures or soaring love. The show takes its inspiration from the blockbuster 1992 cartoon and many of the songs will be familiar to anyone who's seen it. However, there are new ones too, including "Proud of Your Boy," a song of yearning which Jacob Dickey (who played the role on Broadway) performed Monday at the season reveal event.

Smack in the middle of the season, To Kill A Mockingbird (April 23rd - April 28th) is not a musical, but a play dramatizing the classic novel. Aaron Sorkin, creator of the TV show The West Wing, wrote the adaptation, which The New York Times has called "elegaic and effective."

MJ the Musical (July 9th - July 14th) shows pop superstar Michael Jackson preparing for his 1992 Dangerous tour. It's a bold move: Jackson had a kinetic quality, a genius as both singer and dancer, that would not be easy to capture. He also had an ineradicable association with scandal, an aspect not addressed by the show.

Les Miserables (March 5th - March 10th) is a quintessential piece of musical theater. The second-longest running musical in Broadway history, it bursts with music, characters, ambition, and heart. It promises to be both intimate and epic, sad and heartening, the kind of event that leaves you, afterward, saying, "my God, that was a show."

Wicked (May 15th-June 2nd) will close the season. Like Les Miserables, it has become a much-beloved musical staple. By translating Gregory Maguire's novel to the stage, it not only pays tribute to its source material, but improves on it. Anyone who can watch it and not walk out with "Popular" or "Defying Gravity" ringing in his head has tired of life.

It's a more than solid lineup, and a tribute to Broadway Grand Rapids' ability to secure world-class art and entertainment. Here's to the next thirty-five years!

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