Broadway in Atlanta has announced its 40th anniversary season at the Fox Theatre, one heavy on new and old favorites and nothing much to tax the mind, save for Aaron Sorkin’s Broadway redo of To Kill a Mockingbird.
The seven-show season begins August 18 with Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations and ends in April 2021 with Tina Fey’s Mean Girls. Season subscribers can opt to add any of three shows: Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical; Beautiful — The Carol King Musical; and Riverdance.
Subscription-package renewals became available as of March 12. New subscriptions will be available in May, with details HERE. Single tickets generally go on sale eight to 12 weeks before opening night.
Here’s a closer look at the full season, in chronological order:
Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations
AUGUST 18–23. The 2019 musical is nearing its first anniversary on Broadway. It tells the singing–dancing story of one of Motown’s greatest 1960s’ vocal groups, one rooted in harmony and dance that evolved to pioneer 1970s’ psychedelic soul despite fairly regular turnover in its five-man lineup. The Temptations won four Grammy awards — in 1968, 1972 and 2000 — and charted regularly. This bio-musical features more than 30 songs, including “Just My Imagination,” “My Girl,” “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone,” “Shout” and “What Becomes of the Brokenhearted.” The show was nominated for 11 Tony awards in 2019, with Sergio Trujillo earning a medallion for his choreography.
To Kill a Mockingbird
OCTOBER 27–NOVEMBER 1. Harper Lee won a Pulitzer Prize for her 1960 novel. The 1962 movie featuring Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch earned three Oscars, including one for Peck. But this is a new Mockingbird, one written by Academy Award winner Aaron Sorkin (adapted screenplay, The Social Network). It introduces the trial much earlier that the novel, movie or previous stage versions did and gives agency to its African American characters — accused rapist Tom and housekeeper Calpurnia. On Broadway, Jeff Daniels played Attticus (Ed Harris has the role now). Mockingbird earned multiple Tony, Drama Desk, Drama League and Outer Critics Circles awards, with Celia Keenan-Bolger as Scout taking the Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics prizes. At this writing, Richard Thomas is playing Atticus on tour. The production is 18 months into its Broadway run at the 1,419-seat Shubert Theatre. The big question is how well it will play in the much larger Fox.
DECEMBER 1–6. Broadway again visited the Hollywood well for this 2019 piece, a true musical comedy. If you know the 1982 movie, you know the story. Michael Dorsey, a talented but difficult actor, struggles to find work until one showstopping act of desperation lands him the role of a lifetime — not in a bad soap opera as in the movie but in a bad Broadway musical. Tootsie earned 10 Tony Award nominations, winning for leading actor Santino Fontana and Robert Horn’s book. The score is by David Yazbeck (The Full Monty, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, The Band’s Visit). The critical response was largely favorable, with The New York Times saying: Comedy rarely flows as smoothly as it does here. “The secret is more than the book; it’s the songs.” Still, Tootsie ran only nine months on Broadway.
Season option No. 1: Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
DECEMBER 15–20. Theodor Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss, published his illustrated children’s story in 1957. In 1966, it became the animated TV special that still airs every holiday season. Other iterations followed, including this stage musical, which features the nasty Grinch, Max the Dog and all the Whos, including Cindy Lou. You’ll also hear the tunes “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” and “Welcome Christmas.” The sets and costumes are inspired by Seuss’ original illustrations.
JANUARY 27–FEBRUARY 7, 2021. Frozen features the songs you know from the Academy Award-winning animated film, plus a dozen new numbers by the film’s songwriters, Oscar winner Kristen Anderson-Lopez and her husband, Robert Lopez, who own Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony awards. The show is about to mark its second anniversary on Broadway. It was nominated for four Tony awards, including best musical. Puppet designer Michael Curry won a 2018 Drama Desk Award.
Jesus Christ Superstar
MARCH 2–7, 2021. The Andrew Lloyd Webber-Tim Rice rock musical turns 50 this year, so it’s back in theaters again. The drama unfolds during the last seven days of Jesus of Nazareth’s life, as seen through the eyes of Judas. The 24-song score includes the familiar “I Don’t Know How to Love Him” and the title song, and the less-familiar “Gethsemane,” “Could We Start Again, Please?”
Season option No. 2: Beautiful — The Carole King Musical
OCTOBER 27–NOVEMBER 1. This isn’t the first time Fox audiences will be able to hear the Carole King songbook, an amazing collection of hits that dates to 1958. This bio-musical follows her early songwriting days at New York’s Brill Building, her partnership and eventual marriage to cowriter Gerry Goffin, and her rise as one of the most popular solo acts in pop-music history. The score features more than 25 songs — “So Far Away,” “Up on the Roof,” “One Fine Day,” “You’ve Got a Friend” and “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” among them. The Broadway run lasted more than six years and earned two 2014 Tony awards — for Jessie Mueller as Carole King and for sound design.
Fiddler on the Roof
MARCH 30–APRIL 4, 2021. Broadway audiences have seen six Fiddlers, including the 1964 original with Zero Mostel and this 2015 revival directed by Bartlett Sher (The Light in the Piazza, The Bridges of Madison County, the South Pacific and King and I revivals, and the current To Kill a Mockingbird). Sher’s version, the one coming to the Fox, is different, according to critics. Charles Isherwood in The New York Times wrote: “It’s impossible to watch the people of Tevye’s town, Anatevka, marching toward their unknown destinies in the shadow of a threatened pogrom without thinking of the thousands of families fleeing violence in the Middle East and elsewhere today.”
APRIL 20–25, 2021. The 2018 musical, nearing is second anniversary on Broadway, comes from some nimble minds — Tina Fey (book), composer Jeff Richmond (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), lyricist Nell Benjamin (Legally Blonde) and director Casey Nicholaw (The Prom, The Drowsy Chaperone). Just as the 2004 feature film did, it tells the story of Cady Heron, who grew up on an African savanna but isn’t prepared for the vicious ways of suburban Illinois. She falls prey to a trio of lionized frenemies and when she tries to fight back, she learns a stinging lesson. Mean Girls was nominated for 12 Tony awards, including best musical, but took home none. Fey did win a Drama Desk Award for best book.
Season option No. 2: Riverdance
APRIL 30–MAY 2, 20–21. This long-running global favorite has reportedly been reinvented for this 25th anniversary tour.
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