Madison’s Only Broadway Stage
There’s nothing quite like the glitz and glamour of Broadway and nowhere else to see it in South Central Wisconsin but Overture Center for the Arts. We present professional, touring Broadway shows, highlighting big stars in the leading roles. In conjunction with our Broadway partners, we’ve presented top-selling productions such as Hamilton, The Lion King, Wicked and Rent.
Like you, we are dreaming of the excitement in Overture Hall when the house lights dim and the curtain rises. While we are busy planning and preparing for what our reopening will look like at Overture, the people in charge of Broadway Tours are going through much of the same planning. We thought you’d like to hear from them on what they are doing, and what needs to happen in order to get our beloved Broadway shows back on the road.
In our first video, Sue Frost, one of the producers for the musical Come From Away, discusses the aspects producers are considering.
Meredith Blair, President of The Booking Group, talks about the touring ecosystem in the second video.
Finally, in the last video, we offer you a backstage scoop that’s a little closer to home. The set for the National Tour of Wicked remained in Overture Hall from March 13 when the shows were cancelled until September 24 when it was loaded out. Broadway experts Tim Sauers and Karra Beach interviewed Matt Biltgen (Head Carpenter for the National Tour of Wicked) and John Penisten, Overture’s Director of Production, regarding the detailed preparation taken to ensure the load out was safe for all involved.
2020/21 Broadway at Overture Series
MEAN GIRLS • TUE, OCT 6 – SUN, OCT 11
Direct from Broadway, MEAN GIRLS is the hilarious hit musical from an award-winning creative team, including book writer Tina Fey (“30 Rock”), composer Jeff Richmond (“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”), lyricist Nell Benjamin (“Legally Blonde”) and director Casey Nicholaw (“The Book of Mormon”).
Cady Heron may have grown up on an African savanna, but nothing prepared her for the vicious ways of her strange new home: suburban Illinois. Soon, this naïve newbie falls prey to a trio of lionized frenemies led by the charming but ruthless Regina George. But when Cady devises a plan to end Regina’s reign, she learns the hard way that you can’t cross a Queen Bee without getting stung.
New York Magazine cheers, “MEAN GIRLS delivers with immense energy, a wicked sense of humor and joyful inside-jokery.” USA Today says, “We’ll let you in on a little secret, because we’re such good friends: GET YOUR TICKETS NOW!”
CHICAGO • TUE, NOV 17 – SUN, NOV 22
There’s never been a better time to experience CHICAGO, Broadway’s razzle-dazzle smash. This triumphant hit musical is the recipient of six Tony Awards®, two Olivier Awards, a Grammy®, thousands of standing ovations and now the #1 longest-running American Musical in Broadway history.
Set amidst the razzle-dazzle decadence of the 1920s, CHICAGO is the story of Roxie Hart, a housewife and nightclub dancer who maliciously murders her on-the-side lover after he threatens to walk out on her. Desperate to avoid conviction, she dupes the public, the media and her rival cellmate, Velma Kelly, by hiring Chicago’s slickest criminal lawyer to transform her malicious crime into a barrage of sensational headlines, the likes of which might just as easily be ripped from today’s tabloids.
CHICAGO has everything that makes Broadway great: a universal tale of fame, fortune and all that jazz; one show-stopping song after another; and the most astonishing dancing you’ve ever seen. It’s no surprise that CHICAGO has wowed audiences from Mexico City to Moscow, from Sao Paulo to South Africa. And now it’s coming to our town!
Whether you’re looking for your first Broadway musical, whether you’ve seen the Academy Award®-winning film and want to experience the show live on stage or whether you’ve seen it before and want to recapture the magic, CHICAGO always delivers!
Come on, babe! Head to CHICAGO! We’re hotter than ever.
OKLAHOMA! • TUE, FEB 16 – SUN, FEB 21, 2021
“How is it that the coolest new show on Broadway is a 1943 musical?” says The New York Times. This is OKLAHOMA! as you’ve never seen or heard it before—reimagined for the 21st century—and now the Tony Award Winner for Best Revival of a Musical. Funny and sexy, dark and jolting, “this production shocked me and moved me. This is the OKLAHOMA! that was there all along,” raves New York Magazine. Direct from an acclaimed run on Broadway, OKLAHOMA! “lets us experience Rodgers and Hammerstein’s greatness anew.” (The New Yorker)
Stripped down to reveal the darker psychological truths at its core, Daniel Fish’s production tells a story of a community circling its wagons against an outsider and the frontier life that shaped America. Upending the sunny romance of a farmer and a cowpoke, this OKLAHOMA! allows the classic musical—and our country—to be seen in a whole new light.
“This production shocked and moved me,” raves Frank Rich of New York Magazine. “This is the OKLAHOMA! that was there all along.” The Daily Beast raves, “Forget your traditional idea of Oklahoma! Daniel Fish’s daring, brilliant, utterly absorbing re-interpretation is dark and different – brilliantly so.”
THE LION KING • THU, MAR 18 – SUN, APR 11, 2021
Giraffes strut. Birds swoop. Gazelles leap. The entire Serengeti comes to life as never before. And as the music soars, Pride Rock slowly emerges from the mist. This is Disney’s THE LION KING, making its triumphant return to the Overture Center for the Arts!
More than 100 million people around the world have experienced the awe-inspiring visual artistry, the unforgettable music and the uniquely theatrical storytelling of this Broadway spectacular—one of the most breathtaking and beloved productions ever to grace the stage.
Winner of six Tony Awards®, including Best Musical, THE LION KING brings together one of the most imaginative creative teams on Broadway. Tony Award®-winning director Julie Taymor brings to life a story filled with hope and adventure set against an amazing backdrop of stunning visuals. THE LION KING also features the extraordinary work of Tony Award®-winning choreographer Garth Fagan and some of Broadway’s most recognizable music, crafted by Tony Award®-winning artists Elton John and Tim Rice.
There is simply nothing else like THE LION KING.
THE PROM • TUE, MAY 11 – SUN, MAY 16, 2021
Everyone’s invited to the joyous Broadway hit that New York Magazine hails as “smart and big-hearted” while The New York Times declares it “makes you believe in musical comedy again!” THE PROM is a new musical comedy about big Broadway stars on a mission to change the world and the love they discover that unites them all.
Variety raves, “It’s so full of happiness that you think your heart is about to burst.” And The Hollywood Reporter cheers, “It’s comic gold!”
THE PROM features direction and choreography by Tony Award winner Casey Nicholaw (“Mean Girls,” “The Book of Mormon”), a book by Tony Award winner Bob Martin (“The Drowsy Chaperone”) and Tony Award nominee Chad Beguelin (“Aladdin”), music by Tony Award nominee Matthew Sklar (“Elf”) and lyrics by Tony Award nominee Chad Beguelin.
You belong at THE PROM!
DEAR EVAN HANSEN • TUE, JUN 15 – SUN, JUN 20, 2021
Winner of six 2017 Tony® Awards, including Best Musical, and the 2018 Grammy® Award for Best Musical Theater Album.
A letter that was never meant to be seen, a lie that was never meant to be told, a life he never dreamed he could have. Evan Hansen is about to get the one thing he’s always wanted: a chance to finally fit in. DEAR EVAN HANSEN is the deeply personal and profoundly contemporary musical about life and the way we live it.
DEAR EVAN HANSEN has struck a remarkable chord with audiences and critics everywhere, including The Washington Post who says DEAR EVAN HANSEN is “one of the most remarkable shows in musical theater history.” The New York Times calls it “a gut-punching, breathtaking knockout of a musical.” And NBC Nightly News declares the musical “an anthem resonating on Broadway and beyond.”
DEAR EVAN HANSEN features a book by Tony Award winner Steven Levenson, a score by Grammy®, Tony® and Academy Award® winners Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (“La La Land,” “The Greatest Showman”) and direction by four-time Tony Award nominee Michael Greif (“Rent,” “Next to Normal”).
The original Broadway cast recording of DEAR EVAN HANSEN, produced by Atlantic Records, made an extraordinary debut at #8 on the Billboard 200—the highest charting debut position for an original cast album since 1961—and went on to win the 2018 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album. A special edition coffee table book authored by Levenson, Pasek and Paul, Dear Evan Hansen: through the window (Grand Central Publishing/Melcher) is now available, offering an in-depth, all-access look at the musical, including never-before-seen production photos and cast portraits, behind-the-scenes stories and a fully annotated script by the authors.
AIN’T TO PROUD – THE LIFE AND TIMES OF THE TEMPTATIONS • TUE, JUL 13 – SUN, JUL 18, 2021
Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of The Temptations is the electrifying, new smash-hit Broadway musical that follows The Temptations’ extraordinary journey from the streets of Detroit to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. With their signature dance moves and silky-smooth harmonies, they rose to the top of the charts, creating an amazing 42 Top 10 hits with 14 reaching number one.
Nominated for 12 Tony Awards, Ain’t Too Proud tells the thrilling story of brotherhood, family, loyalty and betrayal as the group’s personal and political conflicts threatened to tear them apart during a decade of civil unrest in America.
The unforgettable story of this legendary quintet is set to the beat of the group’s treasured hits, including “My Girl,” “Just My Imagination,” “Get Ready,” “Papa Was a Rolling Stone” and so many more.
Written by three-time Obie Award winner Dominique Morisseau, directed by two-time Tony Award winner Des McAnuff (Jersey Boys) and featuring the Tony-winning choreography of Sergio Trujillo (Jersey Boys, On Your Feet!), Ain’t Too Proud launches their first national tour to over 50 cities across America.
Overture’s 2019/20 Broadway at Overture presented by American Family Insurance Series
COME FROM AWAY • TUE, AUG 4 – SUN, AUG 9, 2020
Broadway’s COME FROM AWAY is a Best Musical winner all across North America!
This New York Times Critics’ Pick takes you into the heart of the remarkable true story of 7,000 stranded passengers and the small town in Newfoundland that welcomed them. Cultures clashed and nerves ran high, but uneasiness turned into trust, music soared into the night, and gratitude grew into enduring friendships.
Don’t miss this breathtaking new musical written by Tony® nominees Irene Sankoff and David Hein, and helmed by this year’s Tony-winning Best Director, Christopher Ashley. Newsweek cheers, “It takes you to a place you never want to leave!”
On 9/11, the world stopped.
On 9/12, their stories moved us all.
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