Broadway Sacramento must be feeling bullish about the new presenting season of national touring musicals it has just announced. The six show 2017-18 season includes four Sacramento premieres and has three productions with two-week extended runs.
The first of the 16-performance runs comes with the season opening “Beautiful – The Carole King Musical.” The musical bio of songwriter and singer Carole King, which continues on Broadway, includes songs from her prodigious catalog, collaborations with one-time husband Gerry Goffin and other music by peers Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil.
The rest of the season includes the musical farce “Something Rotten!,” the third visit of the Four Seasons bio “Jersey Boys,” the return of the irreverent “The Book of Mormon,” the Peter Pan origin story “Finding Neverland” and the Gershwin-fueled “An American in Paris.”
Broadway Sacramento will offer four-show subscription packages for the quartet of premieres, five-show packages also including either of the return engagements, and a six-show package of all shows.
Richard Lewis, the president of California Musical Theatre who oversees booking of the Broadway Sacramento series, said a two-week run of “Beautiful” made economic sense, “plus it’s a terrific title.”
“This is the music my audience grew up on,” Lewis said.
Included in the show are “I Feel the Earth Move,” “You’ve Got A Friend,” “One Fine Day,” and “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.”
“The Book of Mormon” only played two weeks in Sacramento in 2016, and Lewis feels the touring company intentionally keeps markets hungry for the return visit.
“No question we could have done three or four weeks. They like to underbook and then come back,” Lewis said. “Nothing is a no-brainer any more, but ‘Book of Mormon’ was an easy call.”
With the Tony Award-winning “An American In Paris” coming at the end of the season, Lewis feels there will be plenty of time to sell the title.
Time figures prominently for Lewis now that the City Council has settled on a Community Center Theater refurbishment plan. The 2017-18 and 2018-19 Broadway Sacramento seasons are scheduled at the CCT while a $16 million renovation takes place at Memorial Auditorium, which will be the temporary venue for the Broadway series while the CCT is updated.
By the time Lewis will present a Broadway show in the historic auditorium across the street from his office, it will have new lighting rigging, new theater seats, acoustic drapes and paneling and a new temporary loading dock for sets and stage equipment.
The small band pit in front of the stage can’t be altered so Lewis will have to find shows that will fit the space. He’s keeping his eye on several slightly smaller-scaled shows currently doing well on Broadway that don’t need the pit because the band’s on the stage.
“There’s challenges, but they’ve convinced me it can work,” Lewis said.
The Convention Center Theater project is projected to be completed by spring 2021.
Broadway Sacramento 2017-18 Season
What: The series is presented by California Musical Theatre. Shows will be in the Community Center Theater, 1301 L St., Sacramento.
- “Beautiful – The Carole King Musical,” Nov. 1-12
- “Something Rotten!” Jan. 2-7
- “Jersey Boys,” Jan. 30-Feb. 4
- “The Book of Mormon,” Mar. 7-18
- “Finding Neverland,” April 10-15, 2018
- “An American in Paris,” May 16-27, 2018
Subscriptions: On sale Monday, April 10. Deadline for renewals is Friday, May 19.
Cost: $89-$445 for four-, five- or six-show packages
Information: 916-557-1999; www.BroadwaySacramento.com, Wells Fargo Pavilion Box Office, 1419 H St., Sacramento