Based on the Oscar-winning DreamWorks film that started it all, Shrek, The Musical is part romance, part twisted fairy tale and all irreverent fun for everyone! Shrek, The Musical tells the story of a swamp-dwelling ogre who goes on a life-changing adventure to reclaim the deed to his land. Joined by a wise-cracking donkey, this unlikely hero fights a fearsome dragon, rescues a feisty princess and learns that real friendship and true love aren’t only found in fairy tales.
The Broadway Critic’s reaction: To be honest, I didn’t love the touring production when I saw it last December in San Francisco (read full review here) but I did like the production (for the most part) on Broadway. It’s a fun show, with a lot of humor in it and some pretty good songs. Here’s hoping it will be better than what I saw in San Francisco.
December 27, 2011 – January 1, 2012
The show that revolutionized musical theatre is coming to San Jose. The national tour of Cats is the only production in North America sanctioned by Andrew Lloyd Webber. With original direction by Trevor Nunn and choreography by Gillian Lynne this is the Cats credited with the British invasion of Broadway. The national tour of Cats is closing in on its 30th anniversary, holding its place as the longest continuously touring Broadway musical in history.
The Broadway Critic’s reaction: There’s a huge break between Broadway San Jose’s first show, Shrek (in September) and their next show, Cats at the end of December. I’ve officially never seen a professional production of Cats before and even though this tour is a non-equity tour, I’m intrigued. It’s never been my favorite show but I’m going to keep an open mind and see if this production of Cats will live up to its name.
More than fifty years ago one musical changed theater forever. Now it’s back, and mesmerizing audiences once again. From the first note to the final breath, West Side Story soars as the greatest love story of all time. West Side Story remains as powerful, poignant and timely as ever. The new Broadway cast album of West Side Story recently won the 2010 Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album. The Bernstein and Sondheim score is considered to be one of Broadway’s finest and features such classics of the American musical theatre as “Something’s Coming,” “Tonight,” “America,” “I Feel Pretty” and “Somewhere.”
The Broadway Critic’s reaction: I’ve heard great things about this tour. I absolutely loathed the revival production when I saw it at the Palace Theatre on Broadway a few years ago. Apparently, they’ve changed everything that I hated (the cast, the Spanish and some of the staging). West Side Story is a classic and I would like to see a production that is as great as the material is.
March 6-11, 2012
Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, produced by NETworks, is the classic story of Belle, a young woman in a provincial town, and the Beast, who is really a young prince trapped in a spell placed by an enchantress. If the Beast can learn to love and be loved, the curse will end and he will be transformed to his former self. But time is running out. If the Beast does not learn his lesson soon, he and his household will be doomed for all eternity.
The Broadway Critic’s reaction: This is a perfect musical for families, children and Disney lovers. It’s a great opportunity to take your children and introduce them to the magical world of the theatre. But, I just might be skipping this one, because it’s not really “my kind” of show. It recently came through San Francisco last August. Did anyone see the production and care to comment? This is also a non-equity touring production.
April 17-22, 2012
Winner of four 2008 Tony Awards® and the 2008 Grammy® Award for Best Musical Show Album the South Bay premiere of In the Heights tells the universal story of a vibrant community in New York‟s Washington Heights neighborhood – a place where the coffee from the corner bodega is light and sweet, the windows are always open and the breeze carries the rhythm of three generations of music. It’s a community on the brink of change, full of hopes, dreams and pressures, where the biggest struggles can be deciding which traditions you take with you, and which ones you leave behind. Universal Pictures has acquired the rights to produce a feature film based on the smash hit musical.
The Broadway Critic’s reaction: Yes, yes and yes! This is an incredible show and I can’t wait to see it again! Here’s a quote from my review: “I think I could see In the Heights over and over. I never expected to love it as much as I do, but it’s infectious rhythms and beautiful melodies accompanied with a story that has more heart than most Broadway musicals makes for an electrifying evening of theatre.” (Read full review here.)
Make sure that you get tickets to see this show — one of my favorites!
May 8 -13, 2012
The national tour of Million Dollar Quartet, the Tony Award-winning new musical inspired by the true story of four rock ‘n’ roll icons will make its Bay Area Premiere at Broadway San Jose.
On December 4, 1956, an auspicious twist of fate brought Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley together. The place was Sun Records‟ storefront studio in Memphis. The man who made it happen was Sam Phillips, the “Father of Rock ‘n’ Roll”, who discovered them all. The four young musicians united for the only time in their careers for an impromptu recording that has come to be known as one of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll jam sessions of all time
The Broadway Critic’s reaction: Let it be known that San Francisco is not getting the premiere of this show – Broadway San Jose is! And that is awesome news! I haven’t had a chance to see Million Dollar Quartet. I’m really looking forward to it. If you like some good ole’ fashioned rock ‘n’ roll music, then grab your tickets to this. I’ve heard the musicians are fantastic.
May 29 – June 10, 2012
The Bay Area Premiere of Mary Poppins is bringing its own brand of Broadway magic to theaters across the country, which has Variety raving, “This is the rare touring production that over-delivers on every level!”
Featuring the irresistible story and unforgettable songs from one of the most popular Disney films of all time, plus brand-new breathtaking dance numbers and spectacular stage-craft, Mary Poppins is everything you could ever want in a hit Broadway show! So get swept up in the fun of this high-flying musical the New York Post gives 4 out of 4 stars and calls “a perfect piece of musical theater.”
The Broadway Critic’s reaction: I couldn’t be more excited about seeing the touring production of Mary Poppins. The music in Mary Poppins is absolutely wonderful and the new additions fit perfectly into the score. The dancing is incredible and I hope they re-create some of the same choreography on Broadway because it’s truly magical.
Check out Broadway San Jose’s website for more information!