A Super-Sized Season
2022–2023 PNC Broadway Lights Series and Equitable Bravo Series bring more works to the stage than ever before
Seventeen shows are a lot to pack into one season, but that’s what the Blumenthal Performing Arts is doing with two Broadway series (plus extras!) in 2022-23.
[Actually, make that 19 shows. Two haven’t been finalized yet but will be announced soon, said Blumenthal President and CEO Tom Gabbard. Shhhh!]
Among the titles headed our way are beloved musicals (Dear Evan Hansen, Les Miz, The Book of Mormon), straight-from-Broadway spectaculars (MJ) to Tony Award nominees (Jagged Little Pill, TINA—the Tina Turner Musical) to family-friendly fare (Disney’s Aladdin, Annie).
PNC Broadway Lights Series
The PNC Broadway Lights Series, Blumenthal’s premier season ticket, features an eight-show package, including:
- Jagged Little Pill, Nov. 29–Dec. 4, 2022. One of the defining soundtracks of the 1990s serves as the backdrop to a musical that addresses some of the most pressing societal concerns of the present day.
- TINA—The Tina Turner Musical, Dec. 27, 2022–Jan. 1, 2023. Tina Turner overcame a lot to become the Queen of Rock and to sell more concert tickets than any other solo performer in music history. This is her story.
- A Soldier’s Play, Jan. 10–22, 2023. The winner of two Tony Awards, including “Best Revival of a Play,” comes to Charlotte with extra star power in the form of Norm Lewis, the first African-American to play The Phantom on Broadway. The year is 1944, and the setting is a Louisiana Army base. Two shots ring out, and a Black sergeant is murdered. A series of interrogations triggers questions about sacrifice, service and identity in America.
- Beetlejuice, March 28–April 2, 2023. Based on Tim Burton’s beloved film, this hilarious musical tells the story of Lydia Deetz, an unusual teenager whose life changes when she meets a recently deceased couple and a demon with a thing for stripes.
- 9 to 5, April 18–23, 2023. It’s Dolly Parton’s musical comedy about three women pushed to the boiling point by their horrible boss. Concocting a plan to kidnap and turn the tables on their despicable supervisor, will the women manage to reform their office — or will events unravel when the CEO pays an unexpected visit?
- 1776, June 6–11, 2023. Fed up with living under British rule, John Adams attempts to persuade his fellow members of the Continental Congress to vote in favor of American Independence. But how much is he willing to compromise in the pursuit of freedom? And to whom does that freedom belong?
- SIX, July 4–16, 2023. The six wives of Henry VIII take the mic to remix 500 years of historical heartbreak into an exuberant celebration of 21st century girl power.
- MJ, Sept. 27–Oct. 8, 2023. Michael Jackson’s unparalleled artistry comes to Charlotte in a brand-new musical. Centered around the making of his 1992 Dangerous World Tour, and created by Tony Award–winning Director/Choreographer Christopher Wheeldon and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage, MJ is s celebration of a superstar.
Equitable Bravo Series
This season is just the second one to offer a second series in addition to Broadway Lights, Gabbard said. The Equitable Bravo Series offers a package of five shows:
- Dear Evan Hansen, Oct. 25–30, 2022. It won six Tony Awards, including “Best Musical.” The story of an awkward, introspective teenager and the impact of social media on life today is an exuberant, moving portrait of what it’s like to be in high school and, ultimately, what it is to be human.
- Les Misérables, Jan. 31–Feb. 5, 2023. A timeless testament to the triumph of the human spirit, this is the beloved musical that includes favorite songs such as I Dreamed a Dream, On My Own, Bring Him Home, One Day More and many more.
- Come From Away, March 7–12, 2023. The story of what happened to U.S.-bound air travelers on and in the aftermath of 9/11 won “Best Musical” and wowed audiences on Broadway and around the country.
- The Book of Mormon, Aug. 8–13, 2023. The popular and wildly irreverent musical follows the adventures of a mismatched pair of missionaries, sent halfway across the world to spread the Good Word. The New York Times calls it “the best musical of this century.”
- Chicago, Sept. 12–17, 2023. After 25 years, Chicago still has all the right moves. It’s a timeless tale of fame, fortune and all that jazz, with one show-stopping song after another and some of the most astonishing dancing you’ve ever seen.
In addition to offerings in its two main Broadway series, Blumenthal will present additional shows during the year. Two more shows will be announced soon; Broadway Extras currently include:
- Riverdance 25th Anniversary Show, Feb. 14–19, 2023. A powerful and stirring reinvention of this classic, celebrated everywhere for its Grammy Award–winning score and the passion of its Irish and international dance.
- Disney’s Aladdin, April 4–9, 2023. One lamp and three wishes make the possibilities infinite.
- Annie, May 30–June 4, 2023. Little Orphan Annie has reminded generations of theatergoers that tomorrow is always a day away. Now, this best-loved musical returns in a new production — just as you remember it and just when we need it most.
- Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations, July 25–30, 2023. Featuring My Girl, Just My Imagination, Get Ready and Papa Was a Rolling Stone, Ain’t Too Proud tells the unforgettable story of the legendary quintet that Billboard Magazine named the greatest R&B group of all time.
Get Ready for Goosebumps
“Charlotte audiences welcomed Broadway back this past season with open arms,” said Gabbard in a news release. “Now, we’re going all out and bringing even more shows for our audiences to enjoy. What all of these shows have in common is the transcendent entertainment of theater. We are so excited for our audiences to experience the best and brightest of Broadway with these spectacular productions.”
He called this season an “optimistic” one. It’s also an ambitious one. Blumenthal officials are betting that audiences are ready to return to and embrace theater, particularly musical theater. They have good reason to bank on that belief.
“We nearly maxed out the season tickets we can sell in a week to the current PNC Broadway Lights series,” Gabbard said. “Sometimes, new season ticket holders are not able to get exactly the seats they want on the days they want.” That’s because season ticket holders have the option each year of renewing their season subscription with the seats they already have – or an upgrade to even better seats.
The Season Features a New Swap Option
“The Bravo series represents a really good entry point because it’s brand new,” he continued. “People have access to a wider variety of seats on the nights they want to come.”
Both series have built-in flexibility – something no other city in the country is offering,
Gabbard said. “One feature we offer, that I think is particularly valuable to season ticket holders, is a swap option. PNC Broadway Lights ticket holders can swap out up to four shows and trade them out for any other show in our building. It doesn’t even have to be theatrical. For the Equitable series, subscribers can swap two shows. That allows people to curate their own season a bit.”Gabbard said the Blumenthal is ready for capacity crowds – even if there are future spikes in COVID. “We’ve really enhanced the air filtration system,” he said.
Find Your New Favorite Broadway Show
Picking favorites among such an impressive lineup is impossible, Gabbard said. But he did single out a few productions he’s especially excited about.
“There is so much positive energy around SIX,” he said. “It started in the U.K. And in fact, our Blumenthal team got to see it, outdoors and in a tent, at the Edinburgh Festival, where it premiered. And it has had success in London, and now in New York. We’ve been tracking that, with hopes to bring it to Charlotte for a few years and now, it’s finally happening.”
“There’ll also be a lot of excitement around MJ, which is a brand-new musical that just opened a few weeks ago on Broadway,” he added. “It’s rare for us to announce a show coming to Charlotte before the Tony Awards. Most shows wait on announcements for tours until after the Tonys. (The 75th Annual Tony Awards will be broadcast live on CBS on June 12.) “For us to be months ahead of the Tony Awards is wonderful. It will be at the start of that tour.”
MJ is not a documentary-style production about the performer’s life. It’s a celebration of Michael Jackson’s music and dance.
“We’re also excited to see a play [vs. a musical] in the series, because plays don’t tour that often. But this one, A Soldier’s Play, has a star,” Gabbard said. “Norm Lewis will be familiar to Broadway audiences who have come to love him in his many Broadway appearances, like in the original revival of the Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess – but also film and television. A lot of people saw him in the most recent Spike Lee film, Da 5 Bloods. A Soldier’s Play will be here for two weeks. It’s playing in only a handful of cities, and Charlotte’s one of the lucky ones.”
“A lot of people will be looking forward to Jagged Little Pill,” Gabbard said. “Alanis Morissette spoke for and to a certain generation. She helped get them through that particular moment in time. This musical, with selections from her entire catalog, is packed with very timely themes like the opioid crisis and #Metoo.”
The 2022-23 Blumenthal season brings the best, latest and brightest of Broadway straight to Charlotte. From 19 shows ranging from 9 to 5 to SIX to 1776, the Blumenthal’s got your number this season.
Choose Your Season
Learn more and buy season tickets at blumenthalarts.org.
This story was sponsored by Blumenthal Performing Arts. A funds generated through will be used to fund the HUG Micro-Grant program which provides funds, resources and training to local creatives, nonprofits and creative projects.
PHOTO CREDITS ABOVE:
ONE: Nkeki Obi-Melekwe & The TINA Band in TINA – Photo by Manuel Harlan, 2021
TWO: Abby Mueller, Samantha Pauly, Adrianna Hicks, Andrea Macasaet, Brittney Mack, & Anna Uzele in the Broadway production of SIX, a new musical by Toby Marlow & Lucy Moss, co-directed by Lucy Moss & Jamie Armitage, and choreographed by Carrie-Anne Ingrouille – Photo by Joan Marcus
THREE: National Touring Company of CHICAGO – All That Jazz – Photo by Jeremy Daniel
FOUR: Myles Frost in MJ – Photo by Matthew Murphy
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