'Hamilton,' 'Dear Evan Hansen' highlight Peace Center's 2018-'19 season
For the past year, the arrival of “Hamilton,” the Tony Award-winning cultural juggernaut, has generated the biggest buzz at the Peace Center.
The revolutionary musical will play a two-week engagement, Dec. 4-16, Peace Center officials announced Tuesday at the unveiling of its 2018-2019 Broadway season.
But while “Hamilton” may be the season’s crown jewel, the other eight productions of the coming season have inspired some chatter, and many of them have won Tony Awards of their own.
“I think when people see the rest of (the season), they’ll be pretty excited about that as well,” Megan Riegel, president and CEO of the Peace Center, said in an interview prior to the announcement. “There are definitely equal players in there, equal but different. … They’re all solid shows. We’re really thrilled to have this season.”
One of the most popular, and requested, productions of the new season is “Dear Evan Hansen,” the Tony Award-winning musical about a teenager with social anxiety, which will close out the season in July 2019.
Fans of the musical tend to be passionate about it, Riegel said.
“It makes you laugh, it makes you cry. … Everybody can relate to that show; it’s just powerful. And the music’s fabulous,” she said.
The new season includes revivals of “Hello, Dolly!” and “Miss Saigon,” the return of the ever-popular “The Book of Mormon,” and the musical adaptation of the 1993 Robert De Niro film “A Bronx Tale.”
The season opens with a slightly unusual offering for the Peace Center: the non-musical comedy “The Play That Goes Wrong,” which runs Oct. 2-7.
“The Play That Goes Wrong” is a slapstick-filled farce, set in a theater that’s staging a murder mystery. The comedy became a surprise hit on Broadway, and Riegel said it was a last-minute addition to the Peace Center season, after another production fell through.
Riegel said she’s particularly excited about this one. “It’s really just delightful,” she said. “I love the fact that we have a play (along with) the series of musicals.”
“Miss Saigon” returns to the Peace Center for the first time since 2000. The musical, set in the final days of the Vietnam War, is from the creators of “Les Miserables,” and “it’s so powerful,” Riegel said.
“There are generations of Greenvillians who have not seen ‘Miss Saigon,’ so we’re really, really tickled to have it,” Riegel said.
The revival of “Hello, Dolly!” coming to the Peace Center next May, will feature Tony Award-winning actress Betty Buckley.
“A Bronx Tale” is based on the 1993 film, but has been turned into a musical featuring doo-wop tunes written by “Beauty and the Beast” songwriter Alan Menken. De Niro co-directed the stage production.
Riegel describes it as “‘West Side Story’ meets ‘Jersey Boys.’ … People aren’t going to be disappointed,” she said.
Making its third trip to the Peace Center is “The Book of Mormon,” which will be presented next March. It’s part of the subscription series, but patrons will have the option of purchasing an eight-show package that does not include “Book of Mormon.”
“We love this show; people love this show. There are some people who see it again and again and again and again. And we’re delighted to have it back on our season,” Riegel said.
“Come From Away,” set for next April, is a musical based on the true story of what happened when a small town in Newfoundland took in passengers on U.S.-bound planes that were prevented from entering the country in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.
It features a cast of 12 playing hundreds of characters, with minimalist sets and costumes.
The play is like catching a “glimpse of history,” Riegel said.
“Anastasia,” which opens Oct. 23, is a family-friendly production based on the films about a mysterious young woman from 1920s Russia.
Many of next season’s offerings have a historical slant, and the hip-hop-flavored “Hamilton,” which imaginatively tells the story of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, puts a contemporary slant on events that happened 250 years ago.
“With ‘Hamilton,’ you have a slice of history, but you have a slice of history, seeing it through today’s eyes. Particularly with the genre of music that they’ve chosen to play throughout, and with today’s political environment,” Riegel said.
The only way to guarantee “Hamilton” tickets is to renew a season subscription, and the Peace Center will cap the number of new subscriptions for the coming season, Riegel said.
There will be 16 total performances of “Hamilton,” and the Peace Center’s goal is to score a quick return engagement, Riegel said.
“We’re thrilled to have ‘Hamilton’ in our market this early in the game. That’s highly unusual,” Riegel said.
Season ticket packages are $410-$930 for all nine shows, or $355-$835 for an eight-show package that excludes “The Book of Mormon.” Current season ticket holders can renew their subscriptions now, and have until May 13 to renew their current seats.
Ticket packages for new subscribers will go on sale at a later date, but the Peace Center encourages would-be subscribers to add their names to the waiting list as quickly as possible because the list will be cut off soon. Prices and on-sale dates for individual tickets will be announced later.
For more info, go to www.peacecenter.org
The season schedule:
•“The Play That Goes Wrong,” Oct. 2-7
•“Anastasia,” Oct. 23-28
•“Hamilton,” Dec. 4-16
•“Miss Saigon,” Jan. 15-20, 2019
•"A Bronx Tale,” Feb. 5-10, 2019
•“The Book of Mormon,” March 5-10, 2019
•“Come From Away,” April 16-21, 2019
•“Hello, Dolly,” May 28-June 2, 2019
•“Dear Evan Hansen,” July 2-7, 2019
“Hamilton” FAQs from the Peace Center
Q. When can season ticket holders see “Hamilton”?
A. Season ticket holders will see the first week of its run, Dec. 4-9.
Q. When will tickets go on sale and how much will they cost?
A. The public on-sale date and ticket prices will be announced later.
Q. Will there be a lottery to purchase “Hamilton” tickets?
A. A digital lottery will be held for the Greenville engagement. Details will be released later.
Q. Will there be a waiting list?
A. There will not be a waiting list for single tickets.
Q. Will Lin-Manuel Miranda be in the show?
A. No, the touring production features an all-new cast.