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Apr 17, 2014

Hot Ticket - Peace Center Announces 14-15 Broadway Season

April 17, 2014

"Book of Mormon," "Wicked" in Peace Center's Broadway Series' lineup.

It's easy to see why the Peace Center's 2014-15 Broadway Series lineup is being called the best ever to come to Greenville.

"The Book of Mormon," a religious satire that won the 2011 Tony Award for Best Musical and is sure to spark discussion, will come to the Peace Center for the first time in November.

The Tony's 2012 and 2013 Best Musicals - "Once" and "Kinky Boots" - will be part of the upcoming season as well. 

Throw in a return three-week run of "Wicked," "Disney's Beauty and the Beast," "Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella" and "Pippin," the winner of the 2013 Tony Award for Best Broadway Revival, and it's no wonder the seven-show lineup is being billed as the best Broadway Series on the East Coast.

"The best is very subjective, but, absolutely, I'm really excited about this season which is filled with fresh, big shoes," said Peace Center's President megan Riegel. "It's strong."

"Once" Sept. 23-28

If it weren't for the longtime friendship between noted Irish playwright Enda Wright and director John Tiffany, the offbeat Irish indie film "Once" may never had been made into an award-winning musical. 

After initially telling the producers that transforming th movie into a musical wasn't for him, Wright agreed to take two days to read the screenplay, listen to the songs, and talk with Tiffany, who also had his doubts. The rest is history. 

The love story about two down-on-their-luck musicians - an angst-ridden Dublin street singer-songwriter who works as a vacuum repairman, and a Czech immigrant who sells flowers to support herself and her family - won eight Tony Awards in 2012.

"It's sweet and soulful, very mellow compared to 'Book of Mormon," Reigel said. 

"The Book of Mormon," Nov. 11-16

"The Book of Mormon" is a religious satire by the creators of Comedy Central's "South Park."

"It's here iwth the perfect mix of shows," Riegel said.

"The Book of Mormon" tells the story of two young Mormon missionaries sent to a remote villiage in northern Uganda, where a brutal warlord is threatening the local population. Naïve and optimistic, the two missionaries try to share the Book of Mormon, one of their scriptures - which only one of them has read - but have trouble connecting with the locals who are more concerned with famine, war, poverty, and AIDS.

"As outrageous as it is, it's also poignant," Riegel said.

Riegel said some in Greenville may not like the show, but said, "We need to look at it as satire. It is not an attack on religion at all.

"Disney's Beauty and the Beast," Dec. 23-28

The musical based on the Academy Award-winning film from Disney is a perfect show for the week fo Christmas, Riegel said. "It's a family show. It appeals to all generations."

Linda Woolverton, the woman who wrote the screenplay, adapted it for the stage, adding new scenes to fill out the story. The expanded score includes several new songs by composer Alan Menken and lyricist Tim Rice.

"Beauty and the Beast" ran on Broadway for more than 13 years, or 5,461 performances, and has been performed in more than 120 cities and 21 countries, including Canada, Japan, Mexico, Ireland, South Korea, the United Kingdom, Spain, Brazil, and Argentina. It has been translated into eight languages. 

"Wicked," Jan. 28-Feb. 15, 2015

"Wicked sold out nearly every performance during it's three-week run at the Peace Center in 2010.

It will return again in 2015 for a three-week run in January and February. Reigel expects the show to be as big a hit as it was the first time it was here. 

"Ever since it left, people have been asking when it will return," she said. "It will be a five-year span between the two runs and it's the kind of show that people want to see again and again."

"Wicked," the prequel to "The Wizard of Oz," has busted box office records in every city it has played. The story tells how the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good WItch came to be. 

"Wicked" has won more than 50 major awards, including a Grammy and three Tony Awards.

"Pippin," March 17-22, 2015

After it returned to Broadway after 40 years, "Pippin" won the Tony Award for the Best Musical Revival. The touring show will come to Greenville in March 2013.

"Pippin is to die for," Reigel said. "This production is so unbelievable, so incredibly well done."

"Pippin" tells the story of a young prince on a death defying jouney to find meaning in his existance. Diane Paulus directs the new production. She directed "Hair" and "The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess." The score is by Tony nominee Stephen Schwartz, who worked on "Godspell" and "Wicked."

"Pippin" features sizzling choreography and breathtaking acrobatics.

"Rodger + Hammerstein's Cinderella," Aug. 4-9, 2015

Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, the creators of "The Sound of Music" and "South Pacific," put a contemporary take on the classic "Cinderella."

The production features jaw-dropping transformations and all hte moments audeinces love - the pumpkin, the glass slipper, the masked ball, and more - plus some surprising new twists.

The production includes Rodgers and Hammerstein's most beloved songs, including "In My Own Little Corner," "Impossibl/It's Possible" and "Ten Minutes Ago."

"When I saw this on Broadway, it knocked my socks off," Reigel said.

"Kinky Boots," Sept. 1-6, 2015

"Kinky Boots," tells the story of a struggling shoe factory owner who works to turn his business around with the help of Lola, a fabulous entertainer in need of some sturdy stilettos. The unlikely pair finds they have more in common than they ever dreamed possible.

Cyndi Lauper did the show's score. 

"It's unique, fun, special, poignant, outrageous all at the same time," Reigel said. 

"Kinky Boots" won six 2013 Tony Awards and was inspired by a true story.

Season subscriptions, ranging from $395 to $595 are on sale now. New season subscription forms are available at the Peace Center website, Single tickets will go on sale later.