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'Kinky Boots,' 'Pippin,' 'Once' Top New Season For Bushnell

By FRANK RIZZO

Hartford Courant

2:45 PM EST, February 24, 2014

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Tony topppers “Kinky Boots,” “Pippin” and “Once” are the highlights of the 2014-15 Broadway season at Hartford’s Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts.

The announcement to subscribers and group sales leaders was made at a publicity launch Monday night at the Bushnell which also featured performers from the Broadway company of “Pippin” and “Wicked”

The season will open with two shows from composer Andrew Lloyd Webber: “Evita,” based on the recent short Broadway run which starred Ricky Martin and the touring perennial “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” “Evita” plays Sept. 23 to 28 and “Dreamcoat” will run Oct. 14 to 19.

“Dreamcoat,” directed and choreographed by Tony Award winner Andy Blankenbuehler, will feature two stars from the “American Idol” television show: Ace Young (“Grease,” “Hair”) as Joseph and Diana DeGarmo “Hairspray,” “Hair”) as The Narrator. (That was the only casting announced for the theater’s  seven-show subscription season.)

Those two musicals will be followed in November by an off-subscription entry: the fourth visit of “Wicked” for a three-week run on Nov. 5 to 23.

The new year will start with Diane Paulus’ celebrated circus-themed revival of “Pippin,” which won the Tony Award for best revival last year and is still playing on Broadway. The show runs Jan. 6 to 11.

“Nice Work If You Can Get it,” a reworked version of the ‘20s show “Oh, Kay!” featuring music by George and Ira Gershwin, will follow Feb. 3 to 8. The Broadway production, which starred Matthew Broderick and Kelli O’Hara, did not recoup its investment and closed last year,

Also slated in a non-Equity tour of a revival of Lerner and Loewe’s “Camelot.” It will be presented at the Bushnell April 21 to 26.

“Once,” whose tour plays this week at New Haven’s Shubert Theater, will return to the state for the Bushnell run May 19 to 24.The romantic show of two lonely lovers won a Tony Award for best musical in 2012 and is still playing on Broadway

The season will end with this year’s best musical winner, “Kinky Boots,” featuring new music by Cyndi Lauper in her first Broadway musical. The show, still among the top of the Broadway’s box office tallies, runs June 23 to 28.

The new season makes a more competitive booking environment compared to past years for the Bushnell. The Shubert was the first theater in the state to book the hip hit "Once" a year earlier than the Bushnell and the Palace in Waterbury nabbed Disney's family-friendly hit "Newsies" this fall.

Subscription renewals will be available in March. New subscriptions are available in early summer. Single tickets go on sale later this summer.

Information: www.bushnell.org and 860-987-5900.