Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall subscribers may notice that the coming season of Broadway, classical and some other performances sounds familiar—much of it was postponed from last season due to Covid. But for those who’ve probably not entered a theater in a year, the lineup will still definitely be music to their ears.
While more show dates will continue to be booked throughout the coming months, the announcement of the Broadway series and more today, May 17, means that subscriptions are now on sale. At the moment, the hall’s executive director, Mary Bensel, expects that when shows open in the fall they will do so at 100 percent capacity, with 1,700 seats available. Safety protocols including a new air conditioning filtration system and a cleansing fogger are now part of the hall’s system, but it’s not yet certain if patrons will need to wear masks for some productions, mainly those featuring members of the Actors Equity Association. You can stay tuned for news on that later.
For now, though, drumroll, please: Here’s the coming Broadway Series.
It starts with the Jimmy Buffett musical Escape to Margaritaville, Oct. 29, and continues with the delayed arrival at last of Come From Away, the true-life tale of airplane passengers grounded in Newfoundland, Canada, on Sept. 11, 2001. This Tony-winning musical will be one of the season’s longer runs, with performances Nov. 23-28.
Returning after a successful run before the hall closed its doors will be Beautiful—The Carole King Musical (Jan. 18-19), along with the ever popular story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, Jersey Boys (Jan. 25-26). The Gershwin classic An American in Paris takes the stage Feb. 2 and 3, while the hall plays host for the first time to the adaptation of the animated film Anastasia, by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, re-imagining the story of young woman who believes she is a survivor of the execution of the Russian ruling family the Romanovs (March 18-20). Another first-time production here will be the stage version of the Richard Gere movie An Officer and a Gentleman (April 6 and 7), while revivals of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical South Pacific (April 14 and 15) and Fiddler on the Roof (April 19-21), which opened the Van Wezel originally more than 50 years ago, round out the season.
In the Classical Series, returning favorites include Salute to Vienna New Year’s Concert (Jan. 3), opera singer Renee Fleming (Jan. 5), Tango Fire (Jan. 24) and Itzhak Perlman in Recital (March 8).
The Subscriber Specials buys range from percussion dance ensemble Stomp (Dec. 5) to the Sarasota premiere of The Choir of Man, set in an Irish pub and described as part party and part concert (Jan. 30); The Simon and Garfunkel Story (Feb. 12), tracing the duo’s rise to fame; The Four Phantoms in Concert (Feb. 14), bringing together past stars of the Andrew Lloyd Webber hit The Phantom of the Opera; Neil Berg’s 112 Years of Broadway (March 9); and the Sarasota debut of Sheléa: Natural Woman, A Night of Soul (March 16), featuring the singer who has performed with the likes of Stevie Wonder and David Foster (who himself will be performing at the hall on Dec. 6).
Renewing subscribers will be seated before new subscribers. Packages are available for purchase at vanwezel.org, at the box office or by calling (941) 263-6799 or (800) 826-9303.