If you’re wondering what Sarasota premiere of a family fave Broadway show is headed to the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall for the 2022-23 season, here’s a clue: The hall is billing the entire season as “A Whole New World.” Sound familiar, Aladdin fans?
It’s probably not just that well-known song from the Disney movie musical that cues the line, as the hall’s executive director, Mary Bensel, and staff must be hoping for a return to the full “world” of entertainment at the hall after seasons cut short by Covid-19. While many shows in the season’s lineup will be announced later, Bensel has revealed the subscription series that includes 10 Broadway shows, four dance productions and five subscriber specials.
These include the aforementioned Sarasota premiere of Disney’s Aladdin (Jan. 24-29), a new production, one that still welcomes the lucky title character, his genie, Princess Jasmine and that magical flying carpet. Meanwhile, Blue Man Group (Jan. 31-Feb. 1) makes its appearance; and Mean Girls, the hit musical from book writer Tina Fey, composer Jeff Richmond and lyricist Neil Benjamin, bows April 11-16.
More offerings in the Broadway Series: the razzle-dazzle Chicago (Nov. 29-30), the classic Lerner and Loewe musical My Fair Lady (Dec. 13-15); the Reese Witherspoon movie-turned-musical Legally Blonde (Jan. 4-5); and the reinvention of Riverdance 25th Anniversary Tour (Jan. 10-12), which opens the new leg of its tour here. Also on tap: the stage musical version of the Dustin Hoffman film Tootsie (Feb. 13-15); the record-breaking Tony winner Cats (April 18-20); and the Dolly Parton musical about working women, 9 to 5 (May 2-3).
Dance lovers will turn out for Momix: Alice (Feb. 8), where the acclaimed dance-illusionist team journeys down the rabbit hole with Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland characters; and Pilobolus (March 7), celebrating its 50th anniversary of unique modern dance productions. Dance company Ailey II (Feb. 23) and the music and dance of a full-length story ballet, to be announced, will also attract dance aficionados.
Subscriber specials include the perennial holiday Salute to Vienna New Year’s Concert (Jan. 2); the musical Waitress (Jan. 18-19); 113 Years of Broadway (March 6); an all-new production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado (March 9); and the jukebox musical On Your Feet (March 14-15), highlighting the music of Gloria Estefan.
Subscriptions are available to order March 27, online at vanwezel.org, by calling the box office at (941) 263-6799, or by visiting the box office directly.