It’s been more than a year since Broadway has gone dark, which also means that local theaters haven’t been able to present touring shows.
But after rescheduling and postponements, the David A. Straz Jr Center for the Performing Arts has announced their 2021-22 Broadway season. It will begin in October.
Straz Center president and CEO Judy Lisi said she was excited to announce the return of touring Broadway.
“We’re partnering with Tampa General Hospital, whose TGH Response Outreach team has been helping us with guidance in the hope of opening at 100 percent capacity in the fall,” she said. “The success of the vaccine makes it possible.”
But while she plans to keep safety as the first priority, she said they’re feeling positive about the return to full capacity.
The tight business model of touring Broadway means full capacity is critical because producers don’t want to lose money. If that can’t happen, Lisi said, “we haven’t gotten there yet.”
The season is what she calls a “hybrid” of musicals that were previously scheduled, including My Fair Lady, Cats and Summer: The Donna Summer Musical, with new productions, including The Prom and Disney’s Frozen.
Tootsie will kick off the season on Oct. 26. Pretty Woman, another musical based on a movie, ends the season in May 2022.
Blockbuster hit Hamilton was originally scheduled for June 2021, but was rescheduled for November 2022 in February. A public on-sale date will come closer to the performance.
Lisi said that if she’s learned anything from the pandemic, it’s to be nimble. Over the year, the Straz has been presenting outdoor performances from resident theater company Jobsite Theater and Opera Tampa on the Riverwalk Stage, which was built in February 2020, just a month before the shutdown. Lisi calls that a “happy accident.”
“I’ve been in this business for 40 years,” Lisi said. “There has never been a year like it and I hope there never is again.”
She credited the support of the community and patrons for their ability to keep going. She said that many ticket holders donated their refunds.
Season tickets go on sale at 11 a.m. for renewals and new subscribers. The ticket office is open to call from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday at 813-229-7827, or visit strazcenter.org.
Here are the planned performances:
- Tootsie (Oct. 26-31)
- Cats (Dec. 7-12)
- Summer: The Donna Summer Musical (Jan. 11-16)
- The Prom (Feb. 15-20)
- Disney’s Frozen (March 23- April 3)
- My Fair Lady (April 26 - May 1)
- The Band’s Visit (May 4-8)
- Pretty Woman (May 17-22)