When it closed in February 2020, “Hello Dolly” said farewell to Broadway productions in Atlanta for 18 months, but the neon lights again are illuminating Broadway and the Fox Theatre this summer.
New York’s governor authorized Broadway’s reopening as of May 19 – although it will be some time before many productions ramp up and tickets are sold – but Broadway returns to Atlanta in a big way Aug. 24 to Sept. 26 with the immensely popular “Hamilton.” The Broadway hit by Lin-Manuel Miranda is one of four optional shows that Fifth Third Bank Broadway in Atlanta is bringing to the Fox Theatre in addition to its six-musical season.
The 40th anniversary Broadway in Atlanta season “is full of exciting titles, including revivals, new Broadway hits and Broadway mega-hits,” says Russ Belin, vice president of Broadway in Atlanta. “We are seeing the light at the end of this tunnel, and it feels amazing to actually be planning a return with audiences.”
The subscription season opens with “Fiddler on the Roof,” followed by “Tootsie,” “Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations,” “Jesus Christ Superstar,” Disney’s “Frozen” and “Mean Girls.”
Show options that can be added to season subscriptions include “Hamilton,” Dr. Seuss’ “How the Grinch Stole Christmas Musical,” “Beautiful – the Carole King Musical” and “Blue Man Group.”
”We’re greatly optimistic about the return of Broadway to the city of Atlanta and thrilled to share the news that shows previously announced for the 40th anniversary season will remain available to patrons under a revised schedule,” says Belin, expressing relief that schedules allowed rescheduling. Postponed in March 2020, “ ‘Hamilton’ will be our first show back, and our guests have been very vocal about their excitement that it will kick off our resumed schedule.
“The entire season lineup is outstanding, and I have no doubt audiences are going to love every show this season at the Fox Theatre,” Belin adds, “but if you are asking me about two I can’t wait for Atlanta audiences to experience, I would say ‘Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations’ and ‘Mean Girls.’ ‘Ain’t Too Proud’ is sure to be a crowd-pleaser as it tells their extraordinary journey from the streets of Detroit to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The music is loved and celebrated by everyone.
“Another show I know audiences will enjoy is ‘Mean Girls.’ It’s as hilarious as the movie, with great music added to bring the story to life on stage.
“Family shows are always an audience favorite, and Disney’s ‘Frozen’ will be new to the Fox Theatre. ‘The Grinch’ has become a holiday tradition for so many families, and ‘Blue Man Group’ is always a crowd-pleaser for guests of all ages.”
(Aug. 24-Sept. 26, 2021)
With a score blending hip-hop, R&B, jazz and Broadway, the musical story of founding father Alexander Hamilton has significantly impacted culture, education and politics in the United States. “The story of America then, told by America now,” has won Tony, Grammy and Olivier awards, a Pulitzer Prize for drama and a unique special citation from the Kennedy Center Honors.
“Fiddler on the Roof”
(Nov. 9-26, 2021)
Tony-awarded director Bartlett Sher and the creative team responsible for “South Pacific,” “The King and I” and “Oslo,” which won the Best Play Tony in 2017, are staging a fresh look at the musical masterpiece created by Tony-winner Joseph Stein and Pulitzer-winners Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick. “Electrifying,” says the New York Times of the production. “A remarkable achievement; this is a triumph,” opines the Associated Press.
Dr. Seuss’ “How the Grinch Stole Christmas Musical”
(Dec. 7-12, 2021)
Broadway in Atlanta boasts “an A-list creative team” in bringing the Dr. Seuss holiday classic back to the Fox stage, where the whimsical world of Whoville created by Tony-winning director Jack O’Brien has a tradition of pleasing Atlanta audiences. “An extraordinary performance; 100 times better than any bedtime story,” recommends the New York Times.
(Jan. 25-30, 2022)
Proclaimed by reviewers “even funnier than the movie,” “far and away the funniest musical of the season,” “the most uproarious new show in years” and “the best comedy on Broadway,” “Tootsie” is “a laugh-out-loud love letter to the theatre,” notes Broadway in Atlanta. “In these turbulent times, with the world out of balance, we need a place to let the good times roll,” reports Rolling Stone. “ ‘Tootsie’ is it.”
“Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations”
(March 8-13, 2022)
The Temptations had 42 Top-10 hits and 14 songs that reached No. 1 on the charts, and many of those are included in the new Broadway hit musical that features the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers’ signature dance moves and smooth harmonies. “Pretty close to perfection,” says the New York Times. “Dazzling,” says the Washington Post of the production.
“Jesus Christ Superstar”
(April 19-24, 2022)
This production of the 50-year-old musical won the 2017 Olivier Award for Best Musical Revival, paying “tribute to the historic 1971 Billboard Album of the Year while creating a modern theatrical world that is uniquely fresh and inspiring.”
“Beautiful – The Carole King Musical”
(May 20-22, 2022)
Brooklyn teenager Carole Klein found a place writing songs for top music acts but found her own voice when her settled life began to crumble. Broadway in Atlanta presented “Beautiful” at the Fox several years ago and is bringing the popular musical back.
(June 2-12, 2022)
A creative team led by Academy Award-winners Jennifer Lee, Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez and Tony-winning director Michael Grandage is behind the all-new production of Disney’s “Frozen,” which is at the Fox at summertime next year. The score includes familiar music from the film, as well as a dozen new songs. “It will give you chills…amazing special effects, eye-popping costumes and incredible performances,” says Newsday.
“Blue Man Group”
(July 8-10, 2022)
The Blue Man Group returns to the Fox with its new “Speechless” tour, which features new original compositions, acts and instruments, as well as the movements based in joy, art, music, comedy, social commentary and absurdity that 35 million people worldwide have enjoyed the past 27 years.
(July 19-24, 2022)
SNL’s Tina Fey wrote the book for the new musical “Mean Girls,” which is staged by a creative team led by director Casey Nicholaw (“Aladdin,” “The Book of Mormon”), composer Jeff Richmond (“30 Rock,” “Unbreakable Jimmy Schmidt”) and lyricist Neil Benjamin (“Legally Blonde”). “The cast is sensational,” says Vogue: “expert comedians with fierce voices and acting chops to match.” “ ‘Mean Girls’ is not a regular musical; it’s a cool musical,” says Entertainment Weekly.
Reopening will follow local, state and federal guidelines in cooperation with the Fox, whose current health and safety measures can be found at www.foxtheatre.org. Any changes would be reported to subscribers, who could get a credit, refund or donate ticket values to Broadway Cares. New subscriptions are at www.atlanta.broadway.com/subscriptions.
“We are thankful to our patrons for their patience, flexibility and love of Broadway, which has been an incredible support and inspiration during this extended intermission,” says Belin. “We look forward to welcoming theatergoers back to the Fox Theatre in 2021 for what is expected to be an unforgettable season and the long-awaited return of Broadway.”
Previously scheduled productions of “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “Riverdance” could find their way into future Broadway in Atlanta seasons.
As for what else is headed to the Fox stage in the future, “our goal is always to bring the best of Broadway direct from New York,” says Belin. “Based on their success in New York, along with surveys on what titles our members want to see, we work to build the best lineup, which typically includes a couple of revival titles, as well as new titles from Broadway.
“A lot of work goes on behind the scenes before we are able to publicly unveil the next season’s schedule, which is typically announced during the first quarter of the year, but our commitment remains the same – Atlanta audiences will continue to have access to some of the most coveted titles on the road.
“It’s incredibly exciting to hear Broadway in New York is getting ready to reopen,” Belin says. “Seeing shows placed on sale is just another indication that consumer confidence is building and people are ready to return to their love of the theater in New York and across the country.
“Over the past four decades, we have welcomed 7 million guests and presented over 3,000 performances,” he adds. “We are so proud of this accomplishment, what it means to the city and what it means to so many guests that have created lifelong memories at our shows in the last 40 years.”