Playhouse Square announces 2023-24 Broadway season
Nostalgia runs high in the seven-show lineup for the next Broadway season at Playhouse Square.
Hit movies and music from the '80s and '90s as well as revivals of “The Wiz” and “Funny Girl” are all part of the 2023-2024 KeyBank Broadway Series announced Tuesday.
“It’s a new spin on a lot of familiar titles,” said David Greene, senior vice president of programming at Playhouse Square.
The season opens in October with the pre-Broadway tour of “The Wiz,” a funky adaption of “The Wizard of Oz,” with popular songs like “Ease on Down the Road” and “Home.” The original premiered on Broadway in 1975, and Cleveland audiences will see this revival ahead of its Broadway run slated for the spring of 2024.
“It's a rare case that a show will go on a tour before it heads to Broadway,” Greene said, adding that allows the production to evolve before its Broadway debut while also building buzz by playing in various cities.
Fans of Michael Jackson will be thrilled with “MJ,” a tribute to the King of Pop. The musical, created by director and choreographer Christopher Wheeldon and playwright Lynn Nottage, hones in on Jackson’s 1992 world tour and comes to Playhouse Square in July 2024.
“The show is just filled with great music, great dancing and just a real interesting look into the creative mind of MJ,” Greene said.
Cleveland also gets the premiere of the national tour of “Back to the Future: The Musical” in June 2024, roughly a year after its scheduled Broadway premiere.
The new Tony-award winning musical “Girl from the North Country” reimagines Bob Dylan’s songs while telling the story of wayward travelers whose paths intersect. It arrives in Cleveland Oct. 31.
“Mrs. Doubtfire” follows, full of comedy well-established in the 1993 film starring Robin Williams as a divorced father who disguises himself as an older woman to spend more time with his kids as their nanny, Mrs. Doubtfire.
The revival of “Funny Girl” arrives in Cleveland in February, just six months after the show is set to close on Broadway. It’s been a popular ticket in New York with Lea Michele of “Glee” in the leading role. The cast of the touring production has not yet been announced.
“It's the classic ‘Funny Girl,’ embracing the joys and pains of growing up and growing apart from family and relationships, and, you know, setting your eyes big on ambition and going for it,” Greene said.
The reimagining of Stephen Sondheim’s “Company” swaps some gender roles in this Tony Award-winning production. The lead character, now a woman in her mid-30s, grapples with expectations from friends and family to settle down and start a family.
“The show just works so well for the time that we're in,” Greene said.
Playhouse Square’s subscriber base is rebounding this current season, after losing about 8,000 members during COVID-19. There are now more than 44,000 subscribers, and Greene said he hopes to continue to regain subscribers with the upcoming season as they have added around 5,000 members since the pandemic losses.
“We have the largest season ticket community for Broadway in North America, and that goes a long way,” Greene said. “Every tour wants to play Cleveland as early as possible, because the audiences are so good.”
Tickets for the upcoming season are available now to subscribers, and individual tickets will be available for purchase at future dates closer to the show openings.
2023-2024 KeyBank Broadway Series
October 3 – 22, 2023
“Girl from the North Country”
October 31 – November 19, 2023
January 9 – 28, 2024
February 20 – March 10, 2024
April 30 – May 19, 2024
“Back to the Future: The Musical”
June 11 – July 7, 2024
July 16 – August 11, 2024