SALT LAKE CITY — Broadway at the Eccles announced the lineup for its 2018-19 season — as well as a big-name show slated for the 2019-20 season — during the opening night performance of “The Sound of Music” on Tuesday, Feb. 27.
Part of the big announcement was the news that hit musical “Dear Evan Hansen” is scheduled to make a stop at the Eccles Theater during the 2019-20 season, with a specific date to be announced.
As for the 2018-19 season, the six-show season package includes “Waitress,” “Come From Away,” “Finding Neverland,” Disney’s “Aladdin,” “School of Rock — The Musical” and the 20th anniversary tour of “Rent.”
The tours of “Wicked” and “The Book of Mormon” will also return to Salt Lake City next season, with tickets available as add-ons to the regular season ticket package.
“We’ve had lots of years when there’s been a blockbuster like ‘Phantom of the Opera’ or ‘Wicked’ or ‘Hamilton,’ but I cannot remember a time when we had so many popular and sold-out shows (in one season),” Bruce Granath, vice president of marketing at MagicSpace Entertainment, said in an interview. “Overall, (the season) reflects this very special time that’s happening in musical theater.”
Tickets for “Dear Evan Hansen” will be made available the same way tickets to the upcoming Salt Lake stop of “Hamilton” were first offered: Subscribers for the 2018-19 season will be the first to be able to reserve tickets to “Dear Evan Hansen” when they renew their subscription for the 2019-20 season, according to a news release from Broadway at the Eccles.
“What’s going on is this really special moment on Broadway where there are so many shows with such extraordinary demand, so I have no idea how tickets will be handled for ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ a season from now, except that for sure season ticketholders will get first shot,” Granath said.
“Dear Evan Hansen” — a six-time Tony Award-winner, including 2017’s best musical — comes from songwriting team Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, the duo behind the music for “The Greatest Showman” and “La La Land,” and tells the story of a high school senior with social anxiety who suddenly finds the popularity he’s always dreamed of, but it’s based on a lie.
"It has been really rewarding to see people, especially young people, feel like there is a show written that they can relate to and covers topics that are a little harder to deal with and cut to the core of a lot of the things they are going through,” Paul said during an interview while visiting Utah for a performance at Utah Valley University.
Season ticket renewals begin Monday, March 5, at 9 a.m. online at broadway-at-the-eccles.com and in person at Broadway at the Eccles offices at 610 E. South Temple. Granath said last year season tickets were sold out, but if season subscriptions are still available, that will be announced in early April.
Here’s a closer look at the 2018-19 season:
• “Waitress,” Sept. 25-30: Based on the film from director/writer Adrienne Shelly that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2007, “Waitress” the musical features music by Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles. It tells the story of a waitress named Jenna who wants nothing more than to get away from her small-town life and unhappy marriage. “A baking contest in a nearby county and the town’s new doctor may offer her a chance at a fresh start … but Jenna must summon the strength and courage to rebuild her own life,” according to the news release from Broadway at the Eccles.
• “Come From Away,” Nov. 6-11: “Come From Away” tells the true story of the community of Gander, Newfoundland, which ended up playing host to thousands of stranded travelers from around the world who were diverted to Gander on Sept. 11, 2001.
• “Finding Neverland,” Dec. 4-9: Based on the Academy Award-winning film by the same name, “Finding Neverland” the musical tells the story behind the creation of “Peter Pan” by J.M. Barrie. With a little bit of pixie dust and a lot of faith, Barrie takes this monumental leap, leaving his old world behind for Neverland, where nothing is impossible and the wonder of childhood lasts forever,” according to the news release.
• “Wicked,” Jan. 30-March 3, 2019 (season add-on): Last seen on the stage in Utah in 2014, “Wicked” returns, this time to the Eccles Theater, telling the “untold” story behind the the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good from “The Wizard of Oz,” according to the news release.
• Disney’s “Aladdin,” April 25-May 12, 2019: Praised as “geniu-us” by USA Today, this stage version of the Disney classic features all of the songs by Alan Menken from the film, as well as a few new ones specific to the stage.
• “School of Rock — The Musical,” May 28-June 2, 2019: Another film-turned-musical, “School of Rock” takes the story made popular by Jack Black’s portrayal of the main character and adapts it to the stage — complete with music from Andrew Lloyd Webber — as a “wannabe rock star-turned-substitute teacher … transforms a class of straight-A students into grade-A rockers,” according to the news release.
• “Rent,” June 25-30, 2019: Loosely based on Puccini’s classic opera “La boheme,” the rock musical “Rent” first hit Broadway in 1996 — following “an unforgettable year in the lives of seven artists struggling to follow their dreams without selling out” — and later became a Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning piece, according to the news release.
• “The Book of Mormon,” Aug. 13-25, 2019 (season add-on): This irreverent and raunchy tale of two Mormon missionaries in Africa has seen plenty of critical acclaim and will return to Salt Lake City two years after its last stop in August 2017.