The Baltimore Hippodrome Theatre at the France-Merrick Performing Arts Center announced their 2017/2018 Broadway season in mid-January, to include seven hit musicals, some of which are arriving straight from the New York stages.
Kicking off the season and running from September 19-24 is Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Love Never Dies,” the sequel to his critically acclaimed and longest running musical, “The Phantom of the Opera.” Met with positive reviews in Australia, “Love Never Dies” hopes to dazzle in its first North American tour. The musical takes place ten years after the Phantom fled from the Paris Opera House and found his way to Coney Island, New York, and concludes the story surrounding his undying love for Christine Daaé, who has become one of the greatest sopranos in the world.
In October, “The Color Purple” will grace the Hippodrome stage from October 17-22. Based on Alice Walker’s book of the same name, this musical won a 2016 Tony award for best revival. The story follows a young African-American girl, Celie, over the course of her life as she overcomes her position in a forced marriage and her strained relationship with God. Incredibly soulful gospel-style music weaves its way into every scene, giving rise to Celie’s transformation at the end of Act 2 as she realizes that she is a strong, confident and beautiful individual.
A Broadway classic, Disney’s most popular stage adaptation, “The Lion King,” will run from November 16 to December 10. It will include a special Friday matinee held the day after Thanksgiving, ushering in the holiday season the way only Disney can.
“Waitress” will open the 2018 calendar year, running from January 30 to February 4. A musical adaptation of the 2007 film, “Waitress” was written by an all-female creative team, including Sara Bareilles and Jessie Nelson, and tells the story of a pie maker who longs to find a way out of her small town and her abusive marriage. She finds refuge in her baking and a new doctor as she finds the courage to become truly independent.
March welcomes “School of Rock,” another Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, to the Hippodrome from the 20th to the 25th. Based on the movie starring Jack Black, “School of Rock” features an all-star ensemble of child performers who play the piano, bass and drums in a rock band led by fake substitute teacher, Dewey Finn. As he starts to take his fake job seriously, Dewey inspires his students to be themselves–and “stick it to the man”–in a world that does not seem to listen to them.
A more traditional Broadway musical, “An American in Paris” arrives at the Hippodrome from May 1-8. A Gerschwin orchestral composition and an adaptation of the 1951 musical film, “An American in Paris” chooses not to open with a flashy musical number, but rather an expository ballet, paying homage to its composer and drawing the audience into a two and a half hour love letter to dance as its characters fight to find themselves amidst post-World War II Paris.
Closing out the season is a jukebox musical retelling of the life of Gloria Estefan, titled “On Your Feet!” and running from June 5-10. “On Your Feet!” draws audiences in with upbeat salsa music, but also touches on the deeper struggles Gloria Estefan and her husband, Emilio, went through as Cuban-American singer-songwriters.
The Hippodrome has also released news stating that the hit musical “Hamilton” will be coming to the Baltimore stage for its 2018/2019 season. “Hamilton” is a hip-hop musical retelling of the life of Alexander Hamilton, one of the United States’ founding fathers. To guarantee tickets to see “Hamilton,” the Hippodrome theater president, Ron Legler, has said that you will need to buy a subscription package for the 2017/2018 season. Upon renewal of this subscription for the 2018/2019 season next year, seats for “Hamilton” will be guaranteed. There will be tickets sold outside of the standard subscription package, but those are expected to sell out quickly.
Season ticket subscription packages for the 2017/2018 Hippodrome season can be purchased online, starting at $189, while single tickets will go on sale later in the year.