Broadway in Boston
Offers Hits Old and New For 2004-2005

By R. J. Donovan

A baseball hero, a Broadway legend, a man-eating plant and a conga line of sailors visiting New York in the 50s. They were all part of the agenda as Tony McLean, President of Broadway in Boston, stepped into the spotlight at the Seaport World Trade Center to announce his 2004-2005 season.

The line-up included more than a dozen productions ranging from "Little Shop of Horrors" and Elaine Stritch's one-woman show to a pre-Broadway production of "Sweet Charity." However, local theater fans know that Broadway in Boston continues to add shows throughout the year, so you can bet there's more to come.

With the Trade Center filled with media and invited guests, McLean also took time to present special recognition awards, acknowledging longtime service to the Boston theater community, to Catherine Peterson and Joe Donlavy of Arts/Boston and Broadway in Boston Treasurer Bob Foley.

Additionally, "Shear Madness" was singled out for a special honors as it nears its 25th anniversary of interactive mayhem. Co-creater and original cast member Bruce Jordan accepted, backed by Associate Producer Kim Haack and the entire "SM" cast. Sending regrets was co-creator Marilyn Abrams who was in Paris scoping out a new French production of "Shear Madness" to add to their comical "who-dunnit" dynasty.

McLean was briefly interrupted by a funny cell phone call from Joan Rivers, who was seemingly lost in Big Dig traffic but wanted him to remind everyone that she was opening at The Wilbur the next evening. He also introduced a live musical performance from "Little Shop of Horrors" which featured Audrey II, the plant of all plants, supplying several local references.

The Broadway in Boston 2004 - 2005 season will include (in order):

“Mamma Mia”
The Colonial Theatre, June 22 - August 8
Having already reached 10 million people worldwide, the story-telling magic of ABBA’s "Mamma Mia" returns to Boston for a summer run.

Disney’s “The Lion King”
The Opera House, July 21 - December 26
With an dazzling score by Elton John and Tim Rice, the spectacle of animals brought to life by award-winning director Julie Taymor finally arrives.

"Elaine Stritch . . . At Liberty"
The Wilbur Theatre, October 19 - 24
Tony Award winner and film and television star Elaine Stritch (left) owns the stage in this one-woman tour-de-force that spans six decades of her Broadway career.

The Colonial Theatre, November 2 - 14
Winner of seven Tony Awards, this is the dynamic musical portrait of Eva Peron, wife of former Argentine dictator Juan Peron. Blessed with charisma, she captivated a nation by championing the working class.


“Playboy of the Western World”
The Wilbur Theatre, November 2 - 28
In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Abbey Theatre of Ireland, Broadway in Boston will present “Playboy of the Western World” in association with the Huntington Theatre Company.

Boston Ballet’s “The Nutcracker”
The Colonial Theatre,
November 26 - December 30

Christmas 2004 will find a special edition of “The Nutcracker” playing The Colonial, complete with Clara, dancing mice and the tree that grows as if by magic. The holiday classic moves to the new Opera House in 2005.

Radio City Christmas Spectacular
The Wang Theatre, December 2 - 31
The Rockettes are high-kicking their way towards a Boston debut. And they’re bringing Santa, dancing toy soldiers and lots more.


The Wilbur Theatre, December 14 - 19
A musical story of global scope combining unique choreography with stunning arrangements and technical precision. Vagabond Tales, the new show from this international company, follows the wanderings of a traveler and his troupe of roving minstrels.

“The Producers”
The Colonial Theatre,
February 1 - 19

Mel Brooks’ fearlessly irreverent, knock-down-funny look at a Broadway flop that turns out to be a hit returns for a two week run.

“Wonderful Town”
The Colonial Theatre,
February 23 - March 6

Broadway’s newest hit is the revival of the Leonard Bernstein classic. Two sisters from Ohio are reaching for their dreams and trying to find love while making it big in 50s Manhattan.

“Nobody Don’t Like Yogi”
The Wilbur Theatre, March 1 - 6
Tony Award winning Ben Gazzara stars in this touching dramatic portrait of one of the most beloved, and certainly most quotable, athletes of our time. It’s been 14 years since the baseball hero last set foot in Yankee Stadium. And tonight he’s the guest of honor.

Dora’s Pirate Adventure
The Opera House, March 2 - 6
Dora, Diego, Boots and the rest of their friends are back in a new musical adventure for the kids. As always, they need the help of the audience as they navigate the high seas and overcome obstacles on their journey to Treasure Island.

“Sweet Charity”
The Colonial Theatre, March 15 - 27
Taxi dancer Charity Hope Valentine is the original optimist -- as well as the unluckiest romantic in New York City. Christina Applegate (left) stars in this new production of the Neil Simon-Cy Coleman-Dorothy Field musical offering such hits as “Hey Big Spender” and “If My Friends Could See Me Now.” Originally directed by Bob Fosse and starring Gwen Verdon, “Sweet Charity” was the smash of the 1966 season. This pre-Broadway production is headed to New York for an April 2005 opening.

Disney’s “On The Record”
The Colonial Theatre, March 30 - April 10
Take 50 of the biggest Disney musical numbers and roll them into one show. From “The Little Mermaid,” “Aladdin” and “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” to “Cinderella,” “Snow White” and “Sleeping Beauty,” this one show promises them all within the context of a once-in-a-lifetime, on-stage recording session.

“The Phantom of the Opera”
The Opera House, March 30 - May 8
Based on Gaston Leroux’s classic novel of suspense, Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical traces the tragic love story of a beautiful opera singer and the gifted but murderous composer doomed by his physical appearance to lurk in the shadows of the majestic Paris Opera House. What better place than the new Opera House for this lavish production?

“Little Shop of Horrors”
The Colonial Theatre,
May 3 - 15

It's the first-ever Broadway production of the classic musical about a loser, the girl he loves and the man-eating plant that’s about to change their lives forever. Funny, bright and tuneful, let the feeding frenzy begin.



Season ticket information is available by calling the Broadway in Boston Subscription Office at 617-880-2400.

-- OnStage Boston



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