Musicals arriving in the Valley
Broadway may be the pinnacle of musical theatre, but not everyone can make it to the Big Apple. Fortunately, it does do traveling shows. Broadway is planning on returning to Fresno with several major shows, starting in January 2021.
The first show to grace the stage is the classic musical Cats, recently adapted into a film released in late 2019. Many fans of Broadway, such as myself, will beg viewers to forget that the film exists and instead allow the show to speak for itself. The story is about a group of cats competing to determine which is best. The best then gets to go to Heaviside Layer, a heaven-like place where cats are reborn. It is regarded as one of the greatest shows of all time and will be in town January 5-6. It’s the purrfect way to spend an evening.
One man’s story will be the main event in March, and his name is Hamilton. This show took the world by storm when it first premiered in January 2015. The story follows the life of Alexander Hamilton and the many people who come across his path. Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator of Hamilton, wrote much of the music in the style of rap. Broadway fans adore both this show and the fact that they learn more about the founding father. Due to its popularity, it will be the longest running show of the year, running from March 2-14.
The third musical is Hairspray. This show follows the plucky and voluptuous Tracy Turnblad on her journey to participate in a local dance show. This show takes place in the 1960s, in the midst of the civil rights movement. Tracy befriends some African American teens through their shared passion for dance and realizes that discrimination is both terrible and close to home. Tracy decides to bring her friends with her to the show and turn the tide with peaceful protests. It features upbeat songs with powerful solos. Hairspray runs April 5-6.
The final musical set to run is Anastasia. This is a relatively recent musical that first premiered in 2016, and is adapted from the 1997 animated film, regarded as a staple children’s musical. The show is about a long-lost Russian princess captured during the Bolshevik Revolution. Due to her amnesia, Anastasia spends her life wondering about her origins, until she meets two men who believe that she could pass for the lost princess and want to reap the rewards. However, all three are ignorant of the fact that she truly is the missing princess. This show is great for people who love its grandeur of costumes and strong ballads. Anastasia runs June 22-23.
Broadway has been a constant source of musical entertainment for ages. The shows coming next year will be a mix of classic and new age productions. Each brings an air of splendor and awe. The shows’ content range from serious issues to more lighthearted fun. All of these musicals’ albums are available on audio streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music and many have their own websites. If you’re feeling particularly eager to show your support, some sites currently have merchandise available for purchase. If you’re not sure what to wear to a Broadway performance, merchandise can provide the perfect outfit. With these shows arriving, there is something exciting on the horizon. It’s Broadway or the highway!
Author: Danielle Mercado | A&E Editor