Hamilton Comes to the Aronoff in Feb. 2019

With plenty of Tony Award winners past and present during Broadway in Cincinnati's 2018-2019 season

Feb 10, 2018 at 10:18 am
click to enlarge Hamilton - Photo: Joan Marcus
Photo: Joan Marcus

Broadway in Cincinnati has announced its 2018-219 touring presentations that will be on view at the Aronoff Center for the Arts in downtown Cincinnati. The six-show season features Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Rent, Fiddler on the Roof, Hamilton, Miss Saigon and Dear Evan Hansen. Subscribers will be able to pick one additional performance from three one-week presentations: The Play That Goes Wrong, On Your Feet! and Cats.

A local connection: Both Hamilton and Cats have choreography by Cincinnati native and St. Xavier High School grad Andy Blankenbuehler. 

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Oct. 23-Nov. 4): Based on Roald Dahl’s classic 1964 novel and a pair of movies — the 1971 Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory starring Gene Wilder and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory from 2004 and featuring Johnny Depp — this family-friendly production features music by composer and lyricist Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, the creative team behind Hairspray. This version originated in London in 2013, where it ran for more that three years; its much-revised Broadway version opened last April and recently closed on Jan. 14 after 305 performances.

The Play That Goes Wrong (Nov. 27-Dec. 2): This is a straight-up farcical comedy — not a musical. That being said, it’s hilarious — The New York Times called it “a gut-busting hit” and it’s still onstage in New York City. (I saw it last November and laughed for the better part of two hours.) The premise is a group of actors puts on an amateur production of a show called The Murder at Haversham Manor, where things go from bad to frightfully disastrous. Before long the leading lady is unconscious, the corpse isn’t really dead and the set itself begins to come apart at the seams. Although it’s only at the Aronoff for a week, I predict audiences will love this silly show.

Rent (Dec. 11-23): Rent is taking a 20th-anniversary tour. It actually began in 1996, so it’s now a virtual classic that won the Tony Award and the Pulitzer Prize for drama. In case you don’t know the show, it’s a reimagining of Puccini’s La Bohème. The bohemian artists of 19th-century Paris in Jonathan Larson’s version are struggling musicians in late 20th-century New York. The show celebrates friendship and creativity, threatened by the harsh realities of poverty and illness. It will be a “season of love” for the December holidays at the Aronoff.

Fiddler on the Roof (Jan. 15-27, 2019): Fiddler kicks off the New Year with a recent revival of the 1965 show that won nine Tony awards. It’s the entertaining, uplifting Golden Age musical about Tevye and his five daughters in 1905 Russia, drawn from classic stories by Sholem Aleichem. This tour is based on Bartlett Sher’s 2016 Broadway revival and features movement by Israeli choreographer Hofesh Shechter, based on Jerome Robbins’ original staging.

Hamilton (Feb. 19-March 10, 2019): The tour of Hamilton finally reaches Cincinnati, giving locals a chance to see the show that has been a hard-to-get ticket in New York, Chicago, London and beyond. No one imagined that a musical based on Alexander Hamilton, one of America’s Founding Fathers, would become a worldwide hit — but with book, music and lyrics by the innovative and talented Lin-Manuel Miranda, its reception has been beyond phenomenal. Rap tunes about American history? Yeah, that’s what we’re eager to see and hear. We’ll get three weeks of them here in Cincinnati, and I’m certain tickets will be scarce. (Subscribers will be first in line.)

On Your Feet! (March 19-24, 2019): The musical by and about Pop singer Gloria Estefan and her husband Emilio is a rousing story about the Cuban singer and musician who had great success and then faced stark tragedy following a debilitating accident. The show is full of upbeat tunes, including the inspiring “Coming Out of the Dark” and “Get on Your Feet!” but it’s also the story of Gloria’s life and career.

Miss Saigon (April 9-21, 2019): Another Broadway hit based on a Puccini opera (Madame Butterfly) comes to Cincinnati in a new touring production of the epic story of Kim, a young Vietnamese woman whose life is tragically changed forever by an encounter with an American G.I. This is a big show — a cast of 42 — with a lot of memorable music, including “Last Night of the World.”

Dear Evan Hansen (April 30-May 12, 2019): This is a show to be excited about (nearly as much as Hamilton, in my opinion) — it won the 2017 Tony Award for Best Musical and it’s still hard to get tickets to the Broadway production. Dear Evan Hansen is about a letter that was never meant to be seen and a lie that was never meant to be told and how those change a teenage boy’s life. The show’s music is by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, who won an Oscar for the songs in La La Land 

Cats (June 11-16, 2019): Cats has been enthralling audiences since 1981, so the slogan “Now and Forever” is quite apt. I’ve lost track of how many times this musical has toured through Cincinnati, but this one is based on a recent Broadway revival so we can assume it’s been freshened. Wouldn’t T.S. Eliot be amazed that his light-hearted poems about felines have become one of the most beloved theater spectacles ever? 

New season subscriptions for the 2018-2019 season are not yet available for purchase. If you’re interested in further information, go to broadwayincincinnati.com and sign up for the eClub. You’ll be notified by that list when subscriptions go on sale.