The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust announced the 2019-20 PNC Broadway in Pittsburgh season on Monday. Leading the seven touring Broadway shows, which have won more than 30 Tony Awards, is “Mean Girls,” the hit musical that included book writer Tina Fey.
The others are “A Bronx Tale,” “Jesus Christ Superstar,” “Miss Saigon,” “Summer: The Donna Summer Musical,” and “Escape to Margaritaville.”
Season specials include “Cats,” “Les Miserables,” “The Illusionists,” and a four-week engagement of Disney’s “The Lion King,” including a sensory-friendly performance on Sept. 14.
Brought to Pittsburgh by the PNC Foundation and Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, these performances bring the best of Broadway and entertain, enlighten, and complement the rich experiences that add to the region’s exceptional quality of life. More than 1,500 season ticket holders and guests attended the announcement.
“This lineup represents the very best programming from Broadway,” said Marc Fleming vice-president of marketing, communications and Broadway programming for the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, after the announcement. “There truly is something for everyone from new musicals to classics. Some will make you want to get up and dance while others will make you think and reflect.”
Coming up with the scheduling for these shows has been compared to putting together a jigsaw puzzle, but Fleming adds it’s more like figuring out the game tetris, a tile-matching puzzle video game where you have to move everything into position and you only have a short period of time to do it.
“It is quite challenging,” he said. “But we constantly hear from actors and actresses how much they like performing in Pittsburgh, because they are so well-received here.”
Direct from Broadway, “Mean Girls” tells the story of Cady Heron and her new home in suburban Illinois. Soon, this naïve newbie falls prey to a trio of lionized frenemies led by the charming but ruthless Regina George. But, when Heron devises a plan to end Regina’s reign, she learns the hard way that you can’t cross a Queen Bee without getting stung.
“A Bronx Tale,” takes you to the stoops of the Bronx in the 1960s, where a young man is caught between the father he loves and the mob boss he’d love to be.
“Jesus Christ Superstar” is an iconic musical phenomenon with a world-wide fan base. This show pays tribute to the historic 1971 Billboard album of the year.
“Miss Saigon” is the story of a young Vietnamese woman named Kim, who is orphaned by war and forced to work in a bar run by a notorious character known as the “Engineer.” There, she meets and falls in love with an American G.I. named Chris, but they are torn apart by the fall of Saigon.
Myra Molloy performed a song from “Miss Saigon,” on Monday. She said she is so excited for the entire tour to come here.
“It is such a beautiful theater and the acoustics are amazing,” said Malloy, who was in Pittsburgh for the first time, who raved about dining at Pamela’s in the Strip District. “The crowd was wonderful and that support really helps. ‘Miss Saigon’ is a an emotional, roller-coaster production and we put her hearts on stage so when the audience applauds us, that is an amazing feeling.”
“The Band’s Visit” is set in an Israeli desert town, where every day feels the same, but something different is suddenly in the air. It’s about a local café owner, who had long-resigned her desires for romance to daydreaming about exotic films and music from her youth.
“Summer: The Donna Summer Musical,” is the story of a girl from Boston with a voice from heaven, who shot through the stars from gospel choir to dance floor diva. But, what the world didn’t know, was how Donna Summer risked it all to break through barriers, becoming the icon of an era and the inspiration for every music diva who followed.
“Escape to Margaritaville,” is about a place where people come to get away from it all — and stay to find something they never expected. This show prompted beach balls being launched into the audience, similar waht you might experiecene at a tailgate before a Jimmy Buffet concert.
2019-20 PNC Broadway in Pittsburgh Season Specials
“The Lion King,” is a Disney tale where giraffes strut, birds swoop and gazelles leap. The entire Serengeti comes to life as never before. More than 95 million people around the world have experienced the awe-inspiring visual artistry, the unforgettable music, and the uniquely theatrical storytelling of this Broadway spectacular.
“Les Miserables” is set against the backdrop of 19th-century France, and tells an unforgettable story of heartbreak, passion, and the resilience of the human spirit.
“The Illusionists, Magic of the Holidays,” includes illusions, close-up magic, mentalism, daring escapes, and technological spectacle performed by master entertainers.
“Cats,” the record-breaking musical spectacular by Andrew Lloyd Webber that has captivated audiences in over 30 countries and 15 languages, is now on tour across North America.
The strategy involved in putting together this lineup includes showcasing as many Tony-nominated shows, especially those on their first run to tour in Pittsburgh, said Kevin McMahon, president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. “’The Band’s Visit’ is one such show.”
He said they try to bring back something for everyone so that everything is open and accessible to anyone from any background.
“We are really excited about the great lineup,” said McMahon. “Including the Tony award winner for the best musical theater ‘The Band’s Visit’ is going to highlight our season.”
Subscription packages to the seven-show the series range from $205 to $723 per subscription. Single tickets will go on sale six to eight weeks in advance of the show’s opening for most events. Group discounts apply to orders of 10 tickets or more for most events. Most shows are at the Benedum Center, Downtown.
Details: 412-456-4800 or trustarts.org