The acclaimed Broadway drama “War Horse” is coming to the Kentucky Center in November. The Broadway in Louisville series announced their next season today, which includes the popular musical “The Book of Mormon.” All of the shows scheduled for next season are new to Louisville.
Rounding out the season are musical adaptations of two early-Nineties films, “Ghost” and “Sister Act,” and “The Addams Family,” which opens the season in October.
“All three of these shows have just been on Broadway. Having these shows just after they’ve finished their run is great,” says Broadway in Louisville president Leslie Broecker. “Louisville tells me sometimes they want the old chestnuts, but most of the time they tell me they want the new stuff.”
“War Horse,” which won the Tony Award for best play in 2011, is the only non-musical production slated for 2013-14. Broecker says the series brings non-musical plays to Whitney Hall only when the production is large enough to suit the venue.
“I don’t want to spoil the intimacy of a play, if that’s a requirement for it,” says Broecker. “’War Horse’ is a full-scale show. It’s as big as a musical.”
“War Horse” is set in World War I, when a young boy’s beloved horse is sold to the cavalry and shipped from England to the battlefields in France. The boy goes in search of his horse once he’s old enough to enlist.
The show won five Tonys, plus a special award for Handspring Puppet Company, the South African company that created the large-scale puppets that simulate walking, breathing horses that are ridden on stage. Three puppeteers operate each horse – one for the head and ears alone.
“Being in horse country, we know that the head and ears are so important to a horse’s communication,” says Broecker. “The horse breathes in and out. You can feel the breaths he is taking.”
The season’s most popular show will likely be “The Book of Mormon,” which will play for two weeks next May and June.
“The Book of Mormon” is both critically-acclaimed and a commercial success, taking home nine Tony Awards in 2011, including best musical, book and score. The irreverent musical about Mormon missionaries in Africa is a bona-fide Broadway blockbuster, continuing to break attendance records at New York’s Eugene O’Neill Theater.
The series announced the show would be included in the upcoming season back in August. Tickets went on sale for the touring production in Washington, D.C. last week and the demand from the members/donors-only pre-sale crashed the Kennedy Center’s ticketing system.
“It’s the show people are clamoring to see,” says Broecker. “It’s written like a traditional book musical. It pokes fun but it doesn’t poke mean fun. It has its moments but at the end, no pun intended, finds redemption. It’s so smartly written and a good musical has hummable tunes, and this has hummable tunes.”
The 2013-14 Broadway in Louisville Season
“The Addams Family” – October 15-20, 2013
“War Horse” – November 19-24, 2013
“Sister Act” – January 7-12, 204
“Ghost the Musical” – March 11-16, 2014
“The Book of Mormon” – May 27-June 8, 2014
Season tickets start at $138 for all five shows and are on sale today through the Broadway in Louisville website, the box office (620 W. Main St.) and by phone at (800) 294-1894.