Community

“A little something for everyone.”

That’s the ethos PNC Broadway in Louisville president Leslie Broecker tries to embrace when programming a new season of Broadway shows to bring to Louisville. 

In the case of the 2022-2023 season, she feels like the balance of pure entertainment, thought-provoking works, hyped shows, something for the family and something for the musical theater purist is there. 

“Each show can maybe tick a couple of boxes, and the more boxes you can tick with each show, I think accomplishes building a package that’s received really well by the community,” Broecker told WFPL News.

The new season opens with “Fiddler on the Roof” in the fall, a work that is full of familiar, beloved music, but also has topics and themes relevant to present-day hardships and realities.  

“It’s set in Ukraine, and it’s people fleeing [Russian forces]. It absolutely resonates,” said Broecker, adding that it’s been about a decade since the touring production came through Louisville. 

Next up is “Pretty Woman: The Musical,” based off of the popular 1990 movie of the same name, opening in late November. Followed by “Annie,” which Broecker said hasn’t been in the Broadway in Louisville lineup in nearly 17 years. 

From back to front: Derrick Baskin, Jawan M. Jackson, Jeremy Pope, James Harkness and Ephraim Sykes in "Ain't Too Proud: The Life and Times of The Temptations.Courtesy the touring show

From back to front: Derrick Baskin, Jawan M. Jackson, Jeremy Pope, James Harkness and Ephraim Sykes in “Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of The Temptations.

Broecker was particularly excited to be able to book the tours of “Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of The Temptations,” slated for next spring, and Aaron Sorkin’s 2018 adaptation of “To Kill a Mockingbird,” with Louisville performances scheduled for June 2023. She had planned to present both of the shows in the 2020-2021 season, but the COVID-19 pandemic forced venues to shut down and put all performances on hold. 

Also on the lineup is “Hadestown.” 

The show won several Tony Awards, including for Best Musical of 2019. It also won a Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album. It weaves together two classic stories from Greek mythology: the epic tales of Orpheus and Eurydice and Hades and Persephone.

“[It’s] so difficult to describe and so magical,” Broecker said of “Hadestown.” “It is really the one that I wanted to be able to grab and so I’m tickled that we’ve got it on the season.”

The full season lineup includes:

  • “Fiddler on the Roof”: Oct. 18 – 23, 2022 
  • “Pretty Woman: The Musical”: Nov. 29 – Dec. 4, 2022 
  • “Annie”: Feb. 14 – 19, 2023 
  • “Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of The Temptations”: April 11 – 16, 2023
  • “Hadestown”: May 16 – 21, 2023 
  • Harper Lee’s “To Kill A Mockingbird”: June 20 – 25, 2023
The company of the North American tour of "Hadestown."T. Charles Erickson

The company of the North American tour of “Hadestown.”

And as the new performance season approaches, Broecker anticipates a gradual move away from COVID-19 protocols. While she expects regular testing of cast and crew to continue into the fall, she said masks could become optional for audience members before the end of the current season – as soon as the Louisville opening of the hit musical “Hamilton” in early June.

With the possibility of future community surges in COVID-19 infections looming, Broecker feels confident they’ve developed good systems and will be prepared.

“If we had to pivot back, we would just go back to what we’re doing,” she said.

Broecker also wanted to highlight that, through the Louisville Theatrical Association nonprofit, as well as contributions from subscribers, PNC Broadway in Louisville is able to invite kids and young adults to come see the upcoming productions. 

“So the shows blow into town and the shows leave, but they leave a lot more behind than I think people necessarily recognize,” she said.

Stephanie Wolf is WFPL's Arts & Culture Reporter.