These 7 Broadway musicals are coming to Utah
In the middle of a season that has included Broadway juggernauts like ‘The Lion King,’ ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ and ‘Les Miserables,’ Broadway at the Eccles has announced its upcoming season
In the middle of a season that has included Broadway juggernauts like “The Lion King,” “Dear Evan Hansen” and “Les Miserables,” Broadway at the Eccles has announced its upcoming season.
Seven national touring productions — featuring newer musicals and crowd favorites — will grace the Eccles Theater stage for the 2023-24 season. This includes the Utah premiere of the Broadway hit “Six,” “MJ” and “Hamilton,” which will have a five-week run in Salt Lake City.
“We really have something for everyone this year, and Broadway continues to be an economic engine for downtown Salt Lake City with more than $150 million in economic impact since reopening in the fall of 2021,” Victor Hamburger, vice president of Mountain for Broadway Across America, said in a news release sent to the Deseret News.
Here’s a breakdown of the seven shows in the 2023-24 season.
What’s in the Broadway at the Eccles 2023-24 season?
‘My Fair Lady’ — Nov. 12-18
- The revival of “My Fair Lady” opened on Broadway in 2018 and was nominated for 10 Tony Awards — including for best musical revival, per Playbill. It tells the story of a flower-seller named Eliza Doolittle, who takes speech lessons from linguistics professor Henry Higgins in an effort to become a “proper lady,” according to a Broadway at the Eccles news release. Higgins “is determined to transform her into his idea of a ‘proper lady’ — but who is really being transformed?”
- The musical — which originally opened on Broadway in 1956 and later inspired the film starring Audrey Hepburn — is based on George Bernard Shaw’s 1913 play “Pygmalion.”
- “(Director Bartlett) Sher hasn’t removed ‘My Fair Lady’ from its world. He and his company have simply approached it with a keen sense for this one,” Sara Holdren wrote in a review for Vulture in 2018. “The truth is that a production like this — reenvisioned not so much in aesthetics but, in both subtle and overt ways, in narrative and thematic focus — should be the baseline for big musical revivals.”
‘Mamma Mia!’ — Dec. 19-24
- “Mamma Mia!” uses more than 20 hit ABBA songs to tell the story of Sophie, a young woman who, shortly before her wedding, digs into her mother’s past to discover who her father is. The musical opened on Broadway in 2001 and had a 14-year run — the eighth-longest running show in Broadway history, per Playbill.
- The musical inspired two films and received five Tony nominations, according to Playbill.
‘Six’ — Jan. 9-21, 2024
- One of Broadway’s newest musicals, “Six” — about the wives of Henry VIII — was originally supposed to have its Broadway opening night on March 12, 2020, the Deseret News reported. Instead, a year and a half into the pandemic, the production ended up having its official opening in the fall of 2021.
- It was worth the wait — the musical was nominated for 8 Tony Awards and won two, including for best original score. The production takes the form of a pop concert, with Henry VIII’s six wives telling their stories to see who suffered the most, The New York Times reported. The winner gets to become the group’s lead singer.
‘MJ’ — Feb. 27-March 3, 2024
- Another new Broadway musical, “MJ” — which tells the story of King of Pop Michael Jackson — brings to life “a rare look at the creative mind and collaborative spirit that catapulted Jackson into legendary status,” according to Michaeljackson.com.
- The jukebox musical — headed by Tony Award-winning director/choreographer Christopher Wheeldon and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage — focuses on the creation of Jackson’s 1992 Dangerous world tour, per Michaeljackson.com. It had its official Broadway opening in 2022, and won four Tony Awards out of 10 nominations.
- The musical received mixed reviews, generally praised for the music, choreography and cast, but criticized for shying away from the controversy that surrounded Jackson later in his career.
- “In agreeing to write what is essentially an authorized biography — the show has been produced ‘by special arrangement with the Michael Jackson estate’ — Nottage apparently made a compromise: She would note his minor oddities while avoiding the most troubling accusations against him,” wrote Jesse Green in a review for The New York Times.
- “Musicals based on real people have always elided their worst traits,” Green continued. “We cannot understand or accept the main character if he’s deliberately kept from us.”
- The Hollywood Reporter, however, noted that Jackson would have wanted audiences to “focus exclusively on his music,” and “‘MJ’ largely honors that wish, ... creating a euphoric production.”
‘Pretty Woman: The Musical’ — April 2-7, 2024
- With music from Bryan Adams, “Pretty Woman: The Musical” brings to life the 1990 film starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere. It focuses on the relationship that develops between Edward Lewis, a wealthy businessman who hires Vivian Ward to be his escort for a number of business and social functions for a week.
- “Pretty Woman: The Musical” made its Broadway debut in 2018 and closed a year later, receiving largely negative reviews — “This aggressively stupid musical version of the Julia Roberts smash justifies the terrible Broadway reviews,” the London-based magazine Time Out wrote, giving it 1 out of 5 stars.
‘Girl from the North Country’ — June 11-16, 2024
- Against the backdrop of 20 classic Bob Dylan songs, “Girl From North Country” tells the story of “a group of wayward travelers whose lives intersect in a guesthouse filled with music, life and hope,” according to the musical’s website. It is set in the 1930s in Duluth, Minnesota — Dylan’s hometown.
- “Girl from the North Country” officially opened on Broadway a week before the pandemic — and then resumed performances a year and a half later, in the fall of 2021. It was nominated for seven Tony Awards — including best musical.
- The musical received high praise — especially for its creativity in adapting Dylan’s music to the Great Depression era. “What makes ‘Girl From the North Country’ so audacious and arresting is its ability to free Dylan’s music, even ‘All Along the Watchtower,’ from the hippy detritus of the 1960s, which has, over time, become an insufferable cliche, even if that was the era in which many of Dylan’s most famous songs were written,” Chris Jones wrote in a review for the Chicago Tribune, adding that the musical was “a Broadway revelation.”
‘Hamilton’ — July 31-Sept. 1, 2024
- “Hamilton” is coming back to the Eccles Theater — for the third time in six years, the Deseret News reported.
- Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “Hamilton” tells the story of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton through hip-hop, R&B, jazz and show tunes. The Pulitzer Prize-winning musical made its Utah debut in 2018 with a sold-out run — tickets sold out within four hours of going on sale.
- “Hamilton” opened on Broadway in 2015 and won an astonishing 11 Tony Awards out of 16 nominations, the Deseret News reported. A filmed version of the original Broadway production hit Disney+ in 2020 and brought the musical to an even wider audience.
How to get tickets for Broadway at the Eccles 2023-24 season
- Eccles Theater season ticket renewals begin in March — existing subscribers are automatically renewed at the launch of the 2023-24 season, according to a news release sent to the Deseret News.
- New season ticket holders will be welcomed in June. Those interested in becoming a season ticket holder can join the waitlist for the 2023-24 season. Single tickets for productions will go on sale at a later date.