Since January 2009, the Durham Performing Arts Center has hosted dozens of Broadway musicals on its stage. I’ve covered at least 40 of the shows. In interviews with the casts and creative teams on the national tours, I’ve asked how the tour version differs from the one in New York City. Going from Broadway home to national tour involves changes staging, scale and scope. For the past two years, I’ve gone to see some of the musicals coming on tour, and I’ll be there again this weekend to see three more musicals that are heading to Durham.
On Aug. 19-20, I’ll be on a fast-paced overnight to New York to see “School of Rock,” “On Your Feet!” and “Waitress” along with other media and DPAC staff. Along the way, I’ll be posting to social media. Follow me on Twitter at @dawnbvaughan and on Instagram at dawnbaumer, and check The Herald-Sun social media accounts, too. On Instagram, The Herald-Sun is durhamheraldsun and on Twitter @TheHerald_Sun. Follow the entire trip on multiple social media platforms at the hashtag #DPACinNYC.
I’ll be seeing three shows within 28 hours, so I’ll be sharing my travels with you in real time and in New York City time, which means in a hurry.
“On Your Feet!” closes its Broadway run on Sunday, and I’ll be seeing it on Saturday night, which is the next to last performance in New York. I’ll tell you all about it, as well as “School of Rock” and “Waitress.” The U.S. tour of “School of Rock” starts this fall, and will be at DPAC Nov. 28-Dec. 3. “Waitress,” which is also launching its tour, comes to Durham at the end of DPAC’s season, May 1-6.
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When I get back, I’ll fill you in on what the shows are like on Broadway and what they’ll need to do to be hits on tour, too. I’m supposed to get backstage after “On Your Feet!” so hope to bring you some cool details about that show.
So what’s the full Broadway schedule at DPAC and what else is coming?
The 2017-18 season opens in September with “Circus 1903.” Featuring puppetry, the production will be on stage Sept. 26-Oct. 1.
“The Little Mermaid” will be at DPAC Oct. 17-22. With design that uses aerial work to make the cast appear to be underwater, this show is produced by Pittsburgh CLO and Kansas City Starlight.
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s sequel to “The Phantom of the Opera,” called “Love Never Dies,” is on stage Oct. 31-Nov. 5.
“School of Rock,” the musical based on the movie starting Jack Black about a wannabe rock star and the students he turns into a band, will be at DPAC Nov. 28-Dec. 3.
“On Your Feet!”, about pop star Gloria Estefan and Emilio Estefan, will be here Jan. 2-7. The Broadway production closes this month.
Theatrical classic “Les Miserables” will be on stage Jan. 30-Feb. 4.
A new production of “The Color Purple,” which won the 2016 Tony Award for Best Musical Revival, is on stage April 3-8. An earlier tour version visited DPAC twice.
“The Sound of Music” will be back for a short run April 20-22.
“Waitress,” featuring music by Sara Bareilles, will be at DPAC May 1-May 6.
That’s DPAC’s official Broadway season, so if you are a season seat member, those are the shows you’ll be choosing to see. There are also short-run and encore shows outside of the regular season, too. They are:
“RAIN: A Tribute to the Beatles” Feb. 23-24, “The Phantom of the Opera” Feb. 28-March 11 and “The Sound of Music” April 20-22.
DPAC often gets shows during their first national tours, like “Finding Neverland” earlier this year.
“Hamilton” was announced for 2018 as part of the 2018-19 season, and first dibs on season seats go to those who have 2017-18 season seats. You can buy season tickets for the 2017-18 season at dpacnc.com.