‘Evan Hansen,’ ‘Hello, Dolly!’ lead Smith Center’s Broadway season

Updated February 26, 2018 - 8:06 pm

Something old. Something new.

And that’s just counting the reigning Tony winners for best musical — the hot Broadway ticket “Dear Evan Hansen” — and best musical revival, “Hello, Dolly!”

Both are among the 10 touring productions on The Smith Center’s 2018-19 Broadway Las Vegas season schedule. Center officials unveiled the lineup Monday evening at Reynolds Hall before an audience of invited subscribers.

Performances from two other upcoming musicals — “The Lion King” and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” — were scheduled during Monday’s announcement, along with an appearance by Bernie Yuman, the longtime Siegfried & Roy manager who’s among the producers of the Gloria and Emilio Estefan musical “On Your Feet.”

This season, The Smith Center has more than 12,000 Broadway Las Vegas subscribers — about 2,000 more than in previous years, thanks to the drawing power of the Tony- and Pulitzer Prize-winning “Hamilton,” which opens a monthlong run May 29.

“If I’m being completely honest, we saw the ‘Hamilton’ year as a little bit of a bubble,” Smith Center president Myron Martin acknowledges. “Did I think we could come up with a Broadway season that could rival the year of ‘Hamilton’? The reality is that we did.”

Of next season’s shows, eight are still running on Broadway, with Tony winner “Dear Evan Hansen” ranking with “Hamilton” as “another Broadway phenomenon that people have been going crazy to find tickets for,” Martin says. “And we have it.”

As for the “Hello, Dolly!” tour, star Betty Buckley — a Tony winner for “Cats” and a previous attraction at The Smith Center’s intimate Cabaret Jazz club — is “among that very small group of women who can pull this off,” he says.

A second legendary Golden Age musical, “Fiddler on the Roof,” joins composer Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “School of Rock” on the 2018-19 schedule, along with another screen-to-stage transfer, “Waitress,” which Martin describes as “a show that people fall in love with.”

But Martin cites “Come From Away” — about a small Canadian town that welcomes 7,000 stranded airline passengers following the Sept. 11 attacks — as a lesser-known musical that emerges as “one of those shows that just grabs you.”

Rounding out the season: the 1920s murder mystery comedy “The Play That Goes Wrong,” which Martin praised for “the brilliance of the writing and the acting.”

As for “Lion King,” the Disney favorite has been touring for years (it won six Tonys, including best musical, two decades ago, but a long-running Strip production at Mandalay Bay meant The Smith Center “needed a little time” before bringing it back to Las Vegas, Martin notes. “Our time and Disney’s touring schedule had to line up.”

Most of next season’s shows will play The Smith Center for a week; “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” is scheduled for two and “Lion King” has an 18-day November stay, concluding over the long Thanksgiving weekend.

“We always try to keep an eye open for family-friendly shows,” Martin explains, citing the presence of “School of Rock,” “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and “Lion King” on the schedule.

As for “Dolly!” and “Fiddler,” they may be Broadway classics, he says, “but they’re fresh titles to The Smith Center.”

Contact Carol Cling at ccling@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0272. Follow @CarolSCling on Twitter.

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