“Hamilton” is coming back.
The Tony Award-winning musical will make its second run in Las Vegas as part of The Smith Center’s 2020-21 Broadway lineup.
And for Myron Martin, president and CEO of The Smith Center, the return is not just a testament to “Hamilton’s” staying power, but to Las Vegas’ growing importance as a stop on a Broadway tour.
In a lineup boasting shows returning and new — including one that nabbed The Smith Center a Tony statue of its own — Martin says the upcoming season reflects the performing arts center’s reputation.
“I take it as a suggestion that Broadway has really embraced The Smith Center as one of the go-to venues on the road,” Martin said.
Much of the credit for that reputation goes to audience members, who customarily are not shy about jumping to their feet when they see something they like.
“Actors talk about how loving and appreciative audiences are,” Martin said. “And how nice it is to come to The Smith Center and be treated so nicely. We have great audiences. With this season upon us, I expect to see many standing ovations.”
In addition to “Hamilton,” Disney’s “Frozen” is anticipated to ignite an excitement all its own — although a decidedly younger one.
The Tony-nominated Best Musical features songs such as “Let It Go” from the original Oscar-winning animated film, plus an expanded score with a dozen new numbers by the film’s songwriters.
“I can’t say enough about ‘Frozen,’ “ Martin said. “And it’s such an iconic work, I’m not sure I need to say anything at all.”
“Frozen” is one of three film-to-stage productions in this year’s lineup, including “Tootsie” and “A Christmas Story: The Musical.”
In its first season touring, the winner of eight Tony Awards, “Hadestown,” will come to Las Vegas.
Through the Independent Presenters Network, The Smith Center financially invested in the musical that intertwines the mythology of Hades and Persephone with that of Orpheus and Eurydice. That investment entitled them to their own Best Musical Tony statue.
“We don’t want to appear boastful or suggest that we deserve credit for that piece of art; all credit goes to the creative team,” Martin said. “But we’re thrilled to have been given an opportunity to go on this ride, even in a teeny tiny way.”
The new musical is a tragedy about trying. It follows Orpheus on his journey to the underworld and back again in a Great Depression-era setting amid a driving blues-inspired score.
“We invest in a few shows a year. You never know which will be big hits,” Martin said. “I did know that ‘Hadestown’ had absolute integrity, that the work was extraordinary and the music is compelling.”
The only nonmusical of the lineup is a story that should be familiar to most audiences, “To Kill a Mockingbird.”
Aaron Sorkin, the screenwriter behind “The West Wing” and “The Social Network,” adapts Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel into a timely stage production.
Sorkin’s writing re-examines the story, framing the narrative of Scout and Atticus Finch in a way that will still surprise those who remember reading it in high school.
“Every once in a while, something happens that knocks you out,” Martin said about the play. “It doesn’t happen often that a really great play finds its way on the road. We’re fortunate to be one of the cities to bring it to our performing arts center.”
Two productions this season take inspiration from real people who have previously graced Las Vegas theaters.
“The Cher Show” is 35 songs, six decades and an unquantifiable number of sequins in one musical about the pop megastar, while “Ain’t Too Proud — The Life and Times of The Temptations” follows the Motown singing group’s journey from the streets of Detroit to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
“I have conversations in the lobby with ticket-holders and they tell me what they want to see,” Martin said. “Some go to New York, some see one performance on the ‘Today’ show. Patrons have brought up all nine of these. I think this will be a season to judge other seasons by.”
This story was updated to correct the number of film-to-stage productions.
Contact Janna Karel at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @jannainprogress on Twitter.
2020-21 Broadway lineup
“My Fair Lady,” July 28-Aug 2: From the Lincoln Center Theater that produced “The King and I” and “South Pacific,” “My Fair Lady” tells the story of Eliza Doolittle and “The Rain in Spain.”
“Hamilton,” Sept. 10-Oct. 11: Lin-Manuel Miranda’s seminal musical has won 11 Tony Awards for its hip-hop, jazz and R&B score and story of American founding father Alexander Hamilton.
“A Christmas Story: The Musical,” Nov. 24-29: From the songwriting team behind the Tony Award-winning musical “Dear Evan Hansen” and the Academy Award-winning film “La La Land,” “A Christmas Story” brings the classic 1983 movie to the stage.
“Ain’t Too Proud — The Life and Times of The Temptations,” Jan. 5-10, 2021: The winner of the 2019 Tony Award for Best Choreography features Temptations hits such as “My Girl,” “Just My Imagination” and “Papa Was a Rolling Stone.”
“Hadestown,” Jan. 26-31: Winner of eight 2019 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, this acclaimed new show by singer-songwriter Anaïs Mitchell is a love story about what the world could be.
“The Cher Show,” March 9-14, 2021: Do you believe in life after love? The musical is packed with so much Cher it takes three women to play her.
“Tootsie,” March 30-April 4, 2021: Based on the Oscar-nominated 1982 film, this New York Times Critic’s Pick is a “hilarious, thoroughly modern ‘Tootsie.’ “
Disney’s “Frozen,” April 28-May 9, 2021: The Tony-nominated Best Musical features songs from the original Oscar-winning animated film, plus an expanded score by the film’s songwriters. The music will get stuck in your head and you won’t be able to “let it go.”
“To Kill a Mockingbird,” June 15-20, 2021: Academy Award winner Aaron Sorkin’s adaptation of Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel is hailed as one of the greatest plays in American history.