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Amber Gray and the original Broadway cast of Hadestown.
Amber Gray and the original Broadway cast of Hadestown.
Photo by Matthew Murphy

Hadestown and Dear Evan Hansen Lead Arsht Center's 2020-21 Broadway Season

The Adrienne Arsht Center recently announced its 2020-21 Broadway in Miami season, and some of the biggest productions in showbiz are making their way south.

The six-show lineup is a blend of tried-and-true favorites as well as exciting newcomers, including the first national tour of Hadestown, a new production of Hairspray, Dear Evan Hansen, the return of Wicked, The Cher Show, and Anastasia. Here's a rundown of the season:

Hadestown

December 8 through 14, 2020


The first show of the season is also arguably the most exciting. Hadestown swept the 2019 Tony Awards with eight wins, including Best Musical, Best Original Score, and Best Direction of a Musical. In addition, André De Shields won a Tony for Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical, and the show netted a 2020 Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album. 

Hadestown tells the tale of two mythic couples — young lovers Orpheus and Eurydice, and King Hades of the Underworld and his wife Persephone — but the story of the play's journey to Broadway is as interesting as its plot details. Singer-songwriter Anais Mitchel first brought the musical to life a dozen years ago as a small theater project in Vermont. The play was recorded as a concept album, and the music — a combination of folk and New Orleans jazz — garnered a cultlike following. A few years ago, Mitchell's play caught the attention of Rachel Chavkin, the Tony-nominated director of Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812, who helped adapt the musical for the New York theatrical community, giving the characters more fleshed-out arcs and helping to polish the play. The newly minted version got new life as an off-Broadway production, ran in Edmonton and London. It's playing on Broadway, and a touring production is gearing up to hit the road.

Though the play uses classic mythological characters, the story reads like a contemporary allegory on modern politics. Hades is portrayed as a leader who convinces the residents of the Underworld that a giant wall erected around them protects them from outside elements. At the end of the first act, Hades asks the workers of the Underworld: "How does the wall keep us free?" They reply in unison, "The wall keeps out our enemy."

Hairspray

January 5 through 10, 2021


This all-new touring production of the Tony-winning musical brings the 1960s to life. Based on the 1988 John Waters film, this musical follows 16-year-old Tracy Turnblad on a mission to star in a TV dance show. Set in Baltimore, the musical includes songs such as "Welcome to the 60s," "Good Morning Baltimore," and "Big, Blonde, and Beautiful." This new production reunites the original Broadway creative team led by director Jack O’Brien and choreographer Jerry Mitchell.

Wicked

February 17 through March 7, 2021


The prequel to The Wizard of Oz will return to Miami. Wicked tells the tale of Elphaba and Glinda — schoolmates who happen to be witches — and how their rivalry evolves into friendship. The original Broadway production starred Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth and went on to become an international sensation in part for its score that includes now-classics such as "For Good," "Popular," and Defying Gravity."

Dear Evan Hansen

March 30 through April 4, 2021


This six-time 2017 Tony-winning and 2018 Grammy-winning work for Best Musical Theater Album made an instant star of Ben Platt, who broke hearts in the titular role of Evan Hansen. The musical tackles some difficult subjects — including teen suicide, social anxiety, mental health, family, and the ever-increasing role that social media plays in our lives — with grace, respect, and a bit of humor. The show includes a hit score by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (La La Land, The Greatest Showman) and includes the numbers "Waving Through a Window" and "You Will Be Found."

Anastasia

May 18 through 21, 2021


The story of a young woman on a journey to find her identity, Anastasia takes audiences on a whirlwind ride from the Russian Empire to Paris in the 1920s. With a score by Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens, Anastasia is a lush and romantic confection of a musical.

The Cher Show

June 22 through 27, 2021


The story of musical legend Cher is so large it takes three women to tell the tale. The Cher Show features three Chers — Babe, Lady, and Star — each tasked with bringing the performer's six decades in show business to life. The musical includes 35 of Cher's songs and Tony-winning costumes designed by the iconic Bob Mackie.

Broadway in Miami 2020-21 Season. Begins December 8 at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; arshtcenter.org. Subscription packages start at $244 via arshtcenter.org.

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