A Letter from the Ordway’s James A. Rocco
James A. Rocco, Ordway 4/14/16
Wow! What a year at The Ordway! I’m so excited that our mission is being fulfilled with knockout entertainment.
One of the things we do at the Ordway is curate the past, present and future of Musical Theater with re-envisioned contemporary productions of musical classics, touring Broadway, new works and training programs for new generations. Musical Theater is our brand.
Musical Theater grew out of the multi-cultural experience in New York City. It brings together different performing styles and speaks in the language of contemporary society. And next season is filled to the brim with everything we strive for.
The 2016-2017 Ordway Theater Season kicks off with Paint Your Wagon, an iconic show that will feature a completely new book which focuses on contemporary values and the challenges of racism, sexism, and greed. It has a classic Lerner and Loewe score (writers of My Fair Lady) with all-new orchestra and vocal arrangements that resound with American Roots and Country music influences. And it stars Tony Award® nominee Bob Cucciolli – from Broadway’s Jekyll and Hyde and Spider Man). Twin Cities audiences will see this new Paint Your Wagon before it takes its journey to Broadway.
The Ordway is constantly on the lookout for new musicals to develop. In fact, we are one of the founding members of Elephant Eye productions, whose new show, An American in Paris, is on Broadway right now. A dazzling new musical based on the Academy Award® winning motion picture. It’s a feast for the ears and the eyes.
At the Ordway, you will be treated to musicals like you have never seen them before. Many of them are created just for you. Maybe that’s why Cherry and Spoon said this in their 2015 Theatrical Wrap up blog:
“2015 was the year that the Ordway proved without a doubt that you can produce Broadway-style musicals utilizing the amazing talent we have right here in the Twin Cities. First came that ode to baseball, Damn Yankees, then came the boisterous Pirates of Penzance, and last but not least was a dream production of The Sound of Music, a nostalgic favorite of mine. The show cast a spell over me from which I didn’t want to ever awake!”
You won’t want to miss the Ordway productions of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas and West Side Story in the 2016-2017 Season. Each show will be crafted in new and exciting ways to bring these classics to 21st century audiences.
Many people have a pre-conceived idea of musicals but the truth is the form continues to evolve. Just look at Broadway’s latest blockbuster, Hamilton. According to an article in The New Yorker, the show is “Rooted in hip-hop, but also encompassing R. & B., jazz, pop, Tin Pan Alley, and the choral strains of contemporary Broadway; the show is an achievement of historical and cultural reimagining.”
That’s one of the reasons we are proud to present the Broadway Tour of Hedwig and the Angry Inch – A rock musical like no other. Shows like these shake the very foundations of Broadway and American Musical Theater, challenging them to reach new heights and refusing to let us rest on our laurels.
And the ever-popular Broadway Songbook® Series is back for its 6th season. The Broadway Songbook® Series is more than a concert, it’s an intimate chance to hear the stories and songs behind Broadway’s biggest hits. This season we are delving into the “Rebels on Broadway,” and the relationship between “Hollywood and Broadway.” It’s a great opportunity to hear some of your favorite songs and get the scoop on how these songs and shows became some of the biggest hits of all time.
The Ordway is the Twin Cities’ home for performing arts. Every night of the year is filled with sensational programming and world-class productions at affordable prices right in your own backyard. Ordway subscribers receive the best seats in the house, special offers, and our commitment to provide a year of unforgettable experiences. It’s time for you to enjoy it!
If you are a lover of musical theater, or just want some great nights out, you’ve got to catch these shows. It’s time for you to have some good times.
James A. Rocco
Vice President of Programming/Producing Artistic Director