‘Hedwig,’ ‘An American in Paris’ top Ordway Center’s eclectic 2016-17 season

Rohan Preston, Star Tribune 3/16/16

The Ordway Center announced a new season Tuesday that banks on the continued attraction of touring Times Square hits even as the St. Paul venue kicks its own productions into high gear.

The roster includes “An American in Paris,” the Tony-winning romance set to the music of George and Ira Gershwin, and the self-staged shows “Irving Berlin’s White Christmas” and “West Side Story.”

The Ordway also announced a diverse world music and dance series, including commissions by dance troupes TU Dance and Step Afrika.

“Our artistic team has curated a season filled with some of the best touring acts from around the world alongside self-produced shows that showcase Minnesota’s award-winning artists,” said new Ordway President Jamie Grant.

The Broadway slate kicks off with “Paint Your Wagon,” Lerner and Loewe’s western-themed saga set in the California Gold Rush. It is a regional tour done with Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre (Aug. 9-21).

Next up is “White Christmas,” a huge hit for the company in 2008. It will be directed and choreographed by Ordway artistic director James Rocco (Dec. 8-Dec. 31).

The popular rock musical “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” about a transsexual punk rocker, bows on Valentine week (Feb. 14-19, 2017). The classic “West Side Story” will be produced in collaboration with Twin Cities Latino company Teatro del Pueblo (April 4-16, 2017). “An American in Paris,” about a GI falling in love with a French girl in the City of Lights, gets a springtime date (June 13-18, 2017).

The Ordway’s Broadway songbook series will celebrate “Rebels on Broadway” (Sept. 23-25) and “Hollywood and Broadway” (May 14-21, 2017).

The world music roster includes concerts by Martha Redbone (Oct. 8), the Lagos Music Salon by Somi (Jan. 27, 2017); East L.A. Afro-Mexican storytellers Las Cafeteras (March 23, 2017); blues-rock band Indigenous, and the Steele family singers, who will deliver “The Colors of Gershwin” (both on April 21, 2017).

The Ordway’s dance card is filled out by Washington, D.C.-based Step Afrika, whose program of music and percussive dance is titled “The Migration: Reflections on Jacob Lawrence” (Oct. 29); “Oyate Okodakiciyapi: An Evening of Contemporary Native Dance,” curated by Twin Cities choreographer Rosy Simas (March 4, 2017), and the ever-popular TU Dance (April 29, 2017).

The Ordway also will host “Stomp” (Oct. 18-23); Sphinx Virtuosi with Catalyst Quartet, copresented with the Schubert Club and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra (Oct. 30); NPR’s “From the Top” with host Christopher O’Riley (Nov. 13), and a return of “The Hip Hop Nutcracker,” with rapper Kurtis Blow (Nov. 22-23).

Finally, the Ordway will host a re-imagining of the circus arts called the Golden Age of Circus (June 27-July 2, 2017).

Season ticket packages are now available. Single tickets go on sale June 13.

Learn more about the 2016-2017 season and secure your seats today at www.ordway.org/subscriptions.

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