Star Tribune: Ordway expands its own production program with American classics
Rohan Preston, Star Tribune 2/26/15
The St. Paul venue will produce three classics in a season that begins in August
As its new $42 million concert hall comes online, the Ordway Center of St. Paul will produce three big musicals next season. The concert hall, which is the principal home of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, relieves pressure on the mainstage music hall where the Ordway presents and produces Broadway-style shows.
The 30th anniversary lineup, announced Monday, includes Ordway productions of “The Pirates of Penzance,” Aug. 4-16; “The Sound of Music,” Dec. 10-Jan. 2, and “A Chorus Line, Feb. 16-28, 2016.
Broadway veterans Brandon O’Neill (“Disney’s Aladdin”) and Hunter Ryan Herdlicka (“A Little Night Music”) will headline “Pirates.” Peter Rothstein will direct “Sound of Music” in the crucial holiday slot. James Rocco, the Ordway’s vice president for programming, will direct “Chorus Line.”
The touring production of “A Night With Janis Joplin,” about the rock-’n-roll siren whose hits include “Piece of My Heart,” “Cry Baby” and “Mercedes Benz,” will land in St. Paul, March 29-April 3, 2016. “Bullets Over Broadway,” choreographer and director Susan Stroman’s stage adaptation of the Woody Allen comedy, is the other tour coming in, April 12-17.
The 2015-16 season also mixes the Ordway’s celebratory Broadway songbook series, which celebrates 1970s hits created by the likes of Elton John, Paul Simon and Carole King (Oct. 9-11) and the music of Kander and Ebb (June 10-12, 2016), alongside its Target world music and dance series.
The music roster features Dengue Fever, a Cambodian pop/psychedelic rock group (Jan. 9, 2016); Hanggai, an Asian folk/punk ensemble that also employs Mongolian throat singing (April 7, 2016); and taiko drummers TaikoProject (April 23, 2016).
The dance card includes contemporary movers Lula Washington Dance Theatre (Oct. 30); Afro-Brazilian dance and martial arts exponents DanceBrazil (Jan. 14, 2016); and classic and contemporary Korean choreography by Seop Dance Company (March 5, 2016).
The Ordway also will have special presentations of “Hip Hop Nutcracker” (Nov. 24-25), which re-imagines Tchaikovsky’s classic ballet through hip-hop choreography, and an encore performance by Pilobolus (May 20-21, 2016).