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The Segerstrom Center in Costa Mesa Brings Hit Broadway Performances to OC.

Written By: Mary McNulty Segerstrom Center Season Lineup Includes The Lion King, Wicked, The Sound of Music & more

The Segerstrom Center for the Arts recently teased Southern California with a sneak preview of the 30th season of its Broadway series. This is Broadway at its best. There’s no need to fly to New York when the Segerstrom Center for the Arts presents Tony Award-winning productions within a gorgeous Orange County venue.

The season starts with The Lion King. Seen by over 70 million people, The Lion King was named stage and film’s highest-grossing production in 2014. The Elton John and Tim Rice musical collaboration includes the heartwarming “Circle of Life” song. From the moment they enter, the actors on stilts in their animal costumes captivate the audience. The six-time Tony Award-winning show debuted in 1997 and is the fourth-longest running production on Broadway. What a run!

For those with a penchant for the classics, there is 42nd Street. This quintessential production, based on the 1933 Busby Berkeley musical, has a wonderful Broadway-style storyline: Understudy becomes superstar! You’ll leave the theater singing “I Only Have Eyes for You, ” “We’re in the Money” and “Lullaby of Broadway.” 42nd Street won its latest Tony Award in 2001 as best revival. The Segerstrom Center will have the same award-winning management behind the scenes, with co-author Mark Bramble directing and Randy Skinner as choreographer.

Roger and Hammerstein’s Cinderella presents another opportunity to leaving the theater singing. With songs that range from the romantic, “Ten Minutes Ago” to the charming “In My Own Little Corner, ” the show is not only kid-friendly but will warm the hearts of mom and dad as well. As always, the Segerstrom Center ensures that iconic props such as the pumpkin and glass slipper won’t disappoint. Cinderella production has a short history, opening in 2013.

If this Broadway series is any indication, Disney rules. Newsies, the 2012 Tony Award winner for best score and best choreography, gives an energetic view of the newsies taking on media giants. Classic and catchy songs such as “Seize the Day” and “Carry the Banner” will have the audience members quickly positioned on the workers’ side. Newsies is kid-friendly but with a song and story that will satisfy viewers of any age.

This year’s sing-a-long production is The Sound of Music. Is it possible to hear a chorus of “Do-Re-Mi” without singing along? I think not! Add “My Favorite Things” and “Edelweiss, ” and keeping silent becomes almost impossible. The Rodgers and Hammerstein classic—winner of Tony, Grammy and Academy awards—is under the watchful eye of three-time Tony winner Jack O’Brien. This production is a fun way to introduce the next generation to arguably one of the greatest musicals ever written.

The more adult-themed Cabaret comes next, with its well-known score that includes “Wilkommen” and “Money.” The original Broadway production debuted in 1966 with the classic “Maybe Next Time” added for the 1998 revival. This fun and lively musical will keep your toes tapping and your mind in a Broadway mood.

One of the hottest tickets this season will be the new Broadway show If/Then, with a lead role written for Idina Menzel. The Broadway star plays a woman rebuilding her life in New York City who suddenly leads parallel lives. If/Then will lead the Segerstrom Center into the new year.

The raunchy Book of Mormon will return to the Segerstrom Center as part of the series this season, too. The nine-time Tony Award-winner has been called the best musical of the century, with the creators of South Park and Oscar-winning composer Bobby Lopez behind the scenes.

A definite highlight of the recent Segerstrom Center season sneak-peek was the hilarious antics of the Illusionists, a group of seven illusionists who perform magic tricks, mind-reading, escape artistry and more for stunned audience members. By the end of the show you will be hurting from laughing so hard during this show for all ages.
And if that’s not enough, you can add two bonus shows—Wicked or Riverdance, the 20th Anniversary World Tour—to your season list.

Historically the Segerstrom presents only the best of Broadway and this year is no exception. The diversity of the shows and caliber of the casts allow the touring acts a chance to soak up some California sun. Certainly the nearby shopping and restaurants are on par—or exceed—what you’ll find in New York’s theater district.

The Lion King: Oct. 6-Nov. 1
42nd Street: Nov. 10-Nov. 22
Cinderella: April 19-May 1
Newsies: May 17-May 29
The Sound of Music: July 19-July 31
Cabaret: Aug. 9-Aug. 21
Riverdance—the 20th Anniversary World Tour: Jan. 1-Jan. 3
If/Then: Jan. 19-Jan. 24
The Illusionists: Feb. 2-Feb. 7
Wicked: Feb. 17-March 6
The Book of Mormon: March 22-April 3

Segerstrom Center for the Arts
600 Town Center Drive
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
714.556.2787 | www.scfta.org