March 28, 2010 in Features

Best of Broadway season shaping up to be ‘Wicked’ good

By The Spokesman-Review
Joan Marcus Best of Broadway photo

Best of Broadway’s “Wicked” finally lands in Spokane next year. Best of Broadway
(Full-size photo)

The folks at WestCoast Entertainment are convinced that they can sell all 40,000 tickets for the two-week Spokane run of the touring Broadway smash “Wicked” next year.

And I think they’re absolutely right.

“Wicked” has more pent-up demand than just about show I can think of. It has been a Broadway sensation since 2003, yet has never played Spokane. People have been asking for it – begging for it – for years now.

It’s based on the popular novel of the same name by Gregory Maguire about the Oz witches (both Good and Bad). The musical has proven to be an even bigger cultural phenomenon than the book.

Meanwhile, theater devotees may be equally excited about one of the add-on shows: “Spring Awakening.” This 2007 Tony winner is an edgy, controversial smash, with a rock score by Duncan Sheik.

Here’s the full lineup for next year’s Best of Broadway season:

• “South Pacific,” Oct. 6-9 – The Lincoln Center revival version.

“Legally Blonde,” Feb. 10-13 – The musical version of the hit movie.

“9 to 5: The Musical,” March 24-27, 2011 – A fresh-from-Broadway musical based on the movie.

“Wicked,” May 18-29, 2011 – The Wicked Witch of the West, Glinda the Good, and plenty of song and dance.

The above shows are part of the four-show subscription package. WestCoast Entertainment is also bringing in five add-on shows which are not part of the series, but can be purchased separately.

Those include:

An Evening with Liza Minnelli, Oct. 15 – The legendary entertainer.

Capitol Steps, Oct. 27 – The nation’s top musical-political satirists.

“Stomp,” Nov. 5-6 – The return of the percussion/dance show.

“Spring Awakening,” Dec. 1 – The 2007 Tony-winning Broadway smash rock musical.

“Cats,” April 23-24, 2011 – Andrew Lloyd Webber’s feline spectacle.

Subscriptions range from $115 to $256. Orders are being taken for both current and new subscribers through or by calling (800) 843-4667.

On-sale dates and prices for individual shows will be announced later this spring.

Natalie and other benefits

The Spokane Symphony is planning several benefit concerts this spring, in addition to its regular concert season.

Two of those concerts include various forms of imbibing. And one features a big-name act:

Natalie Cole, May 6, 7:30 p.m., INB Performing Arts Center – The Grammy winner (and daughter of the late, great Nat King Cole) will join the symphony. Tickets are $30, $40, $50 and $60. Pricier packages are available for those interested in dinner and a meet-and-greet reception.

The Best of the Classics, June 18, 7 p.m., Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox – A program selected by popular vote of the audience, conducted by music director Eckart Preu. There will be wine tasting before and after the concert.

The Best of Music From Stage and Screen, June 19, 7 p.m., The Fox – Broadway and Hollywood music, with resident conductor Morihiko Nakahara and a brew-tasting before and after.

A Patriotic Salute to the 100th Anniversary of Father’s Day, June 20, 4 p.m., The Fox – Family favorites conducted by Preu and Nakahara, with an ice-cream tasting and other family festivities before the concert.

All of these are special fundraisers for the symphony. Tickets for Cole are on sale by calling (509) 624-1200 or TicketsWest outlets (800-325-SEAT, On-sale dates for the other shows will be announced later.

A Travolta trio

The Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre’s version of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella” will feature a trio of Travolta sisters in three key roles.

Ellen Travolta will play the wicked stepmother, Annie Travolta will play the stepsister Grace and Margaret Travolta will play the stepsister Joy.

This is a rare chance for all three of these theatrical sisters to appear on the same stage. “Cinderella” will run July 3-17 at North Idaho College’s Schuler Auditorium.

And yes, they’re John’s sisters.

A Crosby crooner

Howard Crosby (Bing’s nephew) will be the headliner at the “Swing at the Bing!” event, April 8, 7 p.m. at (where else) the Bing Crosby Theater, 901 W. Sprague Ave.

He will sing selections from the great American songbook – which will no doubt include some Bing tunes.

The show will also feature Windsong, which features Andrea Dawson, Max Mendez, Carolyn Jess and Larry Jess. They’ll perform show-tune music.

The show is a fundraiser for Holy Names Music Center. Doors open at 6:15 p.m. for a wine-tasting.

No admission fee will be charged, but donations will be accepted.

Sorrels at SCC

Rosalie Sorrels, a folk music icon for 50 years, has been booked for a concert at Spokane Community College’s Lair Student Center Auditorium, April 27 at 7:30 p.m.

No tickets are necessary, but a $5 donation is suggested.

She’ll also do another performance, for SCC students only, on April 28 at 9:30 a.m. in the Lair.

Sorrels has been an important part of the nation’s folk music scene since the 1966 Newport Folk Festival. She lives near Boise.

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