'Book of Mormon' leads 2012-13 Broadway series

  • Article by: ROHAN PRESTON , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 26, 2012 - 9:13 PM

Hennepin Theatre Trust's next season also includes "War Horse," "Flashdance" and "Beauty and the Beast."

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"The Book of Mormon"

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Broadway's hottest show is coming to Hennepin Avenue.

"The Book of Mormon," the profanely funny musical from the creators of TV's "South Park" and the bawdy puppet show "Avenue Q," will play the Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis Feb. 5-17, 2013, as part of the Hennepin Theatre Trust's 2012-13 season, officials announced Thursday. "Mormon" won nine Tony Awards last summer, including best musical, and has been playing to standing-room-only crowds in New York.

As announced earlier, the season also includes the Tony winner for best play: "War Horse," which also is riding the buzz of an Oscar best-picture nomination for Steven Spielberg's film adaptation. The stage production, which portrays horses using life-sized puppets by South Africa's Tony-winning Handspring Puppet Company, will play the Orpheum June 12-23, 2013.

"This is the first time that we've had the most recent Tony winners for best play and best musical" on the same slate, said Tom Hoch, president and CEO of the Hennepin Theatre Trust. "It's a home-run season for us."

Both "War Horse" and "Mormon" depart from usual Broadway practices in different ways. "War Horse" was made into a feature film at the same time that the stage version is going strong at Lincoln Center. In the past, producers feared that film versions of shows dampened demand for the stage works.

"Mormon" is going out on tour much earlier than its blockbuster predecessors.

"I think that the people associated with the show recognize the demand for it," said Hoch.

All of the other shows headed to the Orpheum are from adaptations of movies:

• "Disney's Beauty and the Beast," a show that originated its first national tour at the Orpheum in 1995, will be the season opener Oct. 16-21.

• "Catch Me If You Can" is a musical version of the Spielberg comic drama about hustler Frank Abagnale Jr., a runaway teenager who posed as a pilot, a doctor and a lawyer before he was finally arrested for forging millions in rubber checks (Dec. 11-16)

• "Priscilla Queen of the Desert" is a drag-queen extravaganza adapted from the Australian cult film that's as famous for its bright costumes as its use of songs such as "It's Raining Men" and "I Will Survive" (Jan. 8-13, 2013)

• "Flashdance," based on the 1983 movie about a woman welder who dreams of becoming a professional dancer, adds 10 original songs to the film's Oscar-winning soundtrack (April 2-7, 2013)

• "Mary Poppins," another Disney re-do from uberproducer Cameron Mackintosh, returns April 23-28, 2013, after a successful engagement here in 2009.

"To my way of thinking, this season reinforces the role of Hennepin Avenue as our cultural corridor, our Broadway of the Midwest," said Hoch. "We offer terrific productions that families will enjoy."

Season-ticket packages, from $174, are on sale now at hennepintheatretrust.org, by phone at 800-859-7469 or via fax at 800-329-8587. Patrons may also purchase ticket packages in person at the State Theatre, 805 Hennepin Av., Mpls., starting at 10 a.m. Friday. Single tickets will go on sale at a later date.

Rohan Preston • 612-673-4390

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