“The Lion King” will return to the house in which it was born nearly 20 years ago. Hennepin Theatre Trust announced Tuesday that the Disney blockbuster will return to Minneapolis’ Orpheum Theatre in the summer of 2016 as part of the 2015-16 Broadway on Hennepin season.
Other highlights include a return visit for “The Book of Mormon,” songwriter Carole King’s Tony winner “Beautiful — The Carole King Musical” and “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder,” which won best musical as part of its four-Tony haul in 2014.
“These are a lot of great shows,” said Tom Hoch, president of the trust. “I know I always say that, but this is really a good bunch.”
The season opens at the Orpheum with a one-week run of “Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella,” Sept. 8-13. The Broadway production (which starred Twin Cities native Laura Osnes) enjoyed great success. Just to be clear, Osnes is not on this tour.
“Disney’s The Little Mermaid” comes to the Orpheum for two weeks, Oct. 8-18. This will be a production by Theatre Under the Stars, a Houston-based company.
“Beautiful — The Carole King Musical” will play the Orpheum Nov. 18-29 (including the busy Thanksgiving weekend). The jukebox musical chronicles King’s rise from a solid songwriter to one of the most-popular acts in contemporary music.
The only subscription offering in December (18-20) is “Blue Man Group,” the popular mix of music, technology and movement.
“A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder” opens 2016 with a weeklong run, Jan. 5-10, at the State Theatre. The 2014 Tony winner for best musical is a dark comedy in the style of “Sweeney Todd.” It received rave reviews on Broadway for its clever lyrics and frothy score.
For the first time, Hennepin Theatre Trust will put its annual collaboration with Theater Latté Da on the subscription package. The two companies just opened “Oliver!,” their third local production at the Pantages Theatre. Next year, Peter Rothstein will direct “Gypsy,” the classic Jule Styne-Stephen Sondheim musical, Feb. 17-March 13, 2016.
“We’ve established that these are shows of very high quality — equal to touring Broadway — and we’ve got it exactly where I want it to be,” said Hoch.
“If/Then,” an original musical from the creative team that wrote “Next to Normal,” comes to the Orpheum March 8-13, 2016. It’s the contemporary story of a woman who returns to New York for a fresh start.
Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” returns to the Orpheum March 29-April 3, 2016. The wildly popular “Mormon” has been booked for three weeks at the Orpheum, May 10-29.
“The Bridges of Madison County,” based on the novel about an Iowa farmwife and featuring a score by Jason Robert Brown, checks into the Orpheum June 21-26.
The season concludes with “The Lion King,” which had its world premiere at the Orpheum in 1997 and went on to become one of the most popular musicals ever. The show’s spectacle, puppetry and Elton John musical score have made it an enduring property. It is scheduled for five weeks, July 5-Aug. 7.
“It was a great opportunity to bring it back,” said Hoch.
Ticket packages can be purchased at the State Theatre Box Office, 805 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls., at www.HennepinTheatreTrust.org or at 1-800-859-7469.