Hippodrome's 2016-2017 season to offer something 'Beautiful' and 'Rotten'

Contact ReporterThe Baltimore Sun
You'll find something "Beautiful" and "Rotten" at the Hippodrome Theatre next season.

The Hippodrome Theatre's 2016-2017 musical-filled season promises a mix of fairy tale, fantasy, nostalgia and vintage pop culture.

Three shows in the lineup are currently running on Broadway:

•"Beautiful: The Carole King Musical," which gives the jukebox musical format a lift with a look at the early career of the singer-songwriter, will be at the Hippodrome Jan. 24 to 29, 2017.

•"Something Rotten," a rambunctious tale of two brothers in 1595 struggling to compete with Shakespeare and ending up creating the first musical, is booked April 18 to 23, 2017.

•"Finding Neverland," inspired by the 2004 film of that name about J.M. Barrie and the inspiration for his "Peter Pan," will close the season June 27 to July 2, 2017.

"Beautiful" is already on tour (it played the Kennedy Center earlier this season); the other two will be hitting the road for the first time.

"We usually don't get the big shows the first tour year," said Ron Legler, president of the France-Merrick Performing Arts Center, home of the Hippodrome. "The changes we made to booking this season — one-week runs instead of two — made us a stronger market."

The switch to one-week bookings required seat reassignments that disgruntled some subscribers.

"We lost about 5 percent, way less than we expected," Legler said. "We tried to help everyone, and we still want to help as many people stay happy as we can."

Next season's seven-show subscription series opens Nov. 1 to Nov. 6 with the recent Broadway adaptation of "Cinderella," the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical written for television in 1957.

"It has absolutely amazing sets," Legler says. "And it's a good first show for a child."

Children are also likely to enjoy the "A Christmas Story: The Musical." The 2012 Broadway musical, booked Dec. 6 to Dec. 11, is based on the popular 1983 movie about young Ralphie and his determination to get an air rifle for Christmas, despite every adult's you'll-shoot-your-eye-out warning.

"A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder," the droll 2014 Tony Award-winner about an Englishman's methodical mission to inherit a title by dispensing with eight relatives, will be at the Hippodrome for the holidays, Dec. 27 to Jan. 1.

"We haven't had a holiday run in a while," Legler says. "I am sure we will put something fun together for after the New Year's Eve performance."

"The Bodyguard," a 2012 hit in London's West End that's now on a United Kingdom tour, will be at the Hippodrome from Feb. 28 to March 5, 2017, with a cast headed by R&B singer/songwriter Deborah Cox. The musical, based on the 1992 Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston film and filled with Houston songs, may eventually get a Broadway run.

Two non-subscription shows are also on the schedule: "Jersey Boys," the Four Seasons jukebox musical, returning to the Hippodrome for the third time (Sept 27 to Oct. 2); and a 20th anniversary revival of "Rent," the "La Boheme"-inspired, Tony Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning rock musical (March 31 to April 2, 2017).

The subscription renewal period begins Jan. 24 and lasts until Feb. 19. New subscriptions are also available starting Jan. 24. (Given the blizzard, there may be some adjustments to this time frame.) Call 800-343-3103, or go to baltimorehippodrome.com.

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