News Column

El Paso Electric Presents Broadway: 'Jersey Boys' highlights next series

April 28, 2013

YellowBrix

April 28--Rock of all ages dominates next season's Broadway series at the Plaza Theatre, particularly the '60s rock and pop of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.

"Jersey Boys," the Tony Award-winning musical about the group, will make its El Paso debut as part of the Plaza's 2013-2014 Broadway season. The five-day, eight-show run -- May 28 June 1, 2014 -- will be the longest-running show there since "Wicked" drew 30,000 people to the theater over an eight-day, 16-show stretch in 2012.

"Jersey Boys" tops a Broadway lineup that also includes:

-- The return of the contemporary a cappella pop group Straight No Chaser.

-- The local debut of the Green Day musical "American Idiot."

-- The classic rock jukebox musical "Rock of Ages."

-- The contemporary pop comedy "Bring It On: The Musical."

-- The '50s rock of the musical "Million Dollar Quartet," which features songs that Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis recorded together.

"It is kind of a rock series. The storylines are all about music," said Bryan Crowe, assistant general manager for the El Paso Convention and Visitors Bureau, which runs the historic theater.

The rock theme, he said, was purely coincidental.

"Jersey Boys" is the kind of show El Paso can attract more often thanks to the success last year of "Wicked," which had the longest and most successful run yet of a show at the restored movie palace, Crowe said.

"This is how that parlays into bigger things," Crowe said. "We said then it would take a year." By the time "Wicked" was staged, the 2012-2013 season had already been scheduled, he said. "This is the first time we see that effect."

"Jersey Boys" will be an Actors' Equity tour, which usually suggests a higher quality of performer, and will close out the 2013-2014 Broadway series.

Typically, the series ends around April, though the current season will end with "The Addams Family" May 24-25.

"As far as we're concerned, if we make the deal on these big shows, I wouldn't care if it was in August," said Carol McNeal, sales and marketing manager for the Plaza and its sister venue, the Abraham Chavez Theatre.

Ticket prices and on-sale dates for "Jersey Boys" won't be announced until later this year or early next year.

The 10th annual El Paso Electric Presents Broadway in El Paso series will open Oct. 27 with the return of Straight No Chaser. The group didn't sell out the 2,000-seat theater when it debuted here April 5, 2012, but it generated enough buzz to warrant a quick return, Crowe and McNeal said.

"We had gotten that feedback this year, 'When are they coming back?' " Crowe said.

The group will bring an all-new show to town as part of its "Under the Influence" tour, named for its new album, which will come out May 7.

They'll be followed by "Million Dollar Quartet" Nov. 3. The musical is based on a Dec. 4, 1956, jam session with Presley, Cash, Perkins and Lewis at Sun Records studios in Memphis, Tenn. The singers, who were in the early stages of their careers, recorded more than 30 songs at that session.

"American Idiot," based on the 2004 Grammy-winning blockbuster album by pop-punk trio Green Day, will touch down on Dec. 9. It's an expanded version of the so-called punk opera focusing on three disaffected youths and the life paths they choose. Green Day played songs from the album during a sold-out show last month at Tricky Falls.

"Bring It On: The Musical" will stop here March 17. It's based on the "Bring It On" movie, released in 2000, about a high school cheerleading competition. The music is mostly pop, with rock and hip-hop, and the show has been praised by The New York Times and others for its high-energy dancing.

Power ballads and bombastic rockers by '70s and '80s staples such as Journey, Styx and Bon Jovi factor into "Rock of Ages," which will be staged April 22. Its main character, aspiring rocker Drew Boley, has been played on Broadway by former "American Idol" contestant Constantine Maroulis and in the 2012 film by Tom Cruise. No casting information has been announced for that or any other of the 2013-2014 season shows.

Current subscribers get first crack at next year's season tickets. The venue is compiling a waiting list for new subscribers at theplazatheatre.org and 231-1111.

Two season ticket packages will be offered. The five-show series of "Million Dollar Quartet," "American Idiot," "Bring It On," "Rock of Ages" and a 7:30 p.m. May 28 performance of "Jersey Boys" will sell for $195 and $315. A four-show package, which includes all shows by "Jersey Boys," will sell for $150 and $245.

Straight No Chaser's show will be sold separately for $37.50 and $47.50.

Typically, if any individual tickets are left, they will go on sale about a month to six weeks before the performance.

BROADWAY BOUND:

Here's the lineup for the 2013-2014 El Paso Electric Presents Broadway in El"Paso series.

Season tickets are on sale to current subscribers through"May 28. New subscriptions will go on sale after that.

Call 231-1111 or go online to theplazatheatre.org for more information.

-- Oct. 27: Straight No Chaser, 7:30 p.m.

-- Nov. 3: "Million Dollar Quartet," 7 p.m.

-- Dec. 9:""American Idiot," 7:30 p.m.

-- March 17: "Bring It On: The Musical," 7:30 p.m.

-- April 22: "Rock of Ages," 7:30 p.m.

-- May 28-June 1:""Jersey Boys" (opening-night performance will be at 7:30; other times have not yet been announced).

___

(c)2013 El Paso Times (El Paso, Texas)

Visit the El Paso Times (El Paso, Texas) at www.elpasotimes.com

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