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2012-2013 Broadway in Toledo | A Season Of Dreams

BILLY ELLIOT THE MUSICALBLUE MAN GROUPDisney's MARY POPPINSDREAMGIRLS

By Scott McGorty-Senior Intern for Theater League
Sophomore in Theatre at the University of Toledo 

“All our dreams can come true…” said one of the greatest dreamers in modern history, Walt Disney.

The truth is we all are dreamers. Whether we wish upon on a star or make a wish when we are blowing out our birthday candles, we continue to dream no matter what age.

As a little kid growing up in Toledo often we would drive past the Stranahan Theater. I would often tell my parents someday I would bring Mary Poppins to the stage. I was fascinated by that idea that some kids could compile a list of traits for their dream nanny and then she flies in to fulfill their dream.

Well, Disney beat me to the punch of flying Mary onto the stage, but when I went to New York City for the first time, my dream came true and I saw the essence of my dream become reality right in front of my eyes as Mary Poppins flew right over my head. Only in live theater can your dreams take you away from your daily life and transport you into the wonderland that is unfolding in front of you.

The 2012-2013 season coming to Toledo is truly the season of dreams.

BILLY ELLIOT THE MUSICAL

Have you ever wanted a dream so badly that you go above and beyond to achieve it? I think we all dream of doing something that, no matter how hard you get rejected or meet a road block, you still push forward. I can easily think about a time in recent history when I knew I really wanted to meet this girl because we had so much in common. The stars just wouldn’t align, but I kept trying my hardest to meet her. Eventually my persistence paid off and my dream came true. The lead character in BILLY ELLIOT THE MUSICAL knows what it means to go after your dream while facing opposition the whole way.

BILLY ELLIOT THE MUSICAL is based on the 2000 movie of the same name. This heart-warming story about a boy who dreams to dance will have everyone in the audience cheering. With the music written by Elton John and stunning choreography by Peter Darling, BILLY ELLIOT THE MUSICAL has won over the hearts of millions of theater patrons. “It’s impossible to not be transported by Billy’s amazing grace. Infused with irresistible heart, it makes the raw, restless exuberance of youth accessible to all,” claims Elysa Gardner with USA Today. Acquiring 33 awards, including 10 Tonys® (Including Best Musical), critics and audience members alike have embraced Billy.

For a sneak peek and more info on BILLY ELLIOT THE MUSICAL click here.

BLUE MAN GROUP

Growing up, my family loved watching classic television and movies. One of the comedic acts that I was exposed to was The Three Stooges. Those guys never seemed to get old. I still find myself watching them on TV to this day. When I was little I always thought it was so cool to do those gags. I even started memorizing some sketches and performing them for my family (recently I found out that I forced my family to watch me…although I do not remember “forcing” anyone to watch. I guess we remember it how we want to right?). A dream of mine was to see them live. I wanted to see them perform those gags in front of my eyes. Little did I know the members of The Three Stooges passed away long before I was born.  Now, BLUE MAN GROUP is my dream come true. I mean, doesn’t everyone want to party with guys painted blue?

BLUE MAN GROUP is an amazing piece of theatrical staging. Many shows rely on words telling a story, but for BLUE MAN there are no words. If you are looking for there to be a story, well here it is: you have been invited to be a kid again. To come to a party and thoroughly enjoy yourself! I still dream of being a kid again and this theatrical event will make that dream come true.  Classic miming sketches mixed with high tech fun, there something here for everyone. This show is a great performance for families to attend, and a perfect way to celebrate the 2012 holiday season together!

For a sneak peek and more info on BLUE MAN GROUP click here.

Disney's MARY POPPINS

My favorite Walt Disney film is the magical MARY POPPINS. A flying nanny with the ability to take you into chalk pictures, race on merry go round horses, dance on rooftops and host tea parties on the ceiling sound like the idyllic world of children’s dreams, right? One of my absolute favorite parts of this story is the theme of paying it forward. MARY POPPINS encourages you to help others dreams come true through charity, as described by the masterpiece “Feed The Birds.” The movie has been described as Walt Disney’s crowning achievement as he poured everything into this project. MARY POPPINS was the dream of Walt Disney, and it is no doubt that his dream keeps winning over the hearts of Broadway theater-goers all over the world every day.

MARY POPPINS is as beautiful on stage as she is on the silver screen. Just her essence of sharp wit, beautiful voice and smile makes your heart warm. With show-stopping numbers like “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” “Jolly Holiday,” and “Step in Time,” this musical is sure to bring your dreams to life. As one of the new songs states, “Anything can happen if you let it…if you reach for the stars all you get are the stars, but we have found a whole new spin, if you reach for the heavens you get the stars thrown in.” You will be thoroughly impressed with the stunning choreography and classic songs mixed with new pieces and of course the Disney magic sprinkled throughout the whole production. This family musical is just like MARY POPPINS herself, practically perfect in every way!

For a sneak peek and more info on MARY POPPINS click here.

DREAMGIRLS

With the recent visit of JERSEY BOYS in Toledo I have been listening to a lot of 60’s and 70’s music (well, I love my Carpenters…but that is a different story) and one of the groups I have come to love more and more every time I hear their sound is The Supremes. Their soulful vocals never fail to give me chills and I always find myself humming the melody of some of their classics like, “Stop! In The Name of Love,” “Baby Love,” and “I Hear A Symphony.” But, like JERSEY BOYS, DREAMGIRLS takes us all on a backstage tour as we find out how popular acts like The Supremes came to be.

DREAMGIRLS is the story of The Dreams, an all-girl trio fromChicago, and their rise to great stardom. DREAMGIRLS is said to be a combination of the stories of The Supremes, The Shirelles, James Brown and Jackie Wilson. It offers the audience a glimpse into what it takes for these acts to become household names. The names have been changed in the musical and it does not include any famously recorded songs by their artists, but that does not mean that there are not any hits in this show. “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going,” was recorded by Jennifer Holliday and reached #1 on the Billboard R&B Charts. The Cast Recording of DREAMGIRLS also won two Grammys® and the show itself received 13 Tony® nominations, winning six!

For a sneak peek and more info on DREAMGIRLS click here.

WICKEDComing as a separate addition to the 2012-2013 season is a return engagement of WICKED in August 2013. What a thrilling, captivating musical! A heartwarming tale of friendship, WICKED tells the story of Elphaba, the green witch, and her dream to fit in and do what is right for the people of Oz. This show will be sure to bring tears to your eyes. Watching WICKED almost every night during its Toledo run never got old. I can say that this powerful story of friendship and perseverance always left me walking away with something new that I never saw before. Be sure to sign up for email blasts with Theater League to get the latest information on this special return engagement of WICKED.

To sign up for Theater League email blasts and get the latest information about WICKED, as well as your 2012-13 line up of Toledo shows click here.

The 2012-2013 Broadway season in Toledo is my season of Dreams. I know I will be keeping my dreams alive by attending this amazing season at the Stranahan Theater.  I hope that you will join me in celebrating dreams.

 For information on how to become a season member click here.

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