Treasure Valley performing arts groups start to roll out their seasons for 2017-’18

“The Lion King” will roar into Boise’s Morrison Center for a three-week run in 2018.
“The Lion King” will roar into Boise’s Morrison Center for a three-week run in 2018.

It’s the time of year when Treasure Valley performing arts groups and presenters lay out their seasons, and the Boise Philharmonic has announced what it will have on tap for 2017-18. Check back here as other arts group release their seasons.

Boise Philharmonic 2017-2018 season

New Boise Philharmonic music director Eric Garcia is currently working on fleshing out the season. Some soloists and anchor pieces were announced in earlier this year. The lineup includes an additional pops concert in March 2018, and the return of Grammy-winning cellist Zuill Bailey, who will perform Michael Daugherty’s 21st century work “Tales of Hemingway.”

Internationally renowned cellist Zuill Bailey perform “Tales of Hemingway” with the Boise Philharmonic in April 2018. Provided by Zuill Bailey

The new concerto is inspired by Ernest Hemingway’s direct, terse writing style. Its four movements are named for Hemingway’s stories “Big Two-Hearted River,” “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” “The Old Man and the Sea” and “The Sun Also Rises.”

Bailey’s recording won 2017 Grammys for Best Solo Performance, Best Contemporary Classical Composition and Best Compendium. The Phil plans to bring in members of Hemingway’s family to celebrate the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer’s connection to Idaho.


▪  Sept. 29-30: Orff’s “Carmina Burana” with the Boise Philharmonic Master Chorale.

▪  Oct. 20-21: Berlioz’ Symphony Fantastique.

▪  Nov. 11-12: “Music of the Americas” with Idaho soprano Cecilia Violetta Lopez.

▪  Dec. 8-9: Holiday Pops.

▪  Jan. 26-27, 2018: Violinist Stephen Waarts with the Bruch Violin Concerto and Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony.

▪  Feb. 23-24, 2018: “Romeos and Juliets,” Tchaikovsky’s and Prokofiev’s romantic scores for ballets of Shakespeare’s tragic love story.


▪  March 10, 2018: Broadway Pops with Broadway tenor Doug La Brecque. (Subscribers can add this concert to their season at a discounted price.)

▪  April 13-14, 2018: Zuill Bailey plays Daugherty’s “Tales of Hemingway.”

▪  May 5-6, 2018: Pianist Andrew Tyson and Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9, “From the New World.”

Concerts happen in Nampa at Northwest Nazarene University’s Swayne Auditorium, 707 Fern St., and in Boise at the Morrison Center, 2201 Cesar Chavez Lane. You can buy 2017-18 season’s tickets at last season’s prices — $81 to $260 in Nampa, $90 to $459 in Boise — until March 3 by calling, (208) 344-7849. After March 3 prices go up to $148 to $300 in Nampa; $167 to $483 Boise.

Idaho Shakespeare 2017 season

▪  “Wait Until Dark” by Frederick Knott, directed by Joseph Hanreddy. Dates: May 26-July 30.

Actors Laura Welsh Berg and Jonathan Ddryad will share the title role of “Hamlet” in Idaho Shakespeare Festival’s production this summer. Roger Mastroianni Great Lakes Theater

▪  “Hamlet” by William Shakespeare, directed by ISF producing artistic director Charles Fee. Dates: June 2-25.

▪  “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” with music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and book by Peter Parnell, based on the Victor Hugo novel and the Disney animated film, directed by Victoria Bussert. Dates: June 30-Sept. 1.

▪  “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” by William Shakespeare, directed by Joseph Hanreddy. Dates: Aug. 4-Sept. 3.

▪  “The Hound of the Baskervilles,” Steven Canny and John Nicholson’s adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, directed by Charles Fee. Dates: Sept. 8-Oct. 1.

Read an interview with ISF producing artistic about the season..

The season: Friday, May 26, to Sunday, Oct. 1, Idaho Shakespeare Festival Amphitheater, 5657 Warm Springs Ave., Boise.

The Classic package is $130 for three shows, $150 for four and $170 for all five on the weekends; it is $110, $130 and $150, respectively, for weekday performances. Student packages for any day are $50 for three, $60 for four and $65 for five. There also are deals on the four- and six-seat boxes, and flex packages and others. Get tickets at

Boise Contemporary Theater

Boise Contemporary Theater’s founding artistic director Matthew Cameron Clark announced the company’s 2017-18 season, a lineup that includes a twisted Broadway comedy, the return of Adam Enright — who won over BCT’s audience in last fall’s production of “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” — and a new play from this year’s “River Prize” playwright’s fellowship.

▪  The season opens with “Hand to God,” Robert Askins’ 2015 wicked Broadway comedy that earned five Tony nominations. It’s about some kids in a Texas town who spend their after-school hours practicing for a Christian puppet ministry. It’s all good until one devout young boy discovers that his hand puppet has a life of its own.

This clever and hysterically funny show is currently the most produced play in the U.S., according to American Theatre magazine.

Askins will be in Boise for BCT’s gala on Sept 17. (It turns out that Askins went to college with BCT artistic associate Tracy Sunderland’s nephew.)

Clark also is creating a public event with Askins in collaboration with The Cabin literary center, so stay tuned for details.

Dates: Wednesday, Oct. 18, to Saturday, Nov. 4.

▪  Next up is Eric Coble’s “The Storm in the Barn.” It’s a play Coble adapted from Matt Phelan’s graphic novel about a young boy and his family struggling through the Dust Bowl in 1930s America. The production includes original music by Boise band Hillfolk Noir.

Dates: Wednesday, Dec. 6, to Saturday, Dec. 23.

Good bitch
Adam Enright John Keon

The season add-on is “Good Bitch Goes Down,” an original show by Enright, who starred in last season’s hit “Hedwig and the Angry Inch.”

“It’s part self-help seminar, part autobiographical exorcism and a full rock concert,” Enright says.

Date: Wednesday, Jan. 10, to Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018

▪  “House of Tomorrow,” by Cat Crowley, is the winner of the 2017 BCT River Prize, a grant to develop a new piece of theater for the American stage.

Set in 21st century America as imagined from the center of the 20th century, it’s filled with flying cars and houses outfitted with all the modern conveniences. The Jupiter family might be living inside the perfect “House of Tomorrow,” but that doesn’t add up to the perfect life.

Dates: Wednesday, Feb. 21, to Saturday, March 10, 2018

▪  TBA: The play is scheduled but Clark isn’t permitted to announce what it is until after the play’s New York City production is finalized, likely sometime this summer.

Dates: Wednesday, April 11, to Saturday, April 28, 2018.

Performances are at Boise Contemporary Theater, 854 Fulton St. Opening nights are on the first Saturday of a run. Season tickets: $92 general, Wednesdays, Thursdays, previews and Saturday matinees; $135 general for Fridays and Saturdays. Preview-only passes are $78 for Wednesday to Friday previews; $56 for students any performance. “Good Bitch Goes Down” tickets are $50 and $35 for pass holders. Gala: $125 single ticket, $1,000 for a table.

The Cabin’s Readings & Conversations

The Cabin’s 2017-18 season of Readings & Conversations, a lecture series of nationally recognized authors, is a stellar lineup of high-powered literary talent. The series includes three Pulitzer Prize winners, two MacArthur Foundation “genius grant” recipients and three National Book Award winners.

▪  Internationally known writer, commentator, professor, television producer and religious scholar Reza Aslan will kick off the series with a gala dinner on the Morrison Center stage. His books include “Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth,” which is a New York Times best-seller. He also is a consulting producer for the HBO series “The Leftovers” and executive producer of two “Rough Draft with Reza Aslan,” on which he interviews actors, directors and Hollywood insiders, and CNN’s spiritual adventure show “Believer with Reza Aslan.”

8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 17, at the Morrison Center, 2201 Cesar Chavez Lane. (The gala dinner will precede the talk. Details to come.)

Arthor Jesmyn Ward will speak in Boise for The Cabin’s Readings and Conversations in January 2018. MCT

▪  National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward will talk about her upcoming book “Sing, Unburied, Sing,” and her award-winning “Salvage the Bones” (National Book Award and finalist for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize).

7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018, Egyptian Theatre, 700 W. Main St., Boise.

National Book Award and MacArthur Foundation grant winner Colson Whitehead will speak in Boise in February as part of The Cabin’s Readings and Conversations series. Dorothy Hong Provided by Dorothy Hong

▪  Pulitzer Prize- and National Book Award-winning novelist Colson Whitehead won both awards with his latest, “The Underground Railroad.” Whitehead also is The New York Times best-selling author of “The Intuitionist,” “John Henry Days” and “The Colossus of New York.” He’s also a 2002 MacArthur Foundation Fellowship recipient. He was recently selected as one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2017.

7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018, Egyptian Theatre.

viet than nguyn
Viet Thanh Nguyen, author of “The Sympathizer,” the Pulitzer Prize winner for fiction for 2016, will speak in Boise in March. AP

▪  Novelist Viet Thanh Nguyen won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for his novel “The Sympathizer.” His book “Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War” was a finalist for the National Book Award. He is the Aerol Arnold Chair of English and professor of American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California. His current book is a short story collection, “The Refugees.”

7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 6, 2018, Egyptian Theatre.

▪  Award-winning journalist Katherine Boo will close out the season. Formerly of The Washington Post, Boo currently writes for The New Yorker. Her reporting on disadvantaged communities has earned her a Pulitzer Prize, a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, and a National Magazine Award for Feature Writing. Boo’s bestselling novel “Behind the Beautiful Forevers” was a finalist for the 2013 Pulitzer Prize. For the last decade, she has divided her time between the United States and India, the birthplace of her husband, Sunil Khilnani.

7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 25, 2018, Egyptian Theatre.

If you already have season tickets, you can renew your subscription now until 5 p.m. Friday, May 12. If you’re a Cabin member and want a first-time subscription, you can buy series tickets starting 10 a.m. Thursday, June 1, to Tuesday, June 13.

Series tickets go on sale to the public at 10 a.m. Wednesday, June 14. Individual tickets for members will go on sale 10 a.m. Wednesday, July 19; individual tickets will go on sale to the general public at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 2.

Morrison Center’s Broadway in Boise 2017-18 season

The Morrison Center has focused on expanding its offerings over the past few years — adding more performances and bringing in larger, top-flight tours. And the Boise audience has responded, resulting in several sold-out or close to sold-out performances.

The 2017-18 season takes those efforts up another notch. Executive director James Patrick has programmed a stunning season that includes four Broadway heavyweights, the return of two audience favorites and some fun family entertainment along the way.

“Easily one of the biggest seasons in the center’s history, it has over 50 performances,” Patrick says.

Boise now has a proven track record supporting multi-week Broadway touring productions, and “The Lion King” is now planning a three-week run here in October and November 2018.

“The Morrison Center and Boise are moving from a tertiary market to a secondary market. That allows larger tours of higher production values to play in here,” Patrick says.

Ticket information: Season tickets go on sale to the public on May 8 and run $220.75 to $356.50 at (208) 426-1111 and Tickets for individual performances usually go on sale about 30 to 60 days before each show’s run, and availability may vary. The Morrison Center is at 2201 W. Cesar Chavez Lane on the Boise State University Campus.

The Fred Meyer Broadway Series

ELF_Buddy dancing_Marcus
Buddy and “Elf The Musical” will celebrate the holiday season in Boise and open the Morrison Center’s 2017-18 season. Joan Marcus

▪  “Elf The Musical,” based on the now-classic Christmas film, did its tour technical rehearsals at the Morrison Center in 2015 but only did one invite-only performance. Now it makes its official Boise debut to open the 2017-18 season.

It’s the story of Buddy, a young orphan who mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is transported back to the North Pole. Unaware that he is actually human, Buddy’s enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth. He leaves the only family he’s known to find his real father — whom he discovers is on the “naughty list.”

Dates: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1, 3 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2.

Kinky Boots
The cast of the “Kinky Boots” tour will make its way to Boise in March 2018. Provided by Allied Live

▪  Next up is the three-time Tony winner “Kinky Boots,” the high-heeled musical with a book by Harvey Fierstein and music and lyrics by Cyndi Lauper. The show also is currently running on Broadway.

The play is based on the 2005 British film about Charlie, a young man who inherits his father’s shoe factory. He needs to diversify his product if he wants to keep the business afloat. Enter Lola, a drag queen with an idea to create the perfect and sturdiest stiletto-heeled boots in the world. This unlikely partnership takes this duo and their crew from a gentlemen’s shoe factory in Northampton, England, to the glamorous catwalks of Milan.

Dates: 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, March 3, and 1 and 6:30 p.m. Sunday, March 4, 2018.

▪  Get ready for a “Singular Sensation” with “A Chorus Line.” This show about the lives and struggles of a group of Broadway gypsies, performers who go from show to show anonymously in the chorus, is a masterpiece and part of musical-theater history for its approach to storytelling. Filled with iconic songs such as “One,” “Dance: Ten; Looks: Three” and “What I Did for Love” by Marvin Hamlisch, it’s an eternal love-letter to the craft of theater and to those who are driven to perform.

Dates: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 3, to Thursday, April 5, 2018.

▪  “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder” took Broadway by storm in 2014, winning four Tonys, including Best Book and Best Musical.

This clever comedy tells the uproarious story of Monty Navarro, an heir to a family fortune who sets out to jump the line of succession by eliminating the eight pesky relatives who stand in his way. All the while, he must juggle his mistress (she’s after more than just love), his fiancée (she’s his cousin, but who’s keeping track?) and the constant threat of landing behind bars. Of course, it will all be worth it if he can slay his way to the family fortune in time for tea.

Dates: 8 p.m. Friday, May 11; 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, May 12, 2018.

▪  “The Lion King” will finally roar into Boise for a lengthy run. The show is a phenomenon that keeps growing its audience. More than 90 million people worldwide already have experienced the production. The Broadway production won six Tony Awards, including Best Musical. The production opened in 1997 at the New Amsterdam Theatre. It moved to the Minskoff Theatre in 2006 where it continues its 20-year run.

The Elton John-Tim Rice musical is based on Disney’s Oscar-winning 1994 animated classic. It tells the coming-of-age story of Simba, a lion cub and future king of the animals as he searches for his identity. His eagerness to please others and penchant for testing boundaries sometimes get him into trouble. The tale is re-envisioned through Julie Taymor’s brilliant direction and the ingenious use of puppets that represent the African animal characters.


7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018;

2 and 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 18, 2018;

8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19, 2018;

2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018;

1 and 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018;

7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 23, to Thursday, Oct. 25;

8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26, 2018;

2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018;

1 and 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 28, 2018;

7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018, to Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018;

8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2, 2018;

2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018;

1 and 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 4, 2018.

Season add-ons

▪  “Wild Kratts Live!” is a live action theatrical production of the animated Kratt Brothers, Martin and Chris. In “To the Creature Rescue!” the Kratt Brothers activate some fan favorite Creature Power Suits to confront a comic villain.

Date: 1 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 1.

▪  “The Price Is Right Live” returns. It sold out the last time the live-game show hit Boise with an audience that was ready to win prizes from appliances to vacations.

Date: 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 3.

▪  Celebrate the holidays with the return of Chip Davis’ Mannheim Steamroller Christmas.

Date: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 21.

▪  “The Book Of Mormon” played eight sold-out Boise performances in 2015. So if you missed it, here’s your chance to catch this irreverent and controversial musical.

Written by “South Park” creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone and “Avenue Q” co-creator Robert Lopez, it follows several earnest Mormon missionaries as they arrive in Uganda to take on poverty, AIDS and an African warlord with their hopeful, can-do attitude.

Dates: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 30; Wednesday, Jan. 31; and Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018; 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 2; 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018; 1 and 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018.

▪  The popular “Rain — A Tribute To The Beatles” returns.

Date: 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 16, 2018.

▪  “Jersey Boys,” the tuneful story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, returns to Boise.

7:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 12, to Thursday, June 14, 2018.

the nutcracker
Ballet Idaho’s annual holiday treat “The Nutcracker.” Darin Oswald Idaho Statesman file

Ballet Idaho

This will be artistic director Peter Anastos’ final season with Ballet Idaho. After 10 seasons, Anastos will retire. A new artistic director is being sought nationally and should be in place by January for the transition.

▪  NewDance Up Close Fall Series:

Choreography showcase featuring new work from Ballet Idaho’s emerging choreographers.

Dates: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 2 and Friday, Nov. 3, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday Nov. 4, 1 and 5 p.m. Sunday Nov. 5, Esther Simplot Performing Arts Academy Annex, 516 S. 9th St., Boise.

▪  “The Nutcracker”:

Peter Anastos’ lush storybook adaptation of the classic holiday ballet features the Boise Philharmonic playing Tchaikovsky’s score, and dozens of Treasure Valley children in the performance.

Dates: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 15, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 16, noon and 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 17, Morrison Center, 2201 Cesar Chaves Lane, Boise.

▪  The February Program is a fun mix of contemporary work: “The Elton John Ballet,” a new ballet from Ballet Idaho’s Daniel Ojeda; George Balanchine’s “Agon” to music by Stravinsky; Anastos’ vivid production of “Raymonda’s Wedding.”

Dates: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 9, and Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018.

▪  NewDance Up Close Spring Series

Choreography showcase featuring new work from Ballet Idaho’s emerging choreographers.

Dates: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 15, and Friday, March 16, 2018, 2 and 7:30 p.m., 1 and 5 p.m. Sunday, March 18, 2018, Esther Simplot Performing Arts Academy Annex, 516 S. 9th St., Boise.

▪  For his finale with the company Anastos will do “Swan Lake,” one of the biggest, most important ballets in the classical canon.

Dates: 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 20, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 21, Morrison Center.

Season tickets: $193-$147 for a five show package, $142-$108 for a four show package at