ArtsBeat

‘Lion King,’ ‘Book of Mormon’ highlight next season

“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.

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 MorrisonCenter.com. 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.

Dates:

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.

book of mormon
The tour of “The Book of Mormon” will return to Boise for eight performances in 2018. Joan Marcus

▪  “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.

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