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Fall Arts Preview 2019: This Broadway in Richmond season marks a year of firsts. And, yes, 'Hamilton'

Fall Arts Preview 2019: This Broadway in Richmond season marks a year of firsts. And, yes, 'Hamilton'

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This Broadway In Richmond season marks a year of firsts.

It’s the first season with full-week engagements, the first time presenting a non-musical comedy, the first time the subscription base has risen to over 15,000, and the first time bringing in a national tour — “The Band’s Visit” — in its first year of touring.

“The 2019-2020 Broadway In Richmond subscription sales are unprecedented, and we are thrilled about that,” said Dolly Vogt, regional general manager of SMG Richmond. “Certainly a percentage of this growth can be attributed to ‘Hamilton,’ but it is also representative of the collaborative effort of all of those involved.”

Subscriptions are more than double the previous season.

“We’ve seen a steady increase in subscriptions over the past 11 years,” said Steve Traxler, president and co-founder of Chicago-based Jam Theatricals, the presenting company for Broadway In Richmond. “We are pleased with the support we are receiving in the Richmond community. ‘Hamilton’ has helped underscore our commitment to the community and to bringing in high-quality Broadway programming.”

The season starts at Altria Theater with Roald Dahl’s “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” from Sept. 17 to 22. Willy Wonka is opening his marvelous and mysterious chocolate factory and five golden ticket winners embark on a mesmerizing joyride through a world of pure imagination.

“‘Charlie’ is perfect for families and adults. What’s not to like about chocolate, golden tickets and Oompa Loompas in the factory?” Traxler said.

The following month marks the opening of “The Play That Goes Wrong” from Oct. 22 to 27. It is the first non-musical comedy that Broadway In Richmond has brought here. The classic murder mystery is full of mishaps and hilarity that includes an unconscious leading lady, a corpse that can’t play dead and actors who trip over everything, including their lines.

From Nov. 19 through Dec. 8, the mega-hit “Hamilton,” winner of 11 Tony Awards, commands the stage. The show with book, music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda is the story of Alexander Hamilton, an immigrant from the West Indies who became George Washington’s right-hand man during the Revolutionary War and was the new nation’s first Treasury secretary. The score blends hip-hop, jazz, blues, rap, R&B and typical Broadway music.

The Tony-Award-winning musical “Cats” by Andrew Lloyd Webber takes the stage from Feb. 4 to 9 to tell the story of one magical night when an extraordinary tribe of cats gathers for its annual ball to rejoice and decide which cat will be reborn.

“‘Cats’ is a perennial favorite with audiences across all markets,” Traxler said. “And for young and first-time audiences, it’s a terrific introduction to the world of Broadway musicals.”

From April 7 to 12, the classic revival of “Fiddler on the Roof” tells the heartwarming story of fathers and daughters, husbands and wives and the timeless traditions that define faith and family.

“This production directed by Tony-winning director Bartlett Sher is one of the top Fiddler productions in a long time to tour the country,” Traxler said.

“The Band’s Visit” plays Altria Theater from April 28 through May 3, during its first year of touring. Set in an Israeli desert town, the show tells the story of local café owner Dina, who takes in a lost band of Egyptian musicians for a night and discovers a sense of renewal to her life.

Fan favorite “Wicked” flies in to Altria from June 3 to 14. The ever-popular musical reveals the untold story of the Witches of Oz. In the show, a young woman with emerald-green skin and extraordinary talent meets a bubbly, exceptionally popular blonde and forms an unlikely friendship ... until the world decides to call one good and the other one wicked.

Contact Joan Tupponce at


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