“Tootsie”; “Hairspray”; “Pretty Woman: The Musical”; “To Kill a Mockingbird”; “Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations,” and “ Hamilton.” These are among the biggest shows on Broadway, and they are headed to Baltimore. The shows are a part of the 2020-21 CareFirst® BlueCross BlueShield Hippodrome Broadway Series.
Courtesy of The Hippodrome
Courtesy of The Hippodrome
The lineup also includes “Mean Girls”; “The Prom,” a new musical comedy about big Broadway stars, a small town, and a love that unites them all; and “To Kill a Mockingbird.” The season kicks off with the Baltimore premiere of “Tootsie” followed by “Hairspray.”
Tootsie, which is based on the Oscar®-nominated film by the same name, will run October 13–18, 2020. The performances of the Baltimore-based musical, Hairspray, will mark the launch of its new national tour. The Tony-Award winning musical will play at the Hippodrome November 10–15, 2020.
Ron Legler, president of the France-Merrick Performing Arts Center, home of the Hippodrome Theatre, announced the lineup.
“The goal is to take what was on Broadway last season and bring them to Baltimore,” said Legler. “We look at the season and try to mix it up a bit to offer something for everyone in the community. We are excited that Hairspray is opening its tour right here in Baltimore.”
The new touring production will reunite Broadway’s award-winning creative team led by director Jack O’Brien and choreographer Jerry Mitchell to bring Hairspray to a new generation of theater audiences.
Legler talked about John Waters, the writer of the film Hairspray, whose stars included Ricki Lake, and Divine. Waters is a native of Baltimore.
“John Waters is our neighbor, and our doors are always open for him to come in,” said Legler.
“We are delighted to launch the Broadway tour of Hairspray, right here in his hometown.”
Legler also talked about Mean Girls, To Kill a Mockingbird, Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations and Hamilton.
“Getting Mean Girls which is still on Broadway was huge,” said Legler. “To Kill a Mockingbird and Ain’t Too Proud are also big shows that are still on Broadway. We are also bringing Hamilton back. It played at The Hippodrome last year, and it was the most successful engagement in our history. Every night was sold out for four weeks.”
Mean Girls, (January 19–24, 2021) is about a naïve newbie who falls prey to a trio of lionized frenemies. To Kill A Mockingbird (March 30–April 4, 2021) is Academy Award® winner Aaron Sorkin’s adaptation of Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prizewinning masterwork. Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations (May 4–9, 2021) is the electrifying, new smash-hit Broadway musical that follows The Temptations’ extraordinary journey from the streets of Detroit to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
Hamilton (June 8–July 3, 2021) is the story of America then, told by America now. It features a score that blends hip-hop, jazz, R&B and Broadway.
Legler also talked about the theater’s efforts to ensure the shows are affordable for everyone.
“Our eight-show package prices begin at $288,” he said. “That’s $36 a ticket, and includes Hamilton. We are excited about the opportunity to connect back to our communities. We also do ticket lotteries. We do lots of things other markets can’t do to make sure our doors are open to everybody.”
A visit to The Hippodrome also gives its patrons an opportunity to get a “sneak peek” into an area Legler said will be converted into a state of the art, 12,000-square foot flexible performance and event space for the Maryland community. The area was initially constructed as the Eutaw Savings Bank, circa 1881, and is now known as the M&T Bank Pavilion.
“It’s been sitting empty for a long time,” said Legler. “We are in the middle of a capital campaign to renovate that space. The board has raised 9.1 million dollars, and we hope to start construction this year.”
He added, “It will be a gamechanger for the France Merrick Performing Arts Center. We do all kinds of things to support the community, but we want to diversify our programs even more. We are very excited about this project.”
The Hippodrome also offers a restaurant. The Hipp Café opens two hours before all theater performances.
“There aren’t a lot of restaurant options if you are coming straight from work to see a show,” he said. “We want our guests to have an option to get something to eat, and we offer it right here at The Hipp Café. Folks can park in the garage, eat here, and know they won’t be late. It’s all part of the experience we offer our patrons. We want them to come and have the best time the can.”
The Hippodrome is located at 12 N. Eutaw Street. For more information about the 2020-21 season, visit BaltimoreHippodrome.com or call 800.982.ARTS.