Hundreds of attendees made their way through slushy streets and windy snow Wednesday night for the Rochester Broadway Theatre League's 2018-19 M&T Bank Broadway season announcement. The annual event, which includes a dessert reception onstage after the one-hour program, is free to the general public.
RBTL summer program educator (and former Broadway performer) Nicolette Hart and producer Albert Nocciolino served as the evening's hosts, peppering commentary between each show reveal.
Though it's not a surprise since RBTL announced it last year, "Hamilton" was the night's heavy hitter. Lin-Manuel Miranda's soundtrack blared as people filed into their seats, and "Hamilton" trivia flicked across the screen onstage.
Big Broadway hits seem to be a theme for the upcoming season, though. All seven of the 2018-19 shows are Broadway crowd-pleasers.
The 2018-19 season opens October 16 through 21 with "A Bronx Tale," a new musical adaptation of the off-Broadway play and film made famous by Robert DeNiro. This engagement will follow the same model as last year's season opener "School of Rock" and serve as the first stop on the national tour while taking advantage of the Empire State Musical and Theatrical Tax Credit. "A Bronx Tale" is followed by the season special "Les Miserables" from November 20 through 24 (note: this is an additional show and not included in season subscriptions).
For the holidays, the family hit "Fiddler on the Roof," which has been updated for a new generation to include video projections will run December 11 through 16; while 2019 brings the murderous, riveting "Chicago" February 5 through 10 and the sleeper hit "Miss Saigon" March 5 through 10.
The two last shows are newer Broadway stunners (thanks to the promise of Parcel 5?): 2015's "Hamilton," which will run for three weeks, from April 23 through May 12 (subscription dates are April 23 through 28); and 2016's "Waitress," featuring the music of Sara Bareilles closes the season June 4 through 9.
Video trailers played after each individual announcement -- not terribly pertinent since all the shows are well known -- and there were three songs performed live, one each from "A Bronx Tale," "Miss Saigon," and "Waitress." (Williamson High School senior Avery Carlson, who performed the soaring "What Baking Can Do" from "Waitress", was the evening's brightest star.)
Subscription packages will go on sale later this spring. To be notified when season tickets are available, patrons can send their name, email, and zip code to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more info, call 222-5000 or go to rbtl.org.