Thank you to all who provided feedback! The voting period has now ended. Please check back this spring, when we announce our 2024-2025 Season!
Each year, PTC Artistic Director Karen Azenberg and team are hard at work perusing titles that will compile the fabric of a theatrical season. Determining seven productions that will inspire and entertain Pioneer Theatre Company’s is no small task, so we appeal to a valued collaborator, YOU, to help us shape the PTC 2024-2025 Season.
“Please let us know the plays and musicals you’d most like to see on Pioneer’s stages next season. Descriptions of each production are included below and you’re able to vote for the 3 MUSICALS and 3 PLAYS—or write in your own suggestion—by clicking through to the virtual survey linked at the bottom of this page. Thank you in advance for your time and valued opinions.”
— Karen Azenberg, Artistic Director
Beautiful: The Carole King Musical
This Tony and Grammy Award-winning musical tells the story of Carole Klein, a young spunky songwriter from Brooklyn with a unique voice, before she became the hit-maker we know as Carole King. The show follows her start in the music industry and the bumpy road that followed. From writing for the biggest acts in music to her own life-changing success with Tapestry, the show is packed with songs you remember such as “You’ve Got a Friend,” “One Fine Day,” “So Far Away,” “Take Good Care of My Baby,” “Up on the Roof,” “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling,” “Will You Love Me Tomorrow,” and “Natural Woman.” Those of us of a “certain age” might have worn out their LP of Tapestry, it was one of the first albums I ever bought, and if anyone doesn’t know Carole King’s music and her journey this show is a must see!
The Bridges of Madison County
Based on the best-selling novel, this sweeping musical follows Francesca, who has married an American soldier to escape Italy at the end of World War II. After building herself a home in Iowa, raising two children, and settling into a steady, but unremarkable, routine she meets a charismatic photographer named Robert who awakens her passion and changes her life forever. With a lush Tony Award-winning score by Jason Robert Brown (The Last Five Years, Parade), and a moving book by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Marsha Norman (The Color Purple, The Secret Garden), this intimate musical explores the roads we travel, the doors we open, and the bridges we dare to cross.
A Chorus Line
I think I saw this show about 50 times! The winner of both the Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-this stunning concept musical captures the spirit and tension of a Broadway chorus audition through a brilliant fusion of song, dance, and drama. The show takes you on a journey through the dancers’ lives, highlighting sacrifices, passion, and struggles that shape their ambitions. While the musical is certainly reflective of the 1970’s when it was written, it is still a celebration of the resilience of performers and their unyielding dedication to the spotlight. Memorable songs include “What I Did for Love,” “One,” “The Music and the Mirror,” and “I Hope I Get It.”
The Color Purple
If you have read Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize–winning novel or seen the Academy Award–nominated feature film of the same name, then you know this unforgettable story. Now infused with the music of jazz, gospel, ragtime, and blues, this inspirational musical spans 35 years in the life of Celie, an African American woman living in Georgia, who is given by her abusive stepfather to an even more abusive husband. But through a string of events, she journeys through joy and despair, anguish and hope to a personal awakening. The show is a moving story of hope, and a testament to the healing power of love.
The Gift of the Magi
How about an intimate holiday show? It is Christmas in old New York, but for two young out of work and penniless lovers, Jim and Della, the prospects seem cold and bleak. Both lovers want to bring each other a magical moment of warmth in what feels like a cold city. Based on the famous O. Henry story, both struggle with the choice of whether to part with their most precious possessions in order to buy presents for each other. With a beautiful score, this intimate and magical adaptation reminds us of the true meaning of giving and of love.
Recognized as one of the most enduring musical theatre classics and written almost 65 years ago, Gypsy is still relevant, entertaining, and as heartfelt as ever. Loosely based on the memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee, the famous striptease artist, this musical fable is the tale of one hungry, powerhouse stage mother fighting for her two daughters’ entertainment success – while secretly yearning for her own. It has a celebrated score by Jule Styne and Stephen Sondheim with hit songs including “Let Me Entertain You,” “All I Need Is the Girl,” “Together Wherever We Go,” and the show-stopping “Everything’s Coming Up Roses.” Not seen at PTC since 1976, we could rediscover this theatrical gem.
You may have seen it on Broadway or touring through Salt Lake City, but now see the PTC production! This is the behind-the-music story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons who were just four guys from Jersey, until they sang their very first note. It’s an upbeat and fast-paced musical that dives into the quartet’s relationships as we follow their rise, the tough times and personal clashes, and the ultimate triumph of a group of friends. The show’s featured hits include “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Oh What A Night“, “Walk Like A Man,” “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You,” and “Working My Way Back To You.”
Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
While you might be familiar with the 1971 Gene Wilder film inspired by the famous novel, this musical is a darker glimpse into author Roald Dahl’s pure imagination. Charlie Bucket finds one of the five golden tickets to the Wonka Chocolate Factory, and he and the other winners can’t wait to feast on the sweets of their dreams. But as they embark on an extraordinary journey through Willy Wonka’s eccentric and unusual mind, they soon learn that nobody leaves the same way that they arrived. The musical combines the memorable songs from the motion picture such as “The Candy Man” and “Pure Imagination” with original songs from the multi award-winning songwriters of the musical Hairspray.
Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella
This is the enchanting adaptation of the fairytale that has been the source for multiple stage and television productions, including the 1997 television version featuring Brandy and Whitney Houston. I love this musical – it is at once magical and timeless, and a treat for the whole family. With music and lyrics written by Broadway legends Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, the score includes “In My Own Little Corner,” “Impossible,” “Ten Minutes Ago,” and “Do I Love You Because You’re Beautiful?” – songs the world has loved since 1957, when Cinderella first premiered on television starring Julie Andrews.
Based on the 2007 indie film, this story was adapted into a musical with music and lyrics by Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter Sara Bareilles. It is the story of Jenna, a pie chef and waitress at a small-town Southern diner. She is stuck in a loveless marriage and discovers she is pregnant. Jenna learns about a pie-baking contest with a cash prize that could be her chance to escape her life and build a better one for herself and her baby, but Jenna’s life has a few extra ingredients in it that complicate the recipe in this theatrical treat. This musical received multiple Tony nominations and is a joyful, funny, and heartwarming theatre experience.
2 Pianos 4 Hands
Two pianos and dozens of characters portrayed by only two actor/musicians fill the stage in this warm and funny musical story. Richard and Ted, two “piano nerds,” pursue the life-long dream of becoming concert pianist superstars. We are introduced to their naïve childhood selves, the eccentric piano teachers who guide them, and the demanding parents who push them, all while get to experience their piano wizardry from Beethoven and Bach to Billy Joel. I’ve seen this play and it is exactly the kind of intimate theatre that I have been reluctant to produce because of the size of our mainstage, but with the opening of The Meldrum Theatre, we now have the perfect venue!
Brighton Beach Memoirs
This classic coming of age story by comedic treasure Neil Simon has a special place in my heart; I was a stage manager on the original Broadway production for almost a year.
Brighton Beach Memoirs is a semi-autobiographical story about growing up in 1937. The play centers around almost-15-year-old Eugene Jerome, who dreams of baseball and girls, but who must cope with his formidable mother, overworked father, and his worldly older brother Stanley. Thrown into the mix is his widowed Aunt Blanche and her two daughters, all creating a hilarious and bittersweet memoir capturing the life of a struggling Jewish household where, as his father states, “if you didn’t have a problem, you wouldn’t be living here.” This play is a real gem!
Dial M for Murder
Last performed at PTC 14 years ago, this infamous play is a tale of jealousy, deception, and homicide.
Gold digging Tony Wendice is convinced that his wife Margot has been cheating on him. Though it seems that the affair is over, in his jealousy, Tony spins a web of suspicion and deception that tightens around them both. When a perfect crime misfires, all parties are trapped in a sinister and dangerous web of lies. It is a classic psychological thriller that inspired Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpiece.
This brand-new adaptation thrillingly delves into the horrors of psychological abuse, where the truth is fickle for the characters as well as the audience. Strange things start to happen to the newlyweds Bella and Jack in this turn of the century Victorian thriller as their seemingly perfect marriage devolves into something sinister. Why is the attic door locked? Whose footsteps wander the halls at night? And is that gaslight flickering… or not? Bella’s reality is twisted, forcing her to question both the truth and her husband’s intentions. Find out where the eponymous expression so often used nowadays came from.
God of Carnage
This Tony Award-winner for Best Play is a savage satire that focuses on an evening when two sets of parents meet up to deal with the unruly behavior of their children: Alan and Annette’s son hit Michael and Veronica’s son in the face with a stick, resulting in two broken teeth. While the four of them agree to discuss the incident civilly, as the night wears on and drinks are consumed, the polite veneers one-by-one break down in one hysterical night. This play is a comedy of manners without manners.
Soon to celebrate its 100th anniversary, Noel Coward 1920’s comedy of bad manners follows the dysfunctional Bliss family, who delight in winding each other up and provoking a dramatic reaction from one another. Hoping for a quiet weekend in the English country with their invited guests, novelist David Bliss and his wife, retired actress Judith, find their dream nearly impossible when their high-spirited grown children, Simon and Sorel, appear with guests of their own. What follows is a farcical romp of misunderstandings, mismatched couples, and over-the-top hijinks—in which the newcomers try to navigate the strange new world they have entered.
In this play-within-a-play farce, we get a backstage (and onstage) look at a touring theatre troupe’s production of Nothing On. It progresses from flubbed lines and missed cues in the dress rehearsal to mounting friction between cast members, slamming doors, falling trousers, and flying sardines in their final performances. Last seen on the PTC stage in the 2008-2009 season, this hilarious behind-the-scenes play has become a comedic classic that truly challenges the age-old saying “The show must go on.”
The Royal Family
Loosely based on the legendary Barrymore family, The Royal Family is a comedic look into the eccentric world of New York theatre of the 1920s. Three generations of theatre stars go about their glamorous business, each at different stages in their careers: planning a farewell tour, running to performances, and even finding a little time for romance. But what will the family think when they find out that one of their own is thinking of giving up the stage for married life?
Tiny Beautiful Things
This play is based on Cheryl Strayed’s (author of Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail) best-selling book of advice columns, born from when the then-struggling writer was asked to take over the unpaid and anonymous position of an advice columnist for “Dear Sugar.” When this play was originally produced off-Broadway at The Public Theater, The New York Times said “Tiny Beautiful Things is about the endangered art of listening to—and really hearing and responding to—other people.” Adapted for the stage by My Big Fat Greek Wedding’s Nia Vardalos, Tiny Beautiful Things is a message and uplifting story we can never hear too often.
You Can’t Take It With You
This is one of my favorite plays of all time!! Last produced at PTC 18 years ago, this delightful romp with the Sycamore Family will delight audiences of all ages. The Sycamores have been happily living their zany lives in a New York house for many years, and oftentimes accompanied by their eccentric friends. But when practical young Alice Sycamore becomes engaged to her company’s Vice President Tony Kirby, she fears that their two families – complete opposites in manner, politics, and finances – will never come together. Disaster ensues when Tony and his parents arrive on the wrong night. Written by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart, this madcap play about living life to the fullest was awarded the 1937 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
Cast Your Vote
Share with us your TOP THREE MUSICALS and TOP THREE PLAYS of the titles being considered for next season. Then, stay tuned for PTC’s 2024-2025 Season announcement next spring!