PNC Broadway Series' 2012-13 season filled with smash hits

March 7, 2012 8:42 pm
  • The PNC Broadway Across America -- Pittsburgh series will bring "War Horse" to the Benedum in November.
    The PNC Broadway Across America -- Pittsburgh series will bring "War Horse" to the Benedum in November.
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Pittsburgh's upcoming Broadway Series season is packed with six shows on the road for the first time, including one national tour debut and last season's Tony winners for best play, musical and musical revival. Who could ask for anything more?

Wait, there's more.

In addition to "War Horse," "The Book of Mormon" and "Anything Goes," the PNC Broadway Across America -- Pittsburgh season announced today by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust boasts the tour debut of "Flashdance the Musical" and fresh-from-Broadway musicals "Priscilla Queen of the Desert" and "Sister Act." Among the season specials is "American Idiot," based on Green Day's multiplatinum album.

Despite its nine Tony Awards, there was concern about how "The Book of Mormon" might hit the road, with its over-the-top irreverence aimed at racial, sexual and religious subjects and explicit content. Then it sold out its debut in Denver before a cast has been announced, paving the way for more and more cities to be added to the schedule.

"To secure a spot on the first run of the most popular show still on Broadway and the most lauded musical since 'The Producers' is remarkable," said Paul Organisak, vice president of programming for The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. "It's a testament to the market in Pittsburgh. Why we're able to secure a show like 'Book of Mormon' the first year out for two weeks is because of our history of support. Shows want to come to Pittsburgh."

After winning over London's West End, "War Horse" and its amazing life-size horse puppets arrived on Broadway last April. Inspired by the book and preceding the Oscar-nominated film of the same name, "War Horse," like "The Book of Mormon" and "Anything Goes," continues to play sold-out shows in New York. (The Broadway League's weekly box-office grosses show "Mormon" playing to more than 102 percent capacity.)

"War Horse" is one of a handful of non-musicals the PNC Broadway Series has brought to Pittsburgh in recent seasons, including "August: Osage County," "Doubt" and "Twelve Angry Men."

"If I look at bookends of the season, 'Book of Mormon' is the pinnacle of securing the most popular, talked about musical on Broadway, and at the other end of the spectrum is [serious play] 'War Horse' -- it's sold out for how many years now?" Mr. Organisak said.

Sharon Eberson: seberson@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1960.
First Published 2012-03-07 19:43:02

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