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Wharton Center's 2018-19 Broadway Season Announced

Joan Marcus 2018
Elijah Malcomb, Joseph Morales, Kyle Scatliffe, Fergie L. Philippe and Company - HAMILTON National Tour

Today, the Wharton Center in East Lansing unveiled their 2018-19 season to the general public. WKAR's Jamie Paisley brings you a rundown of the shows, including more details about the already-announced arrival of the mega-hit musical, Hamilton.

The majority of the MSUFCU Broadway Series at the Wharton Center is 6 days of a residency of a musical, but for Hamilton, it's quite a bit longer.

"That's correct." says Diane Willcox, director of marketing and communications at the Wharton Center. "Most of our Broadway shows are Broadway-week which is 6 days, 8 performances. For Hamilton we have three-times as many starting in late May and going into  June."

"They way this works," continues Willcox, "is you have top priority if you're a renewing subscriber from last year. So we're encouraging all of last year's subscribers to renew their subscription as quickly and early as possible into the 18-19 season. Then, if you are a new subscriber, you become the next priority on the list and then after that, tickets will become available to the general public. However, the producers do set the prices, and there'll be one set prices to the subscribers; one set of prices for the general public. It's all subject to availability."

While Hamilton ends their Broadway season from May 14th through June 2nd of 2019, Diane Willcox, tells me it begins with a one-two punch of Andrew Lloyd Webber in September & October of 2018.

"Yes, it does. First we start with Andrew Lloyd Webber-lite, as it were, with School of Rock, which is of course based on the Jack Black movie."

[Music excerpt of "You're in the Band" from School of Rock]

"When you see that kid pick up the bass, he's playing the bass." says Willcox, "The guy's playing the guitar. They're playing the drums. It's absolutely an amazing show. It's so much fun, it's delightful. And we follow that hard on the heels with Love Never Dies. This is the sequel to Phantom of the Opera: 10 years later, takes place actually in Coney Island, and the Phantom cannot live without Christine. So he has followed her to the United States.

[Excerpt from "Once Upon Another Time" from Love Never Dies]

In early December this year a great tradition hits Wharton Center with Fiddler on the Roof and another side of Russian family in January of 2019 with the stage adaptation of the film Anastasia by Flaherty & Ahrens of Once on this Island and Ragtime fame. But in March of 2019 the heat is on East Lansing by way of Saigon, Miss Saigon.

[Excerpt from "The Heat is on in Saigon" from Miss Saigon]

"What's wonderful about this" says Willcox, "is they have done something with the script and I'm not sure exactly what, but it's been tightened up. The narrative is very, very clear. The plot, you know, you really understand what's going on in the last days of the Vietnam War. Absolutely gorgeous, absolutely beautiful exciting, and amazing special effects. You WILL see a helicopter."

And of course, as mentioned before, on the heels of Miss Saigon, Lin Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton closes next season’s Broadway tours with a  three week residency.

Tomorrow on WKAR, we’ll talk about the Wharton Center’s just announced classical music, variety events, and other presentations coming to mid-Michigan in the 2018-19 season. More info at WhartonCenter.com

MSUFCU Broadway At Wharton Center Series

School of Rock: September 18-23, 2018


Love Never Dies: October 9-14, 2018


Fiddler on the Roof: December 4-9, 2018


Anastasia: January 15-20, 2019


Miss Saigon: March 12 - 17, 2019


Hamilton: May 14 - June 2, 2019

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