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Your guide to Wharton Center's 2025 Broadway lineup

Les Misérables will open the Wharton Center Broadway season October 8-13, 2024.
Matthew Murphy & Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade
/
Courtesy photo
Les Misérables will open the Wharton Center Broadway season October 8-13, 2024.

Several Broadway productions are coming to the Wharton Center at Michigan State University for the coming season. The slate includes some returning favorites, along with one of last year’s biggest new hit shows.

Wharton Center executive director Eric Olmscheid has a Broadway series that includes five shows, and if that isn’t enough, two monster hits will return to East Lansing between now and the summer of 2025.

The season opens with a bang this October, with the return of Les Misérables.

“It is one of the favorites of our community and the most requested show that I’ve had since I’ve been here at Wharton Center," said Olmscheid.

Based on the 1892 novel by Victor Hugo, the Tony Award-winning Les Mis was last at the Wharton Center in 2019.

Next up, in January 2025, will be what seems to be something of a rarity these days: a totally original musical, another Tony Award-winner, Shucked. This show took ten years of work to make it to the Great White Way last year.

Wharton Center will host the Broadway musical comedy Shucked January 21-26, 2025.
Matthew Murphy & Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade
Wharton Center will host the Broadway musical comedy Shucked January 21-26, 2025.

“It is corny, yes, pun intended of course,” laughed Olmscheid. “It really is a heartwarming tale about the idea of a sense of home, a sense of community, and of course, corn.”

Olmscheid says Michael Jackson’s 1992 Dangerous world tour will be explored in the musical MJ at the Wharton Center next February.

“Lynn Nottage, the playwright, took the opportunity to kind of peel the curtain behind the artist who creates the music, and the icon that we know, and it goes into his creative process as he’s prepping for that tour.”

For the second season in a row, Wharton brings a non-musical from Broadway to East Lansing after hosting a production of To Kill A Mockingbird last year.

In March, Life Of Pi, the story of a 16-year-old boy stranded on a boat with four animals, will be here. Olmscheid says the show’s lighting design and scenery were Tony winners, adding that “the story comes to life with these amazing life-sized puppets that are manipulated by multiple actors on stage, and you see his journey with those four animals.”

Life of Pi will be at the Wharton Center March 11-16, 2025.
Matthew Murphy & Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade
/
Courtesy photo
Life of Pi will be at the Wharton Center March 11-16, 2025.

It’s back to musicals in April 2025. Chicago will be at the Wharton Center for the fifth time.

“It’s been 14 years since Chicago has been to Wharton Center, and it truly is a remarkable musical," said Olmscheid. "It’s now the longest-running American musical on Broadway.”

Those five shows will make up the Wharton Center Broadway season package, but there’s more: two blockbusters are returning, including Hamilton in May 2025.

“Of course, new cast members are coming in and out of the production at all times,” Olmscheid added. “But it’s the favorite Lin-Manuel Miranda score, it’s telling the story of the founding fathers in the early days of American history.”

The other special engagement is The Book Of Mormon in June 2025. It has been nine years since the show was in East Lansing.

“It is created by the creators of South Park,” Olmscheid explained. “And it’s a hilarious comedy that tells the story of two mis-matched Mormons going on their mission.”

The current season of Broadway shows at the Wharton Center still has Moulin Rouge! The Musical arriving in April, and Six in May. In a couple of months, the rest of their programming schedule for next season will be announced.

The Wharton Center is a financial supporter of WKAR.

Scott Pohl is a general assignment news reporter and produces news features and interviews. He is also an alternate local host on NPR's "Morning Edition."
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