Local 2023/24 Broadway Season Speculation

Theater Commentary – February 18, 2023


Broadway Across America – Arizona
ASU Gammage
Tempe, AZ

By Chris Curcio
Theater Critic

Broadway Across America hosts touring productions of recent new and revival Broadway shows throughout the nation including locally at Tempe’s ASU Gammage Concert Hall where the inhospitable environment doesn’t allow shows to be properly seen or heard.  While most touring 2023/24 Broadway seasons have been announced, the Tempe season announcement will be one of the last revealed on March 13.

There are few touring surprises so it is easy to piece together the local season from the 15 plus announced tours.  Three shows which bypassed Tempe this season but will continue touring include “Moulin Rouge! The Musical,” “Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of The Temptations,” and “Tina: The Tina Turner Musical.” All will probably play here.  Most cities will include “MJ The Musical” that explores the late Michael Jackson’s life and songs.

Recent and current Broadway revivals will tour including “Company,” “Into the Woods,” and “Funny Girl.” No word yet on any castings so who will play Fanny Brice in “Funny Girl”? The selected performer must duplicate Lea Michele’s Broadway triumph.

The touring “Company” will, like the recent Broadway and London productions, reverse most of the roles’ sexes including the leading part that transitions from the frustrated male Bobby to an equally disillusioned female Bobbie.  Who will replace Patti LuPone who made Joanne stand out when I saw the London “Company” production a few seasons ago?  LuPone stopped the show with her “The Ladies Who Lunch.”

Some of the touring duds from Broadway’s recent past will be “Clue,” “Mrs. Doubtfire,” and “The Girl From the North Country.”  Hopefully, local subscribers won’t be forced to endure any of these shows since all were lambasted on Broadway or regionally.

If Arizona Republican lawmakers have their way and pass a law banning drag shows, we may never see “Mrs. Doubtfire.”  “The Wiz” is touring again so it may come here as could the all-female “1776.”  A new “Peter Pan” is touring with the claim it will solve that musical’s sexual inequities but local audiences certainly don’t need to see it again.  “A Wonderful World” which explores Louis Armstrong’s song hits and his life is playing some Eastern and Southern cities.  “Jagged Little Pill’s” tour will continue but, based on comments from friends who saw it in New York, one hopes that musical bypasses Tempe.

The verdict will be revealed March 13.  Don’t hold your breath…