(Appleton, Wis.) -- The Fox Cities Performing Arts Center has revealed its 2017-18 season - and it will be a season of love for many! The 15th anniversary season features a captivating lineup composed of the Bolt Arts alive! Series, the Spotlight Series and Broadway titles in the Kimberly-Clark Broadway Across America - Fox Cities Series.
With more than 20 different titles making their way to the P.A.C., Fox Cities P.A.C. President, Maria Van Laanen, says they made sure there will be something for everyone, "We work really hard as a non-profit to make sure we are the gathering place of everyone in our community. We work really hard to make sure that we're putting together season packages that have a wide array of different art forms that people might not be familiar with and it gives them the opportunity to try something new as well as have some favorites that we know people will look forward to from year to year."
The Broadway Across America series will bring shows straight from the Great White Way to the Fox Cities P.A.C starting in August. The eight titles included are Wicked, Disney's The Little Mermaid, Waitress, Rodgers & Hammerstein's The King and I, An American in Paris, Les Miserables, School of Rock and the 20th anniversary tour of RENT (dates listed at bottom of story).
Three of the eight titles will be making their Wisconsin premiere on the P.A.C. stage during their stop: The Little Mermaid, An American in Paris, and Waitress. This is the also the first national tour for musicals Waitress and School of Rock.
Waitress opened on Broadway in April of 2016, and will begin it's first national tour in October of this year. Featuring all original songs by Grammy-nominated musician, Sara Bareilles it has become a favorite of Van Laanen, "Waitress the musical is one of those cast recordings that I can't stop listening to with a completely new original score and directed by one of the best tony award winning directors, Diane Paulus," said Van Laanen.
School of Rock, based on the 2003 film starring Jack Black, features both original songs by Andrew Lloyd Weber as well as all the songs from the movie. "School of Rock was such a fun movie and the way that Andrew Lloyd Weber brought that story to the musical theatre stage is so fun," said Van Laanen.
Weber has written more than 20 musicals including popular shows such as Phantom of the Opera, Cats, Jesus Christ Superstar, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and Evita. Van Laanen is excited for people to see the playful side of the composer.
"When you hear him talk about the show, he fell in love with the movie and the idea of bringing kids together that can play their own music live on stage and bring this story to life."
Along with the titles presented this season, the P.A.C. will continue to connect the art theatre-goers will see on stage to the Fox Cities with community engagement opportunities.
"There are just some fantastic conversations that can spring out of a good work of art," said Van Laanen.
This current season conversations focus on valuing the different voices in the community, this upcoming season will focus on sharing experiences across generations.
The theme of sharing across generations will be brought to life during the 20th anniversary tour of RENT.
"It is such a quintessential story of that moment in time," said Van Laanen.
The 1996 Pulitzer Prize musical follows the lives of seven struggling artists living in New York City over a course of a year. The message of hope and love while in the face of fear has inspired many throughout its two decades and changed the landscape of American theatre.
"It's so fascinating to have conversations with our community and about what the world was like, and what that fear was like 20 years ago and how far we've been able to come working our way through paranoia and fears that people had back then and now," said Van Laanen. "It's really fun to explore how a culture and communities can evolve in their ideas and compassion and their inclusiveness."
Tickets are available now for season ticket holders. Group tickets are also available, individual tickets will go on sale to the public approximately eight to twelve weeks before opening night.
Below is the full season for Kimberly-Clark Broadway Across America - Fox Cities Series:
Aug. 30-Sept. 10, 2017
Disney's The Little Mermaid
Oct. 31 - Nov. 5, 2017
Nov. 28 - Dec. 3, 2017
Rodgers & Hammerstein's The King and I
Jan. 23-28, 2018
An American in Paris
Feb. 20-25, 2018
March 20-25, 2018
School of Rock
April 24-29, 2018
May 11-13, 2018
The schedule for the Spotlight Series and Boldt Arts Alive! Series can be found here.