Broadway Grand Rapids attracts ‘major’ shows for next season


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Broadway Grand Rapids has announced the lineup for its 2013-14 season, which will open on Oct. 1 with “Jersey Boys.”

Performances include “West Side Story,” “Sister Act” and “The Wizard of Oz.” Additionally, special shows “Cirque Dreams Holidaze” and “Mamma Mia” will be held during the season.

“I think our new season is proof that we are moving in the direction that some of the bigger shows are looking to Grand Rapids as a place that they want to bring their show,” said Meghan Distel, director of marketing and public relations for Broadway Grand Rapids. “The community has been supportive the last few seasons, and the more support we get, the more that we can show them that the market is one where you can hold a major show here and you’ll get the turnout.”

Distel noted that a partnership with Lansing’s Wharton Center also has helped attract bigger shows to the Grand Rapids area.

Broadway Grand Rapids is happy with the recent changes to the booking policy for using DeVos Performance Hall, which it shares with the Grand Rapids Opera, Grand Rapids Ballet and Grand Rapids Symphony, Distel said.

“That’s probably been one of the biggest impacts that is going to help the success of this organization is the change to the booking policy at DeVos Performance Hall. The way it was in the past, Broadway Grand Rapids really didn’t have equal footing… It’s really showing this next season. If you look at the dates, they are very balanced.

“That allows us to increase our audience even when we are not always offering a show over Thanksgiving or spring break. In the past, that really prohibited us from growing. We lost subscribers because they were tired of always having the bad dates. This new policy has allowed us to bring in better shows, because we have flexibility on the dates, but it also increases our audience and it really hasn’t hurt anybody. Everybody really still has good dates in the hall; there’s room for us to share it.”

Performance dates are: “Jersey Boys,” Oct. 1-6; “West Side Story,” Nov. 12-17; “Sister Act,” Feb. 4-9, 2014; “The Wizard of Oz,” April 22-27, 2014; and special performances “Cirque Dreams Holidaze,” Dec. 26-29, and “Mamma Mia,” March 18-20, 2014.

Season tickets for the 2013-14 season are currently on sale.

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