'Wicked' returning to Pantages for the holidays

HOLLYWOOD - The Pantages Theatre has announced its 2014-15 season schedule, featuring six blockbuster productions currently playing to sold-out houses on Broadway and a new production of a beloved title.Broadway's biggest blockbuster, "Wicked", will return during the 2014 holiday season. Below is the complete schedule: Oct. 1-19, 2014: "Jersey Boys" "Jersey Boys" is the story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons: Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, Tommy DeVito and Nick Massi. This is the story of how a group of blue-collar boys from the wrong side of the tracks became one of the biggest American pop music sensations of all time. They wrote their own songs, invested their own sound and sold 175 million records worldwide - all before they were 30. Hit songs featured in "Jersey Boys" include "Sherry," "Oh, What a Night," "Big Girls Don't Cry," "Walk Like a Man," "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" and "Who Loves You." As of September 2013, "Jersey Boys" has been seen by more than 18 million people worldwide. Oct. 21-Nov. 9, 2014: "Pippin" Royal heir Pippin is spurred on by a mysterious group of performers to embark on a death-defying journey to find his "corner of the sky." The original production of "Pippin" premiered on Broadway in 1972 and won five Tony Awards, running for nearly 2,000 performances before closing in 1977. "Pippin" is noted for many Broadway standards including "Corner of the Sky," "Magic To Do," "Glory," "No Time at All," "Morning Glow" and "Love Song." Nov. 11-30, 2014: "Kinky Boots" Inspired by a true story, "Kinky Boots' tells the story of Charlie Price, a man who has reluctantly inherited his father's nearly bankrupt shoe factory. Trying to live up to his father's legacy and save his family business, Charlie finds inspiration in the form of Lola, a fabulous entertainer in need of some sturdy stilettos. As they work to turn the factory around, this unlikely pair finds that they have more in common than they ever dreamed possible...and Lola turns out to be the one person who can help Charlie become the man he's meant to be. Dec. 10, 2014 - Feb. 1, 2015: "Wicked" By popular demand, "Wicked" will return to the Pantages Theatre for an eight-week holiday engagement. Long before Dorothy drops in, two other girls meet in the Land of Oz. One - born with emerald-green skin - is smart, fiery and misunderstood. The other is beautiful, ambitious and very popular. "Wicked" tells the story of their remarkable odyssey, and how these two unlikely friends grow to become the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good. Based on the best-selling 1995 novel by Gregory Maguire, "Wicked" is the winner of over 50 major awards, including a Grammy and three Tony Awards. The blockbuster musical recently celebrated its 10th anniversary on Broadway, a milestone achieved by only 10 other Broadway productions in history. March 24 - April 19, 2015: "Newsies" Based on true events, "Newsies" tells the captivating story of a band of underdogs who become unlikely heroes when they stand up to the most powerful men in New York. It's a rousing tale about fighting for what's right...and staying true to who you are. The Disney musical features a Tony Award-winning score with music by Alan Menken. April 28 - June 7, 2015: "Motown the Musical" The hit Broadway musical follows Berry Gordy's journey from featherweight boxer to the heavyweight music mogul who launched the careers of Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Smokey Robinson and many more. The CBS Morning News called "Motown the Musical" "more than a Broadway show. A celebration of music that transformed America." "Motown the Musical" includes some of Gordy's most legendary hits including "I Want You Back," "Ain't No Mountain High Enough," "I'll Be There," "My Girl," "Please, Mr. Postman" and "Signed, Sealed, Delivered." June 10 - July 26, 2015: "The Phantom of the Opera" With reinvented staging and scenic design, this new version of "Phantom," the longest-running show in Broadway history, will be performed by a cast and orchestra of 52, making this one of the largest productions on tour in North America. Based on the classic novel "Le Fantome de L'Opera" by Gaston Leroux, "The Phantom of the Opera" tells the story of a masked figure who lurks beneath the catacombs of the Paris Opera House, exercising a reign of terror over all who inhabit it. He falls madly in love with an innocent young soprano, Christine, and devotes himself to creating a new star by nurturing her extraordinary talents and by employing all of the devious methods at his command. "It's wonderful to have a new production of 'Phantom' touring America now that the show has celebrated over 25 years on Broadway," said composer Andrew Lloyd Webber. "Director Laurence Connor has done an amazing job and this production has received huge critical acclaim in the UK." For more information on any of the shows, visit hollywoodpantages.com.

********** Published: Feb. 6, 2014 - Volume 12 - Issue 43