By Rebecca Keister
PBN Staff Writer
PROVIDENCE – Three national tours will launch in Providence during Providence Performing Arts Center’s 2013-2014 season, the theater announced Sunday.
PPAC’s 36th Broadway season, with the Taco/The White Family Foundation as the returning title sponsor, will begin with Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Evita in September and also will include “Once,” winner of the 2012 Tony Award for best musical, in October, and Cameron Mackintosh’s new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera, in late November-early December.
“Opening three major national tours in the fall of 2013 is big,” Lynn Singleton, president of PPAC, said in a statement.
The national tour launches of “Evita” and “The Phantom of the Opera” were previously announced as some of the first productions to benefit from the musical and theatrical tax credit approved under the state’s fiscal 2013 budget last June. The tax credit is meant to lure here pre- and post-Broadway musical and theatrical productions that will create jobs and generate revenue.
“Elf the Musical” was the first show to receive a tax credit last November. That production spent two and a half weeks in Providence working on the show’s technical aspects before doing a dress rehearsal and a week of performances. Singleton previously said that the production was given a $175,000 tax credit and estimated that PPAC took in $900,000 in ticket sales for the show.
The theater’s Broadway season will be anchored by “The Book of Mormon,” which will play a two-week engagement April 28-May 11, 2014. That show, written by the creators of the animated television series “South Park” won the 2011 Tony Award for best musical. The series also includes “Ghost the Musical” in October, “Flashdance - the Musical” in March 2014, and “We Will Rock You,” in April 2014.
“Kudos to the leadership at PPAC and their staff for assembling this roster of great shows,” said Joseph Walsh, chairman of PPAC’s board of trustees, in a statement. “We have had a wonderful track record at the theater of presenting terrific productions and next year will be one of the best ever!”
PPAC’s 2013-2014 Contemporary Series will include productions of “Wicked” in December, “Peter and the Starcatcher,” in February 2014, and “Man of La Mancha,” with a date still to be announced.