‘My Fair Lady’, ‘Monty Python’s Spamalot’, part of six show series

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The Tennessee Performing Arts Center has announced the next line-up of Broadway tours on their way to Nashville—a diverse series highlighted by the 2005 Tony Award-winner for best musical, legends of American and British entertainment, and recent hits.

The upcoming season marks the fifth season of series sponsorship by HCA/TriStar and the first time in 24 years that TPAC is presenting Broadway independently after a decision last year to end its partnership with LiveNation.  All of the tours are clear favorites from TPAC’s 2006 audience poll, a survey that also revealed a strong preference for a six-show package (rather than five).

The full 2007-2008 HCA/TriStar Broadway at TPAC subscription series is:

My Fair Lady, touring to TPAC for the first time with stars of the British stage in a production mounted by the same creative team as the recent Cameron Mackintosh sensation in London, October 23-28, 2007;

Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, recently adapted for the stage from the classic film, making Nashville one of the first cities to land the tour, November 27-December 2, 2007;

Monty Python’s Spamalot, winner of the 2005 Tony Award for Best Musical, the outrageous musical comedy inspired by the film Monty Python and the Holy Grail, February 12-17, 2008;

Camelot, starring stage and film legend Michael York, in a new production of the magical, mythical story of King Arthur, Sir Lancelot and Guenevere, refreshed by Liza and Michael Lerner, the children of Alan Jay Lerner, who wrote the lyrics and book for this show (and My Fair Lady) with Frederick Loewe, March 11-16, 2008;

Twelve Angry Men featuring Richard Thomas in his critically acclaimed performance in one of the most successful dramas ever to tour nationwide, May 6-11, 2008; and

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, a smash hit on Broadway – earning 11 Tony Award nominations and the most requested show in the poll of local patrons – a musical comedy about the misadventures of two con men on the glamorous French Riviera, adapted from the film starring Steve Martin and Michael Caine, dates to be announced.

Outside of the six-show subscription series, TPAC is presenting a special return engagement of an audience favorite: A Tuna Christmas in TPAC’s Polk Theater, starring creators Joe Sears and Jaston Williams, masters of comedy and quick change who portray all of the characters in a small Texas town, December 18-23, 2007.

“Across the board, this is one of the strongest and most diverse seasons of Broadway tours presented by TPAC over the past 27 years in Nashville.  We couldn’t be more excited about the HCA/TriStar sponsorship and negotiating a blend of recent hits and new productions of classic works for our patrons.  All of the titles ranked high on our survey, and each has done well in New York, in London, or on tour,” said Kathleen O’Brien, president and chief executive officer.  

“It’s impossible for me to pick a favorite or to predict which title will be the most popular.  We’re thrilled to present the blockbuster Spamalot and to welcome Michael York and Richard Thomas to Nashville in outstanding productions.  We’re one of the first cities to present this tour of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas after it premiered with great success.  Dirty Rotten Scoundrels was a recent hit on Broadway, while My Fair Lady, reflecting the magical touch of Cameron Mackintosh, is coming to TPAC for the first time,” she said.  “As others in the Broadway industry know, rolling out a new series after the year of The Lion King—as it was with ‘Phantom’ and ‘Les Miz’ in past years—presents a special challenge, which we believe we’ve met through the strength of each individual production and the variety of stories and music to be enjoyed throughout the season.”

Subscriptions—or season tickets—for the six-show season are now on sale. The cost of the six-show package for the HCA/TriStar Broadway at TPAC series ranges from $125 to $411, depending on seat location and day of performance. Single tickets for the individual shows will be on sale to the general public approximately six to eight weeks prior to opening at TPAC.

Another benefit, “Share the Stage with a Friend,” gives subscribers a $25 credit to their own account when they make a referral to TPAC that results in the sale of another six-show subscription. There is no limit on the number of referrals.

Current subscribers have been mailed information on how to renew their season tickets for 2007-2008. TPAC Subscriber Services also is accepting new orders, processed on a “first come-first served” basis after seating assignments for renewing subscribers are made. Subscribers receive a number of benefits including advance access to great seats, customer service on a dedicated phone line and a Subscriber Rewards Card with dozens of special offers from area restaurants, retailers and attractions.

For more information on the HCA/TriStar Broadway at TPAC series, visit www.tpac.org, where season subscriptions may be purchased on-line; call TPAC Subscriber Services at 615/782-6560 (or 1-800/410-4216, outside of the Nashville calling area) or visit the TPAC Box Office at 505 Deaderick Street or Davis-Kidd Booksellers in The Mall at Green Hills. For information on seating for groups of 20 or more, call the TPAC Group Sales Office at 615/782-4060. 

This series is supported by The HCA Foundation on behalf of HCA and the TriStar Family of Hospitals. Irving Berlin’s White Christmas is presented by Bank of America. 

Here’s a rundown of the subscription series with descriptions provided by the producers of each tour:

My Fair Lady, Lerner & Loewe’s legendary musical, premieres in the United States direct from its 50th Anniversary London production and U.K. national tour. Starring are acclaimed British theatre actors Christopher Cazenove and Lisa O’Hare who earned rave reviews for their dynamic performances as Professor Henry Higgins and Eliza Doolittle. “The cast is superb!”  “A more perfect Higgins I have yet to see!” Based on the Cameron Mackintosh/National Theatre of Great Britain’s award-winning London sensation, and hailed as “the revival against which all others will be measured” this glorious, new production features one of Broadway’s most beloved scores including “The Rain in Spain,” “I Could Have Danced All Night’ and “Get Me to the Church on Time” and brings together the original U.K. artistic team with direction by four-time Tony® winner Trevor Nunn (Les Misérables), choreography and musical staging by two-time Tony® winner Matthew Bourne (Mary Poppins) and production design by Anthony Ward (Gypsy). www.myfairladythemusical.com

As new and fresh as winter snowfall, Irving Berlin’s White Christmas is a shiny package just waiting to be unwrapped. Based on the holiday film classic, this musical gem follows the comedic adventures of army buddies Bob Wallace and Phil Davis whose romantic pursuit of a duo of singing sisters leads them to a Vermont inn for the holidays. When a snowless winter threatens to close the inn and defeat its owner (their former commanding officer), these veteran performers re-enlist! The result is a show-stopping Broadway revue, and one of the holidays’ most treasured stories. White Christmas is brimming with Irving Berlin hits including “Happy Holidays,” “Sisters,” and “White Christmas.” 

Winner of the 2005 Tony Award for Best Musical, Monty Python’s Spamalot is the outrageous new musical comedy lovingly ripped off from the film classic "Monty Python and The Holy Grail." Directed by Tony Award-winner Mike Nichols, with a book by Eric Idle and music and lyrics by the Grammy Award-winning team of Mr. Idle and John Du Prez, Spamalot tells the tale of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table as they embark on their quest for the Holy Grail. Flying cows, killer rabbits, taunting Frenchmen and show-stopping musical numbers are just a few of the reasons audiences everywhere are eating up Spamalot.

British stage and film legend Michael York (“The Three Musketeers,” “Cabaret” and “Austin Powers” ) stars in this magnificent new production of Lerner and Loewe’s timeless masterpiece. King Arthur’s enchanted kingdom, Camelot, is a place where honor and chivalry reign. But can this idyllic land survive when Queen Guenevere falls in love with Sir Lancelot? The splendid, memorable score includes the romantic and haunting “If Ever I Would Leave You,” the captivating “How to Handle a Woman” and the majestic “Camelot.” Re-discover the grandeur of one of history’s greatest love stories.

Twelve jurors. Twelve walks of life. And only two ways to rule: guilty or not guilty. What seems like an open-and-shut murder case becomes a twisted puzzle of prejudice and intrigue. Twelve jurors in a murder trial are corralled in a room for the duration of their deliberation. As prejudices are tested and evidence weighed, the entire jury is forced to look past the show of the courtroom to unearth the shocking truth. Faced with playing the hangmen, these dozen men must first face themselves. Starring Richard Thomas and directed by Scott Ellis, the National Tour of Twelve Angry Men is produced by Roundabout Theatre Company, one of the country’s leading not-for-profit theatres.

If you don’t want to see this show because it’s "ONE OF THE LIVELIEST, FUNNIEST, BEST-PERFORMED MUSICALS IN YEARS!" (New York Post), then see it because the money helps pay for our grandmother’s cosmetic surgery. Set on the glorious, glamorous Riviera, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is a delicious comedy that follows two con artists as they take on the lifestyles of the rich and shameless – and end up with a lot more than they bargain for. *Contains adult language and content.