Philly’s Broadway season is a mix of old, new, and reimagined

The reimagined “1776” features a cast comprised entirely of female, nonbinary, and trans artists. (Photo Credit: Emilio Madrid)

The upcoming Broadway series in Philadelphia, starting with “Annie” on October 11 and concluding with “The Lion King” in August 2023, features 16 shows ranging from beloved classics, seasonal fare, and new and reimagined favorites. The series features the Philadelphia premiere of several shows, including “Moulin Rouge: The Musical,” “Six” and “Beetlejuice,” as well as a reimagined version of “1776” which features a cast comprised entirely of female, nonbinary, and trans artists who play America’s founding fathers. 

“This season we have seen audiences embrace the unity, joy, and excitement that comes from live arts,” Matías Tarnopolsky, president and CEO of The Philadelphia Orchestra and Kimmel Center, Inc said in a press release. “The lineup of 16 fantastic shows reflects our commitment to showcasing new and diverse voices and to sharing the magic of the arts with the widest possible audience. It’s clear that the arts are back and stronger than ever!”

The full schedule is below.

Annie (October 11 – 16, 2022)

There’s a time and place for everything, and there’s always time for tomorrow. While “Annie” hasn’t changed much over the years, it remains a classic for good reason. Jenn Thompson directs this latest version featuring iconic songs such as “Tomorrow,” “Maybe,” and “Easy Street.”

Les Misérables (November 2 – 13, 2022) 

While some kids debated which players in the NBA were the best, some of us had more important things to do, like debate which cast recording of Les Misérables was the gold standard. (I settled on London, because of the original lyrics to “On My Own.) This new production has been called “a reborn dream.”

A Christmas Carol (November 22 – 27, 2022)

Like Les Mis, this Dickens classic gets a revamp of its own, but still includes numbers like “Joy to the World,” “Silent Night,” and “It Came Upon the Midnight Clear.”

TINA – The Tina Turner Musical (November 22 – December 4, 2022)
A fun and energetic show that follows the life of the “Proud Mary” music legend, from her rise to fame, her tumultuous relationship and divorce, and her reinvention in the music industry.

Blue Man Group (December 27 – 31, 2022)

Even if you’ve never seen them, you know of them. The drums, the blue paint, the comedy. They’ve been featured on SNL sketches and have been emulated everywhere from living rooms to office mailrooms. In addition to the drumming, the show features original music, custom instruments and audience interaction. 

Jagged Little Pill (January 3 – 15, 2023)

Alanis Morrisette’s decade-defining album gets woven into an original storyline here. The show found itself the subject of a controversy when it went to Broadway in 2019 (a storyline revolving around one of the characters’ gender was inexplicably taken out), but it has endured to remind audiences that you live, “You Learn.”

A Soldier’s Play (January 24 – February 5, 2023)

Winner of two Tony Awards, including Best Revival of a Play, the Pulitzer-Prize winning show revolves around the murder of a sergeant at a Louisiana Army base in 1944. The investigation that follows raises questions about the idea of sacrifice, service, and identity in America.

Come From Away (February 7 – 12, 2023)

Based on a true story about how the residents of Gander, Newfoundland, took in 7,000 stranded passengers when air travel was halted on September 11, 2001. Various characters are explored, including Beverley Bass, the first female captain for American Airlines. A heartwarming story of people helping each other in times of peril.

“Come From Away.” (Photo credit: Matthew Murphy)

1776 (February 14 – 26, 2023)

This is one you won’t want to miss. The show follows the founding fathers of the U.S.A. as they write the Declaration of Independence. But directors Diane Paulus and Jeffrey L. Page have completely changed the game with this production that features all women, trans, and nonbinary artists.

Cats (March 14 – 19, 2023)

If you haven’t gotten over the travesty that was the 2019 film version of “Cats,” you’re not alone. But luckily, the stage production returns the roots of what has made this musical one the longest running productions in theater history. 

Six (March 21 – April 9, 2023)

The six wives of Henry VIII (Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves, Kathryn Howard, Catherine Parr), tell their stories in a girl-power pop concert.

Jersey Boys (April 18 – 23, 2023)

Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons are back in Philadelphia. The show features all their hits including “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Oh What A Night,” “Walk Like A Man,” and “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.”

Jesus Christ Superstar (May 2 – 7, 2023)

Recently celebrating its 50th anniversary, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s iconic show looks at  the final weeks in the life of Jesus Christ as seen through the eyes of Judas.

Beetlejuice (May 30 – June 11, 2023)

Don’t say it in the mirror three times. This adaptation of the 1988 Tim Burton film tells the story of Lydia Deetz, a strange and unusual teenager whose whole life changes when she meets a recently deceased couple and a demon with a thing for stripes.

Moulin Rouge! The Musical (July 5 – 30, 2023)

The stage adaptation of the Baz Lurhmann film features updated songs (including Katy Perry’s “Firework” done beautifully) and lavish sets appropriate for the “Spectacular Spectacular.” Be on the lookout for a tender same-sex moment that wasn’t in the film.

Disney’s The Lion King (August 16 – September 3, 2023)

You always want to close a season with a guaranteed hit, and it doesn’t get much more guaranteed than “The Lion King.” Even if you don’t plan on seeing it, a lot of other people, most definitely, will.