With new artistic advisor Sheldon Epps in the driver's seat, Theatre Under the Stars, in an unprecedented move, announced today a revamped 2016-17 season with the newcomer's imprint clearly in play.
Say goodbye Shrek, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Grease. Say hello to In the Heights, Into the Woods, and Dreamgirls.
"While there was much to admire, " Epps said in a statment, "I also felt that there were areas where the choices could be bettered to create a more dynamic, vibrant and diverse season — one that reflected the stated noble initiatives and aims of the company."
With that, the season opens with Tony Award wunderkind Lin-Manuel Miranda's In the Heights, September 13-25. (His Tony's blockbuster Hamilton, the road show, is scheduled for the 2017-18 Broadway at the Hobby Center season.) It's lights out for Grease.
The five Tony Award-winning, Into the Woods will replace Shrek, The Musical, December 6-18; and Dreamgirls, winner of seven Tonys, will fill in the April 4-16 slot previously occupied by Jesus Christ Superstar.
"I believe that this revised season will bring a greater breadth of theatricality to our audiences," Epps' statement continued. "It will also offer the work of some of the true masters of the musical theater field from the august Stephen Sondheim to the currently justly celebrated Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator of Hamilton, which is perhaps the greatest theatrical juggernaut of our time."
Epps also stressed the desire for programming to better reflect the city's diversity.
The Main Stage productions will be presented in Sarofim Hall at the Hobby Center. Tickets are available here.