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The Axelrod Performing Arts Center
announces our three main-stage musicals for 2023, including the 50th
anniversary revival of a forgotten Black musical, the first
production of a recent Broadway favorite and the first musical in our
new Sondheim Centennial Project, a major eight-year
celebration of the musicals of the legendary Stephen Sondheim. We
welcome two new directors this season, Evelyn Collins,
collaborating with two-time Tony winner Phylicia Rashad, and
up-and-coming director-choreographer Eamon Foley, and we are
thrilled to welcome back Tony-nominee Hunter Foster, who
directed last season’s highly acclaimed musical The Bridges of
Anniversary Revival of
Based on Lorraine Hansberry’s
A Raisin in the Sun
Production Consultant, Phylicia Rashad
Director, Evelyn Collins
Music by Judd Woldin, lyrics by Robert Brittan
Book by Robert Nemiroff and Charlotte Zaltzberg
February 24 through March 12, 2023
Lorraine Hansberry's classic A Raisin in the Sun is
transformed into a soulful, inspiring musical as a proud Black
family's quest for a better life explodes in song, dance and incisive
human drama. Tony Award winner for Best Musical, Raisin
ran for over two years on Broadway and enjoyed a record-breaking
national tour, including 40 major cities in the US and Canada, being
seen by 3.5 million people.
Marking the fiftieth anniversary of Raisin’s
opening on Broadway, with the approval of the Hansberry Estate and in
association with Production Consultant, Phylicia Rashad
(Two-time Tony winner, A Raisin in the Sun and Skelton Crew
and three-time Emmy nominee), the Axelrod production will be directed
by Evelyn Collins (Founder of the Denzel Washington School of
the Arts) and be a major part of New Jersey’s Black History Month
The story of a Black family aspiring to move out of the
Southside, Chicago projects in the 1950s,Raisin is a
poignant reflection on the American Dream, the obstacles Black
families face, and the true meaning of trust, family and love.
New York Times critic Clive Barnes noted that the
book of the musical “is perhaps even better than the play... 'Raisin'
is one of those unusual musicals that should not only delight people
who love musicals but might also well delight people who don't.”
New Jersey’s first professional production of the
musical that Billboard calls “Hairspray meets Dear Evan
Hansen,” The Prom opened on Broadway in 2018
and was a Broadway critics’ darling with six Tony nominations.
Jesse Green in the New York Times called it "such a joyful
hoot….it makes you believe in musical comedy again." The
Axelrod’s production will be directed by Tony nominee Hunter
Recently made into a Hollywood film, The Prom tells
the story of four eccentric Broadway stars who are in desperate need
of a new stage. So, when they hear that trouble is brewing around a
small-town prom, they know that it’s time to put a spotlight on the
issue…and themselves. The town’s parents want to keep the high
school dance on the straight and narrow—but when one student
just wants to bring her girlfriend to prom, the entire town has a
date with destiny.
On a mission to transform lives, Broadway’s brassiest
join forces with a courageous girl and the town’s citizens and the
result is love that brings them all together. This musical with real
heart guarantees real laughs and real tears!
November 3 through November 19, 2023
The first musical in the Axelrod’s Sondheim
Centennial Project will be the Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece
Sunday in the Park with George, written with James
Lapine, regarded as one of the most acclaimed musicals of all
time. The 1984 musical, which originally starred Bernadette Peters
and Mandy Patinkin, was inspired by the French pointillist painter
Georges Seurat's painting A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La
Grande Jatte. The Broadway production was nominated for an
astounding ten Tony Awards, including Best Musical.
The Sondheim Centennial Project,
curated by Artistic Director Andrew DePrisco, will present one
Sondheim musical each year until Stephen Sondheim’s 100th birthday
anniversary in 2030, as well as concerts and showcases of living
composers, to honor the master’s commitment to new voices and the
future of musical theater.
Eamon Foley, who began his Broadway
career in 13 The Musical, is one of Broadway’s up-and-coming
director-choreographers, who frequently works alongside Tony
Award-winning director Michael Arden. Foley’s strikingly new
concept for Sunday revolves around the use of color, light and
movement to invite the audience into George’s mind to better
understand his creative process and his personal struggles.
Celebrating “the art of making art,” we bring the colors on George’s
pallet to life through dance and light, allowing the audience to live
alongside the painter as he creates his masterpiece.
SHOW PASSES –
Save Up to 48% on Our Musicals!
Axelrod offers SHOW PASSES (for 6
tickets or 10
good for Premium seats for any musical on the mainstage. You can mix
and match tickets, use the tickets for friends, come to multiple
performances of the same show, or spread them out over all shows.
After six years ON Broadway and ten years OFF
Broadway, AVENUE Qhas finally crossed
the Bridge and the Tunnel to come to New Jersey. From the creator
of The Book of Mormon, Avenue Q cannot
be WOKE or CANCELLED!
of the Tony Award "Triple
Crown" (Best Musical, Best Score and Best Book), the show is as
relevant and laugh-out-loud funny today as it ever was. The
content in the show is meant for Adults(and ONLY Adults who
won’t be easily offended by the musical’s content and who will be in
tune with the show’s intent, a positive message for all humankind.) The
show is NOT meant for children.
With music and lyrics by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx
and a book by Jeff Whitty, Avenue Q tells the
timeless story of a recent college grad named Princeton, who moves
into a shabby New York apartment all the way out on Avenue Q, which
he soon discovers is far from an ordinary neighborhood. Filled with
gut-busting humor and a delightfully catchy score, not to mention
puppets, Avenue Q continues to make us laugh, learn
and reconsider the world around us.
The Axelrod’s all-star professional cast of actors and
puppeteers will be directed by Todd LaBron Underwood with
the original Broadway cast of puppets designed (and coached!)
by Rick Lyon, himself a member of the original cast.