Bright Lights, Small City 

Broadway musicals at the Morrison Center

You don't have to go to the Big Apple to experience the spectacle that is New York theater, you can stay right here in Boise and get a front-row seat with the Fred Meyer Broadway in Boise series at the Morrison Center. According to Richard Klautsch--Boise State University's Theater Department chair and a regular on stage at Idaho Shakespeare Festival and Boise Contemporary Theater--Broadway in Boise adds "scale and scope."

"The great thing is that it brings us productions of a scale that none of us [in Boise] can produce," Klautsch said.

In the spirit of the Great White Way, Broadway in Boise recently announced a slate of ambitious shows for its 2013-2014 season.

Chicago

Sept. 13-15

Vaudevillian Velma Kelly and chorus girl Roxie Hart are stage performers serving time for murder in the Cook County Jail, hoping to turn their murderess-of-the-week notoriety into career reboots with the help of Billy Flynn, a lawyer with a knack for springing his clients and turning them into media sensations.

Memphis

Oct. 9-11

Interracial love in 1950s Memphis, Tenn., was a life-defining stigma. Then again, you could say the same thing about the early days of rock music. Huey Calhoun is a white radio shock jock who won his DJ job spinning African-American rock 'n' roll on the airwaves. His secret love, the musically talented Felicia--an African-American--is torn by her love for Huey and the fear that their relationship could doom them both. Together they navigate racial tension and the changing face of rock 'n' roll.

Mannheim Steamroller Christmas by Chip Davis

Nov. 27

Chip Davis vehicle Mannheim Steamroller is set to bowl over Boise audiences Wednesday, Nov. 27. The group went big after its 1984 album, Mannheim Steamroller Christmas, spawning 12 Christmas albums, including A Fresh Aire Christmas and Christmas in the Aire. At this Broadway in Boise event, the band will play Christmas songs from across its recording career.

Green Day's American Idiot

Dec. 2

Dissatisfaction with blase suburban existence fueled the music of the 1990s, but few of the bands that mined loathing for perfectly manicured front yards have had the longevity of San Francisco punk outfit Green Day. American Idiot, a musical based on the band's 2004 album of the same name, tells the story of the generation that came of age in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, through the eyes of seven people living in a chaotic world and in relationships that aren't always what they seem. It's a story about lives built upon--and sometimes ruined by--sex, drugs and war, all set to the anthems of American Idiot.

The Addams Family

Dec. 14-15

Before there was Wes Anderson and his films about neurotic prodigies, there was The Addams Family. The forebearers of the Tenenbaums include billionaire pinstriped paterfamilias Gomez; his beloved wife Morticia; and the Addams children, Pugsley and Wednesday (among other assorted oddball relatives). The story centers on Wednesday, who has grown to adulthood and fallen in love with a smart but conspicuously normal young man whom her parents have never met. When she tells her father about her secret love, she puts Gomez in the awkward position of having to withhold information from his wife about their daughter's decidedly un-sinister, non-murderous beau.

Hello, Dolly!

March 4-6

Dolly is a matchmaker angling for the affections of the curmudgeonly Horace, while assisting young artist Ambrose in winning the hand of Horace's niece. Meanwhile, Horace's clerks, Cornelius and Barnaby, leave Yonkers, N.Y., for the Big Apple in search of loves of their own. As the romantic ties between characters become increasingly tangled, the action and hilarity reach a crescendo, which spills from a fancy New York restaurant into the night court.

Wicked

April 16-May 4

Everyone in Oz has a backstory, including Elphaba--better known as the green-skinned Wicked Witch of the West. This musical explains Elphaba's sympathetic origins. A loyal sister to the Wicked Witch of the East, she gave her sister her trademark ruby pumps. At first no ally to Glinda, the Good Witch of the North, the two become friends just in time to discover the treachery and corruption of the Wizard's government.

The Broadway in Boise series is a coup for theatergoers--and for theater students at Boise State, whom the Morrison Center hires as stagehands for each show. When Wicked made its Boise debut in 2011, students spent weeks preparing the Morrison Center stage for this visually ambitious musical.

"It's a great opportunity for our students," Klautsch said.

But in true Broadway fashion, the emphasis is on the audience. The 2013-14 season has comedy, tragedy and everything in between--including reprises of record-breaking performances and new engagements of big-name shows.

"This marks the biggest Broadway series in the Center's history," said Morrison Center Executive Director James Patrick.

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