“This season is an absolute all-star season,” Sutton said. “It’s a season of all winners. ‘Come From Away’ is a particularly heartwarming show everyone needs in their life in terms of stories that inspire us instead of tear us down.”
As a father, Sutton is equally moved by the cross-generational message of connection and identity fueling emotions within “Dear Evan Hansen,” a cautionary tale of a teenager longing for acceptance. The acclaimed 2016 musical received six Tonys including best musical, best score and best book as well as the Grammy for best musical theater album.
“I’ve seen how this pandemic has really hurt the mental health of children,” he said. “We have a pandemic and we also have an epidemic. It’s really hard to find ways to talk to kids about difficult things, especially teenagers who want to be independent but perhaps they’re just not there yet. So, a show like ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ is a fine example in which all of us can latch onto the same sense of community, which is great.”
Sutton says Dayton Live began surveying their audience last spring in order to consistently measure whether or not there was a desire to return to live performance. He recently noted a sizable shift in attitude and momentum among those ready to come back, especially as vaccinations entered the equation.
“Our audience wants to share experiences together again,” he said. “It will take a little while depending on how comfortable people feel, but I think we’re going to have another Roaring Twenties. A lot of sociologists have said people are going to want to live, to feel alive again. I don’t know what that will mean for this season in particular, but as we go through the next few years, we will definitely see it. I have confidence Dayton Live will be in very high demand.”
Broadway Series aside, Dayton Live has also announced an array of additional crowd-pleasing options from the legendary “CATS” and dynamic percussion of “Drum Tao” to the culinary expertise of Alton Brown and an intimate evening with celebrated humorist David Sedaris. Regarding diverse family-friendly fare, “The Hip Hop Nutcracker,” a new take on the holiday staple, sounds promising.
“It’s a really cool show that uses the Tchaikovsky score with urban, hip-hop movement,” Sutton said. “It’s been a huge hit around the country and it’s (a chance) for us to go outside-the-box.”
Proving how confident the organization is about the upcoming season, all dates for the Broadway Series are contractually set in stone. In turn, the opportunity for theatergoers to optimistically mark their calendars now is at least one indication there is indeed a light at the end of the pandemic tunnel.
“These are not tentative dates,” Sutton said. “I know the news is tough right now in terms of rising COVID cases, but we still feel we’re on a realistic course. Our first show is six months from now, which feels very realistic to me. I can’t predict COVID more than anybody else, but with all the information we have, and with conversations with our fellow performing arts centers around the state and country along with state governments, we feel very confident we will be putting on these shows. We’re going to have a lot of great programming for people to enjoy.”
2021-2022 Premier Health Broadway in Dayton Series
(Show descriptions provided by Dayton Live)
Jan. 26-Feb. 6, 2022 — Schuster Center
“Hamilton” is the story of America then, told by America now. Featuring a score that blends hip-hop, jazz, R&B and Broadway, “Hamilton” has taken the story of American founding father Alexander Hamilton and created a revolutionary moment in theater — a musical that has had a profound impact on culture, politics and education.
DEAR EVAN HANSEN
March 8-13, 2022 — Schuster Center
A letter that was never meant to be seen, a lie that was never meant to be told, a life he never dreamed he could have. Evan Hansen is about to get the one thing he’s always wanted: a chance to finally fit in. “Dear Evan Hanson” is the deeply personal and profoundly contemporary musical about life and the way we live it. “Dear Evan Hanson” has struck a remarkable chord with audiences and critics everywhere, including The Washington Post who says “Dear Evan Hanson” is “one of the most remarkable shows in musical theatre history.”
COME FROM AWAY
April 6-10, 2022 — Schuster Center
This New York Times Critics’ Pick takes you into the heart of the remarkable true story of 7,000 stranded passengers and the small town in Newfoundland that welcomed them. Cultures clashed and nerves ran high, but uneasiness turned into trust, music soared into the night, and gratitude grew into enduring friendships. Don’t miss this breathtaking new musical written by Tony nominees Irene Sankoff and David Hein, and helmed by Tony-winning director Christopher Ashley. Newsweek cheers, “It takes you to a place you never want to leave!” On 9/11, the world stopped. On 9/12, their stories moved us all.
May 31-June 5, 2022 — Schuster Center
“Mean Girls” is the hilarious hit musical from an award-winning creative team, including book writer Tina Fey. Cady Heron may have grown up on an African savanna, but nothing prepared her for the vicious ways of her strange new home: suburban Illinois. Soon, this naïve newbie falls prey to a trio of lionized frenemies led by the charming but ruthless Regina George. But when Cady devises a plan to end Regina’s reign, she learns the hard way that you can’t cross a Queen Bee without getting stung. New York Magazine cheers, “‘Mean Girls’ delivers with immense energy, a wicked sense of humor and joyful inside-jokery.”
FIDDLER ON THE ROOF
June 21-26, 2022 — Schuster Center
Rich with hits you know and love, including “Tradition,” “Sunrise, Sunset,” “If I Were a Rich Man,” “Matchmaker, Matchmaker” and “To Life,” “Fiddler on the Roof” is the heartwarming story of fathers and daughters, husbands and wives, and life, love and laughter.
JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR
Aug. 2-7, 2022 — Schuster Center
“Jesus Christ Superstar” is an iconic musical phenomenon with a worldwide fan base. In celebration of its 50th anniversary, a new mesmerizing production comes to North America. Originally staged by London’s Regent Park Open Air Theatre, this production won the 2017 Olivier Award for Best Musical Revival garnering unprecedented reviews and accolades. Appealing to both theater audiences and concert music fans, this production pays tribute to the historic 1971 Billboard Album of the Year while creating a modern, theatrical world that is uniquely fresh and inspiring.
Broadway in Dayton Series Reminders
· Season ticket holders from the 2020-2021 Premier Health Broadway in Dayton Series will have their subscription tickets rolled into the new 2021-2022 season. They will receive a statement of account from the Dayton Live Ticket Office which will confirm their seat locations and any amounts due. Contact the Ticket Office with any questions at (937) 228-3630 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, season tickets are the best way to guarantee seats to these Broadway hits and are the way to go to get the best seats at the best price. Season ticket holders get many perks, including advance opportunities to purchase tickets before they go on sale to the general public.
· Single tickets will go on sale late in the summer or early in the fall for most shows including “Hamilton.” Patrons should sign up to receive Dayton Live’s emails and follow Dayton Live on social media to be sure to hear the latest on-sale information.
Additional performances and series being announced in chronological order:
Oct. 15-17, 2021 – Victoria Theatre – Projects Unlimited Star Attractions
Nov. 23-28, 2021 – Schuster Center – Premier Health Broadway in Dayton (not on season package)
GRIMMZ FAIRY TALES
Nov. 6-7, 2021 – Victoria Theatre – Dayton Children’s Family Series
THAT GOLDEN GIRLS SHOW! A PUPPET PARODY
Nov. 9, 2021 – Victoria Theatre – Projects Unlimited Star Attractions
DAVID SEDARIS LIVE
Dec. 1, 2021 – Victoria Theatre
THE HIP HOP NUTCRACKER
Dec. 3, 2021 – Victoria Theatre – Dayton Children’s Family Series
STRAIGHT NO CHASER
Dec. 22, 2021 – Schuster Center
CLASSIC ALBUMS LIVE: LED ZEPPELIN II
Jan. 7, 2022 – Victoria Theatre – Universal One Credit Union Music Series
RONAN DONOVAN: SOCIAL BY NATURE
Jan. 9-10, 2022 – Victoria Theatre – National Geographic Live Series Sponsored by Subaru of America and Wagner Subaru
CLASSIC ALBUMS LIVE: CREDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL – CHRONICLES
Feb. 4, 2022 – Victoria Theatre – Universal One Credit Union Music Series
KARA COONEY: WHEN WOMEN RULED THE WORLD
Feb. 20-21, 2022 – Victoria Theatre – National Geographic Live Series Sponsored by Subaru of America and Wagner Subaru
THE PRICE IS RIGHT LIVE
March 6, 2022 – Schuster Center
March 10, 2022 – Victoria Theatre – Projects Unlimited Star Attractions
ANDY MANN: FROM SUMMIT TO SEA
March 14-15, 2022 – Victoria Theatre – National Geographic Live Series Sponsored by Subaru of America and Wagner Subaru
THE PEKING ACROBATS
March 16, 2022 – Victoria Theatre – Dayton Children’s Family Series
ALTON BROWN LIVE
March 23, 2022 – Schuster Center – Projects Unlimited Star Attractions
RED HOT CHILLI PIPERS
April 21, 2022 – Victoria Theatre – Universal 1 Credit Union Music Series
CLASSIC ALBUMS LIVE: AC/DC – BACK IN BLACK
April 30, 2022 – Victoria Theatre – Universal 1 Credit Union Music Series
On sale dates will be announced at a later time. Visit DaytonLive.org for more information. All performances, dates and times are subject to change.