Behind the Scenes with Lilly Irwin and Our Upcoming Broadway Series

Vice President of Communications for The Hanover Theatre and Conservatory Lisa Condit spoke with Communications Manager Lilly Irwin about our 2021-2022 Broadway Series. Read on for highlights from the interview, or listen to the full interview below. Then tune in to Talk of the Commonwealth with Hank Stolz on WCRN 830AM Fridays at 9 AM and Saturdays at 1 PM for more behind-the-scenes interviews.

Lisa: It’s so much fun that we’re kicking off our Broadway Series with Escape to Margaritaville. It’s so perfect because it’s all about fun, obviously in a safe way. We are so fortunate that we also have sponsors for all our Broadway shows already lined up and committed, we do want to give a special shout out to the Club at Rockland Trust. Lily can you give us some of your favorite tidbits that you learned or what you’re really looking forward to?  

Lilly: First and foremost, I think I’m just excited to be back in a theatre and to see theatre live. I was watching Hairspray a couple weeks ago and I started crying because it felt so good to just be immersed in a musical. I felt so dumb, but I was like, this is amazing and I can’t wait to do it in person!  

Lisa: It’s funny that you chose Hairspray, that was our very first musical when the theatre opened back in 2008. If was there, I would have cried with you.  

Color image of characters from Escape to Margaritaville playing guitar and looking lovingly at eachother.

An Exciting Season Ahead

Lilly: It’s perfect that we’re opening with Escape to Margaritaville, it is a party from beginning to end. It has a lot of Jimmy Buffett songs that you know and love, mixed with some original music.

Then we head on to The Band’s Visit, which is also sponsored by The Club at Rockland Trust. It is a beautiful story. The music is great, it just brought me home because my god parents are from the Middle East, so a lot of the music really made me feel at home. 

Color image of The Band's Visit featuring a female character in the center with band members in uniform playing instruments all around her.

Lisa: That’s key with The Bands Visit, the music immerses you in movement and really creates a special mood. What are some of the highlights? 

Lilly: This is also one of those special musicals where the cast plays the music. It is about a band who gets lost and ends up in the wrong town because of their accents and they crash with somebody that they do not know, and they learn a lot about themselves and each other. It is very musically driven, and I just find it a beautiful story. 

Lisa: I can’t wait to see it. Then we move into one of the tried-and-true favorite musicals of all time, CATS, generously sponsored by Country Bank.  

CATS was the very first musical I saw on Broadway. My parents took my family to see a Broadway show, and my dad felt like that was the quintessential introduction to Broadway. I will admit that I was expecting there to be a story about the cats, but no, it is really about all the characters.  

What makes CATS a wonderful experience is that each one of the cat characters come to life and they have a song that describes them and their movement. It is a wonderful musical for people who just want to have some fun, escape and really be entertained with fabulous scores and musical selections. 

Color image from CATS featuring one of the cat characters leaping in the air and staring intensely into the camera.

Lisa: Next, we have Summer: The Donna Summer Musical. What a fascinating story it is. Generously sponsored by Bay State Savings Bank. Tell us about it. 

Lilly: Summer is one of those fun musicals. She has a lot of music that people know, but they do not know that they know, like Carole King with Beautiful.  

Lisa: I love the quote from Entertainment Weekly, “Summer delivers the seasonal sunshine with toe-tappingly familiar songs, stellar performances, shiny costumes and a reminder of the impact of its subject on the music industry at large.” That is a fantastic way to sum it up.  

Color image of Donna Summer's character multiplied by three singing passionately into a microphone with a dream-like blue background.
Color image of Blue Man Group playing the drums as paint splashes into the air.

Lisa: Then we have the return of Blue Man Group, they say “The men are still blue but everything else is new.”  What are some of the new things that we can expect with Blue Man Group, which is generously sponsored by Berkshire Bank

Lilly: The thing I love about Blue Man Group is that they are on the down low about what their new tricks are and when you see it, you are amazed at the new things that they have come up with. They always have that cool unique music that they create out of anything and everything, corn pops included.  

Lisa: We move right from Blue Man Group into AnastasiaAnastasia has been one of the blockbusters that we were really looking forward to, generously sponsored by Cornerstone Bank.

Color image of the character of Anastasia with arms outstretched, mouth open in song in front of a pink background of the city of Paris and the Eiffel Tower.

Lilly: The music from Anastasia is incredibly beautiful, sweeping, sometimes classical with Russian influence and it is that classic story that a lot of people know.  

Lisa: It is based on a true story, which is incredible. This show transports audiences from the twilight of the Russian empire to the euphoria of Paris in the 1920s as a brave young woman set out to discover the mystery of her past.  

Then we have The Prom, tell us about the back story because it’s very interesting. 

Lilly: It’s funny, it’s charming, it’s heartwarming, the overall message is love is love, live your life and celebrate who you are. It’s like Mean Girls in that it is about a girl in high school, things don’t go her way and celebrities hear about what happened and they decide that for their own personal reasons, they’re going to get involved and take action. Over the course of meeting this girl and getting to know her and her circumstances, they really grow as individuals and learn to place her above themselves, which is a first for them 

Lisa: It’s an all-star creative team that has put this together, with the choreography, with the music, with the singing. Generously sponsored by Fidelity Investments. The New York Times chose it as a critic’s pick, so we know it must be good because they’re very particular. The Prom is really rounding out our full season, and it is ideal for right now, there are so many kids and students who this really appeals to. 

Color image of the cast of The Prom onstage, posing mid song with arms outstretched.