The Hanover Theatre’s 2022-2023 Broadway Season with Ashleigh Prince and Sarah Hallowell

Michael James Scott as The Genie in Aladdin. He is singing and looking out to the audience, with his left arm reaching out. His outfit is blue and he has a red belt.

Ashleigh Prince sat down with communications manager Sarah Hallowell to talk about the upcoming 2022-2023 Broadway season, subscriber benefits and more! Read on for highlights from the interview, or listen to the full interview below. 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.

Ashleigh: Good morning, everyone. Welcome back to Behind the Scenes at The Hanover Theatre. Today, we have a brand new guest to the show but not brand new to the theatre, Sarah Hallowell. Hi, Sarah!

Sarah: Hi! I’m happy to be here.

Ashleigh: We’re happy to have you on. For everyone that’s not familiar with you or hasn’t met you yet, Sarah has been here since October but she hasn’t appeared on the show yet. Why don’t you introduce yourself?

Sarah: I’m Sarah and I am the communications manager here at The Hanover Theatre. I actually started in the ticketing office here as an assistant manager. I’ve been in the ticketing world and now I’m more in the communications and marketing world, and it’s been a very fun time!

Ashleigh: She is a superstar. She’s been doing so many things around our department and making sure that everyone is on top of things. Thank you for coming on today, Sarah.

Sarah: I’m excited!

Tootsie

Ashleigh: Today, we are diving into our next Broadway season. We’re about to wrap up our previous Broadway season with The Band’s Visit and I know everyone is super excited about that. Now, we’re talking about what we’re looking forward to starting in September. Our first show is Tootsie. Tootsie will be coming September 29 – October 2, sponsored by Country Bank. We are so excited to have this kicking off of our season. I don’t know if you’ve looked at the sizzle reels, but it looks like it is a comedy hit. It’s full of razzle dazzle and I’m super excited to see it on our stage.

Sarah: Yeah, it looks like comedy central for sure. I think it’s the type of musical that you’re going to be laughing the whole time you’re watching it and having a great time with other adults.

The cast of Tootsie dances on stage. Behind them, a city skyline is on the wall and a big light-up sign that says "Tootsie." The cast all has their right arm raised.
The cast of the National Tour of TOOTSIE. Photo by Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade.

Ashleigh: Yes, this show is not a particularly a family show. It’s not exactly Mrs. Doubtfire, even though some people relate the two. They’re not exactly the same, and there are a lot of “F-bombs” and adult humor. Maybe a girls night or an adult family trip is what you’re going to be gearing for for Tootsie. I don’t know if anyone is familiar out there with the movie starring Dustin Hoffman, but this is based off of the movie. It’s slightly updated, so instead of the main character trying out for a soap opera, he’s actually trying to break into Broadway in this production.

Sarah: I like that. It’s Broadway inside of Broadway, so that’s fun.

Ashleigh: Yes, it’s very meta. I’ve heard so many good things about it, of it being hilarious and people still laughing about it after they’ve left the theatre. I think that we’re really in for a treat to kick off our 22-23 season.

Sarah: For sure!

Ashleigh: If you’re looking forward to Tootsie coming to The Hanover Theatre September 29 – October 2, let’s take a listen to a song from the soundtrack called “Unstoppable.”

MEAN GIRLS

Ashleigh: The next show in the season is Mean Girls coming October 11-16. I know that people are excited for this one to come to Worcester because it was supposed to come to Worcester in 2020 during the 2020-2021 season that never was. It is finally officially coming here and I could not be more excited.

Sarah: Yeah, I’m excited for this one. I loved watching Mean Girls in high school. I need to watch it again because I definitely need to get back into it.

Ashleigh: I was doing a little bit of research for Tina Fey’s birthday which was a couple of weeks ago. She is currently working on bringing the musical to film, so it’s going to be a movie turned musical turned movie.

Sarah: That’s very cool!

Ashleigh: She’s working on the script and getting all of that together, so I think we can expect that in the next coming years. Tina Fey is so funny, and just the sheer fan power of people who love Mean Girls is ginormous. People are really passionate about the show and passionate about the movie. I think that the show has enough differences from the actual movie that it’ll still feel fresh.

The cast of Mean Gils performs on stage. The "Plastics" are in the center stage, wearing pink and standing in front of a pink backdrop. On the sides, classmates look on.
The National Touring Company of Mean Girls. Credit: © 2021 Jenny Anderson

Sarah: I think the musical side of things is going to feel different, too. I’m excited to listen to the soundtrack more and see how they turn the movie into a musical with fun songs about everything.

Ashleigh: They’re so fun with their social media. I keep track of all of our upcoming regular and Broadway shows very frequently on social and Mean Girls is so on it for this month. They’re sharing reading lists for Pride Month with different resources that you can go through while we’re celebrating the LGBTQIA+ community. They did the same thing for API history month, so they’re really great. If you haven’t followed them yet, go on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and head over to their social media. They’re really, really great!

Sarah: Nice! I’ll check it out, too.

Ashleigh: While we’re getting ready for Mean Girls, let’s listen to “Meet The Plastics.”

Disney’s aladdin

Sarah: Next up, we have Aladdin. Aladdin is coming to us from November 3-6. This one I actually got to see in New York. I recently went to New York, and I got to have some fun and see some Broadway shows. Aladdin is absolutely a beautiful show. It is full of color, incredible choreography and incredible singing. It is such a fun show and a fun family show. I love the costumes and the set is beautiful. The Genie is so fun to watch. He is just hilarious and makes me laugh the whole time. He makes you feel like you’re part of the story, so it’s a really fun time. The magic carpet was one of the highlights for me watching the show because it’s like magic on stage. You don’t know how it’s happening, it feels like magic and you can’t see any strings. I was just trying to look for strings the whole time and it’s just magic on stage.

Ashleigh: I know! Lisa was talking about it because I think she saw it at Broadway League, too. I heard that Troy knows how it works. He asked someone behind the scenes how they get that carpet to suspend. You can’t see anything and it’s a very intricate cable system. He mentioned it in passing one day but I need to learn a little bit more about that. I need to really get in there and figure out the science of it all. As a big Disney fan, I cannot wait for Aladdin to come to The Hanover Theatre.

The Genie and Aladdin stand above other cast members of Aladdin on stage. The Genie is wearing a blue outfit and they are surrounded by a gold set.
Michael James Scott (Genie) and Michael Maliakel (Aladdin) in Aladdin on Broadway. Photo by Matthew Murphy.

Ashleigh: I know that people love Frozen, but I think Aladdin takes precedent. The music, the colors and the costumes are just pure magic and I cannot wait to have it in the city of Worcester. Aladdin is proudly sponsored by Cornerstone Bank, so thank you Cornerstone Bank! I am just so eager to prepare for this show. We were going through the marketing materials before we started working on advertising, and I think we’re going to have a really fun time doing it.

Sarah: I think it’s important to know that there’s different spins on it. It’s not just the movie on stage. A lot of the music has different things that are added into the lyrics and part of the storyline that makes it fun and something new.

Ashleigh: Yeah! There was recently like a live action adaptation of Aladdin that came out a year or two ago that everyone really liked, starring Will Smith as the Genie. I would say that this show is even different from that movie because they did their own thing. The movie did its own thing and this is its own thing, but with those classic characters that we all know and love. Without further ado, let’s jump into “One Jump Ahead” from the Aladdin soundtrack.

annie

Sarah: Next, we have Annie. Annie is a classic and it’s coming to us February 23-26. I’m kind of a newbie to Annie. I have not seen Annie on stage, which I think a lot of people will be surprised about and angry at me for not seeing it. I am thinking I haven’t seen the movie either, so I’m excited to see this one. I know for a lot of people, maybe you’ve seen it a few times, but I’m excited.

Ashleigh: I was talking to one of our brand ambassadors, Sarah Garofalo, and she hasn’t seen it either. We’re all going to have to sit down, watch the movie and listen to the soundtrack together so that we can all get on the same page about Annie. Annie has a special place in my heart because it was my introduction to musical theatre. It was my very first show in fourth grade. I was Grace Farrell and I was so excited. I still remember working on it and all the rehearsals. I’m so eager to have this on our stage. Annie has come to The Hanover Theatre before, but it hasn’t been here in recent years. This is a brand-new tour and it’s directed by Jenn Thompson, the original Pepper from the musical. I think that’s a really fun and interesting twist if you if you’re into behind-the-scenes things like that.

Annie walks down a staircase wearing a red dress, and kicks her leg in the air. The set is decorated for Christmas and there is a giant Christmas tree next to the stairs. Her family waits at the bottom of the stairs.
2014 ANNIE Tour. Photos by Joan Marcus. 

Ashleigh: Annie is such a classic just like CATS. There are people that have seen it a million times and there are people that are still discovering it today. So, whether you’re on the obsessed end of the spectrum or just finding out and looking forward to tomorrow, I think that we’re all going to have a lot of fun with this one.

Sarah: I know about the dog, I know that much. I’m hoping Sandy is there.

Ashleigh: Our Sandy was a little scruffy 90-year-old pup that had one eye. I think the Broadway Sandy is a little bit more together. I’m really excited to take a trip down memory lane with Annie. Annie is sponsored by the Club at Rockland Trust, so thank you Club at Rockland Trust! Now, let’s listen to “Easy Street,” one of my personal favorites.

hadestown

Ashleigh: All aboard! Next up, we’re talking about Hadestown and I am so excited. This is a highlight of the season for me.

Sarah: I didn’t know anything about Hadestown before we announced it, but I did get the privilege of being able to see it in New York as well. It’s such a beautiful show in a different way than Aladdin. It’s not the colors and the showiness of Aladdin, but it’s beautiful in the story that it’s telling. There’s even almost a grunge to Hadestown and I love that. It’s a great story about hope, the power of community and telling the story again and again. It’s not like any musical I’ve ever seen before. It’s something that really makes you think and is different than a classic Broadway show, so I really enjoyed that.

Ashleigh: All throughout The Band’s Visit, we’ve been talking about how it’s a 10-time Tony® Award winner. Hadesown is a winner of eight Tony® Awards as of 2019 and a Grammy® Award winner, so this is a Broadway smash hit. It’s still fairly new and a lot of people are still diving into it. I got obsessed with it via soundtrack because I’m still a theater kid at heart. Of course, I’m streaming it on Spotify and all the things. I just fell in love with the sound, and I don’t think I’ve heard another musical like it. It’s kind of offbeat but it’s fun and fresh. I love the way that they harmonize and how the cast kind of like changes and evolves. I think everyone’s going to be in for a treat when this one comes to The Hanover Theatre.

Three characters from the cast of Hadestown  stand center stage with people and instruments gathered around them. Behind them on a balcony are two people looking down at them.
Kevyn Morrow, Kimberly Marable, Nicholas Barsch, Levi Kreis and Morgan Siobhan Green in the Hadestown North American tour. Photo by T. Charles Erickson.

Sarah: The music is definitely one of the highlights. I love that the band is on stage so you can see the whole band as well and they are a part of the story and cast. It’s very New Orleans and jazzy-feeling. It’s very fun music.

Ashleigh: I love like the swinging lights in the sizzle reel.

Sarah: “Wait for Me” is one of my favorites.

Ashleigh: I am a big Greek mythology fan. I was all over the Percy Jackson series when I was younger. I read all the books and had to read up on every Greek god that there ever was. I really like that this is Greek mythology, but with a New Orleans twist.

Sarah: Yeah, and a twist on today. It also touches on issues that our world is facing. It touches on climate change with “Spring will come again,” and with Persephone. If you know nothing about Greek mythology, you still know about the world you’re living in. It touches on climate change, inclusivity and big businesses with Hades and what he’s running.

Ashleigh: If you’re not like huge into Greek mythology and you don’t know who everyone is, they do a great job of explaining it. I think that you’ll have no problems catching up to the whole world and the story that they built around it.

Sarah: Even if you don’t know what’s going on, the music is amazing.

Ashleigh: We have a Spotify playlist that people can listen to. It’s a few pieces of each soundtrack of every show that’s in our next Broadway season, the 2022-2023 Broadway season. If you just go on Spotify and you look for The Hanover Theatre, we have a couple of playlists that you can comb through to get ready for the show and listen on your way to the theatre. Let’s listen to “Livin’ it Up on Top.”

jesus christ superstar

Ashleigh: Last but certainly not least, we have Jesus Christ Superstar coming to The Hanover Theatre April 27-30, sponsored by Baystate Savings Bank.

Sarah: This one is also a classic but I also have never seen it. I know that this year is the 50th anniversary tour. Even if you’ve seen Jesus Christ Superstar before, I’ve heard that it’s a total revamp of the show and the music and show itself is going to be different than what you’ve seen before. I think that’s exciting.

Ashleigh: I’ve been saying this to the staff as we’ve been in meetings talking about the about the season. This season complements the last season so well. CATS is the same way. Everyone loves CATS and seen CATS, which is an Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber one as well. Jesus Christ Superstar is the same situation where everyone loves it and has heard the soundtrack bajillion times. Everyone’s review after CATS was, “Wow, oh my God. That is so different from the CATS that I saw 30 years ago. It is fresh and fun and the choreography is amazing.” This is the exact same way. It is the Jesus Christ Superstar that you know and love, but with a fresh new tour.

The cast of Jesus Christ Superstar dances on stage. One dancer centerstage is holding a device that is releasing colorful smoke as they dance. There are spotlights coming from behind them and the backdrop is black.
The company of Jesus Christ Superstar

Ashleigh: It is the 50th anniversary tour and it is not like you have seen before. It is fresh with the costuming and the music. It’s way more rocking than it was. I know that they’ve done a really great job of posting content on their social media to kind of give you a sense of what it is today.

Sarah: Yeah, it looks like a rock concert and has almost a concert feel from the videos that I’ve seen.

Ashleigh: John Legend was in a live performance of Jesus Christ Superstar and it was totally different. It was not what I was expecting at all, so I think that this new tour is really going to breathe new life into the show. It’s a classic, but I think that we’re revisiting it with new eyes. We have some really big Broadway heavy hitters.

Sarah: It’s exciting!

Ashleigh: Let’s take a listen to a classic “Superstar.”

Ashleigh: That brings us to the end of our 2022-2023 Broadway series recap. To wrap things up today, I’d like Sarah to give us some info. If someone’s interested in subscribing, what are our benefits? What can what can we look forward to?

Sarah: Subscribers have lots of benefits. The first benefit is that you’re getting the best seats and you’re getting them earlier than anyone else. You have first access to the best seats in our theatre. You also get discounted ticket for the Broadway shows and discounted tickets on other shows that we have here at the theatre. We also just announced that our subscribers for this next season can come tour the theatre for free. We have some historic and architectural tours of the theatre which I was able to go on and they are very cool. It is very cool to learn about the history of this building and this theatre. There’s so many other benefits that subscribers have. Subscribe today to get the best seats available for the best price at TheHanoverTheatre.org.