Walton Arts Center ‘Books’ new shows for upcoming season

“The Book of Mormon” / Photo by Joan Marcus

Late yesterday afternoon, the Walton Arts Center announced the first slate of Broadway-style shows for its newly renovated Dickson Street location. Included on the roster are several critically acclaimed productions, including what is arguably the biggest get of the season, “The Book of Mormon,” a satire from a team of writers responsible for shows such as “South Park” and “Avenue Q.” This collection of shows start in December, after the conclusion of the current run of productions, and continues through early July 2017.

The center on Tuesday also announced the season subscription packages offered for the upcoming season. Tickets are available as a six-show block that includes all newly announced shows or a five-show set without “The Book of Mormon.” Individual tickets will become available this summer, after the center announces other programming options such as live music performances, dance, comedy and family-friendly entertainment.

2016-17 Broadway Series

For information and ticket purchasing, call the Walton Arts Center box office at 479-443-5600 or visit waltonartscenter.org.

The Book of Mormon” – Dec. 13-18
A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder” – Jan. 10-15
Circus Oz: Straight Up” – Feb. 15-19
Dirty Dancing” – March 8-12
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” – April 18-23
Motown the Musical” – June 27-July 2

“The Book of Mormon,” running Dec. 13-18, comes from “South Park” creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone and “Avenue Q” co-creator Robert Lopez. It’s a religious satire set around a pair of Mormon missionaries attempting to spread their message, and it won nine Tony Awards after debuting on Broadway in 2011.

Following it is the show “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder,” which runs Jan. 10-15. “A Gentleman’s Guide” debuted in 2014 and likewise earned high praise. The comedy focuses on Monty Navarro, who seeks a family fortune and must murder his way through a list of other potential heirs.

The third show in the series is “Circus Oz: Straight Up,” a production from the Circus Oz group of Australian performers. “Straight Up,” which runs Feb. 15-19, blends acrobatics, juggling and aerial displays.

Next will be “Dirty Dancing,” a Broadway staging of the classic dance movie that starred Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey. The stage adaptation visits Fayetteville from March 8-12. A live, onstage band performs the songs of the show, which include “Hungry Eyes” and “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life.”

From April 18-23 comes “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time,” a play based on the award-winning novel by Mark Haddon. The stage adaptation earned high marks as well, including the 2015 Tony for Best Play.

Closing out the Broadway series at the Walton Arts Center will be “Motown the Musical,” which runs from June 27 through July 2. The musical, written by Motown founder Berry Gordy, features hits such as “My Girl” and “Get Ready.”

Ticket packages are on sale now and range from $146.75 for a five-show package on Tuesday and Wednesday nights to $453.95 for a six-show package on weekend nights.