Walton Arts Center announces six shows for upcoming Broadway season

“Moulin Rouge! The Musical” / Photo: Matthew Murphy

During a Monday night event used to announce the upcoming season of Broadway shows coming to the Walton Arts Center, venue officials started not by announcing a new show, but by reminding the audience of one to come in the current season.

The acclaimed musical “Hamilton,” arrives at the downtown Fayetteville arts venue to such acclaim that it has nearly sold out its 16-show run scheduled for March 22-April 4. That’s twice as many shows as a standard Broadway event at the WAC.

Walton Arts Center president and CEO Peter Lane said the visit of “Hamilton” is “proof that Broadway has taken notice of Northwest Arkansas” and its ability to draw in a crowd.

2022-23 Walton Arts Center Broadway Series

Aug. 9-14 – “My Fair Lady”
Sept. 20-25 – “Pretty Woman: The Musical”
Nov. 8-13 – “Chicago”
Jan. 17-22 – “Tootsie”
Feb. 9-19 – “Moulin Rouge! The Musical”
May 23-28 – “Hadestown”

Tickets: Season subscriptions are on sale now and start at $312; single passes go on sale this summer.
Info: 479-571-2785 or waltonartscenter.org
Note: “To Kill a Mockingbird” will also visit Fayetteville, but dates weren’t announced.

The upcoming season 2022-23 Broadway season, he continued, is only further proof of that.

The six-show slate announced by Walton Arts Center officials compiles the most combined Tony victories of any season in the venue’s history. It features three Arkansas debuts and a fourth show that has never been in Arkansas before but will be in Little Rock a week prior to its staging in Northwest Arkansas.

“Our next season is a celebration of women,” Jennifer Ross, the center’s director of programming told the assembled audience, which included previous season ticket holders and members of the media.

It features Broadway staples such as “Chicago” – now celebrating its 25th anniversary – and national tour events such as “Hadestown” and “Moulin Rouge! The Musical.” “Hadestown” won the Tony for best musical in 2019. “Moulin Rouge! The Musical” followed it by claiming the next Tony Award for best musical in a ceremony delayed by the pandemic.

“It’s rare that one season would contain two recent Tony Award-winning best musicals and a Tony Award winner for best revival of a musical,” said Scott Galbraith, vice president of programming and executive producer for Walton Arts Center.

The shows, which begin in August and continue through May 2023, follow the conclusion of the current season. Titles include:

My Fair Lady (Aug. 9-14, 2022)

“My Fair Lady” / Photo by Joan Marcus

The Lincoln Center Theater’s production of the classic musical “My Fair Lady” debuted on Broadway in 2018. Set in London, it is the story of a flower seller who meets a linguistics professor who pledges to make a proper lady out of her. But the petal peddling Eliza’s spirit proves to be a force that changes professor Henry Higgins instead.

Pretty Woman: The Musical (Sept. 20-25, 2022)

“Pretty Woman: The Musical” / Courtesy photo

Based off the 1990 movie starring Richard Gere and Julia Roberts, “Pretty Woman: The Musical” debuted on Broadway in 2018 before launching a national tour in late 2021. The production features choreography from Jerry Mitchell (“Hairspray,” “Kinky Boots”) and original music from ’80s rocker Bryan Adams.

Chicago (Nov. 8-13, 2022)

“Chicago” / Photo: Jeremy Daniel

Twenty-five years after the revival that earned it a Tony for best revival of a musical, “Chicago” is still on Broadway, making it the longest-running revival in Broadway history. A satire on “celebrity” criminals, it tells the story of rival murderesses in Chicago during the jazz age.

Tootsie (Jan. 17-22, 2023)

“Tootsie” / Courtesy photo

When actor Michael Dorsey ends up out of work because of his difficult demeanor, he finds himself in a desperate situation. By transforming into Dorothy Michaels, however, he might have one more chance. With deep inspiration from the 1982 film, “Tootsie” the musical debuted on Broadway in 2019.

Moulin Rouge! The Musical (Feb. 9-19, 2023)

“Moulin Rouge! The Musical” / Photo: Matthew Murphy

The glittering spectacle of a jukebox “Moulin Rouge” movie by Baz Luhrmann was translated to the stage for a 2018 debut in Boston before transferring to Broadway the following year. Many of the pop songs from the original movie were included in the new production, but many songs released since the film’s 2001 debut have since been incorporated into the show.

Hadestown (May 23-28, 2023)

“Hadestown” / Photo by T Charles Erickson

“Hadestown” is based on the Greek myth about Orpheus traveling to the underworld to rescue his lover, Eurydice. Reimagined into a modern story by folk singer Anais Mitchell, the musical earned eight Tony Awards upon its debut.

Walton Arts Center officials also announced a seventh show on Monday night, but fans will have to wait longer for its arrival. “To Kill a Mockingbird,” a touring production of the Aaron Sorkin-penned show on Broadway, will come to Fayetteville as part of the WAC’s 2023-24 season.

Tickets for the six shows in the upcoming season are currently available only as part of season subscription packages.

Other WAC shows such as comedy performances, musical acts and smaller-scale theatrical performances will be announced in the coming months.