Broadway in Louisiana – big shows, glitzy musicals
Professional touring groups keep theaters across the state alive with glitzy productions straight from The Great White Way.
Eager to experience the glamour and excitement of a Broadway hit? Look no further than Louisiana, where professional touring groups keep theaters across the state abuzz. An added plus: Tickets are reasonable – with each theater offering a variety of price points – so you can splurge on a pre-show dinner.
Fresh off a $27 million renovation, the Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts in New Orleans draws sell-out crowds to its Broadway shows. Each season includes shows pitched to a variety of tastes and age groups, including smash hits like “Wicked,” “West Side Story,” “The Color Purple,” “Spamalot” and “Shrek The Musical.” Soon, Broadway action in the Big Easy will also extend to the Saenger Theatre on famed Canal Street. The Saenger, built as a lavish movie palace in 1927, is being restored to its former glory and will host a lineup of Broadway hits beginning in fall 2011.
The Strand Theatre in Shreveport, an ornate beauty built in 1923 and now restored, brings in six Broadway hits each year, mostly musicals like “Camelot,” “The Wedding Singer” and “The Color Purple.” The lineup always includes a show pitched at youngsters. The Strand’s glamour has led it to be recognized by USA Weekend and AMC Magazine as one of the country’s glitziest theaters for live performances.
Broadway also comes to Cajun Country in Lafayette, where the Theatre League of Louisiana puts on a five-show lineup at the Heymann Performing Arts Center. Musicals make up most of the season. Typical of the offerings are the Monty Python spoof “Spamalot;” “Mamma Mia,” featuring hits by Abba; the always popular “Fiddler on the Roof,” and “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.” The Heymann Center is surrounded by lots of restaurants, many within walking distance.
Visitors to our state’s capital can catch a show at the Baton Rouge River Center, right on the banks of the Mississippi River. The Broadway in Baton Rouge series includes two fall and two spring productions. Typical offerings include the sizzling murder/musical “Chicago,” “Annie” and “All Shook Up.” Shows are held in the center’s 1,900-seat Theatre for the Performing Arts.