Shows announced for Broadway in Scranton series

SCRANTON — Area theatergoers looking for Broadway-styled shows may find the Scranton Cultural Center’s upcoming season somewhat inviting.

Located at 420 North Washington Ave., the Broadway in Scranton series offers a broad variety of mainly musical productions.

Instead of a “One Night Only” show, the touring Broadway-styled productions usually book three nights of performances at the Scranton Cultural Center inside the Masonic Temple.

As with other professional and community theatre groups who announce upcoming season attractions during the summer, the Scranton Cultural Center has locked in the following touring productions:

“A Bronx Tale”

(Oct. 25-27)

Based upon Chazz Palminteri’s one-man show that inspired the movie version, this streetwise musical takes the audience to the stoops of a run-down Bronx neighborhood in the 1960s.

With music by Alan Menken, this tale focuses on a likable young man who is caught between the father he loves, and the mob boss he’d love to be.

“The Play That Goes Wrong”

(Feb. 14-16)

The only non-musical in the Broadway in Scranton lineup, this broad British import features a backstage look at a woebegone troupe, trying to make adjustments to the set, while readying themselves for a first production of a screwball 1920s murder-mystery play.

But as the name implies, everything goes wrong, as a plethora of disasters befall the cast. Lines are forgotten, doors stick, props fall from the walls, fingers are stepped upon, an actor gets stuck in a grandfather clock, floors collapse, and a dog runs off.

“Buddy: The Buddy

Holly Story”

(March 20 -22)

An early example of the jukebox musical, this show, which depicts the rapid rise of Buddy Holly, takes place between 1956 and 1959.

Capitalizing on teenagers’ thirst for the new brand of music branded Rock ‘n’ Roll, the bespectacled Buddy belts out over a dozen tunes, including “That’ll Be The Day,” “Peggy Sue,” “Maybe Baby,” “Why Do Fools Fall In Love?,” “Changing All Those Changes,” and “Shout.”

Joining the jam sessions and singing their own hits are the “Big Bopper” and Richie Valens, both who perished with Buddy Holly in the fatal airplane crash that rocked the music world.

“Fiddler On the Roof”

(April 24-26)

Billed as a “tribute to life, love — and tradition,” this touring production is likely the same company that swings by the CAC on Dec. 17 as an add-on attraction.

Touching audiences with its humor, warmth and honesty, “Fiddler” features a beloved score that always makes the poor milkman Tevye and his family’s struggles an entertaining musical comedy-drama.

Although the tour’s marketing may bill this musical as “Direct from New York,” Broadway’s current version of “Fiddler on the Roof” is directed by Joel Grey, and is sung in Yiddish with English subtitles. So, it’s highly unlikely that’s what audiences will experience when attending this classic musical.

“An American In Paris”

(May 29-31)

This musical play was inspired by the 1951 movie of the same name. After originating in Paris, the dance-happy show transferred to Broadway, where it won four Tony Awards, including Best Choreography.

The setting is Paris, 1945, at the end of the Second World War. Incorporating words and lyrics by George and Ira Gershwin, the popular score includes: “I Got Rhythm,” “S Wonderful,” “Shall We Dance?,” “They Can’t Take That Away From Me,” and the title tune.

As the Scranton Cultural Center’s current marketing efforts proclaim: “Broadway Never Felt so Close”.

For more information, call 570-346-7369.

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