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A sweeping saga of the mythic west and the pursuit of the American Dream, Lerner & Lowe’s Paint Your Wagon is filled with some of the greatest songs ever written for the musical stage: “They Call the Wind Maria,” “I’m On My Way,” “I Talk to the Trees,” and “I Was Born Under a Wand’rin Star.” Now, audiences can experience this lusty musical set in the rough and tumble world of the 1849 California Gold Rush as it has never been seen before. Paint Your Wagon is a reinvented classic.
The 5th Avenue Theatre commissioned celebrated writer Jon Marans to create a new book for the show, and Seattle and Saint Paul audiences will be the first in the world to see this new incarnation of this thrilling musical adventure.
Like the very best art forms, musical theater grew out of a need to communicate and consistently sought to redress corruption, ignorance, and injustice; while pushing for understanding, integrity, and tolerance. Whether dealing directly with racism in shows like Show Boat and Shuffle Along, anti-Semitism, as in Cabaret, exposing political corruption, as in Fiorello, or addressing the challenges of Generation X, as in RENT, Broadway IS a subversive activity. Entertaining you while subtly addressing the issues at hand.
Broadway Songbook®: REBELS! on Broadway, explores the many shows in which Broadway bucked the status quo, and through sheer entertainment, woke us up. These are the rebels of Broadway.
This season’s holiday show is one of the most requested shows in the history of the Ordway: Irving Berlin’s White Christmas.
Based on the timeless film which starred Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, and Vera Ellen, this sparkling musical will dazzle you with big dance numbers and the unforgettable songs of Russian-Jewish immigrant, Izzy Baline, better known as Irving Berlin. You’ll hear songs like “Blue Skies”, “I Love A Piano”, “How Deep Is the Ocean”, and of course, the perennial favorite, “White Christmas”. And inside the theater, there will be lots and lots of snow!
The struggle to find one’s identity is unapologetically brash and agonizingly brave in the Tony Award®-winning rock musical, Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Fueled by heartbreak, acceptance, and redemption, the Hedwig pours her heart and soul into one last performance that can only be described as brilliantly innovative and wickedly funny.
Revived on Broadway in 2014, John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask’s landmark American musical ran for over 500 triumphant performances and featured 6 different actors in the leading role, including: Neil Patrick Harris, Michael C. Hall, and Taye Diggs.
Brilliantly innovative, heartbreaking, and wickedly funny, HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH is the landmark American musical that is “groundbreaking and undoubtedly ahead of its time” (Entertainment Weekly).
Snap. Snap. Snap. Love and loyalties will be tested as the Sharks and the Jets battle for control of New York’s streets. This production will be brought to life through a collaboration with artistic leaders from the Twin Cities Puerto Rican community.
From the first notes to the final breath, West Side Story is considered one of the greatest musicals of all time. Arthur Laurents' book remains powerful, poignant, and timeless and the score by Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim is widely regarded as a masterpiece.
This Ordway production will be brought to life through a collaboration with artistic leaders from the Twin Cities community, including Teatro del Pueblo’s artistic director, Al Justiniano, and fueled by an investment in the training of multi-racial artists in the Twin Cites community over a two-year process. This project will create professional career opportunities and offers developmental programs for racially diverse, professional artists and aspiring entry level young people, in all aspects of working in the performing arts.
Hollywood has consistently looked to Broadway as a source of inspiration for films, such as The Sound of Music, Cabaret, Fiddler on the Roof, and West Side Story and in the past decade, Broadway has returned the favor, turning non-musical films into terrific stage musicals, like The Color Purple, Legally Blonde, and Kinky Boots.
The Broadway and Hollywood edition of Broadway Songbook® explores the dance between these two giants of entertainment.
An American in Paris tells the story of Army veteran Jerry Mulligan. Eager to begin his life anew after the brutality of World War II, he chooses newly-liberated Paris as the place to make a name for himself, but his new life becomes complicated when he meets Lise, a young Parisian shop girl with a mysterious secret.
A romantic tangle ensues as Jerry’s own friends also vie for Lise’s love, and it can only be untied through the iconic dance numbers set to some of the greatest music and lyrics ever written. This classic American film about young souls in the city of love has been reimagined for the stage of the 21st century.
On October 8, Martha Redbone will bring us Bone Hill: The Concert, in which 12 musical cast members will become the characters from four generations of a family living high atop the Appalachian Mountains, and take the audience on an unexpected exploration of family, history, and identity in America. Inspired by Martha Redbone’s own life, and the lives of the women from whom she is descended, the stories of the Bone family members are told in a communal narrative style interspersed with dramatic scenes and driven by songs that span a swathe of American songwriting to create a collision of musical cultures.
Ranging from traditional Cherokee chants and lullabies to bluegrass and blues, country, gospel, jazz, Rock & Roll, R & B, and funk, the styles featured in this performance are as diverse as the people who inspired it, providing an engrossing entry into our season-long celebration of the artistic voices of artists that speak from Native American heritages.
Step Afrika, the first professional company dedicated to the art of stepping, will bring to the stage their new production, “The Migration: Reflections on Jacob Lawrence”, which is a celebration of African-American artist Jacob Lawrence, and his series of paintings “The Migration of the Negro”.
The work focuses on the Great Migration from the South to the North in the 1920’s, which radically changed the lives of African-Americans. Step Afrika brings Lawrence’s iconic paintings to life through the medium of African-American stepping; South African gumboot; and traditional Western African dance, vocals, drumming, and audience participation.
In 2011, acclaimed East African vocalist and songwriter Somi decided to move from New York City to Lagos, Nigeria for 18 months in search of new inspiration. The result: a new album she calls The Lagos Music Salon that landed at #1 on US Jazz Charts. Mostly drawn from her travel experiences, and from her East African heritage, the songs tap into the tropical city’s boastful cosmopolitanism, urgent inspiration, and giant spirit. In this piece, Somi fronts a dynamic all-acoustic chamber-jazz septet while using lush musical arrangements and lyrical poetry to transport listeners through the streets of Lagos while recreating the very “salons” she hosted in Nigerian art galleries throughout her journey.
A full-bodied song cycle and vignettes of spoken word manifest as this deeply personal narrative framed by elements of jazz, soul, and African music, invites audiences to consider both the ordinary and profound realities of Lagos living.
Continuing our focus on the artistry and culture of Native people, we're proud to present a showcase of Native contemporary dance companies called Oyate Okodakiciyapi, which means "people coming together" in the Dakota language. This thrilling evening of dance, co-curated with locally-based choreographer, Rosy Simas, will feature solo works by native Hawaiian Christopher K. Morgan, and Santee Smith from the Mohawk Nation. We'll also be treated to a new work by Dancing Earth, an indigenous, intertribal dance ensemble.
The show here at the Ordway will be a part of a larger Twin Cities Festival of Native Dance organized by Rosy Simas Danse, also called Oyate Okodakiciyapi, a name given to Rosy by a Dakota writer and educator named Gwen Westerman.
The self-described “immigrant children” of Las Cafeteras remix roots music and tell modern day stories with what the LA Times calls a "uniquely Angeleno mishmash of punk, hip-hop, beat music, cumbia, and rock.” The band has stormed the music world with its international instrumentation, crossing genres and musical borders with their infectious live performances.
These magnetic Afro-Mexican storytellers from East L.A. blend deeply emotional lyrics with a socially conscious message that’s inspired by the communities in which they live.
Local musicians, Alma Andina, will be the opening act and we encourage everyone to join us on the dance floor!
Rounding out our focus on Native artists for the Target® World Music & Dance series is the powerhouse blues-rock band, Indigenous. Led by front man Mato Nanji from the Yankton Sioux Reservation in South Dakota, Indigenous is influenced by the music of Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimi Hendrix, and Carlos Santana.
Their latest album, “Time is Coming” is dedicated to the indigenous youth and all young people on the indigenous reservations.
Stay tuned for an announcement of the Twin Cities band that will open for Indigenous!
Founded in 2004 by Toni Pierce-Sands and Uri Sands right here in Saint Paul, TU Dance is a contemporary, 12-member dance company acclaimed for its diverse and versatile artists; and performances that draw together modern dance, classical ballet, African-based, and urban vernacular movements.
TU Dance’s choreography is driven by the connective power of dance. Complex, poetic, and deeply human, their powerful performances are a profound joy to experience.
We are proud to be presenting TU Dance again as part of our season and are excited to commission a new work for this performance.
When STOMP takes the stage, everything becomes an instrument. This inventive and invigorating show has been fusing dance, music, comedy, and theatrical performance to create thunderous rhythms and electrifying beats for over 25 years.
The performers have traveled around the world, showing audiences of all shapes and sizes that with the right combination of creativity, imagination, and resourcefulness, you can create extraordinary art from even the most ordinary things.
Since their debut at Carnegie Hall in 2004, the Sphinx Virtuosi, led by the Catalyst Quartet, has been recognized as one of the nation's most dynamic professional chamber orchestras. Comprised of 18 of the nation's top Black and Latino classical soloists, these alumni of the internationally renowned Sphinx Competition come together each fall as cultural ambassadors to reach new audiences.
Their 2016 program, Latin Voyages: Viajes Latinos takes listeners on a journey from the tantalizing Argentine tango to the nocturnal imagery of Mexico, featuring a grand tribute to the great Piazzolla, with a final invitation to Catalan dance. Explore the palette of the string medium through works from celebrated composers of Latin heritage, and celebrate the intricate mosaic of sounds and colors that pay homage to a diverse musical culture.
Sphinx Virtuosi is a co-presentation with the Ordway, The Schubert Club, and The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra in the Concert Hall.
From the Top is America’s largest national platform dedicated to celebrating the stories, talents, and character of classically-trained young musicians. Through live events, NPR and YouTube broadcasts, scholarships, and leadership programs, NPR and From the Top empower these extraordinary young people to engage and inspire music lovers of all ages.
These classically-trained musicians, aged 8–18, astonish audiences with skill and musical dexterity. Their hard work, dedication, and passion make them role models for their peers (and adults, too!). Yet, when they tell us about their lives outside of music, we are reminded that they are typical kids and teenagers, facing the same familiar challenges while chasing their dreams. In this winning combination we see a bright future, filled with the joy and hope that music offers to the world.
Back by popular demand, The Hip Hop Nutcracker is an innovative mash-up that blends Tchaikovsky’s classic score with explosive hip hop choreography. This all-ages show features a dozen all-star dancers who have performed from New York to Moscow, collaborated with Snoop Dogg and Pharrell Williams, appeared on “So You Think You Can Dance?”, and electrified audiences at The Apollo, The Kennedy Center, and Lincoln Center. Their talent and creativity will bring the traditional Nutcracker story to life in contemporary New York City.
Hip hop icon, Kurtis Blow, will preside over the performances as the guest emcee along with an on-stage DJ and electric violinist to set the stage for a dynamic new holiday experience. The Ordway lobbies will come alive before the show, and during intermission, with a hip hop dance party that invites everyone to show off their best moves.
Consisting of five siblings: J.D., Fred, Jearlyn, Jevetta, and Billy, The Steeles’ singing style is an integral part of the Minnesota sound. They have recorded and performed with Prince, Donald Fagen, Morgan Freeman, George Clinton, The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Mavis Staples, Johnny Lang, The Blind Boys of Alabama, A Prairie Home Companion, and others throughout their legendary career.
The family has traveled around the world, filling music halls and theaters with their bold, heartfelt, and melodic sounds, and we’re truly honored to have them joining us at the Ordway next season with their tribute to the music of George Gershwin, "The Colors of Gershwin with The Steeles".
To close out the 2016-2017 season, the Ordway will be transformed into a big-top circus for a one-of-a-kind performance that can’t be missed. From the producers of The Illusionists, and featuring the award-winning puppeteers behind Warhorse, Circus 1903 will transport audiences to the golden age of circus complete with a circus parade in downtown Saint Paul to announce the arrival of this captivating extravaganza that is perfect for thrill seekers, adventurous spirits, and families of all ages.