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'Wicked,' 'Book of Mormon' Highlight Smith Center's 2019-2020 Broadway Season


"Wicked" is one of the most beloved Broadway musicals of the 21st century. So is "The Book of Mormon."

Both productions played for several weeks at the Smith Center during their Las Vegas debuts. And they’re coming back.

The theater’s 2019-2020 Broadway season will include a total of 10 shows -- many of them Tony Award winners touring the country for the very first time -- and new subscriber tickets went on sale this week.

Myron Martin, the president and CEO of the Smith Center, told KNPR's "State of Nevada" that "Wicked" and "Book of Mormon" are returning because of popular demand.

"Because we get people calling us all the time, saying 'When is "Wicked" coming back?' or 'When can I see "Book of Mormon" again?'... When we get those kinds of calls, we listen and we do our best to bring them back and put them in the schedule."

But those two wildly popular shows are not the only ones on the schedule this year. The season includes Martin's 15-year-old daughter's favorite Broadway musical, "Once On This Island," and critic darling "The Band's Visit," which he describes as a "fascinating story of humanity."

Also on the docket is the musical adaptation of "Mean Girls," the 2004 movie starring Lindsay Lohan.  

Martin said the musical was written, like the film, by actress/producer Tina Fey. While it seems more and more musicals are adaptions of already popular movies, Martin said those adaptions feature some of the best writers and musicians in the business.

He pointed to 'Spongebob Squarepants: The Broadway Musical,' which is also on this season's calendar, as an example. 

"We all know what the cartoon is but 'Spongebob the Musical' has real people on stage and it has songs written by the biggest names in songwriting like Sarah Bareilles and David Bowie and The Plain White Ts. Panic! at the Disco wrote of the songs in this show."

As a Tony Award voter, Martin has to see all of the shows on Broadway. He said he flies out to New York 10 to 12 times a year to see the new shows, which gives him and his team an edge when they start talking to producers about bringing shows to Las Vegas.

Before the Smith Center opened, the first touring companies of big Broadway shows never came to Las Vegas, he said.

"We got shows later in their life," he said, "For instance, last season, we were the very first city to announce that we would be getting 'Hamilton,' which is a phenomenon."

And for all those theater lovers looking for "Hamilton" to return to the Smith Center, Martin couldn't say what they were working on for  next season, but he did say that since this year's season includes two popular musicals returning because of public interest, those wanting to experience "Hamilton" again should make their voices heard.

Myron Martin, president and CEO, The Smith Center

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Mike has been a producer for State of Nevada since 2019. He produces — and occasionally hosts — segments covering entertainment, gaming & tourism, sports, health, Nevada’s marijuana industry, and other areas of Nevada life.