Dear Evan Hansen, Mean Girls and more in Broadway Across Canada’s five show 2020-21 season

Stephen Christopher Anthony stars as Evan Hansen in the North American tour of Dear Evan Hansen. Photo: Matthew Murphy

The 2020-21 season of Broadway Across Canada will feature one of the recent highlights of the New York stage in the production Dear Evan Hansen, winner of six Tony awards, and the Tina Fey vehicle Mean Girls.

But of course there is much more including two revivals — the venerable Fiddler on the Roof and Wicked, which tells the life story of the Wicked Witch of the West from the Wizard of Oz. The latter will open the season in the National Arts Centre. 

The final production of the season is Anastasia, about a girl in Paris thought to be the only surviving member of the family of Russia’s last Tsar.

Here’s more on the upcoming season:

Allison Bailey and Talia Suskauer in the North American tour of Wicked. Photo: Joan Marcus

Wicked (Aug. 26 to Sept. 6, 2020)

Wicked is based on the novel by Gregory Maguire, Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West which was published in 1995). The novel is  retelling of the  classic novel, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum and the film The Wizard of Oz.

It’s told from the perspective of the witches of Oz, Elphaba (the Wicked Witch of the West) and Galinda (whose name later changes to Glinda the Good Witch). The original production of Wicked premiered on Broadway in 2003. It won three Tony Awards and seven Drama Desk Awards. The original cast album received a Grammy. It became the fifth longest running show in Broadway history on Oct. 28, 2019, with 6,681 performances. In March 2016, Wicked surpassed $1 billion in total revenue. 

The Romanovs gather for a family portrait in Anastasia. Photo: Javier Naval

Anastasia (Oct. 27 to Nov. 1)

Music and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty with the book by Terrence McNally. It’s based on a 1997 film. It tells the story of an orphan named Anya, who suffers from amnesia and is used by some con men to assume the identity of the Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia, who was actually executed by the Bolsheviks after the revolution. The show premiered in April 2017 and was nominated for the Drama Desk award for Best Musical, among other award nominations. It closed almost two years later. Productions have been staged in Germany, The Netherlands, Mexico and Japan along with the North American tour.

A scene from Fiddler on the Roof. Photo: Joan Marcus

Fiddler on the Roof (Dec. 29 to Jan. 3, 2021

Fiddler is one of the most storied musicals ever. With music by Jerry Bock, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, and book by Joseph Stein, it debuted in 1964. The story of Tevye and his five daughters set in the Pale of Settlement in Russia in an era of anti-Semitism and pogroms. Fiddler became the first Broadway musical to surpass 3,000 performances. It’s songs are well known including Tradition, Sunrise, Sunset, and If I Were A Rich Man.

A scene from Dear Evan Hansen. Photo: Matthew Murphy

Dear Evan Hansen (April 27 to May 2)

This production won six Tony Awards in 2017 including best actor and best musical. It also won a Grammy in 2018 for best musical theatre album. All of this has come to a production that deals with some very serious themes including mental illness and youth suicide. Dear Evan Hansen has a book by Tony winner Steven Levenson and a score by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul.

The Mean Girls gather.

Mean Girls (June 8 – 13)

Attach the name Tina Fey to a project and you have to know it will be full of wit and wonder. Fey wrote the script for the movie Mean Girls and she adapted the story for the Broadway stage with composer Jeff Richmond, lyricist Nell Benjamin and director Casey Nicholaw.  

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Peter Robb began his connection with the arts community in Ottawa in the mid-1980s when he was the administrator and public relations director of the Great Canadian Theatre Company. After a long career in journalism with the Ottawa Citizen where he served in a number of different posts he returned to the arts when he became the Citizen's arts editor.