Segerstrom Center for the Arts 2016-2017 Season Preview

Orange County’s premier theater-going destination, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, recently held their annual season preview in the architectural wonder that is The Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall.  Always stunning, this venue is such a pleasure to visit no matter the performance and a lovely place to showcase next seasons touring Broadway line-up stopping by Costa Mesa.

Segerstrom’s 2016 – 2017 season will be contain more of the high quality entertainment you have come to expect including NINE of the most beloved musicals on tour today! This years preview featured performances from five of next seasons musicals including BEAUTIFUL – The Carole King Musical, Matilda, Finding Neverland, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder, and the every powerful Fun Home.

While this is just the tip of the iceberg of what Segerstrom Center has to offer, this years preview stayed with showcasing the biggest of events.  Meanwhile there are many other shows, bands, dance, and events scheduled throughout the year are truly deserving one their own attention.

This event was an ideal way to get a taste of what’s to come if you’re not as familiar with some of these shows and allows for you to get jump start to ticket packages.  With tickets usually just around $10 with the amount being able to be applied toward ticket for a later show, it’s definitely something to consider attending in future years.

It’s quick, to the point showcase with less jibber jabber every year with more of focus on performances.  This year the event was hosted by Segerstrom Center’s Anne McNiff-Gaeta and the energetic and infectious Broadway Across America’s Bob Bucci.  The team there has gotten this down to a science still delivering some comical banter but keep the subject strictly on next years performances.

Segerstrom Center-Season Preview 2016-Beautiful-by Doug Gifford (1)

The night began with a brief introduction followed by two wonderful songs from BEAUTIFUL – The Carole King Musical sung by a Broadway company performer, Sarah Bockel.  This hit-filled production will have theatergoers quickly reminded of the number timeless classics Carole King either sung or wrote.  Here the audience was treated to a beautiful rendition of “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” and “A Natural Woman”.  There is no doubt that BEAUTIFUL will be an incredibly enjoyable experience.

Segerstrom Center-Season Preview 2016-Matilda-by Doug Gifford (2)

The night was followed by the playfulness of Matilda with young performer Tori Feinstein taking the stage performing the musicals hit “Naughty”.  This fun song is full a charm and I’m excited to see all the other amazing special effects the show is known for. Later in the evening Woodbridge High School Choir came out to perform the shows mainstay, “When I Grow Up” with Feinstein.  I actually wasn’t too interested in seeing this originally, but I think Segerstrom has won me over.  Looking forward to this big time production coming in January 2017.

Shockingly, Finding Neverland also looks better than the Broadway cast recording has lead me.  Cast members Celia Hottenstein and Cameron Bond came out performing “Neverland” and later “All That Matters”.  Hearing these in person and understanding the magical production has memorized audiences with its effects has made more excited than ever for a show based on the movie I already love of the same name.

Segerstrom Center-Season Preview 2016-Gentleman's Guide-by Doug Gifford (1)

Two numbers from A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder were also performed by cast members Jeff Kready and Mary VanArsdel.  “You’re a D’Ysquith” shows the musicals quirkiness and “Foolish to Think” provides its depth and range.  It’s no wonder this has won the Tony Award for Best Musical in the past.

Later in the show featured a performance that out-shined anything else.  Star Nicole Van Giesen  of the 2015 Tony Award winning Fun Home came to stage to sing the musicals emotional ballad “Telephone Wire”.  While there are many other shows coming not highlighted in the preview, Fun Home has turned into my most excited about musical, however I know I need to be prepared for the waterworks!  This powerful journey follows a girl at three different ages as she learns more about herself and understands more about the mysteries of her childhood through a new view.

Segerstrom Center-Season Preview 2016-Fun Home-by Doug Gifford (2)

Keep in mind Segerstrom offers all types of shows other than just Broadway musicals.  Throughout the season you may find many special engagements of huge musical acts such as Alan Menken live to Tony Bennett all the way to Harry Potter Live in Concert.  There are other series like one specifically for cabaret, jazz and dance and even a family series including a new Christmas offering, Elf.

I have provided a listing of the countless acts next year.  Don’t forget to check out SCFTA.org for more details on many different package options with huge discount on tickets vs day-of ticket sales.  Surely there has to be something you’re interested in!

Broadway Series
Beautiful – The Carole King Musical
ELF The Musical
MATILDA the Musical
Finding Neverland
An American in Paris
The Bodyguard

Curtain Call Series
A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder
Fun Home
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Bonus Options
MAMMA MIA!
RENT

Family Series
Pop Up Garden
Where the Wild Things Are
Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters
The Little Prince
Goodnight Moon
Walking the Tightrope
Elf the Musical

Special Events
The Godfather Live in Concert
Shanghai Acrobats Lily Tomlin Klezmatics
Fiesta Navidad
Taj Express
Spotlight
Alan Menken
Johnny Mathis

Cabaret Series
Betty Buckley
Jerry Herman Songbook Charles Busch
Steve Tyrell

Chamber Music Series
Auryn Quartet
Takács Quartet Marc-André Hamelin & Pacific Quartet
Emerson String Quartet Philip Setzer, David Finckel, and Wu Han

International Dance Series
Mikhailovsky Ballet American Ballet Theatre Eifman Ballet of St.
Petersburg
Teatro alla Scala Ballet
Company
Tour de Force III
ABT’s The Nutcracker Batsheva Dance Company


2016 – 2017 BROADWAY SERIES

BEAUTIFUL – THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL | CENTER PREMIERE October 4 – 16, 2016

“It’s some kind of wonderful!” – NY1

Tony and Grammy Award-winning musical BEAUTIFUL – The Carole King Musical tells the inspiring true story of King’s remarkable rise to stardom, from being part of a hit songwriting team with her husband Gerry Goffin to her relationship with fellow writers and best friends Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann, to becoming one of the most successful solo acts in popular music history.

ELF The Musical | CENTER PREMIERE December 20, 2016 – January 1, 2017

“Splashy, peppy, sugar-sprinkled holiday entertainment!” – The New York Times

This modern day Christmas classic is sure to make everyone embrace their inner ELF. Based on the beloved 2003 New Line Cinema hit, ELF features songs by Tony Award nominees Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin (The Wedding Singer), with a book by Tony Award winners Thomas Meehan (Annie, The Producers, Hairspray) and Bob Martin (The Drowsy Chaperone).

MATILDA THE MUSICAL | CENTER PREMIERE January 17 – 29, 2017

“The best family musical in years” – Chicago Tribune

TIME Magazine’s #1 Show of the Year! Winner of 50 international awards, including four Tony Awards, MATILDA THE MUSICAL is the story of an extraordinary girl who, armed with a vivid imagination and a sharp mind, dares to take a stand and change her own destiny. Based on the beloved novel by Roald Dahl, MATILDA THE MUSICAL continues to thrill sold-out audiences of all ages on Broadway and in London’s West End.

FINDING NEVERLAND | CENTER PREMIERE March 21 – April 2, 2017

“It’s a must-see you’ll remember for years to come!” – Vogue

FINDING NEVERLAND is “far and away the best musical of the year!” (NPR). Broadway’s biggest new hit and the winner of Broadway.com’s Audience Choice Award for Best Musical, this breathtaking smash “captures the kid-at-heart,” says TIME Magazine.

AN AMERICAN IN PARIS | CENTER PREMIERE April 25 – May 7, 2017

“A TRIUMPH! An exhilarating, rhapsodic marriage of music, movement and romance – The New York Times

An American in Paris in the new Tony Award-winning musical about an American soldier, a mysterious French girl and an indomitable European city, each yearning for a new beginning in the aftermath of war.

THE BODYGUARD | CENTER PREMIERE May 30 – June 11, 2017

“Exciting, thrilling, uplifting, moving – The Bodyguard is a truly exceptional show!” – Southern Daily Echo

A breathtakingly romantic thriller, The Bodyguard features a host of irresistible classics including “Queen of the Night,” “So Emotional,” “One Moment in Time,” “Saving All My Love,” “Run to You,” “I Have Nothing,” “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” and one of the biggest selling songs of all time – “I Will Always Love You.”

Season ticket prices for the Broadway Series start at $115.

2016 – 2017 CURTAIN CALL SERIES

A GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO LOVE & MURDER | CENTER PREMIERE February 28 – March 5, 2017

“I’ve never laughed so hard at a Broadway musical!” – NPR

Getting away with murder can be so much fun… and there’s no better proof than A GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO LOVE & MURDER, the knock-‘em-dead hit show that’s earned unanimous raves and won the 2014 Tony Award for BEST MUSICAL. A GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE tells the story of Monty, an heir to a family fortune who sets out to jump the line of succession by – you guessed it — eliminating the eight relatives (all played by one fearless man) who stand in his way. All the while, Monty has to juggle his mistress, his fiancée and the constant threat of landing behind bars! Of course, it will all be worth it if he can slay his way to his inheritance… and be done in time for tea.

FUN HOME | CENTER PREMIERE August 1 – 6, 2017

“A landmark production that will forever change what is possible in musical theatre.” – The Huffington Post

Based on Alison Bechdel’s best-selling graphic memoir, FUN HOME introduces us to Alison at three different ages, as she explores and unravels the many mysteries of her childhood. A refreshingly honest musical about seeing your parents through grown-up eyes, “FUN HOME is extraordinary, a rare beauty that pumps fresh air into Broadway.” (The New York Times)

THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME | CENTER PREMIERE September 12 – 17, 2017

“Eye-opening, life-affirming, and unmissable.” – TIME Magazine

Winner of five 2015 Tony Awards, including Best Play! Hailed as “One of the most fully immersive works ever to wallop Broadway” by The New York Times, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is a “dazzling” (Associated Press), adaptation of the Tony Award-winning new play by Simon Stephens, adapted from Mark Haddon’s best-selling novel and directed by Tony winner Marianne Elliott. Fifteen- year-old Christopher has an extraordinary brain; he is exceptionally intelligent but ill-equipped to interpret everyday life

Season ticket prices for the Curtain Call Series start at $85.

SPECIAL BROADWAY BONUS EVENTS

Mamma Mia! – The Farwell Tour • Rent – The 20th Anniversary Tour

MAMMA MIA! – “THE FAREWELL TOUR” November 22 – 27, 2016

“Quite simply, a phenomenon.” – Associated Press

A mother. A daughter. 3 possible dads. And a trip down the aisle you’ll never forget! MAMMA MIA! is the ultimate feel-good show that has audiences coming back again and again to relive the thrill.

RENT – THE 20TH ANNIVERSARY TOUR January 6 – 8, 2017

Winner of the 1996 Tony Award for Best Musical, and Pulitzer Prize for Drama

In 1996, an original rock musical by a little-known composer opened on Broadway… and forever changed the landscape of American theatre. Two decades later, Jonathan Larson’s RENT continues to speak loudly and defiantly to audiences across generations and all over the world.

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Joel Covey
Joel has been writing for SoCalThrills for the past decade covering entertainment, events, and theater since joining the site. He is a CSUF alum, studying within the Communication and Radio / TV / Film colleges.