On Sept. 27, the Fox Theatre will open its 2011-2012 U.S. Bank Broadway Series with the deliciously weird antics of the ‘creepy and kooky’ Addams family. After that musical comedy has its St. Louis premiere, theatergoers can look forward to five more shows in the series, as well as other limitedengagement specials. To preview the new season, Ladue News caught up with Fox Theatrical president Kristin Caskey.
LN: Why is The Addams Family a great show to kick off the new season?
KC: The Addams Family—the cartoon, television series, etc.—is a title that’s loved by audiences. I’ve seen the show on Broadway, and with an amazing score by Andrew Lippa and writing from the same team that wrote Jersey Boys, it’s a great mixture of comedy and music.
LN: Can you tell our readers a little more about Memphis, which is making its St. Louis debut?
KC: One of the things we appreciate about the audience in St. Louis is not only can they love a classic like West Side Story, but they also embrace new shows. Memphis is the 2010 Tony Award winner for best musical and best score, and it’s by Bon Jovi keyboardist David Bryan. So you can expect to have that soulful rhythm-andblues aspect during the birth of rock ’n’ roll, and also, it’s a beautiful love story between a radio DJ and nightclub singer as they struggle to find fame.
LN: The Broadway Series features a mixture of old and new. What is the thinking behind the booking process for the shows?
KC: We always try to give people a balance of the new shows and hottest revivals on Broadway. With the new shows, we look for great stories with exciting scores, and with revivals, we look for a show that is creating a fresh look to the production. For instance, La Cage Aux Folles won the Tony for best musical revival. It will feature George Hamilton, who is perfectly cast as the owner of the nightclub, and it has a very interactive feel with the audience. That’s why it did so well in New York—it really is an inventive production.
LN: How do you try to customize the selection of shows for St. Louis?
KC: It’s fantastic that the St. Louis audience is very sophisticated and open to a variety of shows so we can bring a range of productions. In addition to the subscription shows, we also will feature a number of off-subscription shows like Mamma Mia!, Beauty and the Beast, A Christmas Carol and Rock of Ages. It’s a great range and the St. Louis audience will enjoy seeing the classic shows that we all love, as well as the new talent that is out there.
LN: What are the difficulties with booking an entire season of productions?
KC: It’s always an ongoing process. All of the shows have producers and booking agents. Those agents have one of the most challenging jobs out there because they have to book shows across the U.S. I work with them on the time of year and what weeks will be good for the St. Louis audience. It’s a puzzle that we put together each season. I’m enjoying the fruits of the 2011-2012 season, but I’m already well within the planning for 2012-2013.
LN: Of the shows coming to the Fox, what are you most excited about?
KC: I’m excited about all of the diversity of shows that are coming to St. Louis. With West Side Story, there’s not only the score that everyone cherishes, but you also have the opportunity to see Jerome Robbins’ original choreography that’s been recreated for the production. As someone who’s seen it, I can tell you it’s thrilling. There is also something to be taken from each show and wonderful stories for the audience to gain. That’s the reason anyone goes into entertainment or theater—the idea of being able to bring stories to people.