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Peabody's Broadway season includes some big musicals

Peabody's Broadway season includes some big musicals


The Peabody Opera House will present three big New York musicals and one offbeat, long-running comedy in its 2014-15 Broadway Series.

The first two shows, “Nice Work If You Can Get It” (Oct. 10-12) and “Pippin” (Dec. 10-14) combine “something old and something new,” said Matthew Dewey, the Peabody’s general manager.

“Nice Work” fits such classic Gershwin songs as “Someone to Watch Over Me” and “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off” into a new show, written by Joe DiPietro (“Memphis”) and directed and choreographed by Kathleen Marshall. Make that a newish book — DiPietro sets his story of a playboy and a beautiful bootlegger in the 1920s, when crime seems to have had a better score.

“Pippin” — a musical fable about a young prince trying to choose his path in life — was a big hit 40 years ago, thanks to Bob Fosse’s arresting choreography and a score by the young Stephen Schwartz. (“Wicked” was still years off.) This production, directed by Diane Paulus, presents “Pippin” in a circus setting, combining dance in Fosse’s smart “Chicago” style with acrobatics by Les 7 Doigts de la Main, the creative force behind “Traces.” “Pippin” won the 2013 Tony for best musical revival.

“The Book of Mormon” (Jan. 13-18) the satiric, scabrous and hilarious musical from “South Park” creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone and composer Bobby Lopez, returns to St. Louis with its story of two naive Mormon missionaries in Uganda. The show, which played the Fox Theatre last year, won nine Tony Awards in 2011, including best musical.

The season will close with “I Love Lucy Live On Stage” (April 17-19), a show with an offbeat premise: It’s 1952, and we’re members of the studio audience at the Desilu Playhouse. We get to see them film a couple of episodes of the beloved show — including the commercials. It’s the kind of cult hit that draws bunches of friends who go to see it together. “We all cherished Lucy in our childhoods,” Dewey said. “She’ll cap off an amazing season.”

Preshow buffet dinners in the Midland State Bank Room will continue next season. The dinners are available to everyone; subscribers will have exclusive use of the lounge in the Budweiser Kiel Club. Subscriptions to the series, ranging from $125 to $367, go on sale at 10 a.m. today. Call 314-499-7676 or visit

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Judith Newmark is the theater critic for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

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