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‘Frozen,’ ‘Mean Girls’ in next Broadway on Hennepin season; flower show at the arboretum

ALSO: “Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters” to open at SteppingStone Theatre for Youth; Accordo and more coming to Icehouse; and more.

The Minneapolis debut of Disney’s “Frozen,” with all the songs from the movie plus new ones, will move into the Orpheum for three weeks (May 13-31, 2020).
Photo by Deen Van Meer

In a Facebook Live stream Thursday morning, Hennepin Theatre Trust announced its 2019-20 Broadway on Hennepin season. Eclipsing all other theater news until Lin-Manuel Miranda pens his next musical, “Hamilton” will return … in 2020-21. You can guarantee your seats by subscribing to 2019-20, which will give you first dibs on 2020-21.

We’re not saying this is a plot, um, strategy, but if it is, it’s a good one. Let’s call it smart marketing. The last time the Trust did this – announcing 2016-17 and saying “Hamilton” would be here in 2018-19 – subscriptions for 2016-17 jumped 70 percent.

If you love musicals and big Broadway shows and season tix are in your budget, you’ll be happy to subscribe to 2019-20 on the way to “Hamilton.” It’s an exciting season.

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The Minneapolis debut of Disney’s “Frozen,” with all the songs from the movie plus new ones, will move into the Orpheum for three weeks (May 13-31, 2020). Every little girl in the audience will be singing along to “Let It Go,” just so you know. On its first national tour, “Mean Girls,” the hit comedy musical from Lorne Michaels with book by Tina Fey, will be here for two weeks (Oct. 1-13). Inspired by the 1997 animated film and the 1956 film with Ingrid Bergman, the new Broadway musical “Anastasia” spins history into a story about finding one’s place in the world (March 24-April 5).

Winner of 10 2018 Tony awards, including Best Musical, “The Band’s Visit” is the tale of an Egyptian police band sent by mistake to a remote village in the middle of the Israeli desert (Dec. 17-22).  The multiple-Tony-winning “Come From Away” tells the true story of 7,000 stranded passengers rerouted to a small town in Newfoundland during 9/11 (Aug. 11-16).

Mean Girls
Photo by Joan Marcus
On its first national tour, “Mean Girls,” the hit comedy musical from Lorne Michaels with book by Tina Fey, will be here for two weeks (Oct. 1-13).
A new Lincoln Center production of Lerner & Loewe’s “My Fair Lady” will reintroduce us to Eliza Doolittle and ’Enry ’Iggins (March 3-8). Reinvented for its 50th anniversary, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s iconic “Jesus Christ Superstar” will be 2020’s first big musical (Jan. 21-26). “Summer: The Donna Summer Musical,” scheduled for the summer, will feature more than 20 classic hits (July 14-19).

“Rent” (Aug. 14-18), “The Phantom of the Opera” (Nov. 20-Dec. 1) and Blue Man Group (Feb. 4-9, 2020) can all be added to a season subscription package.

Eight-show packages start at $345. FMI.

The picks

Starts today (Friday, Feb. 1) at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum: “Passport to Spring” Flower Show. Open the doors to the arboretum’s Great Hall and forget all about the Polar Vortex. Shed your coat. See the flowers. Feel the humidity. Breathe the sweetness in the air. Nine vignettes feature France, China, Morocco, Mexico, Indonesia, Chile, India, South Africa and the Netherlands. The centerpiece is a French-inspired glass garden house surrounded by a kitchen garden filled with herbs, flowers, and plants. 3675 Arboretum Drive in Chaska. 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday. $15 gate fee for non-members; 15 and under free. FMI. Ends March 3.

Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters
Courtesy of SteppingStone Theatre for Youth
Alaysia Duncan and Kia Brown in a scene from "Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters."
Opens tonight (Friday, Feb. 1) at SteppingStone Theatre for Youth: “Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters.” Ansa Akyea and Charla Marie Bailey co-direct, Dominique Jones wrote brand-new hip-hop music (with lyrics by Jones and Atim Opoka), and Ricky Morisseau choreographed this new SteppingStone production. Karen Abbott’s adaptation of John Steptoe’s Caldecott Award-winning book brings an African Cinderella story to the stage. Mufaro has two beautiful daughters, but one is kind and the other is not. Which will the Great King choose as his wife? Akyea described the play as “a celebration of the best part of the African experience that doesn’t involve historical trauma that we have to relive.” It’s a joyous and positive way to start Black History Month, with the kids and grandkids. 7 p.m. FMI and tickets ($12-16); 651-225-9265. Ends Feb. 24.

Monday, Wednesday (Feb. 6) and Saturday (Feb. 9) at the Film Society’s St. Anthony Main Theatre: National Theatre Live: “The Tragedy of King Richard the Second.” Simon Russell Beale (“Timon of Athens” “King Lear”) plays the title role in this new production broadcast live to cinemas from the stage of the Almeida Theatre in London.  FMI including trailer, times and tickets ($20/$14 Wednesdays).

Tuesday at Icehouse: First Accordo, then Bryan Nichols, JT Bates, Kaleena Miller and Cody McKinney. Icehouse doesn’t have its own piano. Musicians tote their keyboards in, and when the SPCO or Accordo plays an Icehouse date that requires a piano, they bring in a grand. Which means it’s there for the night, so why not share? After performing a longer (and sold-out) concert Monday at Westminster Hall with pianist Shai Wosner, Accordo (Ruggero Allifranchini, Erin Keefe, Maiya Papach and Ronald Thomas) will play an abbreviated informal version Tuesday at Icehouse. 7:30 p.m., FMI and tickets ($24/12 student). Then, later that night, the sublime jazz pianist Bryan Nichols, drummer JT Bates, bassist Cody McKinney and dancer Kaleena Miller will take the stage. 9:30 p.m. $10 at the door. You could spend the evening in one place and two different sound worlds.

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To Syrian oud master Issam Rafea and Chinese pipa master Gao Hong in the Lakewood Memorial Chapel on Sunday, Feb. 10. Their latest CD, “Life As Is,” was released on Innova in October to international acclaim. Lakewood’s chapel is a mini-Hagia Sophia, with a 100-million-piece mosaic interior and 40-foot dome ringed with stained-glass windows and 12 mosaic angels. We’re shocked – shocked! – there are any tickets left. 3 p.m. FMI and tickets ($15 advance, $20 door).