Fisher Theatre to host new season of hit Broadway shows

posted by Michael Zoldessy on May 19, 2008 at 4:50 am

DETROIT, MI — Nederlander Detroit, management company for the Fisher Theatre, announced today that the famed venue for performing arts will begin a multi-million dollar renovation this month in preparation for one of its biggest seasons of Broadway in Detroit. The major refurbishment project includes several new public bars in the lobby, restroom improvements, and the addition of an all-new, private party room.

Renovations will be completed just in time to raise the curtain later this Fall for the first of six sensational shows all appearing at the Fisher Theatre for the 2008-2009 Broadway in Detroit subscription series. The season opens with Avenue Q, the smash hit 2004 Tony Award winner for Best Musical, Best Score and Best Book (November 2008), followed by A Bronx Tale starring Chazz Palminteri (November – December 2008), A Chorus Line (January 2009), Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (March 2009), Grease (June 2009) and Jersey Boys (November 2009). Additionally, subscribers will have the first opportunity to purchase tickets to the triumphant return of Wicked (December 2008 – January 2009).

“The 2008-2009 Broadway in Detroit Season is one of our strongest ever,” said Fisher Theatre Executive Director Alan Lichtenstein. “And when you combine the subscription series and non-subscription shows, our line-up is unbeatable! We’ve got the hottest new shows and biggest stars, along with some of Detroit’s great old favorites.”

Fisher Theatre Renovation

The Fisher Theatre is temporarily closed while it undergoes a six-month renovation to upgrade and enhance various areas. One of the biggest changes will be the addition of an all-new private party room, a first for the theatre. The party room can be reserved to entertain guests prior to show time as well as during intermission. Non-alcoholic beverages and light hors d'oeuvres will be served for a nominal fee per person; alcoholic beverages are available at an additional cost. The private party room will have its own restroom and coat check.

New hospitality at the Fisher Theatre also includes the refurbishment of existing public bars to accommodate and serve patrons a glass of wine or other beverage of choice in the lobby of the theatre. Prior to the renovation, alcoholic beverage service was not available in the theatre lobby.

Additionally, significant improvements and new décor will be made to the restrooms to enlarge the facilities and shorten the waiting time. Plus, a new restroom for handicapped patrons will be constructed on the main lobby level.

“For over 45 years, Nederlander Detroit has had the privilege to operate and maintain one of the greatest landmarks in the City of Detroit,” said Ray Harris, chief operating officer for Nederlander Detroit. “Our commitment to Fisher Theatre subscribers and all theatre lovers is to continue to provide an enjoyable and comfortable showcase for the best Broadway shows on tour.”

Broadway in Detroit Subscription Shows
The Tony Award winning Avenue Q will open the new and improved Fisher Theatre, in November 2008. A hilarious show full of heart and hummable tunes, Avenue Q is about trying to make it in New York City with big dreams and a tiny bank account. Called “one of the funniest shows you’re ever likely to see” by Entertainment Weekly, Avenue Q features a cast of people and puppets who tell the story in a smart, risqué and entertaining way.

Academy Award-nominated actor Chazz Palminteri comes to the Fisher Theatre, November 2008-December 2009, to star in an unforgettable performance of A Bronx Tale, fresh from a highly successful run on Broadway. In A Bronx Tale, the celebrated play on which he based the legendary movie, Palminteri vividly depicts a young boy’s rough childhood in the 1960s-era Bronx and the unforgettable people he encountered. Directed by four-time Tony Award-winner Jerry Zaks, this is a classic coming of age story about reaching your true potential and trusting your heart.

A Chorus Line high-kicks its way onto the Fisher Theatre stage in January 2009 and is the musical for anyone who’s ever had a dream and put it all on the line. Winner of nine Tony Awards, including Best Musical and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, this singular sensation is the longest-running American Broadway musical ever. Come meet the new generation of Broadway’s best. The New Yorker exclaims, “A Chorus Line is back, and it’s thrilling!”

The musical thriller that inspired the recent Tim Burton and Johnny Depp movie, Sweeney Todd, plays the Fisher Theatre in March 2009. Sweeney Toddi is the story of an infamous demon barber who takes up with his crafty neighbor, Mrs. Lovett. The two embark on a plot to slice their way through London’s upper crust. Justice is served, along with lush melody, audacious humor and hair-raising excitement. The Cincinnati Enquirer describes Sweeney Todd as “…a dazzler… a glorious theatrical experience.” Music and lyrics are by multiple Tony Award-winner Stephen Sondheim and direction/design by Tony-Award winner John Doyle.

Grease is the word and it’s back! Time Magazine’s 2007 pick for “#1 musical of the year” is rockin' around the country in a new production direct from Broadway and headed to Detroit’s Fisher Theatre in June 2009. In a simpler time of poodle skirts, drive-ins and T-birds, Danny and Sandy fall in love all over again to the tune of such favorites as “Summer Nights” and “We Go Together” as well as, for the first time ever on stage, songs from the hit movie: “Grease,” “Hopelessly Devoted to You” and “You’re the One That I Want.”

Mega-hit Jersey Boys, winner of the 2006 Tony Award for Best Musical, will appear in November 2009. This is the story of Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons and how four blue-collar kids became one of the greatest successes in pop music history. They wrote their own songs, invented their own sounds and sold 175 million records worldwide —– all before they were thirty years old. Jersey Boys, winner of the 2006 Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album, features their hit songs “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Rag Doll,” “Oh What a Night” and “I Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.”

Additional Broadway Special Shows

In addition to the six spectacular shows on the 2008-2009 Broadway In Detroit subscription season, a stellar line-up of special productions will be presented, headlined by the blockbuster musical Wicked at the Detroit Opera House. Back by popular demand, Wicked first played Detroit in June 2006, breaking box office records and selling-out in record time. Winner of 15 major awards including a Grammy and three Tony Awards, Wicked tells the tale of two girls who meet in the land of Oz long before that girl from Kansas arrives in Munchkinland.

Other special shows coming to Detroit as part of the Broadway in Detroit series in 2008-2009 include Rent, starring Adam Pascal and Anthony Rapp, stars of the original Broadway production and film adaptation; Annie; Stomp; Fiddler on the Roof starring Topol; An Evening with Patti Lupone and Mandy Patinkin; and the return of Monty Python’s Spamalot.

New Benefits for Subscribers

For the first time ever, 2008-2009 Broadway in Detroit subscribers will receive new benefits. Subscribers may substitute one series show for one of the Broadway special shows, or they may receive additional tickets to another series show. Some restrictions apply.
As always, subscribers can save up to 15% off the individual show ticket price, have full exchange privileges and first choice of seats for extra Broadway special shows.

Subscription Tickets

2008-2009 Broadway in Detroit subscription season tickets are priced as low as $210 for all six shows and are now on sale. New this year, a Thursday matinee performance has been added to the subscription series. For additional information or to order season tickets, call the Fisher Theatre at (313) 872-1000, ext. 0, Monday —– Friday, 10:00 a.m. —– 5:00 p.m. Subscription tickets may also be ordered online at www.BroadwayinDetroit.com

Individual tickets for all shows will go on sale at a later date.
Reservations are being taken now for groups of 12+ to 20+ (minimum varies depending on show) by calling (313) 871-1132, Monday – Friday from 10:00 a.m. —– 5:00 p.m., or emailing

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