Thursday, May 30, 2024

Broadway at the Beach to bring certified Great White Way shows to Downtown Long Beach

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Broadway at the Beach, a partnership between the Terrace Theater in Downtown Long Beach and MagicSpace Entertainment, is set to feature fully sanctioned national tours of Broadway musicals and shows—and will be formally making its debut at the Terrace Theater, becoming the first time the city has a seasonal set of touring shows from the Great White Way.

broadway at the beach
Tony award winner for Best Musical in 2011, “The Book of Mormon,” will make its Long Beach premiere at Broadway at the Beach’s inaugural season. Photos by Julieta Cervantes.

What Broadway at the Beach plans to bring for its inaugural season

“If there is something to be said, it is that Long Beach has been one of the most kind, welcome spaces for this concept,” said John Tellem, a PR representative for the group bringing Broadway at the Beach to, well, the beach. “And it just kind of solidified everything we had in mind when coming to pitch this to the Terrace Theater.”

The pitch? A four-show block spread reaching from September of this year into May of 2025. The lineup?

  • The Cher Show: Sep. 14 and Sep. 15; Saturday at 2PM and 8PM; and Sunday at 1PM
  • Come from Away: Nov. 19 and Nov. 20; 7:30PM
  • The Book of Mormon: Feb. 4 and Feb. 5, 2025; 7:30PM
  • Champions of Magic: May 1 and May 2, 2025: 7:30PM
broadway at the beach
“The Cher Show” will make its Long Beach debut thanks to Broadway at the Beach. Photo by Meredith Mashburn Photography.

While both “The Cher Show” and “Come from Away” bring their own clout, clearly “The Book of Mormon”—though it is reaching its 13th anniversary this year—is the highlight of the bunch, having largely been driven to contractual obligations at Los Angeles-based theaters like the Pantages.

“The quality of the Terrace Theater astounded us when we visited,” Tellem said. “And I certainly hope we can reflect that quality through our productions because the Long Beach community needs to know they are home to a world-class theater. And I’ve been to a lot of theaters.”

broadway at the beach
“Champions of Magic: Chasing the Unbelievable” is one of the nation’s top touring magic shows—making its debut in Long Beach thanks to Broadway at the Beach. Courtesy of MagicSpace Entertainment.

It will also be the first time that—outside of community theater groups like Musical Theatre West—Long Beach will have access to a local subscription to a set of musicals, and certainly the first time that subscription will be certified national tours of Broadway shows. Subscriptions and group sales are available starting today, May 14, at 10AM, with packages starting at $179 for all four shows.

“The Long Beach audience and community has always been so supportive of touring theatrical shows that creating an annual series there for years to come was the next natural step for the city,” said President and CMO of MagicSpace Entertainment Kristy Maple.

broadway at the beach
“Come from Away” will make its Long Beach debut thanks to Broadway at the Beach. Photo by Matthew Murphy for MurphyMade.

What Broadway at the Beach means in terms of Long Beach’s cultural capital

SoCal has always been a finicky little thing when it comes to Broadway: While always a home to stop-ins from national tours, Downtown L.A.’s Broadway district was constructed not for live performance but film as movies began to dominate national entertainment interest in the early 20th century.

But robust, subscription-worthy groups dedicated to a singular space didn’t really arise outside of Center Theatre Group, who oversees plays and musicals at DTLA’s collection of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion (where the L.A. Opera largely dominates in terms of performances), the Mark Taper (usually handed over to plays or spoken word performances), and the Ahmanson (where hits like “Dear Evan Hansen” made their L.A. debut).

In terms of pure musical dominance? That would belong to the Pantages Theater on Hollywood Boulevard: Renovated in 2000 to welcome the record-breaking run of “The Lion King” debut, scoring shows like “Wicked” and “Hamilton”—both returning to the Pantages this year—give the Pantages the entire top of five highest grossing musical runs in Los Angeles history.

Broadway at the Beach mimics important things like Center Theatre Group and the Pantages, providing much more local access to high-quality Broadway shows—and who doesn’t wanna little bit of Cher or singing proselytes?

Broadway at the Beach begins tickets sale today at 10AM. Click here for more information.

Brian Addison
Brian Addison
Brian Addison has been a writer, editor, and photographer for more than a decade, covering everything from food and culture to transportation and housing. In 2015, he was named Journalist of the Year by the Los Angeles Press Club and has since garnered 25 nominations and three additional wins. In 2019, he was awarded the Food/Culture Critic of the Year across any platform at the National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Awards.

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