Mel Brooks' "Young Frankenstein," the Tony-winning musical "In the Heights" and a re-envisioned "Dreamgirls" are among the highlights being announced today for the Orange County Performing Arts Center's 2009-10 Broadway and Curtain Call series.
The latest installment of the Broadway series begins in October and includes six productions consisting mostly of national tours of popular musicals. The Curtain Call series presents special engagements of Broadway shows as well as concert events. Both series are performed at the center's Segerstrom Hall in Costa Mesa.
"Monty Python's Spamalot" opens the Broadway series and runs from Oct. 6 to 18. It's followed by two recent popular and critical hits: "Spring Awakening" (Nov. 17 to 29) and "Xanadu" (Dec. 15 to 27).
The newly restaged version of the 1981 musical "Dreamgirls," opening in November at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, runs in Costa Mesa from April 20 to May 2, 2010, followed by Lin-Manuel Miranda's "In the Heights" (Aug. 3 to 15), which won the Tony for best musical in 2008.
The series closes with Brooks' blockbuster musical "Young Frankenstein," running Sept. 7 to 19.
The Curtain Call series begins with "The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber," a concert event that features performances from some of the songwriter's best-known musicals, running from Feb. 16 to 21, 2010. That's followed by "Hairspray" (April 6 to 11) and "Disney's the Lion King" (May 26 to June 13).
Like many performing arts institutions, OCPAC has been hit hard by the economic recession. In January, The Times reported the center laid off seven full-time employees and eliminated three part-time positions while implementing cuts across all of its departments.
Terry Dwyer, the president of OCPAC, said the center has worked since then to "significantly tighten up expenses." He added that raising contributed income from donors continues to be a challenge but he hopes that recent gifts by board members will encourage more giving.
When asked if there will be more budget and staff cuts in the future, Dwyer responded, "We hope not."