‘Fun Home’ and ‘Circus 1903’ coming to the Tobin Center.
As vice president of programming and marketing for the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, Aaron Zimmerman strives to bring in new shows that will bring in new audiences.
“We want to continue to expand the theatrical options and tastes and likes and experiences for everyone,” he said.
That’s why the 2017-18 season is laced with San Antonio premieres, including “Fun Home,” “A Gentleman’s Guide to Murder” and “Circus 1903.”
He also knows that there is an interest in revisiting shows that have been through before. And so, the Tobin Center season includes the return of three shows that were big hits on earlier visits to the space: “Dixie’s Tupperware Party,” “Cirque Dreams Holidaze” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical.”
Three subscription series will be presented. The Signature and Dance series are presented in the H-E-B Performance Hall. The Edge series, which offers spikier fare aimed squarely at adults, takes place in the Carlos Alvarez Studio Theater.
Here’s what’s coming in the Signature Series:
“Fun Home,” Aug. 9-10, funhomebroadway.com: The Tony-winning musical is adapted from Alison Bechdel’s graphic memoir exploring her sexual identity and her father’s secret life. The first few lines of the show break down what it explores: “Dad and I both grew up in the same small Pennsylvania town. And he was gay, and I was gay, and he killed himself, and I became a lesbian cartoonist.”
“Circus 1903,” Nov. 12,
: The show was created by the producers of “The Illusionists,” which played the Majestic Theatre in January, and the puppeteers who worked on “War Horse.” It gives audiences a sense of what circus shows at the turn of the 20th century were like, including massive elephant puppets.
“This is the biggest production of the entire season,” said Zimmerman.
“Cirque Dreams Holidaze,” Dec. 8-9,
: The holiday edition of the Cirque Dreams series features cirque acts such as acrobats, aerialists and contortionists.
“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical,” Dec. 22-23,
: This live version of the much-adored 1964 television special played to sold-out houses during its visit to the Tobin Center in 2014 and 2015. This time around, the run will include a sensory-friendly performance aimed at those who are on the autism spectrum and others with sensitivity issues.
“A Night with Janis Joplin,” Jan. 24,
: The musical digs into the life and music of Joplin, the force of nature behind such songs as “Piece of My Heart,” “Me and Bobby McGee” and “Mercedes Benz.”
“Million Dollar Quartet,” Feb. 7: The show, which had a weeklong run at the Majestic Theatre in 2013, is based on the real-life 1956 meeting of legends-to-be Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis at Sun Studio. The cast tears through a slew of hits, including “Folsom Prison Blues,” “Blue Suede Shoes,” “That’s All Right” and “Great Balls of Fire.”
“A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder,” March 11, agentlemansguidebroadway.com: The Tony-winning musical follows a fellow’s efforts to score a vast inheritance by eliminating those who are ahead of him in line. agentlemansguidebroadway.com
“Always … Patsy Cline,” April 8,
: The show has popped up here in the past, both in touring editions and local productions, and has proved to be an audience fave. It digs into the real-life friendship between country music legend Patsy Cline and one of her fans. It is laced with Cline’s music, including “Crazy,” “I Fall to Pieces” and “Walking After Midnight.”
The Edge Series includes:
“Dixie’s Tupperware Party,” Aug. 17-19,
: The show was a big hit when it made its Tobin Center debut in 2015. The interactive comedy, in which Dixie talks about her life and the products she sells, is built around an actual Tupperware party.
“Forbidden Broadway,” Oct. 12-14,
: The 35th anniversary edition of the show spoofs a range of musical theater smashes, including “Kinky Boots,” “Book of Mormon,” “Pippin” and “Les Miserables.”
“Assisted Living: The Musical,” Nov. 16-18,
: The one-act is a Vaudeville-esque musical revue looking into the lives of the colorful residents of the Pelican Roost retirement community.
“Sister’s Christmas Catechism: The Mystery of the Magi’s Gold,” Dec. 19-20: This is part of a series of shows in which a no-nonsense nun leads the audience in a catechism class. They’ve developed a following here during earlier outings at the Charline McCombs Empire Theatre.
“Bette Davis Ain’t for Sissies,” Feb. 1-3,
: This could be the perfect show for fans of “Feud,” Ryan Murphy’s FX series digging into the interpersonal warfare between Davis and Joan Crawford. The stage show stars Jessica Sherr as Davis and goes back to an earlier time in her career.
“Postsecret: The Show,” Feb. 15,
: This is the live edition of the ongoing community art project in which people anonymously share their secrets on postcards, which are posted at postsecret.com. The show digs into the stories behind those secrets.
“Musical Thrones: A Parody,” March 9-11, thronesparody.com: A cast of five spoofs the entirety of the HBO adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s series of novels.
“One-Man Dark Knight: A Batman Parody,” May 3-5: Charles Ross, who did his one-man “Star Wars” during the Tobin Center’s inaugural season, returns with a solo show that zips through the entirety of the Batman mythology.
The Dance Series features:
Les Ballet Trockadero de Monte Carlo, Jan. 25,
: This is a return for the troupe, which bills itself as “the world’s foremost all-male comic ballet” and is known for taking a playful approach to classical ballet.
Complexions Contemporary Ballet, March 1,
: The New York-based company aims to transcend all sorts of boundaries, drawing on a range of dance and cultural traditions.
Bodytraffic, April 4,
: The acclaimed Los Angeles-based company focuses on contemporary works by a range of choreographers, including Richard Siegal, Kyle Abraham and Loni Landon.
Koresh Dance Company, Nov. 8,
: Choreographer Roni Koresh’s troupe blends jazz, ballet and modern movement.
Season subscriptions are available at the box office, by calling 210-223-8624 or online at tobi.tobincenter.org.