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Stage-struck

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — For 21 seasons, Popejoy Hall has brought the best of Broadway national tours to New Mexico.

This year is no different.

“We have three new shows that have never been in Albuquerque,” says Tom Tkach, Popejoy Hall director. “It’s going to be an exciting upcoming season because there is a lot of variety.”

“Beautiful — The Carole King Musical” is part of Popejoy Hall’s new season.

The Haverland Carter Broadway in New Mexico series kicks off with “Finding Neverland” on Dec. 13-16 for six shows.

The series also includes classics such as “The Sound of Music,” “Cats” and “Rent – 20th Anniversary Tour.”

The two other musicals – “Kinky Boots” and “Beautiful – The Carole King Musical” – are still running on Broadway, and Popejoy will get the shows during their first national tour.

“There are times we’re able to get the tour right off of Broadway,” Tkach says. “We’re always looking for the latest musicals and what would go over well with the New Mexico audience.”

Planning for a new season is done more than a year in advance, and it takes a team to make it all work.

Tkach says the entire process is a two-way partnership with the Broadway shows.

“When we bring them successfully into Popejoy, it helps,” he says. “Our market has grown tremendously, and there’s a strong base of Broadway lovers. It’s been nice to have patrons tell us that they skip traveling to New York to see the shows and wait for them to come to Popejoy.”

Adding more diversity to the coming season is the Ovation Series.

This features an international mix of music, theater and dance and includes a concert by Broadway star Lea Salonga, a new stage adaptation of “Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein,” a 50th anniversary performance by Dance Theatre of Harlem, and the international sensation Che Malambo.

Terry Davis, Popejoy marketing manager, says one of the things the center looks at is balancing the art forms.

“Do we have enough dance and do we have enough theater,” Davis says. “What we look for is a mix of the new and familiar. Even when we bring back the familiar, we take a look at how different the show is from the time they were here before. I love seeing dance companies come through, and we fought hard to get them to commit to shows here.”

Subscriptions for the Broadway in New Mexico Series start at $210, while an Ovation-only subscription starts at $60 for four shows.

For information, visit popejoypresents.com.

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