‘Book of Mormon,’ ‘Annie’ broadway shows coming to Chattanooga next year; 'Hamilton' coming the following season

Ellie Pulsifer plays the title role with Addison as Sandy in the touring company of “Annie,” which will be part of the 2024-25 Broadway series in Chattanooga. (Special to the Democrat-Gazette/Matthew Murphy and Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade) Submitted photo

It has taken almost a decade, but the Broadway series of shows first held at The Tivoli but most recently at Memorial Auditorium has grown in popularity and stature enough that next year's season promises to be the best ever, and "Hamilton" — the biggest show in the nation currently — will headline the following season, according to Tivoli Foundation Executive Director Nick Wilkinson.

"We have the best season we've ever assembled by far coming up next season, with some of the most popular newest titles on Broadway," Wilkinson said by phone. "And, the fact that we have 'Hamilton' to announce for the following year says a lot about where we are. It's been a slow build, and we've had challenges like COVID and all sorts of things that impeded our progress, but people seem to like the series."

The 2023-24 season will kick off with "The Book of Mormon," and then continue with "Come From Away," "Annie," "Jagged Little Pill," "Mean Girls" and conclude with Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird."

Patrons who buy season tickets for the series will be able to buy tickets early for the 2024-25 season featuring "Hamilton." Patrons who purchase tickets to "Dear Evan Hansen," scheduled for May 23-28 at Memorial Auditorium, will have the same opportunity. Subscriptions for the 2024-2025 season that will feature "Hamilton" will go on sale next year.

New subscriptions for next year's series go on sale at 10 a.m. May 22.

Ted Heinig, president of AC Entertainment in Knoxville (which helps book the series for the Tivoli Foundation), said getting "Hamilton" is huge for Chattanooga.

"In the world of entertainment, it is by far the biggest show in the United States," he said by phone.

He added that getting the coming year's lineup and "Hamilton" is based on past performances.

"This doesn't happen overnight," Heinig said. "It took eight years of being strategic and building an audience, and it has been a team effort."

He said getting "Hamilton," which features hip-hop songs about American Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, can be a game-changing event, and that subscriptions tripled in Knoxville when it played there this year.

"That's insane," he said.

  photo  "Jagged Little Pill" will be part of the 2024-25 Broadway series in Chattanooga. Pictured (from left) are Heidi Blickenstaff, Allison Sheppard and Jena Van Elslander. (Courtesy Photo/ Matthew Murphy for MurphyMade)

Wilkinson said a play like "Hamilton" is much in demand, and producers can be selective about where they present it. A city like Chattanooga, he said, has to prove itself to the producers, and that doesn't happen overnight.

"You have to build credibility and prove that you can bring an audience and do the things to put on a show like this, and that takes time," he said.

The 2023-24 Broadway season will be at the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Auditorium while the historic Tivoli Theatre is temporarily closed for renovations. It is projected to reopen in early 2025. "Hamilton" will be presented at Memorial even if the Tivoli work is completed, Wilkinson said.

The Tivoli Theatre Foundation offers the opportunity to choose between four packages, with a choice of tickets for six, five, four or three shows in the season. Additional subscription benefits include first notification of next year's season, free same-show ticket exchanges and the opportunity to purchase additional tickets before they go on sale to the general public.

In addition to the 2023-24 Broadway season titles, "Shrek the Musical" will be featured as an add-on show April 2-3, 2024. That title will not be included in the 2023-2024 subscription season and will go on sale individually on a later date. Subscribers will have first access to tickets.

2023-24 SERIES

— "The Book of Mormon" — Nov. 10-12, 2023.

The New York Times called it "the best musical of this century." The Washington Post said, "It is the kind of evening that restores your faith in musicals." And Entertainment Weekly said, "Grade A: the funniest musical of all time." Jimmy Fallon of "The Tonight Show" called it "Genius. Brilliant. Phenomenal." Contains explicit language.

— "Come From Away" – Jan. 20-21, 2024.

This stirring and inspiring musical takes you into the heart of the remarkable true story of the small town in Newfoundland that opened its homes to 7,000 stranded travelers on 9/11.

— "Annie" – Feb. 24-25, 2024.

The story of Little Orphan Annie has been one of the best-loved musicals for many years.

— "Jagged Little Pill" – March 26-28, 2024.

Broadway is here in the exhilarating, fearless new musical based on Alanis Morissette's world-changing music.

— "Mean Girls" – May 3-5, 2024.

The hit musical from book writer Tina Fey. It's the story of a naïve newbie who falls prey to a trio of lionized frenemies.

— Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird" – June 7-9, 2024.

Lee's classic novel has been a Broadway favorite of critics for years.

For more information, visit TivoliChattanooga.com.

Contact Barry Courter at bcourter@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6354.