While the main season offers something for everyone, the specials are also equally outstanding.
The Fabulous Fox invited the public into the theater on May 15 to learn all about their upcoming 2016-2017 season. If you were unaware of this annual event make sure to mark your calendars for next year. The free event showcased the six main shows as well as the seven “special” shows of the season.
There was free popcorn, soda, and even an Eiffel Tower cookie for all to enjoy. As a large video screen played trailers for each of the main shows, the crowd was entertained by live performances of two of the shows, giveaways, and a concert by their resident organist. The entire event was a lovely way to spend a Sunday and afforded me valuable time to spend in one of St. Louis’ most grand attractions. More on that later—let’s get to the shows!
September 13-25 – A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder
This was one of the shows the audience enjoyed a live preview of. Wickedly funny and fast-paced, this 2014 Tony winner is part Monty Python, part Downton Abbey, and part The Drowsy Chaperone. You are going to have to be on your toes for this one kids, quick dialogue and that acerbic British humor abound. This is not a “whodunit” rather a “how did he do it eight times” type of show.
November 15-27 – Fun Home
Winner of five 2015 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Fun Home will make its St. Louis debut. Musical theater icon, Mike Isaacson, with his electric personality, came out to pump up the crowd. The unique story, which is told in three time periods, focuses on Alison as she tries to reconcile her relationship with her father as she deals with discovering her own sexuality. Fun Home is the first Broadway musical with a lesbian as the lead role. This was the other show to which the crowd was treated to a live performance. Let me tell you folks, get your tickets to this one early; this show is going to sell out.
December 6-18 – Finding Neverland
Who doesn’t love Peter Pan? Finding Neverland, which is inspired by the 2004 film, looks to be the most visually stunning show of the season. Full of magic and gorgeous special effects, this looks like the show for the whole family to enjoy.
January 17-29 – An American in Paris
Paris—the city of lights. What else can an American soldier and a French ballerina do in the most romantic city in the world but fall in love? Well, they can sing and dance! With such beloved songs as “The Man I Love,” “‘S ‘Wonderful,” and “I Got Rhythm,” one can only imagine the breathtaking choreography that will accompany each number. I am sure this production will be just as sweet as the Eiffel Tower cookie we received.
February 7-19 – Something Rotten
This comedy—set in 1595—centers around two brothers who are trying to find their way in the theatrical world as they try to outdo “The Bard,” William Shakespeare. As they find out from a soothsayer related to Nostradamus, the boys are going to have to learn to sing, dance, and act all at the same time, the game is afoot. With song titles such as “God I Hate Shakespeare,” “The Black Death,” and “Bottom’s Gonna Be on Top,” I think this show will be chockfull of double entendres and hilarious one-liners.
March 7-19 – Cabaret
What better way to cap off the season with the classic masterpiece Cabaret?! Don’t sit up in your room, come to the Cabaret! Kander and Ebb’s iconic music takes center stage as Sally Bowles and the Kit Kat dancers make you forget all about those nasty Nazis—well, for a little while. With so many time-honored numbers such as “Don’t Tell Mama,” “Money,” and “If You Could See Her,” “Maybe This Time” I won’t sob when the cast sings, “Tomorrow Belongs to Me.”
In addition to these wonderful shows, The Fox is bringing seven limited run specials to the stage.
September 30-October 2 – Once: Belly up to the bar and fall in love all over again.
December 2-4 – Annie: The sun will only come out for two days, so be sure to get your tickets to see one of Broadway’s most beloved orphans.
March 21-26 – Motown The Musical: Make sure to get your “Super Freak” on as you “Get Ready” to go “Dancing In The Street” to this overstuffed musical of those classic Motown hits.
March 31-April 2 – The Illusionists: Seven illusionists will take the stage to make you believe the unbelievable.
April 19-May 7 – The Lion King: You will feel the love each and every night this breathtaking production takes the stage.
May 12-14 – Dirty Dancing: You know you want to go just to see “the lift.” Fortunately for you, there is also an amazing score that accompanies the gorgeous choreography.
May 19-21 – RENT: The 20th Anniversary: Relive the 525,600 minutes of love, pain, and musical brilliance of this timeless and still important musical.
I would be remiss not talking about the other star of the season—The Fabulous Fox Theatre itself. As I took the elevator up to the fifth floor, I thought about all the amazing shows I have seen in this theater. Not just theatrical events but so many outstanding concerts as well. As I meandered down the gorgeous staircase, I stumbled into Peacock Alley on the fourth floor. How have I never seen this before? This is the history of The Fabulous Fox with posters from several seasons. I must have spent over an hour looking at all the posters as memories of the past shows flooded my mind.
As I spent some time sitting in the balcony, I learned to appreciate the beauty of The Fox. While everyone wants to be close to the stage, there is a charm sitting in the balcony. You have a fabulous view of the stage, and you get to gaze at the magnificent chandelier suspended from the ceiling. It is all a bit overwhelming.
Well, there you have it folks, the 2016-2017 season of The Fabulous Fox. While the main season offers something for everyone, the specials are also equally outstanding. Be sure to get your season tickets by calling the Season Ticket Office at 314-535-1700. Also, check out the new Curtain Call Lounge located just to the left of the main entrance for a cocktail or two before the show. This season is one of the strongest lineups I have seen in some time. If you see a large bald man in the balcony scribbling furiously, be sure to stop by and say hello. | Jim Ryan