Arizona Artbeat: Gammage Season

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Hear about the upcoming season of theater at ASU Gammage from Colleen Jennings-Roggensack, the executive director for ASU Gammage, who is also Arizona’s only Tony Voter and will discuss the upcoming awards. She will also talk about the musical “Hamilton,” which is about the life of American Founding Father Alexander Hamilton.

Ted Simons: Tonight's edition of Arizona Art Beat looks at the upcoming season at ASU Gammage. Here with the details is Colleen Jennings Roggensack, the executive director of the ASU Gammage and Arizona's only Tony voter.

Colleen Jennings-Roggensack: Lucky me.

Ted Simons: First what you got next season?

Colleen Jennings-Roggensack: It's a beautiful season. Beautiful because one of the great shows we'll be doing is beautiful, the story of Carol king. Everyone who owned a tapestry album -- I owned two of them. I can tell you owned one as well. From that range we go to cabaret, this amazing show the way it was supposed to be done. Berlin on the edge of the war. All those great songs but it's a darker cabaret.

Ted Simons: Back to Carol king for a second, is this about her or does it feature her music?

Colleen Jennings-Roggensack: This is Carol's life. It features all of the music. Not many know she was a 15-year-old songwriter. She wrote for every pop group you can imagine.

Colleen Jennings-Roggensack: Yes. On Broadway. 1650 Broadway.

Ted Simons: It's about her with her music. Then cabaret.

Colleen Jennings-Roggensack: It's a new way to do it, more that darker version that Alan Cummings did for Broadway. It's spectacular. Then going from a darker Berlin to the sound of music. The war is approaching, the war is upon us and we're fleeing the Nazis.

Ted Simons: The Matilda the musical.

Colleen Jennings-Roggensack: Roald Dahl wrote incredible children's books. One is Matilda that little girl who found magic inside herself to make it happen. Those of you who love the villains, trenchable is in it. Amazing music. All-star, children cast. Lots of words, a lot like Sondheim's music. Then we fly away with Peter pan. How did Peter pan come about? Finding neverland is how Ian Berry wrote that story, fell in love with a young widow with four boys, one whose name was Peter. Great story.

Ted Simons: Sounds good. Now book of Mormon is coming back.

Colleen Jennings-Roggensack: Mormon is coming back by popular demand.

Ted Simons: That was a big hit.

Colleen Jennings-Roggensack: It was a huge hit. We're a little romantic this season with American in Paris. Everyone who loved gene Kelly and that beautiful dancing it's fabulous. What we pride ourselves on, we pride ourselves on having a play. We don't just have any play this year. We got the play that won the Tony last year. A curious incident of the dog in the nighttime.

Ted Simons: That book was a big deal too.

Colleen Jennings-Roggensack: A huge seller. About this young man with this amazing mind operating very differently than your mind and my mind and how he solves a problem. How he solves a mystery. How he finds himself and succeeds and goes forward in the world.

Ted Simons: Now, these sound fantastic, they really do. The following season --

Colleen Jennings-Roggensack: Oh!

Ted Simons: Hamilton?

Colleen Jennings-Roggensack: What is that guy's name? Lynn Manuel Miranda, genius, who started in the Heights on our own Gammage stage, wrote this that is taking everything by storm. 1718. You will only get in if you have tickets for the 16-17 season. I even have the governor calling me. Seriously.

Ted Simons: This is one of those generational things.

Colleen Jennings-Roggensack: Lee Odom is up for an award. Alexander Hamilton did not leave the $20 bill. That book has been a huge sellout. It's just phenomenal. Hamilton's birthplace has become a new tourist destination in New York.

Ted Simons: Last question. How do you get to be a Tony voter?

Colleen Jennings-Roggensack: You get nominated and you have to be approved. There are only 768 of us and I have seen over 60 plays and musicals this year, forty of them are nominated for Tony's.

Ted Simons: I wonder if Hamilton will win.

Colleen Jennings-Roggensack: By the way, I'm wearing a fabulous dress, Arizona designer. I always try to wear a local designer on the runway.

Ted Simons: That's fantastic. Good luck with this program. It sounds like good stuff. Next season and the following season.

Colleen Jennings-Roggensack: Absolutely.

Ted Simons: Good to see you.

Colleen Jennings-Roggensack: Good to see you.

Ted Simons: Thursday on "Arizona Horizon," we'll get an update of what could be a significant wildfire season and we'll meet the next director of the Arizona opera. There he is. That's on the next "Arizona Horizon" tomorrow at 5:30. That is it for now. I'm Ted Simons. Thank you so much for joining us. You have a great evening.

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