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Duluth Playhouse season to include 'Sound of Music,' '9 to 5'

"Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein," "Next to Normal," "Peter and the Starcatcher" and a sixth show yet to be announced round out the 2023-24 Main Stage season at the NorShor Theatre.

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This season the NorShor Theatre marquee, seen here in 2021, will feature titles including "Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein," "The Sound of Music" and "9 to 5."
Steve Kuchera / File / Duluth News Tribune

DULUTH โ€” Duluth Playhouse just poured itself a cup of ambition, announcing its 2023-24 Main Stage season with a slate of shows including the musical adaptation of "9 to 5."

The Dolly Parton musical, which premiered on Broadway in 2009, will close out the season with a July 12-28, 2024, run at the NorShor Theatre. The Main Stage season will open Sept. 15 with a production of another screen-to-stage show: "Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein," a 2007 musical based on the 1974 movie.

It was the other way around with the company's December offering, a 1959 musical that became a beloved film six years later. "The Sound of Music" is loosely based on the true story of the Trapp Family Singers, who fled Austria in 1938 after Nazi Germany annexed the country.

Young light-skinned woman wearing novitiate's habit places her hands to her chest and sings, against a backdrop painted to show mountains.
Eve Tugwell performs the role of Maria in "The Sound of Music" during a rehearsal of a Duluth Playhouse production staged at the Depot Theatre in 2002.
Ingrid Young / File / Duluth News Tribune

"Next to Normal," which hits the NorShor in March 2024, premiered off-Broadway in 2008 and became one of just a handful of musicals to win the Pulitzer Prize for drama. It will be followed by "Peter and the Starcatcher," a play exploring the backstory of Peter Pan.

A sixth show, which will open in January, cannot yet be announced due to licensing agreements. For now the Playhouse, which plans to spill the beans in July, is only saying that it's a "popular tale of murder and intrigue." The company's Youth Theater season is set to be announced May 8, with the Underground season announcement to follow on May 15.

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The upcoming season will be the company's first since fully vacating its longtime space at the St. Louis County Depot, where Minnesota Ballet now runs Studio Four and the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra is set to oversee programming at the Depot Theatre.

Those two spaces were formerly home to Duluth Playhouse's Underground and Family Theatre programming, respectively. Family Theatre shows are now staged at the NorShor, while Underground shows happen at Zeitgeist's Teatro Zuccone.

For more information on dates and tickets, see duluthplayhouse.org.

Arts and entertainment reporter Jay Gabler joined the Duluth News Tribune in 2022. His previous experience includes eight years as a digital producer at The Current (Minnesota Public Radio), four years as theater critic at Minneapolis alt-weekly City Pages, and six years as arts editor at the Twin Cities Daily Planet. He's a co-founder of pop culture and creative writing blog The Tangential; he's also a member of the National Book Critics Circle and the Minnesota Film Critics Alliance. You can reach him at jgabler@duluthnews.com or 218-279-5536.
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