Sangamon Auditorium, Peoria Civic Center announce 2019-2020 theater seasons
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Sangamon Auditorium, PCC announce new theater seasons

Two of the premier event venues in the area announced their 2019-2020 theater seasons – both heavy on musicals, and with some overlap.

The upcoming season at the University of Illinois at Springfield’s Performing Arts Center (aka Sangamon Auditorium) features five touring Broadway shows, four of them musicals. The venue is sweetening the deal for theater lovers by offering savings of $50 per person or $100 per couple, plus access to select seats, to those who subscribe to all five Madden Broadway Series shows.

Meanwhile in the River City, the Ameren Illinois Broadway Series is bringing six touring shows – and a beloved local tradition – to the Peoria Civic Center theater. Season tickets go on sale today, offering 10% discounts on Broadway Series ticket prices (which are not posted yet), plus a variety of perks such as VIP lounge access during shows.

Here are the shows:

Beautiful – The Carole King Musical

This popular jukebox musical traces Carole King’s path from Brooklyn girl to hit-churning 1960s songwriter and, finally, best-selling singer-songwriter.

In addition to King’s own beloved music, Beautiful has an original book by Tony Award-nominee Douglas McGrath; it received two 2014 Tony Awards and the 2015 Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album. The Broadway production is still bringing crowd to the Stephen Sondheim Theatre even as a touring production makes its way across the U.S.

Sangamon Auditorium
Oct. 18, 7:30 pm

Peoria Civic Center
April 7, 8 pm

We Will Rock You

You say the Freddie Mercury biopic wasn’t enough to satisfy your passion for Queen? Then don’t miss the U.S. tour of this critically panned but wildly popular British production that uses the story of Galileo and Scaramouche (get it?), two revolutionaries trying to save rock n’ roll in a post-apocalyptic world, as an excuse for an operatic mashup of popular Queen tunes and original material by Australian-British author Ben Elton.

Peoria Civic Center
Oct. 19, 7:30 pm

The Spongebob Musical

Yes, this is actually a thing – and not only did it get positive reviews, but also a pile of 2018 Tony Award nominations, ultimately winning Best Scenic Design of a Musical.

Quoth The New York Times:

In other words, you will probably adore this musical if: a) “SpongeBob” was a formative influence of your childhood; b) you are a stoner who tokes up to watch reruns of the show on YouTube (categories a and b are not mutually exclusive); or c) if you are (like my date for this show) a parent of “SpongeBob”-bingeing progeny and found its sensibility crept into, and wallpapered, your weary mind.

Peoria Civic Center
Oct. 29, 7:30 pm

Jersey Boys

The jukebox musical that traces the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons doesn’t even need an introduction; it’s still going 13 years after winning Best Musical and three other Tony Awards.

Peoria Civic Center
Nov. 19, 7:30 pm

Peoria Ballet Nutcracker

The Peoria Ballet’s seasonal Nutcracker performances have been an area tradition for generations. The 2019 edition will feature all new choreography, spectacular sets and costumes, and dancers from Chicago’s Joffrey Ballet – plus, of course, Tchaikovsky’s music, performed live by the Heartland Festival Orchestra.

Peoria Civic Center
Dec. 14, 2 pm and 7: 30 pm
Dec. 15, 2 pm


Based on a 2007 indie dramedy, this musical is the rare case of a stage adaptation that ends up outshining the film that inspired. Now that cooking shows are all the rage, this tale about a waitress and expert pie-maker who sees a baking contest as a way out of her small town and rocky marriage is perfectly timed, which helps explain why it’s playing on Broadway and London’s West End while a touring production entertains audiences across the U.S..

Sangamon Auditorium
Feb. 14, 8 pm

Peoria Civic Center
Feb 16, 1 pm and 6:30 pm

The Choir of Man

After spending the last couple of years touring the UK and Australia, the cast of this runaway hit is finally bringing the show to American audiences.

Set in an Irish pub and featuring songs by everyone from Adele and Queen to Red Hot Chili Peppers and Guns ‘n Roses, The Choir of Man is an uplifting, all-ages show filled with high-energy dance, live percussion and foot-stomping choreography.

Sangamon Auditorium
March 4, 7:30 pm

Blue Man Group

The Blue Man Group is returning to Peoria for another round of its multimedia spectacle.

Peoria Civic Center
March 17, 7:30 pm

The Color Purple

Alice Walker’s 1982 novel finds its way back into popular culture with this 2015 revival of the 2006 musical adaptation, which took inspiration from the novel as well as the 1985 Steven Spielberg film. The Broadway production took home two Tony Awards, including Best Revival of a Musical, and its score, filled with jazz, gospel, ragtime and blues, won a Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album.

Sangamon Auditorium
April 20, 8 pm

The Play That Goes Wrong

This play within a play pokes fun of the mishaps that befall a fictitious UK theater company while putting on a murder mystery performance. The original production won the 2015 Laurence Olivier Award (the British equivalent to the Tony Awards) for Best Comedy; the Broadway adaptation marked film director J. J. Abrams’ debut as a theatrical producer. With a U.S. tour underway, now’s your chance to check it out.

Sangamon Auditorium
May 7, 7:30 pm

Sergio Barreto

Written by Sergio Barreto

Sergio's American life began as an exchange student in Lincoln, IL. After more than 20 years living up North, writing for outlets such as The Chicago Reader, organizing & promoting cultural events and what-not, he had it with the big city and moved back to Central Illinois. He currently edits financial newsletters, in addition to designing and maintaining websites like this one.

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