America's Oldest · Founded 1808

Broadway Favorites Fill the Walnut's 2013-2014 "Season of Dreams!"

June 1, 2013

PHILADELPHIA, PA –Walnut Street Theatre, America’s oldest theatre and the State Theatre of Pennsylvania, is pleased to announce its landmark 205th season of live entertainment and its 31st season as a not-for-profit producing theatre company. The line-up includes three spectacular musicals, a classic comedy and an exciting new drama. As a self-producing regional theatre, the Walnut has become not only the most popular theatre company in Philadelphia, but also the most subscribed theatre company in the world, boasting over 55,000 subscribers!

President and Producing Artistic Director Bernard Havard is proud to announce the 2013-2014 Mainstage season. Audiences will be treated to the Tony Award-winning Best Musical IN THE HEIGHTS, the hilarious Broadway musical comedy ELF and the Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING. In addition, they’ll enjoy Broadway’s hit drama OTHER DESERT CITIES and the comedy filled with laughs-to-die-for, ARSENIC AND OLD LACE.


The Walnut opens its 205th season with Broadway’s Tony Award-winning Best Musical about chasing your dreams and finding your true home, IN THE HEIGHTS. This exhilarating musical tells the universal story of a vibrant community in New York’s Washington Heights neighborhood – a place where the coffee from the corner coffee shop is light and sweet, the windows are always open and the breeze carries the rhythm of three generations of music. It’s a community on the brink of change, full of hopes and dreams where the biggest struggles can be deciding which traditions you take with you, and which ones you leave behind. With a gripping story and incredible music and dance, IN THE HEIGHTS is a groundbreaking 21st century musical and the next chapter in the classic American story (September 3 – October 20).

Celebrate the holiday season with ELF, the hilarious musical adapted from the hit film by the writers of Annie and The Wedding Singer. This is the charming tale of Buddy, a young orphan who mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is transported to the North Pole. He is raised unaware that he is actually a human, until his enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth. With Santa’s permission, he embarks on a journey to New York City with dreams to find his birth father and discover his true identity. What’s an adopted elf to do when he realizes his father is on Santa’s ‘naughty’ list and his half-brother doesn’t believe that there is a Santa Claus? It’s up to Buddy to save Christmas! Audiences will love this Broadway musical for the holiday season (November 5 – January 5)!

OTHER DESERT CITIES (January 14 – March 2) is the story of a once promising novelist, who returns home after a six year absence to celebrate Christmas in Palm Springs with her parents, former leading Republicans, and her eccentric liberal aunt. When the novelist announces she is about to publish a memoir focusing on an explosive chapter in the family’s history, the holiday reunion is thrown into turmoil as the family struggles to come to terms with their past. In this family, secrets are everything. Audiences will be gripping their seats as the family mystery unfolds. OTHER DESERT CITIES is both a funny and suspenseful new Broadway drama from the creator of TV’s Brothers & Sisters and was a finalist for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

Next up is one of the American theatre’s funniest comedies, ARSENIC AND OLD LACE (March 11 – April 27). Drama critic Mortimer Brewster is engaged to the lovely Elaine Harper... but will she fit in with his ‘unusual’ family? Abby and Martha Brewster are known throughout Brooklyn for their many acts of kindness and charity. But Mortimer has just learned that his charming spinster aunts have taken to relieving the loneliness of old men by inviting them in for a nice glass of home-made elderberry wine laced with arsenic, strychnine, and “just a pinch” of cyanide! What else can go wrong? Their brother believes that he’s Teddy Roosevelt! The Walnut’s production celebrates the 75th Anniversary of this classic madcap comedy.

Lastly, the Walnut will have one of the most delightfully irreverent musicals ever and the winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING (May 13 – July 13). This musical satire of 1960s big business and all it held sacred follows the rise of J. Pierrepont Finch, who uses a little handbook called “How To Succeed In Business” to climb the corporate ladder from lowly window washer to high-powered executive, tackling such familiar but potent dangers as the company man, the office party, backstabbing co-workers, caffeine addiction and, of course, true love. This blockbuster musical comedy features a beloved score packed with such hit standards as “I Believe in You,” “Happy to Keep His Dinner Warm,” “The Company Way,” “Been a Long Day,” “Rosemary” and “Brotherhood of Man” and is the perfect way to end the season!