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RBTL season skips 2020, offers return of ‘Hamilton’

Joan Marcus

There’s no ’20 in the Rochester Broadway Theatre League’s 2020-’21 season.

With the coronavirus pandemic remaining a nationwide concern, the RBTL’s upcoming calendar will skip this year entirely and open Jan. 26, 2021, with the Broadway-proven hit Mean Girls. But the undisputed highlight will be the return of one of the most-acclaimed musicals of recent years, Hamilton.

The RBTL, which presents its shows at the Auditorium Theatre, generally opens its season in October.

The 2020-’21 season, announced Wednesday evening, includes six shows. All are musicals.

Credit Joan Marcus
Mean Girls

Mean Girls, a musical-comedy built around a clique of nasty high-school girls, is based on the 2004 film written by Tina Fey, who also brought it to the stage in 2017. It debuted on Broadway in 2018 and was nominated for a dozen Tony Awards, including Best Musical. It runs from Jan. 26-31, 2021.

The Band’s Visit runs from February 23-28. Winner of 10 Tony Awards in 2018, including Best Musical, the story of The Alexandria Ceremonial Police Orchestra unexpectedly turning up in a small town in Israel is based on a 2007 film of the same name.

My Fair Lady runs from March 16-21. It’s the classic tale of linguistics professor Henry Higgins trying to turn Eliza Doolittle into a proper lady. The musical features classic songs such a “I Could Have Danced All Night,” “The Rain in Spain,” “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly” and “On the Street Where You Live.”

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory runs from June 8-13, 2021. Based on the 1964 Roald Dahl book, and the film featuring Gene Wilder, the theater version debuted in London in 2013, and came to Broadway in 2017. And yes, Oompa Loompas are involved.

Credit Morris Mac Matzen
Pretty Woman, the Musical

Pretty Woman: The Musical, runs from October 5-10, 2021. Based on the 1990 romantic comedy about a prostitute, the music includes songs co-written by rocker Bryan Adams and a finale of Roy Orbison’s “Oh, Pretty Woman.”

That’s the RBTL’s five-show package. Hamilton, set for April 27 through May 16 run, is a separate add-on. The Pulitzer Prize-winning musical of hip-hop show tunes also played the Auditorium in 2019.

Subscription renewals are available now to current RBTL subscribers. New subscriptions and individual tickets will go on sale at a later date, alongside announcement of season specials.

For ticket information, visit

Jeff Spevak is WXXI’s Arts & Life editor and reporter. He can be reached at

Jeff Spevak has been a Rochester arts reporter for nearly three decades, with seven first-place finishes in the Associated Press New York State Features Writing Awards while working for the Democrat and Chronicle.