Encore Michigan

Wharton Center announces 2019-20 season

Season Announcement April 18, 2019

EAST LANSING, Mich. —  Wharton Center announces its 2019-2020 season which is a sensational collection of new Broadway shows, popular returns, and the very best in performing arts. The season promises to entertain, educate and spark meaningful conversations, all with Wharton’s promise in mind:  to inspire the mind and move the soul. 

“It’s exciting,” says Executive Director Mike Brand. “I think you’ll notice the season has a theme centering around human connectiveness. It starts with our first Broadway blockbuster, COME FROM AWAY, and continues all the way through the end of the season with DEAR EVAN HANSEN. This season will absolutely get people talking and sharing stories, and that’s exactly what we want!”

The 2019-2020 Broadway at Wharton Center season includes four Tony Award® winning Wharton premieres: COME FROM AWAY, Disney’s ALADDIN, Lerner & Loewe’s MY FAIR LADY, and the winner of the 2017 Tony® for Best Musical, DEAR EVAN HANSEN. Adding to this stellar lineup is the return of Wharton Center’s most popular Broadway attractions:  LES MISÉRABLES and WICKED!

Wharton Center continues to focus on diversity in programming with a multitude of performing arts attractions. Audiences will get a chance to experience everything from the ACADEMY OF ST MARTIN IN THE FIELDS directed by world-renowned violinist JOSHUA BELL to vocal powerhouse and Wharton Center favorite STORM LARGE, who will team up with five-time Grammy® nominated artist MICHAEL FEINSTEIN in Shaken and Stirred; jazz master KENNY BARRON, whom the LA Times calls “one of the top jazz pianists in the world,” returns after more than 10 years with trio partners Kiyoshi Kitagawa on bass and Johnathan Blake on drums. The trio will join the SEAN JONES QUARTET for a night of legendary jazz. The ever-popular REDUCED SHAKESPEARE COMPANY returns for an irreverent, fast-paced romp through all of Shakespeare’s comedies, histories and tragedies in one wild ride; dance fans will celebrate the return of the internationally-renowned dance company PILOBOLUS and their extraordinary mind-blowing athleticism; and the ROYAL WINNIPEG BALLET will bring to life the classic story The Wizard of Oz. The Act One Family Series includes everything from classic favorites such as JUNGLE BOOK to a new musical based on The New York Times #1 bestselling series, DOG MAN: THE MUSICAL.

Wharton Center’s 2019-2020 season also includes Sensory-Friendly Performances (SFPs). These events provide supportive and welcoming environments for people with Autism Sensory Disorders and other sensory sensitivities. Audiences will also be able to engage in popular Spotlight Dinners, Insight Previews and After Chats for many of this year’s performances.  A complete list of all the SFP events and engagement activities is available online (www.whartoncenter.com) or by phoning the Auto-Owner Insurance Ticket Office at Wharton Center.

The best way for a patron to experience the events in this amazing season is by becoming a Wharton Center season subscriber. Subscribers receive benefits that include significant discounts and access to the best seats before the shows go on sale to the general public. In addition, they receive special offers throughout the season, and can take advantage of incentives that include a Subscriber Discount Card offering great discounts at local retailers and restaurants. 



COME FROM AWAY                                                             September 10-15,2019

LES MISÉRABLES                                                                November 12-17, 2019

Disney’s ALADDIN                                                              December 4-15, 2019

MY FAIR LADY                                                           February 26- March 1, 2020

WICKED                                                                           April 1-19, 2020

DEAR EVAN HANSEN                                                                     June 16-21, 2020



Emerson String Quartet                                                     October 18, 2019

Imani Winds                                                                           November 8, 2019

Jonathan Biss Plays Beethoven                                        January 8 & 10, 2020

Academy of St Martin in the Fields                                     February 24, 2020

Joshua Bell, director and violin


Pilobolus                                                                                October 30, 2019

Parsons Dance                                                                      February 22, 2020

  • Sensory-Friendly Performance                                        February 22, 2020

Royal Winnipeg Ballet: The Wizard of Oz                           March 25, 2020


Keiko Matsui                                                                          October 25, 2019

Kenny Barron Trio & Sean Jones Quartet                           January 30, 2020


Storm Large and Michael Feinstein:                                        October 12, 2019

Shaken and Stirred

Black Violin                                                                            October 16, 2019

We Shall Overcome:                                                              February 14, 2020

A Celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tao: Drum Heart                                                                    March 13, 2020

The Klezmatics                                                                      March 26, 2020

Davina & The Vagabonds                                                     May 13, 2020a


Reduced Shakespeare Company:                                   November 20-21, 2019

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare

(Abridged) [Revised]

Basic Training                                                                       January 30 & 31, 2020

Thrill Me: The Leopold & Loeb Story                              February 12-16, 2020

Of Equal Place: Isotopes in Motion                                    March 21, 2020


Jungle Book                                                                           November 2, 2019

Dino-Light                                                                              January 25, 2020

Dog Man:  The Musical                                                         March 14, 2020

  • Sensory-Friendly Performance                                        March 15, 2020

Miss Nelson Has a Field Day                                                          April 25, 2020

  • Sensory-Friendly Performance                                        April 26, 2020

Week of 10/18/2021

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