MILLBURN, NJ — Paper Mill Playhouse will open its 2019-2020 season with a highly anticipated new musical about one of the world’s most beloved entertainment icons.

Chasing Rainbows: The Road to Oz (which runs Sept 26 to Oct 27) is the story of how 5-year-old Frances Gumm became Judy Garland, chronicling her early career from vaudeville to her rise at MGM, where she wins the role of Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz.

A dash of fairytale romance, magical onstage transformations and glass slippers comes next in this family musical just in time for the holidays, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella (which will run from Nov. 20 to Dec. 29). The Tony-nominated Broadway adaptation of the beloved musical will put a spell on audiences of all ages.

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In the winter, Paper Mill Playhouse presents the world-premiere musical "Unmasked: The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber" (Jan. 30 to March 1), about the remarkable life and celebrated work of Andrew Lloyd Webber. "Unmasked" will feature new material and rediscovered gems, along with the history of their creation intertwined with Andrew’s extraordinary personal story.

In the spring, Paper Mill Playhouse welcomes back eight-time Oscar winner Alan Menken with his Tony-nominated musical "Sister Act" from April 1 to April 26. Based on the 1992 hit film, this feel-good musical follows Deloris Van Cartier as she goes into hiding in a convent, where she clashes, hilariously, with cloistered life. Van Cartier inspires the sisters with her soulful style, but the church choir’s newfound fame attracts some unwanted attention.

Paper Mill Playhouse closes its 81st season with the world-premiere musical "The Wanderer" from May 28 to June 28), the story of Dion DiMucci and how he skyrocketed to fame as a teenage heartthrob in the 1950s and early '60s with hits like “Runaround Sue,” “Teenager in Love” and “I Wonder Why.” Now, his extraordinary journey comes to the stage in a moving and intimate new musical.

"Paper Mill Playhouse is thrilled to produce two world premieres and a New Jersey premiere as part of our all-musical lineup," said Mark S. Hoebee, Paper Mill Playhouse Producing Artistic Director of the Millburn theatre. "Producing new works is central to our vision of becoming recognized as one of the most important incubators of new musical projects. We're opening our doors to collaborate with and host the top talents of musical theater, both established artists like Andrew Lloyd Webber and up-and-coming playwrights and composers." 

“Paper Mill Playhouse delivers high-quality, engaging performances to broad audiences. By making good theater accessible, Paper Mill enriches our local communities," said Investors Bank Chairman and CEO Kevin Cummings."But most importantly, it provides unique educational opportunities to more than 40,000 students each year and continues to offer invaluable experiences that would not otherwise be available to them. Arts education is key to the development of our children and young adults."  

With a total of five musicals, Paper Mill continues to fulfill its mission to enrich, entertain and inspire audiences and students as the nation’s premier musical theatre. Paper Mill Playhouse’s 2019 to 2020 season is sponsored by Investors Bank. Paper Mill Playhouse education and outreach programs are proudly sponsored by The Goren Family & the Harmony Helper app.

This season is one of the most exciting lineups in our theater’s history; and that’s thanks in large part to the support of our loyal subscribers, who take this journey with us every year," said Managing Director Michael Stotts. "We hope even more people will join us next season and enjoy such benefits as access to the best seats in the house, at the best prices, before we sell out. With the support of our subscribers and donors, Paper Mill Playhouse can continue to be a leader in creating and producing world class musical theater.”

Paper Mill Playhouse will produce eight performances a week from Wednesday through Sunday. Three, four and five-show subscription packages are available now, starting at $111. Each subscription package includes a different level of special benefits.

Youth subscriptions are available for children ages 4 to 18 with the purchase of an adult subscription with accessible discount pricing. Tickets and subscriptions may be purchased by calling 973.376.4343, or clicking here.

Groups of ten or more can receive up to a 40-percent discount on tickets and should call (973) 315-1680. Titles, casting and dates subject to change.

PAPER MILL PLAYHOUSE’S 2019–2020 SEASON

Chasing Rainbows: The Road to Oz

           September 26–October 27

Book by Marc Acito

Music Adapted by & Additional Music by David Libby

Conceived by & Additional Lyrics by Tina Marie Casamento

Directed & Choreographed by Denis Jones

Major Sponsor: Bank of America

Before she burst onto the big screen as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, Judy Garland was a young vaudeville trouper named Frances Gumm. In this highly anticipated new musical chronicling Garland’s early career from vaudeville baby to MGM teen star in the making, the road to Oz is paved with adversity. At its heart a story of love between a father and daughter, featuring such legendary songs as “Over the Rainbow,” “You Made Me Love You,” and “Everybody Sing,” Chasing Rainbows is a poignant coming-of-age tale about “the little girl with the big voice,” who went on to become one of the world’s most beloved entertainment icons. The show has already earned praise from Liza Minnelli, who said, “My mother said that her biography is in her music, and now a talented creative team is using that music to tell the story of her early years and her extraordinary rise to fame.”

Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella

November 20–December 29

Music by Richard Rodgers

Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II

New Book by Douglas Carter Beane

Original Book by Oscar Hammerstein II

Choreographed by JoAnn M. Hunter

Directed by Mark S. Hoebee

Major Sponsor: The Goren Family and the Harmony Helper App

This enchanting, Tony-nominated Broadway adaptation of the beloved musical will put a spell on audiences of all ages. Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella showcases some of the songwriting duo’s loveliest tunes, including “In My Own Little Corner,” “Impossible/It’s Possible,” and “Ten Minutes Ago,” as well as some new characters and surprising twists. Add a dash of fairytale romance, magical onstage transformations, and the iconic pumpkin and glass slippers—and you’re guaranteed to have a ball!

Unmasked: The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber

January 30–March 1

Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber

Written with Richard Curtis

Directed by Laurence Connor

Choreographed by JoAnn M. Hunter

Major Sponsor: JPMorgan Chase & Co.

One of the most successful musical theater composers of all time takes audiences on a behind-the-scenes journey in Unmasked: The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber. Written with Richard Curtis and directed by Laurence Connor, Unmasked is a not-always-reverential look at Andrew’s life and musical career. You’ll hear his best-loved work, including classics from Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, Cats, Phantom of the Opera, and Sunset Boulevard, in sometimes new and unexpected ways. This new production will also feature new material and rediscovered gems, along with the history of their creation intertwined with Andrew’s extraordinary personal story.

Sister Act

April 1–April 26

Music by Alan Menken

Lyrics by Glenn Slater

Book by Cheri Steinkellner & Bill Steinkellner

Additional Book Material by Douglas Carter Beane

Based on the Touchstone Pictures Motion Picture Sister Act Written by Joseph Howard

Based on the 1992 hit film, this feel-good musical comedy smash sizzles with powerful music, spectacular dancing, and a story brimming with heart. The madcap plot is set in motion when disco diva Deloris Van Cartier witnesses a murder and must go into hiding in a convent—where she clashes, hilariously, with cloistered life. Deloris inspires the sisters with her soulful style, but the church choir’s newfound fame attracts the attention of the bad guys. Featuring original music by Tony and eight-time Oscar winner Alan Menken (Newsies, Beauty and the Beast, Little Shop of Horrors), the musical was nominated for five Tony Awards, including Best Musical.

The Wanderer

May 28–June 28

Book by Charles Messina

Choreographed by Sarah O’Gleby

Directed by Kenneth Ferone

Signature Support: The Blanche & Irving Laurie Foundation

Dion. One name set the standard of cool for a generation. But how does a kid from the Bronx make it to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? In The Wanderer, the incredible musical journey of a troubled young man turned teenage heartthrob (and, ultimately, rock and roll icon) is told in intimate and no-holds-barred detail. Dion’s music helped define a generation of rock and rollers. His lifelong battle with addiction shed a stark light on the darker side of fame and success. This musical takes both subjects head on, set to the iconic sound of an incomparable era in American music, and celebrates the triumph of the human spirit against all odds. The Wanderer is the riveting true story of Dion, New York’s rebel king, the man Bruce Springsteen calls “the link between Frank Sinatra and rock and roll.”

Paper Mill offers its audience an opportunity to enhance their theater experience with behind-the-scenes views of mainstage productions with Director's Viewpoint Series, Conversation Club Series, Q&As with the cast, and more. Have you ever wanted to sneak a peek behind the curtain? Or wondered what the director was thinking, or how the cast prepares for a show? Join us for one of many revealing insider’s experiences.

Paper Mill offers people with disabilities the opportunity to see live theater with dignity and independence through a myriad of award-winning access programs and services, including audio description and sensory seminars for the blind, Braille and large-print programs, American Sign Language interpretation for the deaf, open-captioning for those with hearing loss, and assistive listening devices. In addition, Paper Mill Playhouse provides autism-friendly performances of both mainstage and children’s shows throughout the season. Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella will feature an autism-friendly performance on Thursday, Dec 26, at 1:30PM.