Bumped by Broadway show, symphony seeks new venue
A 'Lion King' booking is rumored
The Honolulu Symphony Orchestra is scrambling for a new home for most of its next season, as the Blaisdell Center negotiates with "a major Broadway production" for use of the concert hall next fall.
John Fuhrmann, Blaisdell's events and services manager, said the dates under discussion are Sept. 10 to Dec. 9, but he refused to name the production.
KITV reported last week that the show was Disney's "The Lion King," but Fuhrmann said that report was premature. Disney Theatrical, the management agency behind the two touring companies of "The Lion King," was unavailable for comment.
Kristin Jackson, the symphony's vice president of marketing, said the orchestra has booked venues such as the Waikiki Shell and Hawaii Theatre to make up for the loss of the Blaisdell, which traditionally hosts half of the symphonic season within the period booked by the incoming production.
Tom Gulick, the symphony's executive director, noted in a letter to symphony supporters that the orchestra has performed at the concert hall for several decades, presenting its classical and pops music series, as well as daytime children's education concerts there.
Gulick went on to say that the situation was an opportunity for the symphony to try out other potential venues on Oahu and the neighbor islands.
The first concert or two of the next symphony season will be performed at the Blaisdell before the Broadway production takes over, and the symphony will return in 2008.