It’s a measure of Austin’s growing importance as a theatrical market that big fresh shows — such as "Hadestown," "Tootsie" and "To Kill a Mockingbird" — are headed to Austin for the 2020-21 Broadway in Austin season.


Not only that, but the city has earned a three-week return engagement of "Wicked," as well as tantalizing potential treats such as "Summer: The Donna Summer Musical," "Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" and "Mean Girls," all at Bass Concert Hall on the University of Texas campus.


Within living memory, big theater productions veered away from Austin altogether, or else played smaller houses such as the Paramount Theatre or Hogg Auditorium. Even with the advent of the larger Municipal Auditorium in 1959, its ungainly spaces and poor acoustics did not attract big Broadway tours on a consistent basis.


The opening of the Bass Concert Hall in 1981 created the perfect spot for large amplified shows, but there was a problem. Competition for the best dates was fierce, so Austin rarely rated shows right off their Broadway runs.


We waited. And waited. And waited.


That logjam was broken in 2008 when the local symphony, opera, ballet and other performing arts groups moved into the Long Center for the Performing Arts, the reinvented version of the Municipal Auditorium, long known as Palmer Auditorium. That freed up schedule space on the UT campus.


Austin — ranked No. 40 in the U.S. as a media market, according to Nielsen — still stood in line behind much larger markets Houston and Dallas, as well as San Antonio, similar in size to Austin but much better established in the touring and media biz.


The fact, however, that the mega-hit of this generation, "Hamilton," played a three-week gig in 2019 not that long after it first embarked on the road in 2016 meant that Austin had climbed another rung or two on the show biz ladder.


The next season is fresh. Only one selection for 2020-21, "Wicked," premiered on Broadway before 2018. In fact, "Hadestown" and "Tootsie" opened on the Great White Way less than a year ago.


While critics were not charmed by all the shows in the 2018-19 season, Broadway in Austin charged back with an excellent bill of fare in 2019-20 that has already included highly praised winners like "Dear Evan Hansen," "Jesus Christ Superstar" and "Hello, Dolly!" Premiering this week is the anticipated feel-good musical "Come From Away."


Now, mark your calendar for these 2020-21 shows. We’ve also included a few standout songs, if you want to start learning the tunes.


"Summer: The Donna Summer Musical"


Austin dates: Sept. 8-13


Opened on Broadway: April 23, 2018


Opened on tour: Sept. 29, 2019


Story: This musical checks in on disco queen Donna Summer during three times in her life. If you don’t know her output, Summer had 42 hit singles and could be heard everywhere at any time during the late 1970s.


Standout songs: "MacArthur Park," "Bad Girls," "Last Dance"


Tony Awards: Two nominations for performances. No wins.


"Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory"


Austin dates: Dec. 8-13


Opened on Broadway: April 23, 2018


Opened on tour: Sept. 22, 2018


Story: Adapted and re-adapted, this children’s story about Charlie Bucket’s adventures inside Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory keeps imaginations churning.


Standout songs: "The Candy Man," "Pure Imagination"


Tony Awards: No nominations (won a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Puppet Design).


"Tootsie"


Austin dates: Jan. 12-17, 2021


Opened on Broadway: April 23, 2019


Opens on tour: Fall 2020


Story: In this cross-dressing comedy, an actor adopts a new identity to land a job.


Standout songs: "Unstoppable," "Talk to Me Dorothy," "What’s Going to Happen," "Who Are You?"


Tony Awards: Nominated for 10 awards including best musical; won best book of a musical and best performance by an actor in a leading role (Santino Fontana).


"To Kill a Mockingbird"


Austin dates: Feb. 9-14, 2021


Opened on Broadway: Dec. 13, 2018; still running


Opens on tour: August 2020


Story: For this nonmusical, Aaron Sorkin (of "The West Wing" fame) adapts Harper Lee’s classic novel about a girl, Scout, and her father, Atticus Finch, an attorney who defends an African American man accused of raping a white woman.


Standout scenes: Atticus Finch’s summations in the courtroom.


Tony Awards: Nine nominations and one win for best performance by an actress in a featured role in a play (Celia Keenan-Bolger).


"Mean Girls"


Austin dates: March 23-28, 2021


Opened on Broadway: April 8, 2018


Opened on tour: Sept. 21, 2019


Story: Tony Award voters dissed this adaptation of Tina Fey’s movie comedy about teen social hierarchies, but audiences loved it.


Standout songs: "Fearless," "I See Stars," "Where Do You Belong?"


Tony Awards: Twelve nominations including best musical. No wins. That’s mean.


"Wicked"


Austin dates: April 21-May 9, 2021


Opened on Broadway: Oct. 30, 2003; still running


Opened on tour: March 9, 2005; current tour opened March 7, 2009


Story: Based on Gregory Maguire’s inventive novel, this Stephen Schwartz musical follows the backstories of Glinda, the Good Witch, and Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, and other characters from "The Wizard of Oz."


Standout songs: "Defying Gravity," "I’m Not That Girl," "Popular"


Tony Awards: Ten nominations. Three wins: best actress in a musical (Idina Menzel), best scenic design (Eugene Lee) and best costume design (Susan Hilferty).


"Hadestown"


Austin dates: June 1-6, 2021


Opened on Broadway: April 17, 2019; still running


Opens on tour: Fall 2020


Story: The ancient tale of Orpheus and Eurydice was developed collaboratively into a cherished musical over the course of 13 years by mastermind Anaïs Mitchell.


Standout songs: "Way Down Hadestown," "Come Home With Me," "Wait for Me," "Road to Hell," "Why We Build the Wall"


Tony Awards: Thirteen nominations. Eight wins, including best musical. Among the individual winners, André De Shields, who played Hermes, gave one of the most memorable acceptance speeches of late.