Tibbits Opens Summer Theatre with “The Best of Broadway”

Coldwater, MI – Tibbits Summer Theatre will open its 58th consecutive season of professional performances on June 16 with a fun and elegant musical theatre revue, “The Best of Broadway” at The Ponds of Coldwater.

Last summer while the historic opera house remained shut down due to the pandemic, Tibbits became one of the few theatres in the country to produce a summer theatre season. This year, amid continued uncertainty, presenting outdoors at The Ponds became a certainty from which the theatre could guarantee the best possible season.

In this opening show, professional actors will showcase the greatest hits from Broadway—melodies that are guaranteed to have audiences humming and tapping their toes to the most memorable moments in musicals throughout the ages! With a variety of solos, duets, and ensemble pieces, the performance will showcase selections from classic favorites like “Showboat,” “Hair,” and “Phantom of the Opera,” along with new pieces from “Hamilton,” “Waitress” and “Dear Evan Hansen.”

This original show is conceived by Tibbits Artistic Director Peter Riopelle and written and compiled by director Charles Burr and musical director Matthew Everingham. Burr and Everingham also collaborated last year to create “Sing Happy,” “A Popped Potpourri,” and “When Radio Was King.”

While Burr has a long list of revues and collaboration on his resume, the process for “The Best of Broadway” was his first long distance creation. Burr explained, “It began in March with weekly phone meetings to Matthew in New York to create a balanced show that flows seamlessly in (mostly) chronological order. The difference in our ages [40 years] helps create a more comprehensive show. The songs we’ve chosen are great for the performers we have as well as for honoring the best of Broadway.”

Tibbits Summer Theatre will feature a core group of professional company members from across the United States. “The Best of Broadway” will include veteran Tibbits actors Stephanie Burdick, Liz Davis, Max Gonzalez, Brooke Jackson, and Michael Motkowski along with newcomer Nile Birch. The production will be directed by Charles Burr with music direction and music arrangement by Matthew Everingham. It will feature lighting design by Catie Bencowe, set design by Stephanie Burdick and Peter Riopelle, costume design by Dusti Donbrock, and sound design by Henry Sendek. Lexa Walker leads the technicians as technical director with Rachel Marengere as stage manager, and Josh Rockwell, Scott Pauley, and Leon Kriser rounding out the technical staff.

In August 2020, Tibbits Summer Theatre closed the final show of the most unique and challenging season in its history. Tibbits Summer Theatre will return to The Ponds of Coldwater for its 2021 season, which will kick off on June 16 with “The Best of Broadway,” a musical revue featuring well-known songs from “Showboat” to “Phantom” to “Hamilton” and everything in between.

“The Best of Broadway,” along with the rest of the 2021 TST Season, is presented through the generous sponsorship support of Coldwater Board of Public Utilities, Vandervoort, Christ & Fisher, P.C.; Parrish Excavating, Inc.; and Frederick Family Dental. Additional sponsors include Coldwater Orthodontics & Aligner Center; Dr. Jon & Seibra Herbener; The Bushouse Family;  ASAMA Coldwater Manufacturing; Coldwater Exchange Club; Matthew C. Christopher, DDS; Great Lakes Chiropractic; Honor Credit Union; and Vested Risk Strategies. Additional funding is provided by the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Tickets for “The Best of Broadway” are $28 (including fees) for all seats, with discounts available to Tibbits members. Performances will run June 16, 18, 22, 24 and 25 at 7:30pm and June 17 and 23 at 2pm. Tickets are available online at Tibbits.org, at the Tibbits admin office at 93 W. Chicago St. in Coldwater 9 am to 5 pm weekdays or by calling 517-278-6029.

All summer theatre performances will be held at the beautiful outdoor event pavilion nestled among 30 acres of lush landscaping at The Ponds of Coldwater, just minutes from the historic Tibbits Opera House in downtown Coldwater. Golf carts are provided to transport guests who need assistance from the parking lot to the pavilion. Please note that Tibbits will follow COVID guidelines at the time performances take place. This may still include universal masking while entering and moving throughout the venue as well as social distancing. For more information call or visit Tibbits.org.