COLDWATER – With more shows and events in one season than ever before, the 57th season of Tibbits Summer Theatre will once again offer something for everyone with a slate full of music, dancing, comedy, romance and drama.
Tibbits 2020 Summer Theatre Season begins with three musicals: the sassy romp “Ain’t Misbehavin’”, the beloved “Annie”, and the impactful “Man of La Mancha.” The main shows close with Ken Ludwig’s “A Comedy of Tenors”. In addition to the regular summer theatre lineup which also includes five kid-friendly Tibbits Popcorn Theatre shows, there will also be concerts, cabarets at area restaurants, and special showings of the play “Love Letters”, a touching journey of love and friendship across a lifetime.
“Ain’t Misbehavin’”, the Fats Waller musical show, opens the season and runs June 18-20 and 25-27 with matinees on June 18 and 24. Relive the intoxicating, swingin’ music of Fats Waller and the Golden Age of the Cotton Club. Winner of the 1978 Tony Award for Best Musical, this delightful and energetic musical revue provides great insight into a vibrant time in American history and music. The joint will be jumpin’ as the versatile cast struts, strums and sings the songs that Fats made famous in a career that ranged from uptown clubs to downtown Tin Pan Alley to Hollywood and concert stages in the U.S., Canada and Europe.
Next, the stage will continue to be filled with music and dance with the family-friendly “Annie,” which runs July 2-3 and 9-11 with matinees on July 2 and 5. With equal measures of pluck and positivity, little orphan Annie charms everyone's heart despite a next-to-nothing start in 1930s New York City. Set during The Great Depression, the feisty young Annie endures “a hard knock life” in the miserable orphanage run by the cruel Miss Hannigan. In adventure after fun-filled adventure, she spends a fairytale Christmas with billionaire Oliver Warbucks, befriends President FDR, searches for her parents, and foils Miss Hannigan's evil plans to take advantage of Annie’s new life.
One of the longest running Broadway shows of its time, “Man of La Mancha” runs July 23-25, 30-31, and August 1 with matinees on July 23 and 29. Based on Cervantes’ epic 17th-century novel, “Man of La Mancha” is a remarkable, poignant musical set in the context of the Spanish Inquisition. An imprisoned Miguel de Cervantes gets his fellow inmates to enact the story of his novel, “Don Quixote,” about an aged nobleman who declares himself a “knight errant” out to do battle for good and the love of a fair maiden. Through the story, all the prisoners – at least for a moment – are transformed. “Man of La Mancha” features such stirring songs as “Dulcinea” and “The Impossible Dream.”
The main season closes with Ken Ludwig’s farce “A Comedy of Tenors,” which runs Aug 6-8 and 13-15 with matinees on Aug 6 and 12. One hotel suite, four tenors, two wives, three girlfriends, and a soccer stadium filled with screaming fans are the perfect setup for this comedy. It’s 1930s Paris and the stage is set for the concert of the century – as long as producer Henry Saunders can keep Italian superstar Tito Merelli and his hot-blooded wife, Maria, from causing runaway chaos. Known as the master of farce, comedic genius Ken Ludwig—playwright of “The Fox on the Fairway,” “See How They Run,” “Moon Over Buffalo” and “Leading Ladies”— provides another play full of mistaken identities, bedroom hijinks, and madcap delight.
Season tickets for the mainstage shows range from $113 to $130 (with fees) and will be on sale in January. Evening summer performances begin at 7:30pm with matinees at 2pm. Gift certificates are currently available for season tickets, individual shows, or for any denomination by calling 517.278.6029, visiting the administrative offices at 93 W. Chicago St., or going online to Tibbits.org. The historic Tibbits Opera House is located at 14 S. Hanchett St. in Coldwater, MI.
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