As Tibbits Summer Theatre gears up for it 51st season of professional summer stock, officials anticipate an exciting year with two huge Tony-award winning musicals, a comedy about empty nesters and the “boomerang generation,” and a musical revue featuring the songs of one of Americas most celebrated song writing teams.
Charles Burr, Tibbits Artistic Director says of the season, “We never want to be content with what we’ve done before. We should always be challenging ourselves and I think this season will again set the bar a little higher. “A Chorus Line” is our biggest show yet with a cast of 19 top notch dancers. Then audiences get to see those same dancers take on a beloved musical like “Guys and Dolls”; it will be danced like you’ve never seen it before.”
Company members are already starting to arrive from across the United States. Actors, musicians, designers, directors and technical staff are hired by Tibbits to form the company which will produce four main shows and four Popcorn Theatre shows over a nine week period. According Burr, “The pace is hectic but these are professionals who thrive on the artistic experience and quality theatre for which Tibbits is known.”
The season opens June 26 with “The Look of Love,” a musical revue featuring the songs of Burt Bacharach and Hal David. With over 300 songs from Broadway’s “Promises, Promises,” to movie themes including James Bond and “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” to a host of songs on the pop hit charts through the 1970s and 80s Bacharach and David have left their mark on the music world and our hearts. Song titles featured in the show include Alfie, Do You Know the Way to San Jose, I'll Never Fall in Love Again, I Say A Little Prayer, One Less Bell To Answer, Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head, Walk On By, and Promises, Promises. Rather than a traditional story line, creators Burr and Trinity Bird use the songs and staging to take audiences through a celebration of the music of a generation. The show is sponsored by PNC Bank and runs June 26-28 and July 2-5. (There is no performance on July 4.)
“A Chorus Line” takes the stage July 10 with a full cast of outstanding dancers and high expectations. Set on the bare stage of a Broadway theatre during an audition for a musical, “A Chorus Line” provides a glimpse into the personalities of the performers and the choreographer as they describe the events that have shaped their lives and their decisions to become dancers. Tibbits suggests a PG-13 rating for language and adult content. With music by Marvin Hamlisch, lyrics by Edward Kleban and a book by James Kirkwood, Jr. and Nicholas Dante the show won nine Tony Awards. It runs through July 19 and is sponsored by Vandervoort, Christ and Fisher, PC, Attorneys and Counselors.
Then the beloved musical classic “Guys and Dolls” provides a nice contrast to the slightly edgy “Chorus Line.” The show takes a story by Damon Runyon and his memorable cast of characters and turns them into a romp through a stylized, more-fun-than-seedy, New York with lovable gamblers, sinners, chorus girls and mission dolls. Nathan Detroit needs money to secure a location for his floating crap game so he makes a bet with Sky Masterson that Sky can’t get the head of the mission, Sarah Brown, to Havana. Between his fiancé Adelaide who wants a wedding date and Officer Brannigan who wants to arrest him, complications arise and laughs abound. Billed as a musical fable of Broadway, “Guys and Dolls” has music and lyrics by Frank Loesser, book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows. This Tony award winning musical is sponsored by Branch County Community Theatre and runs July 24 through August 2.
The summer of celebration closes with the witty comedy “Alone Together.” In the hilarious Broadway comedy by Lawrence Roman, Mom and Dad have spent the last 30 years raising three active sons. How they looked forward to the peace, the quiet and the privacy of an empty nest. After considerable comic turmoil and revelation of deep feelings, the nest is finally emptied. Their peace and quiet does not last for long. The empty nest fills again with the sudden, unexpected arrival of their children, each with a problem which is dumped on Mom and Dad. The show is sponsored by Satek Winery of Fremont, Indiana and runs from August 7 to 16.
All performances are held at the beautiful historic Tibbits Opera House, 14 S. Hanchett St., Coldwater. Shows run Thursday through Saturday evenings at 8 pm with matinees at 2 pm on Thursday of the first week and Wednesday of the second week. Tickets range from $32 to $10, including fees. Season tickets and passbooks offer additional savings. All tickets are available at Tibbits.org, by stopping at the Tibbits box office at the theatre Monday through Friday from 10 am to 6 pm, by calling 517-278-6029, or buy online.
For children and families, Popcorn Theatre will again offer live theatre opportunities Friday and Saturday mornings from June 20 through August 9. For more information go to our Tibbits Young Audiences page.