Kalamazoo Civic Theatre Announces 2020-2021 Season
The Kalamazoo Civic Theatre's 2020-2021 season spans the globe; from the deserts of Namibia to the streets of Paris, from just off Broadway to a little house on the prairie. See what's in store for the Civic's 92nd year!
The Last Five Years
The Kalamazoo Civic's 2020-2021 season starts with the soft opening of The Last Five Years. It's the story of a five-year relationship between aspiring author Jamie Wellerstein, and struggling actress Cathy Hiatt. According to Wikipedia, the show uses, "a form of storytelling in which Cathy's story is told in reverse chronological order (beginning the show at the end of the marriage), and Jamie's is told in chronological order (starting just after the couple have first met). The characters do not directly interact except for a wedding song in the middle as their timelines intersect."
Recently produced as a film for Netflix, American Son is a gripping drama centered around a missing teenager, his terrified parents, and tight-lipped police officers. Tensions rise as the parents confront racial issues within their household and video evidence of their son and police shooting surface.
This musical explores the backstage show experience, focusing on the efforts of famed director Julian Marsh mounting a successful musical extravaganza at the height of the Great Depression. According to Wikipedia, "The show is a jukebox musical of sorts, in that, in addition to songs from the 1933 film 42nd Street, it includes songs that Dubin and Warren wrote for many other films at around the same time, including Gold Diggers of 1933, Roman Scandals, Dames, Gold Diggers of 1935, Go into Your Dance, Gold Diggers of 1937 and The Singing Marine. It also includes "There's a Sunny Side to Every Situation", written by Warren and Johnny Mercer for Hard to Get. A 2017 revival added the song "Boulevard of Broken Dreams", written by Warren and Dubin for Moulin Rouge."
Sondheim's Side by Side
Performed by the Kalamazoo Civic's Reader's Theatre, Side by Side is a musical revue featuring the songs of famed composer Stephen Sondheim.
A Little House Christmas
Join Half Pint and the whole Ingalls family the week before Christmas. Trouble is afoot. There's a storm on the way, and while Pa worries about the creek flooding, Half Pint worries that the weather may prevent Santa Clause from delivering the Ingalls' gifts. Performed by the Civic Youth Theatre, this show will inspire nostalgia in older generations while introducing the world of Little House to new ones.
Rogers & Hammerstein's Cinderella
Originally written for television but later produced for the stage, Rogers & Hammerstein's Cinderella follows the French version of the classic fairy tale about a young woman forced into a life of servitude by her cruel stepmother. With the help of a little magic, her dreams of attending the ball at the palace come true. She meets the Prince, falls in love, and lives happily ever after.
Ring of Fire
Inspired by the music of Johnny Cash, this jukebox musical follows the story of a couple throughout the decades of their lives. This show features 38 of Cash's most well-known songs including Daddy Sang Bass, I Walk the Line, and I've Been Everywhere.
Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express
First published in January of 1934, Agatha Christie's famous novel is brought to life on stage. The elegant Orient Express is stopped on its tracks due to heavy snowfall when a murder is discovered. Good thing the famous London Detective Hercule Poirot just happened to be on board...
Winner of the 2016 Tony Award for Best Play, The Humans is set at Thanksgiving. The Blake family gathered to spend the holiday together. According to Wikipedia, "The parents are unhappy that their daughters have left home and have abandoned their religion. The family members must deal with "aging, illness, and a changing economy".
Disney's The Lion King Jr. (Penguin Project)
The live theatrical experience that took Broadway by storm will be performed by children for children. This production is the 2020-2021's Penguin Project, wherein all roles are tilled by young artists with developmental disabilities who are paired up with mentors their age.
45 Seconds from Broadway
Neil Simon's 33rd play, the title 45 Seconds from Broadway refers the amount of time it takes to Broadway from the play's location, a coffee shop that is filled with an eclectic cast of characters including the owner, his wife, a woman of means, her very quiet husband, an impresario, an ingenue, and a South African playwright... it's starting to sound like a Neil Simon play about a Neil Simon play.
26-year-old hairdresser Rita is in a rut. Seeking inner growth, she reaches signs up for a course in English Literature, a course taught by Frank, a middle-aged, alcoholic who is the very definition of curmudgeon. Before long, the two have infused each other with new-found confidence and a zest for life.
High school Musical Jr.
Disney's sensation High School Musical is given the Civic Youth Theatre treatment as they produce a "Jr" version of the story. The show is shortened and the entire cast is made up of performers under the age of 18.
An American in Paris
Ending the 2020-2021 season on a note that can only be described as la perfection, An American in Paris is the stage adaptation of the 1951 Gene Kelly film. Set at the end of WW||, this is a story of love, happiness, and finding a new lease on life.