Pictured: Ensemble members of Theater in the Park’s 2012 production of ANNIE.
Theatre in the Park has announced the eight musicals that will make up the company’s 50th anniversary season of outdoor and indoor productions. Highlights include THE MUSIC MAN and THE WIZARD OF OZ, along with two Theater in the Park premieres – CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG and MATILDA.
“Our upcoming season is a tribute to the thousands of performers, designers, crew, and staff that have put terrific theatre on our stage through the past half century,” comments Producing Artistic Director Tim Bair. “It is also a testament to the hundreds of thousands of patrons that have supported us, and made TTIP a part of their summers for the past 49 years.”
Theatre in the Park 2019 Season (from the press release):
2019 Outdoor Season located at Shawnee Mission Park:
June 7 – 15
Directed by Tim Bair
Based on the popular comic strip by Harold Gray, ANNIE has become a worldwide phenomenon with popular songs “Tomorrow” and “Hard knock Life”. Set in the 1930s in New York City, little orphan Annie charms everyone’s hearts despite a next-to-nothing start. She is determined to find the parents who abandoned her years ago in an orphanage that is run by the cruel, embittered Miss Hannigan. With the help of the other girls in the orphanage, Annie escapes to the wondrous world of NYC. With fun-filled adventures galore, Annie flees Miss Hannigan’s evil clutches and finds a new home and
family in billionaire, Oliver Warbucks, his personal secretary, Grace Farrell, and a lovable mutt named Sandy.
CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG
June 21 – 29
Directed by Julie Ewing
Imagine a flying car that soars over land and sails the seas taking its riders on a fantastic musical adventure! Based on the beloved 1968 film version of Ian Fleming’s children’s book, and featuring a score by the Sherman Brothers, CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG tells the story of Caractacus Potts, an eccentric inventor, who sets about restoring an old racecar from a scrap heap with the help of his children, Jeremy and Jemima. The trio soon discovers the car has magical properties, including the ability to float and take flight. But trouble is not far away as the evil Baron Bomburst wants the magic car for himself. The family joins forces with Truly Scrumptious and batty Grandpa Potts to outwit the
dastardly Baron and Baroness and their villainous henchman, the Child Catcher.
THE MUSIC MAN
July 5 – 13
Directed by Chris McCoy
Meredith Wilson’s six-time, Tony Award-winning musical comedy has been entertaining audiences since 1957. This family-friendly tale follows a fast-talking traveling salesman Harold Hill as he cons the people of River City, Iowa, into buying musical instruments and uniforms for a boys’ band that he vows to organize –despite the fact that he doesn’t know a trombone from a treble clef. Instead, he employs the “think method” as he plans to skip town with the cash –until he meets Marian, the librarian, who transforms him into a respectable citizen by curtain’s fall.
MATILDA, THE MUSICAL
July 19 – 27
Directed by Mark Swezey
A Theatre in the Park premiere, MATILDA is the story of an extraordinary girl who, armed with a vivid imagination and a sharp mind, dares to take a stand and change her own destiny. Inspired by the twisted genius of Tony Award winner Roald Dahl, MATILDA THE MUSICAL is the captivating masterpiece from the Royal Shakespeare Company that revels in the anarchy of childhood, the power of imagination and the inspiring story of a
girl who dreams of a better life.
THE WIZARD OF OZ
Aug. 2 – 10
Directed by Kevin Bogan
While it has been 80 years since the release of the popular film, this beloved musical remains a perennial favorite. First performed at Theatre in the Park in 1975, THE WIZARD OF OZ begins on a farm on the Kansas prairie when a tornado transports Dorothy over the rainbow to a land beyond that’s very different from her home. Leaving her humdrum life with her Aunt Em and Uncle Henry behind, Dorothy discovers the Land of Oz filled with lots of green, magic, little Munchkins and a Wicked Witch. Determined to return to her home, Dorothy is told to follow the Yellow Brick Road to find the powerful Wizard of Oz, who can make her dream of returning home come true. Along the way, she makes new friends with a Scarecrow, Tinman and Cowardly Lion. Wearing magical ruby slippers, Dorothy and her friends travel to see the Wizard, but The Wicked Witch tries to stop her at every turn.
Theatre in the Parks Indoor Season at Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center:
April 19 – 5
Directed by Jay Coombes
One of the most popular small “juke box” musicals in recent memory, FOREVER PLAID is a fun revue packed with classic barbershop quartet harmonies and pitch-perfect melodies! Audiences will croon along with beloved songs from the 1950s and laugh together with the delightful patter the “Plaids” provide.
Oct. 11 – 27
Dancehall hostess Charity Hope Valentine is a hopeless romantic looking for someone to love and to love her back. Inspired by Federico Fellini’s “Nights of Cabiria,” SWEET CHARITY follows Charity’s turbulent love life in New York City. With a tuneful mid-1960s score by Cy Coleman with snazzy lyrics by Dorothy Fields, SWEET CHARITY includes such songs as “Big Spender” and “Rhythm of Life,” and captures all the energy, humor, and heartbreak of life in the big city for an unfortunate but irrepressible optimist.
A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS
Dec. 6 – 22
Directed by Barb Nichols
Charlie Brown, Lucy, Snoopy, and the Peanuts gang gather together to celebrate the holidays, in this show based on the animated television special of the same name. It’s the Christmas season, and Charlie Brown complains about the overwhelming materialism he sees in everyone. At Lucy’s suggestion, Charlie Brown becomes director of the school Christmas pageant, but it proves to be a frustrating endeavor. When an attempt to restore the proper holiday spirit with a forlorn little Christmas fir tree fails, Charlie Brown needs his pal Linus’ help to discover the real meaning of Christmas.
In addition to the scheduled 2019 season, “Movies in the Park” will return to Theatre in the Park’s outdoor amphitheater. Titles will be announced in the spring.
For more information about Theater in the Park’s 2019 season visit theatreinthepark.org.