Broadway hits, a musical based on a popular Adam Sandler movie and a Disney treat for the holidays are just some of the highlights of the 2019-2020 season at The Theatre Company in Bryan. The new season was announced Sunday afternoon in a joyful celebration that looked back at the current season, previewed the upcoming season and included a taste of what audiences will see when The Theatre Company closes out its 2018-2019 season next month with Mamma Mia!
Theme for the new season is “Do You Believe in Magic!” and a magical season of shows — most new to The Theatre Company — it will be.
The highlight of a season full of highlights no doubt will be the beloved Disney musical Frozen Jr. with a cast of talented local youngsters, all under the age of 18. The “junior” version is a slightly shortened version of the show that took Broadway by storm last year. The full version of Frozen has not been released to community theaters yet.
While the story may be somewhat abridged, patrons can rest assured that they will be singing Let It Go on the way home — and the kids will be singing it for months and months to come.
Adrienne Dobson, the talented and creative artistic director at The Theatre Company, said, “I am especially excited about including Frozen Jr. in our main season. If you’ve seen any of our kids workshops, you’ve seen the sort of magic they can pull off in just two weeks.
“For Frozen Jr., by making it a full production, the youth will have a normal audition process and a full rehearsal schedule. I’ve been watching these kids grow so much in the past few years, so I know it’s going to be an incredible production.”
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Here is a look at the full 2019-2020 season:
- Matilda, Oct. 4 - Oct. 20 — This is the charming story of a precocious 5-year-old with a passion for reading and dreaming. Her father is upset she is not a boy and the entire family — not recognizing her true genius — verbally abuses her. She befriends her teacher, Miss Honey, and, after a series of humorous adventures, Matilda’s family moves away and Matilda is taken in by Miss Honey. Matilda is based on the book of the same name by Roald Dahl, who also created Willie Wonka.
- The Rocky Horror Show, Oct. 31 - Nov. 2 — After an absence of several years, The Theatre Company brought this classic back for the Halloween weekend last year. It proved to be so popular that it will return this new season in a limited run. Get ready to do The Time Warp — again.
- Frozen Jr., Dec. 6 - Dec. 15 — What a marvelous way to celebrate the Christmas holidays. Theater patrons of all ages will fall in love with Princess Elsa, her younger sister Anna and Olaf, a magical snowman. Of course, Frozen Jr. is based on the extremely popular 2013 Disney film.
- Who’s Holiday, Dec. 19 - Dec. 21 — Adrienne Dobson, directed by Andrew Roblyer, brought this show to life just before Christmas last year and audiences insisted she bring it back. Despite some blue language — appropriate to the character — Who’s Holiday is surprisingly moving and life-affirming. Cindy Lou Who looks back on her life and how she met the Grinch in this take-off of How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Dobson gives a lesson in acting in this one-woman show. This production happens right before Christmas with only three performances, so mature patrons should take a break from the holiday madness to take in this wonderful show.
- Little Shop of Horrors, Feb. 21 - March 8, 2020 — Audiences have loved this comedy horror musical since it premiered in 1982. The noted team of Alan Menken and Howard Ashman based their musical on the 1960 movie, using the musical styles of the ’60s to tell the story of young Seymour Krelborn and his struggle to keep his plant, Audrey II, the blood it needs to thrive — and thrive it does. It is all good fun and the audience will sing-along to Suddenly Seymour and other songs from the delightful score.
- Tuck Everlasting, April 24 - May 3, 2020 — Winnie Foster is 10 and frustrated with life at home. One day, she meets Jesse Tuck, who she spies drinking from a spring. He stops Winnie from also drinking the water, which she learns grants eternal life to whomever drinks from the spring. Winnie soon learns that living forever has its drawbacks. Winnie lives her life, not drinking the water, and becoming a wife and mother. Variety said, “Despite its existentialism-lite sweep, this is an intimate family story of love, loss and the purpose and power of storytelling in the American folk tradition of Twain and Wilder.” The musical is based on the 1975 book of the same name by Natalie Babbitt, which twice has been made into a movie.
- It Shoulda Been You, June 19 - June 28, 2020 — What could possibly go wrong with the wedding of Rebecca and Brian? Well, just about everything when their families gather for the ceremony. This musical is an original, written just for the stage.
- The Wedding Singer, Aug. 14 - Aug. 31, 2020 — Matthew Sklar, Chad Beguelin and Tim Herlihy based their 2006 musical on the 1978 movie of the same name, starring Adam Sandler as a young man who sings at weddings, even though he has had one failed relationship. He meets a woman he quickly becomes enamored with her — but she is engaged to another man. Of course, it all turns out OK in the end.
Dobson said, “One of the things that I’m most excited about is that outside of our special events — Rocky Horror, Who’s Holiday — almost every show is a Theatre Company debut! We did Little Shop of Horrors back in 2001, but other than that, every other show is going to be brand new to our audiences.
“I know that can be scary for our audiences, but I am so confident that they’re going to love these shows. We have a little something for everyone.”
Season tickets are $84, a 30% saving over individual ticket prices. They are available online at theatrecompany.com or at the box office one hour prior to each performance on Mamma Mia!
Dobson said, “Our theme for the year is ‘Do You Believe in Magic!’ Every show is going to bring you the magic of live theater in its own special way.”