Center Stage Theatre, an inclusive and intergenerational community-based theatre providing high quality and affordable performances, educational programming and volunteer opportunities, today announced its 2023 season. Premiering with “Xanadu” on February 17, 2023, the season will include four musicals, including the 40th anniversary Youth CONNection production, a Neil Simon comedy, a bonus musical and more.
“2023 is going to be an exciting year at Center Stage Theatre; we’ve put together a great line-up of productions that will offer something for everyone,” said Carla Sullivan, Managing Director, Center Stage Theatre. “In addition to both beloved and newer musical titles, a play by one of the most famous playwrights of all time and a celebration of 40 years of Youth CONNection productions, we also have big plans for our educational offerings in 2023 for adults, teens and kids who are new-to or more experienced in theatre. We’re already counting down to kicking this all of in 2023, with some additional surprise announcements to come!”
The 2023 subscription series includes:
- “Xanadu” – February 17 – 26, 2023
This Tony Award-nominated, hilarious, roller skating, musical adventure about following your dreams despite the limitation’s others set for you, rolls along to the original hit score composed by pop-rock legends, Jeff Lynne and John Farrar. Based on the Universal Pictures cult classic movie of the same title, which starred Olivia Newton-John and Gene Kelly, “Xanadu” is hilarity on wheels for adults, children and anyone who has ever wanted to feel inspired.
“Xanadu” follows the journey of a magical and beautiful Greek muse, Kira, who descends from the heavens of Mount Olympus to Venice Beach, California in 1980 on a quest to inspire a struggling artist, Sonny, to achieve the greatest artistic creation of all time – the first ROLLER DISCO! (Hey, it’s 1980!) But, when Kira falls into forbidden love with the mortal Sonny, her jealous sisters take advantage of the situation, and chaos abounds.
- “A Grand Night for Singing” – April 21 – April 30, 2023
Taste and imagination, the two key ingredients for a first-rate revue, abound in this fresh take on the Rodgers & Hammerstein canon, conceived by Tony Award winner Walter Bobbie. Over three decades after the duo’s final collaboration, “The Sound of Music,” took Broadway by storm, this new R&H musical opened the 1994 Broadway season with flair and distinction, garnering wildly enthusiastic notices and earning two Tony nominations, including Best Musical.
Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein may never have imagined “Shall We Dance?” as a comic pas de deux for a towering beauty and her diminutive admirer, nor might they have suspected that one day a lovelorn young lad might pose the musical question, “How do you solve a problem like Maria?” But that’s precisely the kind of invention lavished upon this new revue, with innovative musical arrangements, including a sultry Andrews Sisters-esque “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair,” a swingin’ “Honeybun” worthy of the Modernaires, and a jazzy “Kansas City,” proving how terrifically up to date the remarkable songs of R&H remain.
- “Catch Me If You Can” – July 21 – 30, 2023 (The 40th Anniversary Youth CONNection production)
Based on the hit film and the incredible true story, “Catch Me If You Can” is the high-flying musical comedy about chasing your dreams and not getting caught. Nominated for four Tony awards, including Best Musical, this delightfully entertaining show was created by a Tony Award-winning “dream team,” with a book by Terrence McNally (“The Full Monty,” “Ragtime”) and a swinging score by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman (“Hairspray”).
Seeking fame and fortune, precocious teenager, Frank Abignale, Jr., runs away from home to begin an unforgettable adventure. With nothing more than his boyish charm, a big imagination and millions of dollars in forged checks, Frank successfully poses as a pilot, a doctor and a lawyer – living the high life and winning the girl of his dreams. When Frank’s lies catch the attention of FBI agent, Carl Hanratty, though, Carl pursues Frank across the country to make him pay for his crimes.
- “Rumors” – October 13 – 22, 2023
Written by Neil Simon, the show opens as the Deputy Mayor of New York has just shot himself. Though it’s only a flesh wound, Ken Gorman’s self-inflicted injury sets off a series of events causing four couples to experience a severe attack of Farce.
As their tenth wedding anniversary party commences, Ken lies bleeding in another room, and his wife Chris is nowhere in sight. Chris and their lawyer, Ken, scramble to get “the story” straight before the other guests arrive. As the confusions and miscommunications mount, the evening spins off into classic farcical hilarity.
- “All Shook Up” – December 1 – 10, 2023
It’s 1955, and into a square little town in a square little state rides a guitar-playing young man who changes everything and everyone he meets. Loosely based on Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night,” this hip-swiveling, lip-curling musical fantasy inspired by and featuring the songs of Elvis Presley will have you jumpin’ out of your blue suede shoes with such classics as “Heartbreak Hotel,” “Hound Dog,” “Jailhouse Rock,” and “Don’t Be Cruel.”
Center Stage Theatre will also present a bonus musical:
- “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” – June 15 – 25, 2023
Winner of the Tony and the Drama Desk Awards for Best Book, “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” has charmed audiences across the country with its effortless wit and humor. Featuring a fast-paced, wildly funny and touching book by Rachel Sheinkin and a truly fresh and vibrant score by William Finn, this bee is one unforgettable experience.
An eclectic group of six mid-pubescents vie for the spelling championship of a lifetime. While candidly disclosing hilarious and touching stories from their home lives, the tweens spell their way through a series of (potentially made-up) words, hoping never to hear the soul-crushing, pout-inducing, life un-affirming “ding” of the bell that signals a spelling mistake. Six spellers enter; one speller leaves a champion! At least the losers get a juice box.
2023 Highlights from the Education Center include:
- “Xanadu Jr.” – March 3 – 12, 2023
This 60-minute, full scale musical production with lights, sound, costume and a complete set with cabaret style seating at tables and chairs features performers ages 7-14.
- Spring Classes – TBD
- Summer Camp – June 26 – August 4, 2023
- Fall Performances – November 2 – 12, 2023
Subscriptions for the 2023 season can be purchased online beginning November 18 for $145 per person, which includes 5 shows for the price of 4. Tickets to “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” can be added to subscription packages for $25 per person. Student subscriptions are available for $75 per person. Single tickets will go on sale one month before opening night of each show ($36 adults, $18 students) with group rates available.
For more information, visit www.centerstageshelton.org.