The Grand Rapids Civic Theatre (GRCT) is building suspense with the announcement of its 2018-2019 season. That’s because the theater said it cannot share one of the musicals on its roster for the upcoming year due to the agreement that allowed it to land the coveted musical.
“We were very fortunate to secure the rights to this show – but only if we agreed to withhold revealing the title until a later date this season. The chance to produce one of the most successful and entertaining musicals of recent history was too important to pass up,” said Bruce Tinker, GRCT executive and artistic director.
Tinker added, “As a community theatre, it isn’t unusual for rights to be released with strong guidelines. If a show is touring, currently on Broadway, or in production at an (equity) theatre in a geographic location deemed ‘near’, then our rights are often restricted. One of the examples mentioned is the reason why we are keeping the title under wraps for now.”
Civic Theatre shared the rest of the 2018-2019 season, however:
September 7-23, 2018
From a small-town beauty parlor in Louisiana, the outspoken Truvy and her new assistant Annelle treat their clientele to shampoos, haircuts, and advice, not necessarily in the order. When the local socialite’s daughter marries a good ol’boy and decides to start a family, complications from her diabetes force all to face life’s big questions with the strength of steel and the fleeting beauty of magnolias.
“Number the Stars”
October 12-21, 2018
Written from a child’s perspective, the play begins when Ella surprises her best friend Annemaire by arriving unannounced to spend the night. Not long after, Nazi soldiers appear at the door looking for Ella’s family, and Annemarie’s family claim that Ella is their own daughter. Annemairie realizes that all Jewish Danes are in danger, and their only hope is for their Christian neighbors to escort them to safety in nearby Sweden. Defying the law of the land, she steps up to help Ela’s family escape…but will they reach Sweden before it is too late.
Disney’s “The Little Mermaid”
November 16 – December 16, 2018
Always fascinated by the world above, Ariel’s longing becomes even greater when she rescues Prince Eric from drowning. Though her father warns her to stay away from humans, she eventually trades her beautiful singing voice to the sea witch Ursula, in return for a pair of human legs. When the bargain turns out to be more than it appears, Ariel needs the help of her animal friends Flounder, Scuttle, and Sebastian to overcome the witch’s evil plans and make a choice that will let her live happily ever after.
Agatha Christie’s “And Then There Were None”
January 11-27, 2019
As the story begins, ten strangers arrive on an island where they will meet their fate. Each one has a secret and shameful past – and each one is marked for murder. Who’s next? And whodunit? It’s impossible to say. Nevertheless, one by one, each guest meets his or her end in a way that mirrors the lines of the nursery rhyme, “until there were none”
Feb 22- March 17, 2019
Our licensing agreement prohibits us from revealing the name of this show until later this season. We look forward to lifting the curtain to reveal the title of this surprise musical. All we can say is; it’s a musical, it’s big and it’s filled with fun!
Roald Dahl’s “James and the Giant Peach”
April 26- May 5, 2019
James finds a door in the peach and discovers a crew of fantastic creatures living inside, all transformed, by a potion, to giant size. When the peach rolls off the tree and into the ocean, the crew must work together to overcome hunger, battle sharks, and escape greedy aunts who are plotting to fumigate the peach and everyone inside. From the branches of the tree to the Atlantic Ocean, to the skies above New York City, their daring exploits teach James and his new friends to work together and redefine what it means to be a family.
Mary 31- June 23, 2019
The strike begins when Pulitzer and Hearst raise distribution prices on their papers, forcing the newspaper boys to sell more to earn a living. Jack the paperboy steps up as leader of the Newsies, rallying underpaid newsboys across the city to stand up to the publishing titans. A friendly reporter’s interest in the story leads to a budding romance with Jack and publicity for the cause, but will the pressure be enough to make Pulitzer and Hearst bow to what’s right?
“All Shook Up”
July 26 – August 4, 2019
Loosely based on Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” and “Midsummer Night’s Dream,” the story takes place in 1955, when a handsome stranger stops in town to get his motorcycle fixed and catches the eye of the gas station owner’s daughter, Natalie. When he fails to take interest in her, she disguises herself as “Ed” to get close to him and earn his trust. A case of mistaken identities and mixed-up couples create a web of comedy and confusion, and it becomes anyone’s guess if Natalie will find her happily-ever-after by the last song.
“Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland”
July 27-August 3, 2019
The play begins on a lazy summer day when young Alice follows the White Rabbit down its hole and comes upon a curious world with food and drinks that make her grow or shrink most inconveniently. Alice encounters a disappearing Cheshire Cat who warns her that no one around her is sane.
She observes a series of puzzling adventures at the Mad Hatters tea party. She plays a game of hedgehog croquet with the King and Queen of Hearts, and holds a philosophical conversation with a Mock Turtle. When Alice finds herself on trial, she must draw on the new skills she has learned in this Wonderland, to save her from danger.
Season ticket packages are on sale now, to purchase online visit GRCT, order by phone at 616-222-6650, or in person in Civic Theatre’s box office. Ticket Packages are $135. Single tickets will go on sale Aug. 22.