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January 16, 2024

Comfort Shows


From heartwarming family drama to charming romantic comedy, these titles from the Concord Theatricals catalog are sure to leave audiences feeling warm and fuzzy. Snuggle up and peruse these comfort shows for the stage!

84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff and James Roose-Evans (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Drama / 5f, 4m)
A dramatization of business letters between a young struggling writer in New York and Marks & Co., an antiquarian bookstore in London. In a sense, these are also love letters. They are about the love of good literature. The play takes place over a 20-year period when Helene Hanff writes to Frank Doel, the delightfully dusty supplier of so many old volumes to Helen, who has shown her gratitude through the years by sending “care packages” to the staff.

Amélie by Craig Lucas, Daniel Messé and Nathan Tysen (US/UK) 
(Full-Length Musical, Comedy / 5f, 7m, 1 girl +Ensemble) 
Amélie lives quietly in the world but loudly in her mind. She covertly improvises small but surprising acts of kindness that bring joy and mayhem. But when a chance at love comes her way, Amélie realizes she’ll have to risk everything and say what’s in her heart. Amélie (Teen Edition) (US/UK) is also available for licensing.

Anne of Green Gables – The Musical™ by Donald Harron, Norman Campbell and L.M. Montgomery (US) 
(Full-Length Musical, Comedy / 17f, 12m) 
Based on the beloved novel by L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables – The Musical™ follows the precocious and imaginative Anne Shirley as she captures the hearts and minds of her newfound family and neighbors in the small farming community of Avonlea – simply by virtue of her own pluck and personality.

Bells Are Ringing by Betty Comden, Adolph Green and Jule Styne (US/UK) 
(Full-Length Musical, Comedy / 3f, 3m +Ensemble)  
This charming romantic comedy follows the exploits of Ella, a telephone answering service operator with a fascination for her client’s private lives. At Susanswerphone, Ella uses a variety of voices and personae to keep herself entertained. As she follows the lives of her customers, Ella becomes inextricably involved with a handsome playwright, a fledgling record company and a dangerous crime ring. The show is a crowd-pleasing showcase for a singing comedienne, filled with heart and humor.

Birthday Candles by Noah Haidle (US/UK) 
(Full-Length Play, Drama / 3f, 3m) 
Ernestine Ashworth spends her 17th birthday agonizing over her insignificance in the universe. Soon enough, it’s her 18th birthday. Even sooner, her 41st. Her 70th. Her 101st. Five generations, an infinity of dreams and one cake baked over a century. This poignant and funny play takes its audience through the highlights, heartbreaks and extraordinary moments that make up one woman’s ordinary life.

Bye Bye Birdie by Michael Stewart, Charles Strouse and Lee Adams (US/UK)  
(Full-Length Musical, Comedy / 6f, 5m +Ensemble)  
Teenagers, rock & roll and national television. The musical captures the energy and excitement of the late 1950s with a hilarious and tuneful high-energy score. Teen heartthrob Conrad Birdie has been drafted, so he chooses All-American girl Kim MacAfee for a very public farewell kiss. Bye Bye Birdie: Youth Edition (US/UK) is also available for licensing.

Calendar Girls: The Musical by Gary Barlow and Tim Firth (UK)
(Full-Length Musical, Comedy / 10f, 5m, 1 girl, 2 boys)
Tim Firth and Gary Barlow’s musical adaptation of Firth’s hit play – based on the true story of eleven elderly women who posed nude for a calendar to raise money for the Leukaemia Research Fund – is a rousing, heartwarming, hilarious celebration of life and friendship. Praised by critics and adored by audiences, the blockbuster show is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. Calendar Girls the Play (US/UK) is also available for licensing.

Crazy For You® by George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin and Ken Ludwig (US/UK) 
(Full-Length Musical, Comedy / 3f, 4m +Ensemble) 
In this zany show-biz romantic comedy, a young New York banker travels to Deadrock, Nevada to foreclose on a rundown theatre. He falls for the theatre owner’s daughter and vows – through cunning, razzmatazz and a hilarious case of mistaken identity – to win her heart and save the theatre. Crazy For You®: Youth Edition (US/UK) is also available for licensing.

First Date by Austin Winsberg, Alan Zachary and Michael Weiner (US/UK) 
(Full-Length Musical, Comedy / 4f, 3m) 
When blind date newbie Aaron is set up with serial-dater Casey, a casual drink at a busy New York restaurant turns into a hilarious high-stakes dinner. As the date unfolds in real time, the couple quickly finds that they are not alone on this unpredictable evening. Also available in a 5-Actor Version (US/UK).

Flowers for Mrs Harris by Paul Gallico, Richard Taylor and Rachel Wagstaff (US/UK) 
(Full-Length Musical, Drama / 6f, 4m) 
For Ada Harris, day-to-day life is spent cleaning houses. But when she happens upon something that takes her breath away, she sets off on a journey that will change her life. From the cobbled streets of post-war London to the magical avenues of Paris and beyond, Ada transforms the lives of everyone she meets along the way, but can she let go of her past and finally let her own life blossom?

Hello, Dolly! by Michael Stewart, Jerry Herman and Thornton Wilder (US/UK) 
(Full-Length Musical, Comedy / 5f, 4m +Ensemble) 
Does any musical comedy leading lady compare to Dolly Levi? This musical adaptation of Thornton Wilder’s hit play The Matchmaker (US/UK) bursts with humor, romance, energetic dance and some of the greatest songs in musical theatre history. Dolly Gallagher-Levi, turn-of-the-century matchmaker and “woman who arranges things,” is a dynamic feast of a role, as evidenced by performances from megastars like Carol Channing, Barbra Streisand and Bette Midler.

Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn by Irving Berlin, Gordon Greenberg and Chad Hodge (US/UK) 
(Full-Length Musical, Comedy / 3f, 3m, 1 boy +Ensemble) 
Based on the 1942 film, this joyous musical features thrilling dance numbers, laugh-out-loud comedy and a parade of hit Irving Berlin songs, including “Blue Skies,” “Easter Parade,” “Steppin‘ Out with My Baby,” “Heat Wave,” “White Christmas,” “Cheek to Cheek,” “Shaking the Blues Away” and many more.

Meet Me in St. Louis by Hugh Martin, Ralph Blane and Hugh Wheeler (US/UK) 
(Full-Length Musical, Dramatic Comedy / 7f, 5m) 
This stage adaptation of 1944 film is a wholesome and enchanting portrait of a turn-of-the-century American family. The Smith family eagerly anticipates the opening of the 1904 World’s Fair. Over the course of a year, the family’s mutual respect, tempered with good-natured humor, helps them through romance, opportunity and heartbreaks.

Nigel Slater’s Toast by Henry Filloux-Bennett and Nigel Slater (UK) 
(Full-Length Play, Drama / 2f, 3m) 
Based on the British Book Awards Biography of the Year, Toast is the story of Nigel Slater’s childhood, told through the tastes and smells he grew up with. From making the perfect sherry trifle to waging a war over cakes and from the pressured playground politics of sweets to the rigid rules of restaurant dining, this is a story of love, loss and… toast.

Plaza Suite by Neil Simon (US/UK) 
(Full-Length Play, Comedy / 5f, 7m) 
Hilarity abounds in this portrait of three couples successively occupying a suite at the Plaza Hotel. A suburban couple take the suite while their house is being painted and it turns out to be the one in which they honeymooned 23 (or was it 24?) years before. Next, a Hollywood producer, after three marriages, calls a childhood sweetheart, now a suburban housewife, for a little sexual diversion. Finally, a mother and father fight about the best way to get their daughter, a bride-to-be, out of the bathroom and down to the ballroom where their many guests await.  

Purlie Victorious by Ossie Davis (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Comedy / 3f, 6m)
Dynamic traveling preacher Purlie Victorious Judson returns to his small Georgia town hoping to save Big Bethel, the community’s church, and emancipate the cotton pickers who work on oppressive Ol’ Cap’n Cotchipee’s plantation. With the assistance of Lutiebelle Gussie Mae Jenkins, Purlie hopes to pry loose from Cotchipee an inheritance due his long-lost cousin and use the money to achieve his goals. Fortunately, Cotchipee’s son Charlie proves to be far more fair-minded than his brutal father, saving the church from destruction with a brave act of defiance.

Snoopy!!! (Original) by Charles M. Schulz, Larry Grossman, Hal Hackady, Warren Lockhart, Arthur Whitelaw and Michael L. Grace (US/UK) 
(Full-Length Musical, Comedy / 3f, 3m, 1 any gender) 
Based on the beloved Peanuts comic strip by Charles Schulz, Snoopy!!! sparkles with wit and warmth as it depicts life as seen through the eyes of Schulz’s unforgettable characters. Musical numbers include “Just One Person,” “Poor Sweet Baby” and “Don’t Be Anything Less (Than Everything You Can Be).” This is the musical sequel to You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown (US/UK). A Charlie Brown Christmas (US/UK), a 30-minute stage adaptation of the classic animated TV special, is also available.

The 1940s Radio Hour by Walton Jones (US) 
(Full-Length Musical / 5f, 10m) 
Set during a live 1942 broadcast of The Mutual Manhattan Variety Cavalcade, this marvelously theatrical and nostalgic show features a panoply of lovable characters, including a harassed producer, a drunk lead singer, a fame-hungry delivery boy, a beleaguered second banana and a trumpet-playing sound effects man who chooses a fighter plane over Glenn Miller. 

The Sound Of Music by Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II, Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse (US/UK) 
(Full-Length Musical, Dramatic Comedy / 7f, 4m, 5 girls, 2 boys +Ensemble) 
In Rodgers & Hammerstein’s final collaboration, an exuberant young governess brings music and joy back to a broken family, only to face danger and intrigue as the Nazis gain power. The inspirational story, based on the memoir of Maria Augusta Trapp, has won the hearts of fans all over the world, and continues to delight audiences more than six decades after its premiere.

The Tap Dance Kid by Charles Blackwell, Henry Krieger and Robert Lorick (US)
(Full-Length Musical, Dramatic Comedy / 6f, 5m)
Ten-year-old Willie doesn’t want to be a lawyer like his stern father. He knows he just has to dance, like his uncle and mentor, an aspiring Broadway choreographer. With determination and spunk, Willie imagines a life of fame and glory as a tap-dancing star. The exuberant score by Robert Lorick and Henry Krieger, composer of Dreamgirls (US/UK) and Side Show (US/UK), includes “Another Day,” “Fabulous Feet” and the show-stopping “Dance If It Makes You Happy.”

The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum, Harold Arlen, E. Y. Harburg and Herbert Stothart (US/UK) 
(Full-Length Musical, Dramatic Comedy / 3f, 5m, 16 any gender) 
Follow the yellow brick road in this delightful stage adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s beloved novel, featuring the iconic musical score from the 1939 MGM film. The timeless tale, in which young Dorothy Gale travels from Kansas over the rainbow to the magical Land of Oz, continues to thrill audiences worldwide. Alternative MUNY Version (US/UK) and Youth Edition (US/UK) are also available.

This Happy Breed by Noël Coward (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Drama / 7f, 5m)
This Happy Breed covers twenty years in the life of the Frank and Ethel Bibbons and their children, from the end of World War I to the beginning of World War II. On one level, the story is the chronicle of a middle class family. They haven’t done well in the years between the wars, but in the face of another conflict, family unity spans the chasm between the generations. On another, this is the story of England, torn at times by the conflicts of its own progress, but quietly firm in its historical moments of crisis.

For more heartwarming plays and musicals, visit Concord Theatricals in the US or UK.

Header image: 2022 Chichester Festival Theatre Production of Crazy For You® (Tristram Kenton)