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July 8, 2022

Sun & Fun: Plan Your Next Summer Stock Season


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Summer is officially underway, which means it’s time for theatres to start making plans for next summer! Here’s a handy guide to help you plan your next summer season, with suggestions for four slots in your calendar: a family musical, an alternative musical, a straight play and a rock show.

SLOT 1: A BIG MUSICAL (FAMILY FARE)

Kick off the summer with a well-known, wholesome tuner for audiences of all ages.

2015 North American Tour Production of 42nd Street (Chris Bennion)

42nd Street by Harry Warren, Al Dubin, Michael Stewart, Mark Bramble & Bradford Ropes (US/UK)
(Full-Length Musical, Comedy / 7f, 6m + Ensemble)
The ultimate show-biz musical, this one is sure to bring in the crowds! 42nd Street celebrates Broadway, Times Square and the people who make the magic of musical theatre.

CATS by Andrew Lloyd Webber & T.S. Eliot (US)
(Full-Length Musical, Comedy / 7f, 6m + Ensemble)
In this crowd-pleasing megahit, the Jellicle Cats come out to play on one special night of the year—the night of the Jellicle Ball. One by one, they tell their stories for the amusement of Old Deuteronomy, who will choose one of them to ascend to a new life.

Everybody’s Talking About Jamie by Tom MacRae, Dan Gillespie Sells & Jonathan Butterell (US/UK)
(Full-Length Musical, Comedy / 7f, 6m + Ensemble)
Everybody’s talking about this ebullient, life-affirming musical! Supported by his brilliant, loving mum and surrounded by his friends, 16-year-old Jamie New of Sheffield overcomes prejudice, beats the bullies, and steps out of the darkness into the spotlight.

Mystic Pizza by Sandy Rustin, Amy Holden Jones & Carmel Dean (US/UK)
(Full-Length Musical, Comedy / 7f, 6m + Ensemble)
Based on the beloved 1988 MGM rom-com, this high-spirited new musical is about three working-class girls who navigate the complexities of life, love and family in a small-town pizza joint. The infectious score features megahits of the 80s and 90s, from “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” to “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now.”

Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella (Broadway Version) by Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II & Douglas Carter Beane (US/UK)
(Full-Length Musical, Comedy / 7f, 6m + Ensemble)
The Broadway adaptation of R&H’s landmark musical features new characters, a hilarious libretto, surprising twists and an unforgettable score. This contemporary take on the classic tale features Rodgers & Hammerstein’s beloved songs with an up-to-date, uproarious and romantic libretto by Douglas Carter Beane.

Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! by Richard Rodgers & Oscar Hammerstein II (US/UK)
(Full-Length Musical, Comedy / 7f, 6m + Ensemble)
The groundbreaking musical that set the stage for all that followed! Rodgers and Hammerstein’s exuberant classic is a lively, tuneful musical adventure embracing hope, determination and the promise of a new land.

The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum, Harold Arlen, E. Y. Harburg & Herbert Stothart (US/UK)
(Full-Length Musical, Comedy / 7f, 6m + Ensemble)
The ultimate crowd-pleaser! 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. Alternatively, a MUNY version (US/UK) and Youth Edition (US/UK) are also available for licensing.

SLOT 2: A SMALL OR DRAMATIC MUSICAL

For a change of pace, try a more serious musical or a small-cast comedy for your black box theatre.

2008 Broadway Production of [title of show] (Carol Rosegg)

Drama

A Chorus Line by Michael Bennett, James Kirkwood, Nicholas Dante, Marvin Hamlisch & Edward Kleban (US/UK)
(Full-Length Musical, Comedy / 7f, 6m + Ensemble)
A stunning concept musical capturing the spirit and tension of a Broadway chorus audition, this Pulitzer Prize-winning piece explores the inner lives and bittersweet ambitions of professional musical performers at a high-stakes audition.

Doctor Zhivago by Michael Weller, Michael Korie, Amy Powers, Lucy Simon and Boris Pasternak (US/UK)
(Full-Length Musical, Comedy / 7f, 6m + Ensemble)
This heartbreaking epic romance, based on the bestselling novel, is set during the final days of Czarist Russia. Raised as an aristocrat, Zhivago is a political idealist, physician and poet whose life is tossed by the tides of history as he is torn between a life with his close childhood friend and wife, and the passionate and mysterious Lara.

Man of La Mancha by Dale Wasserman, Mitch Leigh & Joe Darion (US/UK)
(Full-Length Musical, Comedy / 7f, 6m + Ensemble)
This heartbreaking and inspirational Tony Award-winning work, based on Cervantes’ Don Quixote, is one of the world’s most popular musicals. Man of La Mancha, the story of one man’s refusal to give up his impossible dream, features the classics “The Impossible Dream,” “I, Don Quixote” and “Dulcinea.”

Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 by Dave Malloy & Leo Tolstoy (US/UK)
(Full-Length Musical, Comedy / 7f, 6m + Ensemble)
This award-winning electropop opera is based on a scandalous slice of Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace. Young and impulsive, Natasha Rostova arrives in Moscow to await the return of her fiancé from the front lines. When she falls under the spell of the roguish Anatole, it is up to Pierre, a family friend in the middle of an existential crisis, to pick up the pieces of her shattered reputation.

Superhero by John Logan & Tom Kitt (US/UK)
(Full-Length Musical, Comedy / 7f, 6m + Ensemble)
Superhero tells the story of a mother and son grappling with a devastating loss and the mysterious stranger who helps them on their journey. From the Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer of Next to Normal and the Tony Award-winning writer of Red comes this deeply human new musical about a fractured family, the mysterious stranger in apartment 4-B, and the unexpected hero who just might save the day.

Comedy

A Taste of Things to Come by Debra Barsha and Hollye Levin (US/UK)
(Full-Length Musical, Comedy / 7f, 6m + Ensemble)
A laugh-out-loud, fabulously fun romp exploring women’s history and celebrating the friendships of four very different women from middle America. In 1957, four friends enter a Betty Crocker Cooking Contest in hopes of changing their lives. When they meet up again in 1967, they get more than what they bargained for.

Cheek to Cheek: Irving Berlin in Hollywood by Irving Berlin, Barry Kleinbort and Randy Skinner (US/UK)
(Full-Length Musical, Comedy / 7f, 6m + Ensemble)
This charming musical revue, featuring some of Irving Berlin’s starriest hits, celebrates the prolific composer’s glorious dance numbers written specifically for the silver screen.

First Date by Austin Winsberg, Alan Zachary & Michael Weiner (US/UK)
(Full-Length Musical, Comedy / 7f, 6m + Ensemble)
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).

I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change (2018 Version) by Joe DiPietro & Jimmy Roberts (US/UK)
(Full-Length Musical, Comedy / 7f, 6m + Ensemble)
The longest running off-Broadway revue in history has been revised for the 21st century! This celebration of the mating game takes on the truths and myths behind that contemporary conundrum known as “the relationship.” The original version (US/UK) is also available.

[title of show] by Jeff Bowen & Hunter Bell (US/UK)
(Full-Length Musical, Comedy / 7f, 6m + Ensemble)
This innovative musical-about-a-musical is a certified winner! Jeff and Hunter, two struggling writers, scramble to create an original musical for an upcoming festival. [title of show] celebrates the meaning of art, the challenges of being an artist, and the strength of friendship. It is, above all, a love letter to the musical theatre – and to the joy of collaboration. Also available in a clean version (US/UK).

SLOT 3: A CROWD-PLEASING PLAY

Break up that summer musical season with a play! This list, which includes celebrated classics and fresh new work, ranges from suspense thrillers to uproarious comedies.

2018 Old Globe Production of Native Gardens (Jim Cox)

Drama

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Drama / 3f, 8m)
This dark thriller in three acts is one of Christie’s darkest tales and a masterpiece of dramatic construction. The brilliantly crafted play’s growing sense of dread and unfaltering tension will keep audiences guessing to the very end.

Dot by Colman Domingo (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Dramatic Comedy / 3f, 4m)
The holidays are always a wild family affair at the Shealy house. But this year, Dotty and her three grown children gather with more than exchanging presents on their minds. This twisted and hilarious new play grapples unflinchingly with aging parents, midlife crises, and the heart of a West Philly neighborhood.

Let The Right One In by Jack Thorne (US)
(Full-Length Play, Drama / 3f, 6m)
An enchanting, brutal vampire myth and coming-of-age love story adapted from the bestselling novel and award-winning film. Oskar is a bullied, lonely teenage boy living with his mother on a housing estate at the edge of town when several sinister killings rock the neighborhood. Eli is the young girl who has just moved in next door. Sensing in each other a kindred spirit, the two become devoted friends.

The Girl on the Train by Rachel Wagstaff, Duncan Abel & Paula Hawkins (US)
(Full-Length Play, Drama / 3f, 4m)
A new stage adaptation based on Paula Hawkins’ international bestseller and the blockbuster DreamWorks film, The Girl on the Train is a gripping mystery/suspense thriller. When Rachel Watson learns that the woman she’s been casually watching has suddenly disappeared, she finds herself caught up in a thrilling mystery revealing more than she could ever have anticipated.

To Be Young, Gifted and Black by Lorraine Hansberry & Robert Nemiroff (US)
(Full-Length Play, Drama / 5f, 3m)
Fast paced, powerful, touching and hilarious, this kaleidoscope of constantly shifting scenes, mood and images recreates the world of a great American woman and artist, Lorraine Hansberry. Uniquely and boldly, the play brilliantly highlights scenes from her plays along with letters, diaries, poems and personal reminiscences. A major statement of the American Black experience.

Towards Zero (Outdoor) by Agatha Christie (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Drama / 5f, 8m)
Ideal for summer stages, Agatha Christie’s thrilling clifftop murder mystery – a layered drama of piercing intelligence – is set entirely outdoors. When a house party gathers at Gull’s Point, the seaside home of Lady Tressilian, Neville Strange finds himself caught between his old wife, Audrey, and his new flame, Kay. Another version, set indoors, is also available (US/UK).

Comedy/Romance

The 39 Steps by Patrick Barlow and John Buchan (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Comedy / 1f, 1m, 2 any gender)
Mix a Hitchcock masterpiece with a juicy spy novel, add a dash of Monty Python and you have The 39 Steps, a fast-paced whodunit for anyone who loves the magic of theatre! This two-time Tony Award-winning treat is packed with nonstop laughs, over 150 zany characters (played by a cast of four), an onstage plane crash, handcuffs, missing fingers, and some good old-fashioned romance.

Ken Ludwig’s Sherwood: The Adventures of Robin Hood (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Comedy / 2f, 6m)
Packed with thrills, romance, laughter, and immortal characters like Little John, Friar Tuck, and Maid Marian, Sherwood: The Adventures of Robin Hood tells the enduring story of a hero of the people who takes on the ruthless powers that be. So get ready to duck a quarterstaff or two – you won’t want to miss a moment of the swashbuckling fun!

Kim’s Convenience by Ins Choi (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Dramatic Comedy / 2f, 3m)
Popularized by the CBC sitcom adaptation, Kim’s Convenience is dramatic comedy about a Korean Canadian family who run a convenience store. A hilarious and heartwarming ode to generations of immigrants who have made Canada the country that it is, the play focuses on the relationship between a traditional father and a son who has left home.

Native Gardens by Karen Zacarías (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Comedy / 2f, 2m)
Gardens and cultures clash, turning friendly neighbors into feuding enemies in this hilarious comedy of good intentions and bad manners. Lawyer Pablo and doctoral candidate Tania, his very pregnant wife, realize the American dream when they purchase a house next door to community stalwarts Virginia and Frank. But a disagreement over a long-standing fence line soon spirals into an all-out war of taste, class, privilege and entitlement.

Shakespeare in Love by Lee Hall, Marc Norman & Tom Stoppard (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Dramatic Comedy / 6f, 18m)
Based on the Academy Award-winning film, this enchanting, hilarious, romantic stage play reimagines William Shakespeare’s creative process – and explores his inspiration – as he writes Romeo and Juliet.

The Mamalogues by Lisa B. Thompson (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Comedy / 3f)
From the award-winning writer of Single Black Female comes this new comedy about the exhilaration and exhaustion that come from being a Black single mother in America. During a single mother’s retreat, three women share their angst about racial profiling on the playground, their child being the “only one” at their school, and the politics of soccer in the hood.

SLOT 4: A BIG MUSICAL (ROCK OR CONTEMPORARY)

Cap off your season with a contemporary or rock musical, guaranteed to get those audiences on their feet!

2009 Bway production of Hair (Joan Marcus)

Be More Chill by Joe Iconis, Joe Tracz and Ned Vizzini (US/UK)
(Full Length Musical, Comedy / 4f, 6m +Ensemble)
Based on the contemporary best-selling novel, Be More Chill is the story of Jeremy Heere, an average teenager. That is, until he finds out about “The Squip,” a tiny supercomputer that promises to bring him everything he desires most: a date with Christine, an invite to the raddest party of the year and a chance to survive life in his suburban New Jersey high school.

Footloose by Tom Snow, Dean Pitchford, Walter Bobbie, Eric Carmen, Sammy Hagar, Kenny Loggins & Jim Steinman (US/UK)
(Full-Length Musical, Dramatic Comedy / 7f, 8m)
Footloose first burst onto the silver screen in 1984. With dynamic new songs augmenting the powerhouse hits from its bestselling Oscar-nominated score, the musical celebrates the exhilaration of youth, the wisdom of listening to one another, and the power of forgiveness.

HAIR by Gerome Ragni, James Rado and Galt McDermot (US/UK)
(Full-Length Musical, Dramatic Comedy / 4f, 5m)
The American tribal love rock musical Hair celebrates the sixties counterculture in all its barefoot, long-haired, bell-bottomed, beaded and fringed glory. Exploring ideas of identity, community, global responsibility and peace, Hair remains relevant as ever as it examines what it means to be a young person in a changing world.

In The Heights by Lin-Manuel Miranda & Quiara Alegría Hudes (US/UK)
(Full-Length Musical, Comedy / 6f, 6m +Ensemble)
In the Heights
tells the universal story of a vibrant community in New York’s Washington Heights neighborhood – a place where the coffee from the corner bodega is light and sweet, the windows are always open and the breeze carries the rhythm of three generations of music.

School of Rock Based on the Paramount movie by Mike White / Book by Julian Fellowes / Lyrics by Glenn Slater / New Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber (US)
(Full-Length Musical, Comedy / 6f, 9m, 6girls, 5boys)
Based on the hit movie, this Broadway tuner follows Dewey Finn, a failed, wannabe rock star who substitute teaches at a prestigious prep school. There he turns a class of straight–A pupils into a guitar-shredding, bass-slapping, mind-blowing rock band. But can he get them to the Battle of the Bands without their parents and the headmistress finding out?

The Lightning Thief by Joe Tracz, Rob Rokicki and Rick Riordan (US/UK)
(Full-Length Musical, Dramatic Comedy / 7 any gender)
This dynamic musical adaptation of Rick Riordan’s bestselling book is a guaranteed audience pleaser! When teenager Percy Jackson discovers he’s a demigod, he and his friends embark on an epic journey to find Zeus’ missing lightning bolt and prevent a war among the gods.

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