BWW Review: Servant Stage FIRST LOOK FUNDRAISER Offers Fabulous 2018 Programming
On October 15, Servant Stage Company announced its 2018 season at its FIRST LOOK FUNDRAISER at Lancaster Alliance Church. Over $2,000 was raised in raffle donations at the event as well, necessary because of the rapid growth of Servant Stage, which is doubling its paid staff.
Part of the reason for the growth of Servant Stage over the past few years has been its choice of programming. The first half of the event was dedicated to the past season, with songs from LITTLE WOMEN and SING, SING, SWING as well as their childrens' camp productions, BYE BYE BIRDIE and HONK! JR. Additionally, host Dan Deal spoke about performing in the successful production of AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS, and a bluegrass band backed singers Kat Prickett, Reji Woods, and Ric Zimmerman in "God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen" and "We Three Kings" to preview the upcoming Christmas event, Servant Stage's OLD TIME GOSPEL RADIO CHRISTMAS SHOW. The original of the show has been Servant Stage's most successful production ever, making a Christmas version of its bluegrassy, gospel-choired, and folk sounds a recipe for an especially merry Christmas production.
Deal and various regular performers from the Servant Stage collective performed songs from the shows for the upcoming season, beginning in February and March with THE MARVELOUS WONDERETTES, a jukebox Fifties and Sixties girl group show by Roger Bean that originally ran Off-Broadway in 2008.
In April and May, the younger members of Servant Stage, ages 14-18, will take to the stage in a JUKEBOX SATURDAY NIGHT revue, not based on Glenn Miller's song but a collection of later pop hits. Younger performers present at the event on the 15th presented "Whole Lotta Shakin'" and "Be My Baby" among other 1960's hits likely to be performed at the spring revue.
May through August, for the entire summer, Servant Stage fans and patrons will be treated to yet more of its ever-popular bluegrass sounds in the show I'LL FLY AWAY: THE BACKWOODS BLUEGRASS BAND. Expect to hear the name tune, as well as other regional favorites on the banjo, mandolin, and other instruments in one of the area's most popular musical styles. Bluegrass is as "roots music" as the blues, and Servant Stage will have it on offer traveling around the Lancaster County area.
The 2018 fall spectacular will be the largest show Servant Stage has done, with full orchestra - Broadway's Tony-winning TITANIC: THE MUSICAL by Maury Yeston. This full scale production will be on offer for two weekends only, and audiences can expect to see a number of Servant Stage veterans performing in it.
The Christmas season production for 2018 will be a revival of SSC's popular version of A CHRISTMAS CAROL, an adaptation of the story by Charles Dickens, as only Servant Stage can perform it.
One of the company's Unique Features is their "pay what you will" donations for tickets, making it possible and affordable for anyone, regardless of income, to attend any performance of Servant Stage Company's shows. Many area theatres are somewhat or entirely family friendly, but Servant Stage also makes it affordable to take a whole family to a show as well as for parents to know that the content is suitable for all ages. Servant Stage manages to maintain family friendliness while not stooping down to children or sacrificing quality of productions or material, as well as allowing those on limited incomes to attend live theatre. Their talent includes some of the most active performers from Sight and Sound Theatre, American Music Theater, and PRiMA Theatre as well as other venues, meaning that these productions are also fully professional. Servant Stage is proving itself a tremendous artistic asset to the central Pennsylvania theatre community with its programming and affordability, as well as its reach into area retirement and nursing facilities.
The audience at the heavily attended fundraiser was enthusiastic about the shows presented for 2018, and there appears to be much to look forward to in the upcoming season. For full information about each show and performance dates, check Servant Stage's Facebook page or its redesigned web page, servantstagecompany.com.