Starlight Theatre Welcomes Shawnee Mission Health as New Broadway Series Sponsor

Starlight Theatre Welcomes Shawnee Mission Health as New Broadway Series Sponsor

Starlight Theatre has announced that Shawnee Mission Health, the only five-star-rated hospital in Kansas City, is the new series sponsor of the theatre's summer Broadway season. The 2018 Shawnee Mission Health Broadway Series, which will feature seven hit Broadway musicals and a magic spectacular direct from Broadway, kicks off next May and continues through September.

Shawnee Mission Health began its involvement at Starlight in summer 2017, serving as the presenting sponsor of two very popular musicals, Disney The Little Mermaid and Mamma Mia. The positive experience prompted the network of health care facilities and providers to expand its presence at Starlight as the Broadway Series sponsor for the 2018, 2019 and 2020 seasons.

"As a community-based health network, Shawnee Mission Health is engaged in a variety of organizations throughout the metro," said Doug Spear, Shawnee Mission Health's executive director of marketing & strategic development. "As we were looking to be more involved in the arts, Starlight stood out for the quality of its programming and the work it does tied to youth education and the performing arts."

Shawnee Mission Health's belief in whole person care sets it apart from most health systems. "Participating in the arts and engaging with the community are activities that promote good health," Spear said. "We feel this new level of involvement at Starlight will continue to strengthen our position as the leading community and wellness focused health organization in the Kansas City region."

On an annual basis, Shawnee Mission Health provides nearly $1 million to support nonprofit organizations that share its mission to make Kansas City a better and healthier place to live.

"We were impressed by the quality of Starlight shows and organization as a whole, but, most importantly, we see how important Starlight is to this community. It is the quintessential summer experience in Kansas City," said Ken Bacon, Shawnee Mission Health president & CEO. "As the area's leader in quality and patient satisfaction, Shawnee Mission Health wants to partner with those organizations that seek to elevate quality in their industries. Starlight's mission and commitment to the community parallels ours."

Rich Baker, Starlight president and CEO, agreed the new partnership will be of mutual benefit.

"Having the Shawnee Mission Health name and reputation associated with Starlight Theatre communicates to Starlight audiences that our organization and programming are valued by one of Kansas City's most respected institutions," he said. "And, in turn, we feel the exposure and goodwill to be gained by Shawnee Mission Health during our Broadway show nights and through associated marketing and communications support of this sponsorship will create new interest in the health and wellness initiatives it provides throughout Kansas City."

The 2018 Shawnee Mission Health Broadway Series at Starlight will feature:

ON YOUR FEET! The Emilio & Gloria Estefan Broadway Musical
May 22-27
From humble beginnings in Cuba, Emilio and Gloria Estefan came to America and broke through all barriers to become a crossover sensation atop the pop music world. ON YOUR FEET! takes audiences behind the music and inside the real story of this record making and groundbreaking couple who, in the face of adversity, found a way to end up on their feet.

Dirty Dancing
June 5-10
The classic story of Baby, Johnny and Dirty Dancing on stage is a live theatrical experience that explodes with heart-pounding music, passionate romance, sensational dancing and favorite songs including "Hungry Eyes," "Hey Baby, Do You Love Me?" and the heart-stopping "(I've Had) The Time of My Life." Starlight audiences will have the time of their lives!

Rodgers & Hammerstein's The King and I
June 12-17
One of Rodgers & Hammerstein's finest works, The King and I tells the story of the unconventional relationship between the King of Siam and Anna Leonowens, the British schoolteacher who he brings to Siam to teach his many wives and children. The score features beloved classics like "Getting To Know You," "I Whistle a Happy Tune," "Hello Young Lovers," "Shall We Dance" and "Something Wonderful."

June 22-24
Broadway's razzle-dazzle CHICAGO is a triumphant hit musical and the recipient of six Tony Awards, two Olivier Awards, a Grammy and thousands of standing ovations. Still playing on Broadway, it now holds the title of No. 1 longest-running American musical in Broadway history.

Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella
June 29-July 1
The Tony Award-winning musical from the creators of The Sound of Music and South
Pacific delights audiences with its contemporary take on the classic tale. The lush production features an incredible orchestra, jaw-dropping transformations, all the moments audiences love - plus some surprising new twists!

July 27-August 2
Another Tony Award winner, Hairspray is the musical-comedy phenomenon that takes audiences back to 1962 Baltimore where 16-year-old Tracy Turnblad sets out to dance her way onto TV's most popular show. Can a big girl with big dreams (and even bigger hair!) change the world - and still have time to win the boy she loves?

Love Never Dies
August 14-19
The love story continues in Love Never Dies, Andrew Lloyd Webber's spellbinding sequel to The Phantom of the Opera. Ten years after the Phantom's disappearance from the Paris Opera House, he has escaped to a new life in New York where he lives among the joy rides and freak shows of Coney Island. While he has finally found a place for his music to soar, the Phantom has never stopped yearning for his one true love and musical protégée, Christine Daaé.

September 28-30
Direct from Broadway comes the world's best-selling magic show. The mind-blowing spectacular of THE ILLUSIONISTS showcases the jaw-dropping performances of five of the most talented Illusionists on Earth.

Starlight 2018 season ticket sales are under way now, and single show tickets will be on sale next spring. For ticket information, visit or call 816.363.STAR (7827).

Starlight Theatre, a recent winner of the Venue Excellence Award from the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM), is the largest and oldest performing arts organization in Kansas City and the second-largest outdoor producing theatre in the country. Opened as a theater in 1950 and as a not-for-profit organization in 1951, Starlight presents and produces Broadway musicals and concerts. It also offers extensive community outreach and educational programming, including classes, scholarships and Starlight's Blue Star Awards, one of the largest high school musical theatre award programs in the nation. Located on 16 acres in Swope Park, Starlight's venue includes rehearsal halls, gift store, club area for dining, concessions, gardens, fountains and a 10-story, climate-controlled stage. For more information, visit

Shawnee Mission Health (SMH) includes Shawnee Mission Medical Center (SMMC) in Merriam, Kan., a 504- bed facility with more than 22,000 inpatient admissions and more than 200,000 outpatient admissions annually; SMH - Prairie Star; SMH - Overland Park and Centra Care Shawnee Mission Urgent Care and physician practices located throughout Johnson and Leavenworth Counties. SMMC is the only Kansas City area hospital to earn a five-star rating from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. SMH employs more than 3,200 local residents and supports an exceptional staff of nearly 700 physicians. SMH is part of Adventist Health System (AHS), the largest not-for-profit Protestant health care organization in the nation. Visit us online at

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