Announcing The Hackmatack Playhouse 2018 Season
The folks that run Hackmatack Playhouse have a rule: No matter how much they love a show, no matter how many times it sells out to enthusiastic audiences, they cannot present the same show until at least 10 seasons have gone by.
OK, they made an exception once, with "All Shook Up." But that was 10 and 11 years ago. And since then, theater owner Michael Guptill has been waiting patiently for the required decade to pass. Well, the wait is finally over..
"All Shook Up," the widely popular musical inspired by the tunes of Elvis Presley, will be back on the stage of this Berwick playhouse starting Wednesday, July 4.
"It was one of our most successful shows of all time," Guptill said, "It's just such a fun show. Everyone loves it. But still we had to wait; we've been counting the years down ever since."
The 2004 jukebox musical travels back to 1955 when a square little town is transformed by a hip-swiveling, guitar-playing rock and roll rebel who changes everything and everyone he meets. This show includes musical classics like "Heartbreak Hotel," "Jailhouse Rock," and "Don't Be Cruel."
The other four shows that will make up Hackmatack's 2018 summer include an hysterically funny farce, a heartfelt musical based on a best-selling book and film, and a classic suspense thriller.
"Lend Me A Tenor" opens the summer on Friday, June 15 with a good dose of screwball humor. This madcap comedy, which has won three Tony awards, revolves around the Cleveland Grand Opera Company in 1934 as it readies itself to welcome the greatest tenor in the world for a one-night performance of Otello. When the star passes out, another character gets into the Otello costume to fool the audience, and save the show. Two Otellos end up running around in costume while two women run around in lingerie, each thinking she is with the real opera star.
"Bridges of Madison County," a stunning and gorgeous musical based on the 1992 romantic novel, will open Wednesday, July 25, following the run of "All Shook Up." A story of forbidden love between a traveling photographer and a rural housewife, "Bridges Of Madison County" won two Tony Awards in 2014 for best score and orchestrations.
The Broadway hit tells the story of a beautiful Italian woman married to an American solider who is looking forward to four rare days alone on her Iowa farm when her family heads to the 1965 State Fair. But when a ruggedly handsome National Geographic photographer pulls into her driveway asking directions, her life suddenly takes a new direction.
The show wasn't even on Hackmatack's radar last year, but Artistic Director Crystal Lisbon suggested Guptill read the script and he was sold. He loved the music but it was the rural setting that won him over.
"What I liked about the show is it really is at home in a rural atmosphere like we have in Berwick," he said. "The show moves from country fairs, to rugged landscapes, to the inside of farmer's homes; and the music really reflects that."
Finally, the season will close with "Dial M for Murder," opening Wednesday, Aug 15. This suspenseful mystery, probably best known from the Hitchcock film starring Grace Kelly, follows the sinister plan of a man who has married his wife for her money and now plans to murder her. He blackmails a scoundrel he knows into strangling her, but the carefully-orchestrated set-up goes awry. This exciting melodrama which the New York Times called "quiet in style but tingling with excitement" had a highly successful run on Broadway and the road.
"It's been awhile since we've brought a thriller to the barn," noted Lisbon. "So I'm really excited to close out our 2018 season with this one."
Season tickets for the four shows are available on the website. "Lend Me a Tenor" will be shown 8 pm June 15 and 15 and as well as June 22 to 23 and 27 to 30 with matinees at 2 pm Thursday June 21 and June 28. All other shows run Wednesdays to Saturdays at 8 pm, with matinees at 2 pm Thursdays. "All Shook Up" will be presented July 4 to 7, 11 to 14 and 18 to 21."The Bridges of Madison County" runs July 25 to 28; Aug 1 to 4 and Aug 8 to 11. "Dial M for Murder" will run Aug. 16 to 19; Aug. 23 to 26 and Aug. 30 to Sept. 2. For tickets or more information, go to hackmatack.org or call 207-698-1807.