Critic's Choice: What's Playing in Tennessee? Nashville Theater Calendar for August 9
Feeling the urge to let your imagination run wild, your spirit to soar or to just leave the world in which you live and go on an adventure? Sounds like a trip to the theater is in order! Luckily, companies all over the Volunteer State have been hard at work, creating new productions to transform and to transport, shows that will entertain you this summer. That's where THE NASHVILLE THEATER CALENDAR comes in handy: Peruse our listings every week to find out what shows you should see!
Your show missing from our calendar? Send details about your production to firstname.lastname@example.org (and be sure to include an illustration or photo).
Through August 10 Smoke on the Mountain - Cumberland County Playhouse, Crossville. Smoke On the Mountain, the ever popular bluegrass/gospel musical, kicks off its 24th year at Crossville's Cumberland County Playhouse, on Friday, June 2, as director Weslie Webster welcomes two new members to the famEd Sanders Family Singers. DeeAnna Etchison (Gypsy) and Cory Clark (The Little Mermaid) make their Sanders Family debuts as twins Denice and Dennis in the 2017 rendition of Smoke on the Mountain, with the production headed by Playhouse veterans Lauren Marshall (The Odd Couple) and Daniel W. Black (now playing Carl Perkins in Million Dollar Quartet) as the family matriarch and patriarch. Joining them are the recently married Jensen Crain-Foster (The Addams Family) as June Sanders, Brett Mutter (A Sanders Family Christmas) as Pastor Mervin Oglethorpe and Joseph Wilson (Mamma Mia) as Uncle Stanley. Smoke on the Mountain runs June 2 through August 10. Tickets? (931) 484-5000. Details? www.ccplayhouse.com
Through August 19 Steel Magnolias - The Roxy Regional Theatre, Clarksville. What began as Robert Harling's beautiful, cathartic memoir about his sister has become a widely beloved play and popular film about the hope, healing - and even humor - possible in the midst of heartache. Laugh, cry and fall in love all over again with these iconic characters who are "as delicate as magnolias but as tough as steel." Tickets are $20. Go to www.roxyregionaltheatre.org or call (931) 645-7699.
Through August 20 Disney's Beauty and the Beast at Cumberland County Playhouse, Crossville. Tickets? (931) 484-5000. Details? www.ccplayhouse.com Beauty and the Beast takes place in a small provincial town in France. When Maurice (Bill Frey, Southern Fried Nuptials), the town's eccentric inventor, becomes lost in the woods, he seeks shelter in an old castle, only to find its master to be a horrible beast (Blake Graham, The Little Mermaid) that takes him captive. The inventor's daughter, an adventurous young woman named Belle (Harli Cooper, The Little Mermaid), trades herself for her father's freedom when she finds him in the castle. She discovers that the beast is, in fact, a prince who was trapped in his current form by an enchantress, as punishment for his cruel, selfish ways. So that he may become human again, the Beast must earn Belle's love before it's too late. The 31-member cast also features Molly Dobbs (Million Dollar Quartet) as Babette, Ross Griffin (Million Dollar Quartet) as LeFou, Brett Mutter (Smoke on the Mountain) as Cogsworth, Playhouse newcomer Natasha Ricketts as Madame de la Grande Bouche, Weslie Webster (A Second Helping) as Mrs. Potts, Joseph Wilson (Smoke on the Mountain) as Monsieur D'Arque and Playhouse newcomer Grayson Yockey as Gaston. Kyra Crosby (Seussical) and Chavin Medina (The Little Mermaid)) will alternate in the role of Chip. Playhouse artistic Director Britt Hancock (The Little Mermaid) will direct the production, which features choreography by Leila Nelson (Mamma Mia), sets by Curtis Phillips (The Little Mermaid), and musical direction by Ron Murphy. Beauty and the Beast runs through August 20.
Through September 8 Sister Act - Cumberland County Playhouse, Crossville. Sister Act - the feel-good musical comedy smash based on the hit 1992 film that has proven to be a hit with audiences all across Tennessee - will open at Crossville's Cumberland County Playhouse on July 21, running through September 8. Featuring original music by Tony Award and eight-time Oscar winner Alan Menken (Newsies, Beauty and the Beast, Little Shop of Horrors), the musical was nominated for five Tony Awards, including Best Musical. Sister Act is directed by Playhouse producing director Bryce McDonald (Million Dollar Quartet) and features choreography by Leila Nelson (Beauty and the Beast), and musical direction by Ron Murphy. Currently at the Playhouse: Smoke on the Mountain in the Adventure Theater, through August 10. Upcoming: Lying in State in the Adventure Theater, August 18 through October 6. Tickets may be reserved by calling (931) 484-5000 or at www.ccplayhouse.com.
Through August 19 Smoke on the Mountain - Chaffin's Barn Dinner Theatre, 8204 Highway 100, Nashville.
Through August 20 She Kills Monsters - Lakewood Theatre, Old Hickory. She Kills Monsters is a comedic romp into the geek and gamer world of fantasy and role-playing games. Agnes Evans is leaving her childhood home after the death of her teenage sister, Tilly. When Agnes finds Tilly's Dungeons & Dragons notebook, she embarks on a journey of discovery and action-packed adventure in the fantasy gamer world that was a refuge for Tilly and her friends. This quick-witted comedy is filled with homicidal fairies, nasty ogres, and snarky 90s pop culture. The production is filled with stage combat choreographed by Jamie Kirkland and dance choreography by Becky Hinshaw Eagleton. The cast is filled with young talent, led by Jamie Kirkland as as Agnes and Abby West as Tilly and includes First Night Most Promising Actors Zoe Garner and Logan Dowlen.
August 10-September 17 Shakespeare in the Park - Nashville Shakespeare Festival, Centennial Park, Nashville. Nashville Shakespeare Festival (NSF) continues its tradition of Shakespeare in the Park with The Winter's Tale and Antony & Cleopatra, running from Thursday, August 10 through Sunday, September 17 at Centennial Park's band shell. Directed by NSF artistic associate Santiago Sosa, The Winter's Tale is a fanciful story set in a fairy tale. The setting is inspired by the diverse South American Cultures during the Gran Columbia era. The David Ian Lee-directed Antony & Cleopatra is a taut thriller about new love in later years and a cautionary tale of political brinksmanship where the powerful play games that result in war and ruin. Lee is a director, playwright and professor at Middle Tennessee State University. Nashville Shakespeare Festival returns to Williamson County for its second annual Shakespeare in Academy Park, which will run from September 28-October 1, and will feature both The Winter's Tale and Antony & Cleopatra at the former campus of Battle Ground Academy. For more information, go to www.franklinshakes.org. General admission to Shakespeare in the Park is open to the public with a $10 per person suggested donation. Food and beverage vendors open at 6 p.m., pre-show entertainment begins at 6:30 p.m. and the performance begins at 7:30 p.m. Royal Packages are available for those seeking the ultimate VIP experience. This package is the Festival's major fundraiser and includes reserved parking, prime seating, a Bacon and Caviar catered gourmet picnic, special gift and personal welcome from the Nashville Shakespeare Festival volunteers and staff. There are a limited number of packages available for each performance and guests are encouraged to book early. Royal Packages are $60 through July 31 and $75 after that date. Visit ticketsnashville.com for details and to support the fundraiser. Businesses are encouraged to Contact Rickey Chick, development director for sponsorship opportunities: email@example.com or (615) 255-2273.
August 11-26 The Fantasticks - Pull-Tight Players, Franklin. One of the world's best-known and longest-runnng musicals - The Fantasticks by Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt - ushers in the 2017-18 season at Franklin's Pull-Tight Theatre in a new production helmed by director Pat Street, running August 11-26. Following its recent closing in New York as the world's longest-running musical, Pull-Tight Players presents the audience favorite that ran for 53 years Off-Broadway and was awarded Tony Honors for Excellence in Theatre. Director Pat Street has assembled a cast of Pull-Tight veterans and newcomers, including Jeremy Hargis in the iconic role of El Gallo. Jacqueline Leach plays Luisa (the Girl) and Lucas Beckett plays Matt (the Boy). Howard Snyder plays Bellomy (the Girl's Father) and Mark Buchanan plays Hucklebee (the Boy's Father). Dan Zeigler plays Henry, Clay Walker plays Mortimer and JK Gregg plays the Mute. Street's production team includes producer Lynda Gibbs, music director Kyle Rybczyk, choreographers Becky Leopard and Christina Sartell, set designer Jacob Heinz, production stage manager Jeanne Drone, and bandleader Dann Childers. The Fantasticks runs August 11-26, 2017; dates/times as follows: August 11-12, 17-19, 24-26 at 7:30 p.m.; and August 20 Sunday matinee at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $18 adults; $16 seniors (age 60 and up); $12 children & students (with student ID) Tickets can be purchased online at www.pull-tight.com or by calling (615) 791-5007, beginning July 31. Pull-Tight Theatre is located at 112 Second Avenue South in historic downtown Franklin.
August 11-26 The Secret Garden - Towne Centre Theatre, Brentwood. The musical theater version of Frances Hodgson Burnett's The Secret Garden opens this Friday night at Brentwood's Towne Centre Theatre in a new production directed by First Night Star Award winner Tim Larson. The Secret Garden features a book by Marsha Norman, with music by Lucy Simon. Larson, highly regarded in the Nashville area for taking large-scale Broadway musicals to smaller stages with mostly volunteer performers to create memorable theatre experiences for local audiences, says The Secret Garden is one of his favorite musicals. Set in the early 20th century, The Secret Garden tells the story of 11-year-old Mary Lenox (played by Faith Dengate), who is orphaned in India and returns to Yorkshire, England, to live with her embittered, reclusive uncle Archibald and his invalid son Colin. The estate's many wonders include a magic garden which beckons the children with compelling melodies and the "Dreamers," spirits from Mary's past who guide her through her new life, dramatizing The Secret Garden's compelling tale of forgiveness and renewal. Tickets to The Secret Garden may be purchased online at www.townecentretheatre.tix.com or by calling (615) 221-1174. Thursday, Friday and Saturday curtain is at 8 p.m., with Sunday shows at 2:30 p.m. Doors open 30 minutes prior to curtain. Tickets are $16 for students, $18 for military and seniors 60 and over, and $20 for adults. Towne Centre Theatre is located at 136 Frierson Street in Brentwood.
August 11-27 Bring It On - Circle Players at Z. Alexander Looby Theater, Nashville. Circle Players kicks off its 2017-2018 season in high-flying style with the Nashville premiere of Bring It On The Musical, promising to take audiences to a colorful place filled with the complexities of high school friendship, jealousy, betrayal and forgiveness. Featuring an original story by Tony Award winning artists Jeff Whitty (Avenue Q); music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda (In the Heights, Hamilton); music by Tom Kitt (Next to Normal); lyrics by Amanda Green (High Fidelity), and nominated for the Tony Award for Best Musical, Bring It On The Musical opens Friday night, August 11 at The Z. Alexander Looby Theatre. Bring It On The Musical tells the story of Campbell, cheer captain and most popular girl at the affluent Truman High School. Before she can lead her award-winning squad to another win at Nationals, school redistricting forces Campbell to transfer to the multi-ethnic Jackson High School. She befriends the dance crew girls and, along with their headstrong leader, Danielle, forms a powerhouse squad to compete at the National Championships.
August 11-27 The Pirates of Penzance - Center for the Arts, Murfreesboro.
August 17-September 2 Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - The Larry Keeton Theatre, 108 Donelson Pike, Nashville. Country music legend Roger Miller composed this rip-roaring musical adventure featuring his signature country and bluegrass styles. Based on Mark Twain's classic 1884 novel, Big River won seven Tony awards when it debuted on Broadway in 1985. Starring Nashville favorites Elliott Robinson as the runaway slave Jim, TeAl Davis as the rascal Huck, Brooke Leigh Davis as Alice, Stella London as beautiful Mary Jane Wilkes, Austin Smith as mischievous Tom Sawyer, Kevin Raymond as sternly Judge Thatcher, Riley Hughes and Danny Proctor as confidence men The King and The Duke, plus many other stellar local artists. Big River is directed by Suzanne Spooner Faulk & Noah Rice with musical direction by Noah Rice and choreography by Tosha Pendergrast. Tickets may be purchased by calling (615) 883-8375 or at www.thelarrykeetontheatre.org.
August 18-October 6 Lying in State - Cumberland County Playhouse, Crossville.
September 7-17 The Battle of Franklin - Studio Tenn at Jamison Hall, The Factory at Franklin.
September 7-October 21 Mamma Mia - Chaffin's Barn Dinner Theatre, 8204 Highway 100, Nashville.
September 8-17 A Few Good Men - Center for the Arts, Murfreesboro
September 8-30 The Wizard of Oz - The Roxy Regional Theatre, Clarksville. Click your heels together and join us over the rainbow in the magical land of Oz! Aided by a talking Scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion, young Dorothy and her little dog Toto battle the Wicked Witch of the West and her winged monkeys in order to get home. Rediscover L. Frank Baum's beloved tale in this fantastic musical treat for the entire family, featuring such favorites as "Over The Rainbow," "Munchkinland (Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead)," "If I Only Had A Brain," "We're Off To See The Wizard (Follow The Yellow Brick Road)" and more! Tickets are $25. Go to www.roxyregionaltheatre.org or call (931) 645-7699.
September 9-24 Part of the Plan - HCA/TriStar Health Broadway at TPAC Series, Tennessee Performing Arts Center, Nashville
September 9-23 Sense & Sensibility - Nashville Repertory Theatre at TPAC's AnDrew Johnson Theatre, Nashville.
September 14-October 1 The Hundred Dresses - Nashville Children's Theatre, Nashville
September 15-30 Million Dollar Quartet - Arts Center of Cannon County, Woodbury.
September 15-October 27 The Drowsy Chaperone - Cumberland County Playhouse, Crossville.
October 2-10 35mm: A Musical Exhibition - The Roxy Regional Theatre, Clarksville. A picture is worth 1,000 words - what about a song? Can a picture inspire a song or fifteen? In this stunning new multimedia musical, each photo creates an unique song, moments frozen in time; a glimmer of a life unfolding, a glimpse of something happening. Merging the worlds of musical theatre, photography and pop/rock music, this intricately woven collection of stories told through song re-imagines what the modern American musical can be. Tickets are $20. Go to www.roxyregionaltheatre.org or call (931) 645-7699.
October 6-22 Carrie the Musical - Center for the Arts, Murfreesboro
October 6-15 The Rock - Co-Players Theatre Written in 1921, the three-act play shows the character development of Simon Peter of the Bible. In the first act, Simon, a poor young fisherman, pours out to his wife, Adina, his ambition to become a great merchant. He believes in his dream and in himself, but neither one can see any escape from their environment of poverty. That is, until Simon's uncle, Ucal, arrives with an offer he can't refuse. We see Simon, through the introduction of Jesus into his life, the healing of his mother-in-law, and interactions with Mary Magdalene and his family enter into this new phase of his life with Jesus. He suffers as only the egoist can suffer when his self-love dies, but, at last, through the devotion of Adina and the understanding of Mary Magdalene, he begins to vision faintly the true meaning of his name, Peter: The Rock. CoPlayers will be presenting The Rock from October 6-15 (Friday's and Saturday's at 7:30, and Sunday's at 2:00) at 106 Gallatin Pike N. Tickets are $18 for adults, and $14 for students/seniors. You may reserve tickets through our email, firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, go to www.coplayerstheatre.com.
October 6-21 Love, Loss and What I Wore - ACT 1 at Darkhorse Theatre, 4610 Charlotte Pike, Nashville.
October 10-15 Fun Home - HCA/TriStar Health Broadway at TPAC Series, Tennessee Performing Arts Center, Nashville
October 12-28 Rodgers and Hammerstein's South Pacific - The Larry Keeton Theatre, 108 Donelson Pike, Nashville. South Pacific is a musical composed by Richard Rodgers, with lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II and book by Hammerstein and Joshua Logan. The work premiered in 1949 on Broadway and was an immediate hit, running for 1,925 performances. The plot of the musical is based on James A. Michener's Pulitzer Prize-winning 1947 book Tales of the South Pacific and combines elements of several of those stories. Rodgers and Hammerstein believed they could write a musical based on Michener's work that would be financially successful and, at the same time, would send a strong progressive message on racism.
October 13-28 Rumors - Pull-Tight Players, Franklin.
October 13-November 11 Sleepy Hollow, A New Musical - Cumberland County Playhouse, Crossville.
October 20-28 The Rocky Horror Show - The Roxy Regional Theatre, Clarksville. Dig out your fishnet stockings and sharpen your stilettos ... that sweet transvestite and his motley crew are back for the sixth year! On the way to visit an old college professor, two clean-cut young people, Brad Majors and his fiancee Janet Weiss, run into trouble and seek help at the freaky Frankenstein mansion, where Dr Frank N. Furter is in the midst of one of his maniacal experiments. With Richard O'Brien's cult favorite, prepare to do the "Time Warp" like you have never done it before! Tickets are $25. Go to www.roxyregionaltheatre.org or call (931) 645-7699.
October 26-December 3 - Mr. Popper's Penguins, Nashville Children's Theatre, Nashville.
October 26-November 18 Southern Fried Funeral - Chaffin's Barn Dinner Theatre, 8204 Highway 100, Nashville.
October 27-November 12 The Hunchback of Notre Dame - Circle Players at Z. Alexander Looby Theater, Nashville.
October 31-November 5 An American in Paris - HCA/TriStar Health Broadway at TPAC Series, Tennessee Performing Arts Center, Nashville
November 3-19 Catch Me If You Can - Center for the Arts, Murfreesboro
November 3-December 17 Inspecting Carol - Cumberland County Playhouse, Crossville.
November 3-11 A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Musical - The Roxy Regional Theatre, Clarksville. "Ah, what fools these mortals be!" Whimsically adapted from Shakespeare's classic romantic comedy by Wade Bradford and Rachel Greenlee, this musical features the usual magical forest and spellbound lovers, but also an upstart Puck who decides to liven things up by modernizing the dialogue and adding song and dance numbers. It's all fun and games until William Shakespeare, fresh from spinning in his grave, leaps onto the stage, demanding to know what on earth is going on! Although this musical version may be a bit more madcap than what the Bard had intended, this show still captures the wonder and the romance of the original play. Tickets are $25. Go to www.roxyregionaltheatre.org or call (931) 645-7699.
November 3-18 The Man Who Came to Dinner - Arts Center of Cannon County, Woodbury.
November 10-25 Laughter on the 23rd Floor - ACT 1 at Darkhorse Theatre, 4610 Charlotte Pike, Nashville.
November 14-19 An American in Paris - HCA/TriStar Health Broadway at TPAC Series, Tennessee Performing Arts Center, Nashville
November 17-December 22 A Sanders Family Christmas - Cumberland County Playhouse, Crossville.
November 23-December 16 A Charlie Brown Christmas - The Roxy Regional Theatre, Clarksville. When Charlie Brown complains about the overwhelming materialism he sees among everyone during the Christmas season, Lucy suggests that he become director of the school Christmas pageant. Charlie Brown accepts, but this proves to be a frustrating endeavor. When an attempt to restore the proper holiday spirit with a forlorn little Christmas fir tree fails, he needs Linus' help to discover the real meaning of Christmas in this adaptation of the classic animated television special. Tickets are $25. Go to www.roxyregionaltheatre.org or call (931) 645-7699.
November 24-December 23 It's A Wonderful Life: The Musical - Chaffin's Barn Dinner Theatre, 8204 Highway 100, Nashville.
November 25-December 22 A Christmas Story - Nashville Repertory Theatre at TPAC's AnDrew Johnson Theatre, Nashville.
November 30-December 17 Winter Wonderettes - The Larry Keeton Theatre, 108 Donelson Pike, Nashville.
December 1-16 Christmas Belles - Pull-Tight Players, Franklin.
December 1-17 A Christmas Carol - Center for the Arts, Murfreesboro.
December 1-17 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - Studio Tenn at Jamison Hall, The Factory at Franklin.
December 14-21 Cinderella - Nashville Children's Theatre, Nashville.
January 9-14 Jersey Boys - HCA/TriStar Health Broadway at TPAC Series, Tennessee Performing Arts Center, Nashville
January 12-28 The Full Monty - Circle Players at Z. Alexander Looby Theater, Nashville.
January 18-February 1 The Snowy Day & Other Stories, Nashville Children's Theatre, Nashville.
January 30-February 4 The King and I - HCA/TriStar Health Broadway at TPAC Series, Tennessee Performing Arts Center, Nashville
February 9-24 Death of a Salesman - Pull-Tight Players, Franklin.
February 10-24 Smart People - Nashville Repertory Theatre at TPAC's AnDrew Johnson Theatre, Nashville.
February 15-March 3, 2018 9 to 5: The Musical - The Larry Keeton Theatre, 108 Donelson Pike, Nashville.
February 15-25 Doubt: A Parable - Studio Tenn at Jamison Hall, The Factory at Franklin.
February 16-18 The Illusionists - HCA/TriStar Health Broadway at TPAC Series, Tennessee Performing Arts Center, Nashville
February 27-March 4 Cabaret - HCA/TriStar Health Broadway at TPAC Series, Tennessee Performing Arts Center, Nashville
March 1-18 Mockingbird (mok'ing-burd) - Nashville Children's Theatre, Nashville
March 2-17, 2018 The Pillowman - ACT 1 at Darkhorse Theatre, 4610 Charlotte Pike, Nashville.
March 23-April 8 Steel Magnolias - Circle Players at Z. Alexander Looby Theater, Nashville.
March 24-April 21 Inherit the Wind - Nashville Repertory Theatre at TPAC's AnDrew Johnson Theatre, Nashville.
March 28-April 22 Wicked - HCA/TriStar Health Broadway at TPAC Series, Tennessee Performing Arts Center, Nashville
April 6-21 Boeing-Boeing - Pull-Tight Players, Franklin.
April 12-28 West Side Story in Concert - The Larry Keeton Theatre, 108 Donelson Pike, Nashville.
April 12-May 13 Dragons Love Tacos - Nashville Children's Theatre, Nashville
May 4-19 The Little Foxes - ACT 1 at Darkhorse Theatre, 4610 Charlotte Pike, Nashville.
May 10-20 Grease - Studio Tenn at Jamison Hall, The Factory at Franklin.
June 1-16 Monty Python's Spamalot - Pull-Tight Players, Franklin.
June 1-17 Disney's Beauty and the Beast - Circle Players at Z. Alexander Looby Theater, Nashville.
June 5-10 Waitress - HCA/TriStar Health Broadway at TPAC Series, Tennessee Performing Arts Center, Nashville
June 14-30 Annie - The Larry Keeton Theatre, 108 Donelson Pike, Nashville.
June 19-24 Love Never Dies - HCA/TriStar Health Broadway at TPAC Series, Tennessee Performing Arts Center, Nashville
June 22-July 7 - Measure for Measure - ACT 1 at Darkhorse Theatre, 4610 Charlotte Pike, Nashville.