Nashville Theater Calendar 10/26/15
Sometimes it seems there is so much theater happening that it's difficult to keep track of it all. From personal experience, despite all the datebooks, smart phones, tablets, desktop computers and laptops...it's hard to keep everything straight in this wacky business of the show.
Thus, we are happy to present the return of one our most popular features: The Nashville Theater Calendar, a comprehensive - maybe even exhaustive (lord knows we're exhausted from putting it together, gathering all the info from all over the interwebs!) - listing of theatrical openings for the 2015/16 season. We'll update the calendar every Monday, clearing out the shows that have closed and adding additional information on the shows still to come. Something's missing? That's an easy fix: just send us a message here, on Facebook, or by email at email@example.com.
Among this week's birthdays: OCTOBER 25...actress Meigie Mabry (ACT 1's Fifth of July, among others), David Williams (he'll always be Seymour Krelborn to us); OCTOBER 26...actress Joanna Rolan Hackman (Belmont University alumna); OCTOBER 27 actress/playwright Sheila Ashton; NYU freshman and 2013 First Night Most Promising Actor Kaila Brooke; Chaffin's Barn Dinner Theatre's hostess with the mostes' Janie Chaffin; actress/singer Mia Rose (most recently onstage as Louise in Studio Tenn's Gypsy); singer/actress/super-vegan/blogger Yvonne Smith; actress/singer Faith Boles (Roxy Regional Theatre's Ain't Misbehavin' and now at Disney World); OCTOBER 28...Singer/actor, award-winning director and all around swell guy Joshua Waldrep; 2013 First Night Most Promising Actor and NYU freshman Maya Riley; Hume-Fogg alumna and University of Chicago student and ballerina Elizabeth Smith; actor/dancer/costume designer/director/bon vivant Billy Ditty (aka The Man Who Never Ages!); actress/singer Jennifer Landes-Vann Akers; technical director of Sideshow Fringe Mitch Massaro, who now works at Yale School of Drama; OCTOBER 29...2013 First Night Most Promising Actor Jenna Pryor (who's in rehearsal for ACT 1's August: Osage County); 2015 First Night Most Promising Actor Logan Dowlen (now prepping for 4th Story Theatre's The Hurting Part); OCTOBER 30...former Nashvillian Jeffrey Wilsor (he starred in Street Theatre's inaugural production of Bat Boy and is now making headlines in New York City); Nashville Children's Theatre's Kathryn Colegrove Ralston; Nashville Ballet's Mark Allyn Nimmo; actor/director and Nashville in Harmony singer J.T. Landry; OCTOBER 31...Murfreesboro actress Lauren Belk; Actors' Bridge Ensemble's Abel Munoz.
Opened September 4
Cumberland County Playhouse: The Foreigner, running through November 5 www.ccplayhouse.com The Foreigner returns to the Cumberland County Playhouse Mainstage! Says director Weslie Webster (Smoke on the Mountain, Wizard of Oz),"Ever since it was first performed at CCP in 1987, The Foreigner has been the most requested title - and the most popular production - in Playhouse history. And I'm just thrilled that I once again get to work with all the amazing actors who made the show a smash hit last year." Since its 1983 premiere, Larry Shue's side-splitting farce has earned two Obie Awards and two Outer Critics Circle Awards as Best New American Play and Best Off-Broadway Production. In it, we meet the painfully shy Charlie Baker (Jason Ross) who has been brought to a remote fishing lodge in Georgia by his friend Froggy (Michael Ruff), a British demolitions expert who runs training sessions at a nearby army base. Terrified of actually having to converse with strangers once Froggy departs, Charlie pretends to be a foreigner who doesn't understand English. When the other residents of the lodge begin to speak freely around him, he not only becomes privy to secrets both frivolous and dangerous, he also discovers an adventurous extrovert within himself. Also returning to the cast are Carol Irvin as the lodge's owner Betty Meeks, Lauren Marshall as former debutante Catherine Simms, who's visiting with her brother Ellard (Daniel Black) and fiancé Reverend David Lee (Britt Hancock). Grammy nominee Bobby Taylor rounds out the cast as the disreputable local Owen Musser.
Opened October 8
Nashville Rep at TPAC's Johnson Theatre: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, running through October 31 www.nashvillerep.org This Tony Award-winner is a tragicomedy of Shakespearean proportions: Known for their minor roles in Hamlet, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are at the center of the story this time, finding themselves continually befuddled by their circumstances, never sure of what they're supposed to be doing. Here, in the scenes behind the Hamlet story, the duo hilariously questions their every action, feeling like maybe they are being manipulated (they are) but worrying that to resist may be interfering with fate. Whether you're a Hamlet lover or not, this is a comedy that will tickle your funny bone while making you wonder if any of us are actually the star of our own story. Nashville Rep's cast for Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead includes Matt Garner (Guildenstern), Patrick Kramer (Tragedian), Steven Kraski (Tragedian), John Mauldin (Polonius), Jeremy Maxwell (Tragedian), Tony Morton (Claudius), Shelean Newman (Gertrude), Matthew Rosenbaum (Hamlet), Patrick Waller (Rosencrantz), Jacob York (Player) and acting interns Isaiah Frank (Alfred), Andrew Johnson(Tragedian) and Delaney Keith (Ophelia). Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead is written by Tom Stoppard and is directed by René D. Copeland. Nashville Rep's Producing Artistic Director is René D. Copeland. Designers are Gary Hoff (Scenic/Properties Designer), Trish Clark (Costume Designer), Darren Levin (Lighting Designer) and Kyle Odum (Sounds Designer). Technical Director is Tyler Axt.
Opened October 15
Chaffin's Barn Dinner Theatre, Nashville: Alone Together, running through November 15 www.dinnertheatre.com Directed by Lydia Bushfield and starring Charlie Winton and Bonita Allen, the cast includes Brett Cantrell, Austin Olive, Andy Griggs and Corinne Bupp. Cantrell, Bupp and Winton were last onstage at the Barn in Arsenic and Old Lace.
Opened October 16
Center for the Arts, Murfreesboro: The Addams Family, running through November 1 www.boroarts.org The weird, wacky and well-known Addams Family, who first appeared in cartoons by artist Charles Addams in The New Yorker magazine (where they made their debut in 1938), are brought to life in the musical via an original story that juxtaposes the other-worldly Addams family against a typical, perhaps "normal" family whose son becomes involved romantically with Wednesday Addams. The Addams Family is directed by Renee Robinson, and includes several well-known Murfreesboro actors including David Cummings as Gomez Addams, Alexius Frost as Morticia, and Shelby Jones as Wednesday Addams. The family is rounded out by Slate Bowers as Pugsley, Miranda Johnson as Grandmama, John Frost, Jr. as Uncle Fester and Matthew Wells as Lurch. Payton McCarthy is featured as Lucas - Wednesday's boyfriend, with Stephen Belk and Kat Manning as his parents. The cast is filled with numerous singers and dancers playing ancestors of the infamous family, who will have you wanting to join them by the end of the opening number. The Addams Family runs through November 1, with performances on Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. A special matinee performance has been added on Saturday, October 31 - aka Halloween - during which patrons are encouraged to come to in costume. After the show trick or treating and costume contests will take place in the Gallery. Tickets for the performances are $15.00 for adults and $13.00 for seniors, students and military and $11.00 for children age 12 and under. Tickets can be purchased on the Center's website at www.boroarts.org, by calling (615) 904-2787 or by stopping by the Center during business hours. Group ticket rates are available. The Center for the Arts is located at 110 West College Street in Murfreesboro.
Verge Theater Company, Nashville: Slasher, running through October 31, at Main House, 709B Main Street www.vergetheaterco.org In Allison Moore's Slasher, Sheena works at a crappy restaurant while going to school and supporting her family. When she's offered the part of "last girl" in a slasher film she jumps at the chance. Her pain addled, pill-popping, scooter driving, feminist mother isn't going to let the movie Blood Bath turn her daughter into a victim, figurative or literal, and will protect her no matter the cost. Throw in an overzealous church group, a desperate director, a bag of Sonic tots, and hold on because it's gonna get bloody. This dark comedy is an immersive theater event (wear comfortable shoes) with a donation bar available to those over 21. Nettie Kraft does double duty in the Verge Theater Company version of Slasher: she not only directs, but is also in the cast! Among the other local favorites onstage with her are Ashley Glore, Tamara Todres, Kristin McCalley Landiss, Aaron Roston, Michael Joiner, LaTrisha Talley, Fiona Soul, Grace Mason, Christy White and Audrey Johnson.
Opened October 22
Cumberland County Playhouse: In-Laws, Outlaws, and Other People (Who Should Be Shot), running through December 12 www.ccplayhouse.com
Bell Witch Fall Festival, Adams: Spirit: The Authentic Bell Witch Experience, running through October 31 www.bellwitchfallfestival.com Community Spirit, Inc. and the City of Adams host the 13th season presentation of Alford's play, directed for the second year by critically acclaimed Nashville director/actor Derek Whittaker. This year's production of SPIRIT opened Thursday, October 22, continuing through Halloween night, October 31, at the Bell School Community Complex's Brooksher Outdoor Pavilion, just off Highway 41N in Adams. Curtain is at 7 p.m. each evening. SPIRIT is produced by Anna Filippo. Based upon Richard Williams Bell's memoir Our Family Trouble, SPIRIT explores the infamous haunting of the Bell Family which is said to have occurred in Robertson County in the early 19th century.
Destiny Theatre Experience, at Darkhorse Theater, Nashville: STEREO-type, running through October 31 Written and performed by Shawn Whitsell, STEREO-type is a one-man show, depicting the lives of five very different black men, empowered by the hip hop music that blasts through their stereos, while navigating their way through the highs and lows of life and battling stereotypes that attempt to hold them hostage.
Opened October 23
Encore Theatre Company, Mt. Juliet: Gin Rummy by Gene Embry, running through November 7 www.encore-theatre-company.org Follow six best friends as they meet for their monthly game of Gin Rummy. While the cards rarely get dealt, these boisterous, opinionated women share friendship, stories of family, the trials of marriage and parenthood throughout the span of four decades.
Opening October 29
Lipscomb Department of Theatre, at Collins Alumni Auditorium at Lipscomb University, Nashville: Into the Woods, through November 7 Scott Baker directs one of Sondheim's most popular stage works, and an Oscar-nominated film in 2014, Into The Woods intertwines the plots of Brothers Grimm fairy tales, bringing them together for a timeless yet relevant piece and a rare modern classic. Enchantingly comedic with a dark twist, the story brings together everyone's favorite characters from "Jack and the Beanstalk," "Little Red Riding Hood," "Rapunzel" and "Cinderella," among many others. Will the Baker and his wife get their wish to have a child? Can Cinderella attend the King's Festival, and can Jack feed his family with riches plundered from atop the beanstalk? Will Little Red arrive at Granny's house? When the Baker and his wife learn that they cannot have a child because of a Witch's curse, the two set off on a journey that sees that everyone's wish is granted, but the consequences of their actions return to haunt them later with disastrous results. Performance Dates: Oct. 29-31, 5-7 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 1 at 3:30 p.m.
Opening October 30
Circle Players, at the Z. Alexander Looby Theatre, Nashville: Of Mice and Men, running through November 15. www.CirclePlayers.net Heather Alexander and Daniel DeVault direct the stage adaptation of John Steinbeck's classic tale of George and his lumbering friend, the gentle giant Lennie. Tony Nappo plays Lennie, with Mitchell Stevenson as George. Other cast members include Eric Butler, Morgan Fairbanks, Joseph Lovell, Ethan Treutle, Nick Boggs, Ron Veasey, Christian McLaurin and Craig Hartline.
Tuesday, November 3
Nashville Repertory Theatre, Studio A at Nashville Public Television, 161 Rains Avenue, Nashville: Staged Reading of Nate Eppler's Good Monsters. Good Monsters tells the story of Frank, a Gulf War veteran and police officer who moonlights as a security guard to make ends meet. Safira was a shoplifter. It was dark. Frank thought she had a gun. She didn't. Now Frank's the guy who shot an unarmed teenager, with ramifications for his wife, his best friend, Safira's father, and a media spin doctor looking for a story. While he waits for the grand jury, Safira haunts Frank every night and soon she begins to make terrifying demands of him. Eppler wrote Good Monsters as part of The Rep's Ingram New Works Project two years ago. The situations and controversies in the plot were met with strong debate and emotion by those who attended the earlier readings, which excited the artists involved with the script, prompting them to think the story will engage the audience. Good Monsters contains adult themes, a lot of adult language, and is for mature audiences. The staged reading of Good Monsters will include a post-show discussion with audience, cast, playwright, and director and is free for Nashville Rep members. Donations are welcome from other attendees. Reservations should be made online at nashvillerep.org/good-monsters-reading.
Opening November 5
N&XT, at Gallery Luperca, 604 Gallatin Avenue, Suite 212, Nashville: Manuscript, running through November 14 www.nandxt.com Starring: Parker Arnold as David, Jesse W. Smith as Chris and Sadie Elizabeth Hart* as Elisabeth: In the bedroom of a Brooklyn Heights brownstone, three ambitious college freshmen confront the discovery of an unpublished manuscript that can guarantee success. It's winter break; the parents are out of town; and David is the host of this gathering. His best friend, Chris, is coming over with his new girlfriend from college, Elizabeth. Elizabeth is a famous author and David an aspiring one. They've come to party before a fancy holiday ball. But when Chris makes a run to get their drugs for the evening it becomes clear that David and Elizabeth have a secret history. To make matters worse, Chris returns with shocking news and a stack of pages that will change their lives forever. It appears that their supplier, a famous and famously reclusive author, has died of a drug overdose. After discovering the body, Chris managed to salvage the only copy of his final work from the scene. As the bright young things scrap over what to do with the manuscript, their plotting is by turns hilarious and startlingly cruel. They spin out of control on their manipulative quest for fame and, ultimately, revenge. Little is what it seems, and no one can be trusted as plot twists pile up, and the play hurtles towards a surprise ending. November 5-14: Thursday-Saturday at 7 p.m.
Hume-Fogg Academic High School Theatre Department, Nashville: Sweeney Todd School Edition, running through November 7. www.hfatheatre.com Directed by 2014 First Night Honoree Daron Bruce, vocal music director Lisa Forbis and choreographed by 2011 First Night Honoree Pam Atha (and with a set by 2012 First Night Star Award winner Jim Manning). Sweeney Todd has become a bloody, worldwide success since being awarded eight Tony Awards (including Best Musical), for its Broadway premiere and has now been adapted for high school performers in Sweeney Todd School Edition. Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler (A Little Night Music, Pacific Overtures) crafted a tasty, thrilling, theatrical treat that has simultaneously shocked, awed, and delighted audiences across the world. An infamous tale, Sweeney Todd, an unjustly exiled barber, returns to 19th century London seeking vengeance against the lecherous judge who framed him and ravaged his young wife. The road to revenge leads Todd to Mrs. Lovett, a resourceful proprietress of a failing pie shop, above which he opens a new barber practice. Mrs. Lovett's luck sharply shifts when Todd's thirst for blood inspires the integration of an ingredient into her meat pies that has the people of London lining up, and the carnage has only just begun! Reserved seats are $13 at the website; general admission seats are $10 for adults, $5 for students and are sold half an hour before curtain. This special School Edition has been masterfully adapted, working directly with Mr. Sondheim, to retain the dark wit and grand scope of the original work, with a few lyric and key changes to facilitate high school productions. At the show's core is a challenging score of epic proportion with two tasty tour de force roles in Sweeney and his comic female accomplice Mrs. Lovett.
Opening November 6
In Another Life and Maverick Entertainment in association with Genuine Human, Nashville, at The Filming Station, 501 8th Avenue South: William Luce's The Belle of Amherst, running through November 22. www.thebelleofamherst.wordpress.com Directed by Melissa Bedinger Carrelli and starring Caroline Davis as Emily Dickinson. The Belle of Amherst, a theatrical exploration of the private life of poet Emily Dickinson, comes to Nashville November 6-22, for nine performances at The Filming Station downtown. Presented by In Another Life and Maverick Entertainment Group in association with Genuine Human, The Belle of Amherst will play three weekends: November 6-8, 13-15 and 20-22. Friday and Saturday evening performances are at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday matinees begin at 2:30 p.m. A true nonconformist, Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) is recognized as one of the finest, most influential and singular voices in the English language. Drawing from her poems, diaries and letters, playwright William Luce's one-character show (which premiered in 1976) brings Dickinson to life by using a stream-of-conscious flow of prose and verse. Fifty-three at the play's introduction, the notoriously reclusive Dickinson welcomes the audience to her home in Amherst, Massachusetts, and reveals her longing to become a famous poet, shares recipes and small-town gossip, and paints lyrical portraits of her family. The twists and turns of her narrative include childhood flights of fancy, reactions to literary criticism, her naturalist view of the infinite Universe, and, ultimately, her acceptance of Immortality. As she wrote in one of her many letters, "Pardon my sanity. Pardon my jubilation in Nature, my terror of midnight, my childlike wonder at love, my white renunciation. Nothing more do I ask than to share with you the ecstasy and sacrament of my life."
Arts Center of Cannon County, Woodbury: Mary Poppins, running through November 21 www.artscenterofcc.org Directed by Allison Hall, with musical direction by Haley Ray and choreography by Regina Wilkerson-Ward, this family musical features the delightful songs from the popular Disney film including "A Spoonful of Sugar," "Supercalifragilisticexpialidcious" and "Chim Chim Cheree. Winner of 44 major theatre awards from around the globe, Mary Poppins has captivated audiences for generations, and now the enchanting story, unforgettable songs and breathtaking dance numbers will dazzle and delight theatre goers of all ages. Believe in the magic of Mary Poppins and discover a world where anything can happen if you let it! Performances run November 6-21. Call (615) 563-2287.
Murfreesboro Little Theatre: My Fair Lady, running through November 22 www.mltarts.org My Fair Lady is a classic story, told with an incredibly rich and memorable score, filled with laughs, tears and - at long last - love! Based on George Bernard Shaw's play Pygmalion (which itself is based upon Greek mythological figure Pygmalion), authors and lyricist Alan Jay Lerner and composer Frederick Lowe crafted this record-breaking hit, revolving around poor cockney Eliza Doolittle, a feisty flower girl, and egotistical Professor Henry Higgins, who wagers that he can pass her off as a lady in six months, because all that separates the social classes just happens to be his specialty - speech! Directed by theatre veteran Melvin C. Spring, with musical direction and accompaniment by MLT President Charlie Parker, Andy Ford stars as Henry Higgins, and making her MLT s debut, Mary Hutchens ignites the stage as Eliza Doolittle, and choreographer. My Fair Lady features Perry Poston as Colonel Pickering, Zach Kelley as Freddy, Rob DeHoff as Alfred P. Doolittle, Rae Ellyn Kelley as Mrs. Eynford-Hill, Janice Denson as Mrs. Pearce, Heather Gardner as Mrs. Higgins, Steven Luster as Harry, and Jacob Kight as Jamie. Rounding out the cast are Alyssa Brangenburg, Alex DeHoff, Aylee Gardner, and Raeley Underwood.
Springhouse Theatre Company, 14119 Old Nashville Highway, Smyrna: The Marvelous Wonderettes, running through November 15. Take a journey with The Marvelous Wonderettes and enjoy an evening of the music of the 50s and 60s. This stellar cast will knock your socks off. Directed by Catherine Birdsong, who co-stars along with Jennifer Whitcomb-Oliva, Darci Wantiez and Stephanie Jones-Benton. Curtain is at 7:30 p.m. November 6, 7, 13 and 14, with 3:30 p.m. matinees on both November 8 and 15.
Street Theatre Company, Nashville, at Bailey Middle School: Bat Boy the Musical, running through November 22 www.streettheatrecompany.org
Opening November 9
Roxy Regional Theatre's theotherspace, Clarksville: Buyer & Cellar, running through November 17 www.roxyregionaltheatre.org Buyer & Cellar, an outrageous new comedy about the price of fame, the cost of things and the oddest of odd jobs, takes the stage of the Roxy Regional Theatre's theotherspace for four evenings only, November 9 - November 17. Ryan Bowie stars as struggling actor Alex More in this hilarious one-man show. Desperate for work after being fired from his job as the Mayor of Toontown character at Disneyland, Alex takes a job working in the Malibu basement of Barbra Streisand ... and one day the Lady Herself comes downstairs to play. It feels like real bonding in the basement, but will their relationship ever make it upstairs?
Opening November 10
Broadway at TPAC, Nashville: Bullets Over Broadway, running through November 15 www.tpac.org Written by Woody Allen (Death Defying Acts, Writer's Block) and based on the screenplay by Allen and Douglas McGrath for the 1994 film, Bullets Over Broadway tells the story of an aspiring young playwright newly arrived on Broadway in 1920s New York who is forced to cast a mobster's talentless girlfriend in his latest drama in order to get it produced Bullets Over Broadway features Michael Williams as "David Shayne," Emma Stratton as "Helen Sinclair," Jeffrey Brooks as "Cheech," Bradley Allan Zarr as "Warner Purcell," Michael Corvino as "Nick Valenti," Hannah Rose Deflumeri as "Ellen," Rick Grossman as "Julian Marx," Jemma Jane as "Olive Neal," and Rachel Bahler as "Eden Brent."
Opening November 13
Center for the Arts, Murfreesboro: The Glass Menagerie, running through November 22 www.boroarts.org
Nashville Opera at The Noah Liff Opera Center: Philip Glass' Hydrogen Jukebox www.nashvilleopera.org Join us for an intimate voyage through the cultural landscape of America from the 1950's through the 1980s. Delving into such topics as life, death, the atomic bomb and potential annihilation, Eastern philosophy, sex, drugs, rock and roll, war, and significant political events, Hydrogen Jukebox is a kaleidoscope of societal phenomena. Above all, though, Hydrogen Jukebox tries to portray the American People-a collective of individuals searching a better way towards understanding, meaning, and happiness in hectic and often confusing times. This electrifying opera-featuring a haunting, dynamic score by Philip Glass and the prophetic poetry of Allen Ginsberg-promises to overwhelm your senses with a poignant experience that is at once passionately nostalgic and strikingly relevant. Approximate running time: 2 hours, 10 minutes (with one 20-minute intermission)
Opening November 15
4th Story Theatre at West End United Methodist Church, Nashville: The Hurting Part, running through November 22. A new play by Silas House, The Hurting Part is set in the small Dayton, Ohio, apartment of Thelma and Simeon Smallwood, December of 1962, we struggle with the values of family and home, love and loyalty. This family story is ours, too. Through it we are reminded of deep detachment and homesickness in our lives when Christmas feels like the reliving of them all over again. "Nobody talks about the hurting part of Christmas. Sometimes that's the biggest part of all." The cast includes Nancy Hawthorne, Adam Troxler, Molly Weinberg, Christopher Wagner, 2015 First Night Most Promising Actor Logan Dowlen, Sheridan Hitchcox and Jessica Undis. Kirk McNeill and John McGuire directs, with Martha Ann Pilcher as producer.
Monday, November 16
Metro Parks and Kennie Playhouse Theater, at East Recreation Center, 600 Woodland Street, Nashville: Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, staged reading for one night only. August Wilson's Tony Award-nominated Ma Rainey's Black Bottom is set in Chicago in the 1920. Ma Rainey and her band are there for a recording session, but issues of race, art, religion and the historic exploitation of black recording artists looms large over the scene. Directed by First Night Award winner Stella Reed, the cast includes Sam Dressler, Stella Reed, Howard Snyder, Clark Harris, Michael McLendon, Darlene Knight, Joel Diggs, Laurens Jones, Omar Lagualdi, Kenny Dozier and Robb Douglas. Tickets are $7 and the reading is recommended for mature audiences. Curtain is at 7 p.m.
Opening November 19
Chaffin's Barn Dinner Theatre, Nashville: Yule Y'all, running through December 27 www.dinnertheatre.com
Gaslight Dinner Theatre, Dickson: Mr. Jingle's Christmas Clause, running through December 19 www.gaslightdinnertheatre.org
Opening November 20
Cumberland County Playhouse: A Sanders Family Christmas, running through December 22 www.ccplayhouse.com
Opening November 27
Nashville Rep at TPAC's Johnson Theatre: A Christmas Story, running through December 20 www.nashvillerep.org
Opening December 3
Studio Tenn, Franklin: It's A Wonderful Life, running through December 20 www.studiotenn.com
Opening December 4
Arts Center of Cannon County, Woodbury: A Tuna Christmas, running through December 13 www.artscenterofcc.com Vickie Bailey directs Mark Thomas and Matt Smith in this holiday offering from the town of Tuna, Texas.
Center for the Arts, Murfreesboro: White Christmas, running through December 20 www.boroarts.org
Lakewood Theatre Company, Old Hickory: The Lion in Winter, running through December 20 www.lakewoodtheatreco.com Sibling rivalry, adultery and dungeons - Lion in Winter, by James Goldman, is a modern day classic. Comedic in tone, dramatic in action - the play tells the story of the Plantagenet family who are locked in a free for all of competing ambitions to inherit a kingdom. The queen, and wealthiest woman in the world, Eleanor of Aquitaine, has been kept in prison since raising an army against her husband, King Henry II. Let out only for holidays, the play centers around the inner conflicts of the royal family as they fight over both a kingdom, as well as King Henry's paramour during the Christmas of 1183. As Eleanor says, "every family has its ups and downs," and this royal family is no exception.
Pull-Tight Players, Franklin: Holmes For The Holidays, running through December 19 www.pull-tight.com The halls are decked with murder this holiday season at the Connecticut manse of stage actor William Gillette. But whodunit? His mother, Martha? Or one of his fellow actor friends staying at Connecticut Castle for the Christmas weekend? Gillette has played Sherlock Holmes on stage, but now he had better play him in real life before the murderer strikes again.
Renaissance Players, Dickson: A Christmas Story, The Musical, running through December 13. This musical, which received rave reviews on its Broadway run, is based on the movie classic that runs round-the-clock on television every Christmas. Set in the 1940s in the fictional town of Hohman, Indiana, the musical follows 9-year-old Ralphie Parker and his quest for the Holy Grail of Christmas gifts-an Official Red Ryder carbine-action 200-shot Range Model air rifle. Rebuffed at every turn with a similar echoing response, Ralphie plots numerous schemes to achieve his desperate desire for the coveted BB gun. All the iconic scenes from the movie are here: Ralphie's friend, Flick, getting his tongue stuck to the flagpole; his brother, Randy, getting dressed in his snowsuit; the bullies, Farkus and Dill; the leg lamp award; the bunny suit; the Chinese restaurant; Christmas dinner; and many others. The delightfully versatile score ranges from gentle ballads to show-stopping full-ensemble numbers such as "Ralphie to the Rescue!," "A Major Award," "Sticky Situation," "Up on Santa's Lap," "Somewhere Hovering Over Indiana" and the inevitable "You'll Shoot Your Eye Out!" A Christmas Story, The Musical will bring an exciting new dimension to those who have seen the movie and will certainly stand on its own for those who haven't. Show Times are December 4, 5, 11, 12 at 7 p.m. and December 6, 13 at 2 p.m. Order your tickets at https://squareup.com/market/the-renaissance-players or by calling (615) 446-0890 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Springhouse Theatre Company, Smyrna: It's a Wonderful Life, running through December 13 www.springhousetheatre.comTraditions are a significant part of the way we experience the joy of the Christmas season. Make a visit to Bedford Falls one of your traditions as you share in the classic telling of the full- stage version of It's a Wonderful Life.
Opening December 9
Miss Jeanne's Dinner Theatre, Nashville: A Tuna Christmas, running through December 27. Written by Jaston Williams, Joe Sears and Ed Howard, A Tuna Christmas is the beloved two-man holiday comedy, featuring Tobias J. Turner and Asa Ambrister in a production at Miss Jeanne's Dinner Theatre. Under the direction of E. Roy Lee, Turner and Ambrister play 22 citizens of Tuna, Texas. This follow-up to Greater Tuna, features many of the colorful characters familiar to audiences, but introduces new faces such as Tuna Little Theatre director Joe Bob Lipsey, and Tastee Kreme waitress Helen Bedd. Tuna, the third-smallest town in Texas, is in an uproar over the legendary Christmas Phantom, who is vandalizing all the neighborhood Christmas yard displays. Turner is a former student of 2015 First Night Honoree Kaul Bluestone. He has performed in works ranging from Romeo and Juliet, Much Ado about Nothing, and Twelfth Night to Noises Off, The Music Man, and The Importance of Being Earnest. He is currently a member of the national touring company of the Off-Broadway play Old Jews Telling Jokes, under the direction of Jay Kholos. He is also an alumnus of The Backdoor Playhouse, as a student of Mark Creter at Tennessee Technological University. Ambrister is an actor and director on stages throughout Middle Tennessee, most prominently as a regular performer at Miss Jeanne's Dinner Theatre for a weekly interactive mystery show. He was voted best featured actor in Broadway World.com Nashville's Awards for his work in Love! Valour! Compassion! and Greater Tuna. He studied performance locally at Columbia State Community College, and at The American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City. Miss Jeanne's Dinner Theatre is located at 2416 Music Valley Drive, Suite 150. Dinner and "show only" options are available. FYI: Patrons should allow extra travel time, due to heavy Opryland area traffic in December. Show contains moderate adult language. Visit www.missjeannes.com or call (615) 902-9566 for further details.
Opening December 11
Murfreesboro Little Theatre: A Coney Island Christmas, running through December 20 www.mltarts.org
Sunday, January 10, 2016
2016 Midwinter's First Night: You simply must save the date for Midwinter's First Night...the cold and frosty one...featuring the presentation of the BWW Nashville Awards and First Night's TOP 10 of 2016, featuring the presentation of the First Night Awards (the ones that really matter, after all!)...we'll have spectacular entertainment, refreshing libations and a damn good time hosted by Justin Boyd, Britt Byrd, Katherine Morgan and Taylor Novak...all of whom will be riding herd on First Night founder & executive producer Jef Ellis, who is known for being rather ribald and somewhat salty at these things. Tickets are $10 in advance/$15 at the door! We'll be announcing our venue very soon in that over-dramatic way we have of doing things! Thanks to Michael Adock for our swell art...he's our favorite. But then again, now that we think about it, so are YOU! See you at the party!
Opening January 15, 2016
Murfreesboro Little Theatre: The Exonerated, running through January 24 www.mltarts.org
Opening January 22
Nashville Opera at TPAC's James K. Polk Theater: Mozart's Cosi Fan Tutte www.nashvilleopera.org It all starts with a bet. Two young men enter into a wager with an older bachelor to prove the indestructible fidelity of their beautiful fiancées. Lesson #1: Never make bets in which the human heart is involved. This comic opera is the peak of Mozart's brilliant exploration into the workings of love. Following closely on the heels of such masterpieces as The Marriage of Figaro and Don Giovanni, Cosi Fan Tutte is the ultimate statement on the dissimilarity between men and women when it comes to affairs of the heart. Approximate running time: 2 hours, 30 minutes (includes one 20-minute intermission)
Opening January 26, 2016
Broadway at TPAC, Nashville: Matilda the Musical, running through January 31 www.tpac.org
Opening February 5, 2016
Pull-Tight Players, Franklin: Southern Fried Funeral, running through February 20 www.pull-tight.com Pull-Tight is thrilled to feature this uproarious homegrown comedy from local playwrights Osborne and Eppler. Families reveal their real selves in light of a crisis, and the Frye family is no exception. You won't want to miss the true colors this zany Southern family paints the occasion with as they lay dearly departed Dewey Frye to rest.
Opening February 11, 2016
Nashville Rep at TPAC's Johnson Theatre: Good Monsters, running through February 27 www.nashvillerep.org
Opening February 12, 2016
Springhouse Theatre Company, Smyrna: Jane Austin's Emma, running through February 28 www.springhousetheatre.com Those who love Jane Austen, as well as those who simply love laughter, life, and... love, will be enchanted by this Paula K. Parker adaptation of one of Ms. Austen's most delightful works.
Opening February 16, 2016
Broadway at TPAC, Nashville: Motown the Musical, through February 21 www.tpac.org
?Opening February 18, 2016
Studio Tenn, Franklin: The Glass Menagerie, running through March 6 www.studiotenn.com
Opening March 9, 2016
Broadway at TPAC, Nashville: The Phantom of the Opera, running through March 20 www.tpac.org
?Opening March 19, 2016
Nashville Rep at TPAC's Johnson Theatre: Chicago, running through April 16 www.nashvillerep.org
Opening April 8, 2016
Pull-Tight Players, Franklin: Rabbit Hole, running through April 23 www.pull-tight.com Celebrated author David Lindsay-Abaire's Pulitzer Prize-winning play explores the various ways a family copes with unexpected and tragic death, with a deft balance of humor, pathos and hope. Whether or not you have seen the acclaimed Oscar-nominated film adaptation, you won't want to miss this exciting addition to the season.
Springhouse Theatre Company, Smyrna: Tom Sawyer, running through April 24 www.springhousetheatre.com Join master storyteller Mark Twain as he leads us into the world of his most famous character -Tom Sawyer. Tom's adventures never fail to remind us of why great storytelling never grows old.
Opening April 14, 2016
The Larry Keeton Theatre, Donelson/Nashville: The Miss Firecracker Contest, running through April 30 www.thelarrykeetontheatre.org Jeffrey Ellis directs the popular Beth Henley southern gothic comedy, the first play to be presented at The Keeton in several years; he promises an all-star cast of local favorites to bring Henley's show to life.
Opening April 22, 2016
Murfreesboro Little Theatre: Lend Me a Tenor, running through www.mltarts.org
Opening April 26, 2016
Broadway at TPAC, Nashville: Mamma Mia!, running through May 1 www.tpac.org
Opening May 6, 2016
Opening May 10, 2016
Broadway at TPAC, Nashville: The Bridges of Madison County, running through May 15 www.tpac.org
Opening May 31, 2016
Broadway at TPAC, Nashville: Disney's Beauty and the Beast, running through June 5 www.tpac.org
Opening June 3, 2016
Studio Tenn, Franklin, at Schermerhorn Symphony Center: West Side Story, running through June 4, www.studiotenn.com
Pull-Tight Players, Franklin: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, running through June 18 www.pull-tight.com Trust us - your elementary school spelling bee was never like this! Take a group of neurotic, over-achieving grade schoolers with a dictionary in their hands and hope in their hearts, add a group of equally wacky moderators and stir for a delightful and sharply funny comedy that will have you rolling in the aisles. But don't get too comfy on the floor - you might just be picked to join the bee!
Opening June 7, 2016
Broadway at TPAC, Nashville: If/Then, running through June 7 www.tpac.org
Opening June 9, 2016
Opening June 10, 2016
Murfreesboro Little Theatre: Butterflies Are Free, running through www.mltarts.org
Opening July 8, 2016
Murfreesboro Little Theatre: Next to Normal, running through www.mltarts.org