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Nashville Theater Calendar 11/16/15

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 jeffreyellis37215@att.com.

Opened October 22

Cumberland County Playhouse: In-Laws, Outlaws, and Other People (Who Should Be Shot), running through December 12 www.ccplayhouse.com

Opened October 29

Nashville Children's Theatre, Nashville: Charlotte's Web, running through December 6. www.nashvillechildrenstheatre.org E.B. White's Charlotte's Web has been named "the best American children's book of the past two hundred years" by the Children's Literature Association. NCT's acclaimed stage version of this timeless story has won the hearts of children and their families like no other play in our repertoire. We welcome Fern, Charlotte, Wilbur, and Templeton back to our stage every few years, inviting new generations of children and their families to share this remarkable story together, told as only NCT can tell it. It is deep in the early, just before dawn, and Fern's delightful little runt pig, Wilbur, appears to be headed for the dinner table - and not in a good way - when he is saved through the remarkable literary efforts of a spider named Charlotte. Wilbur may be "Terrific," and he certainly is "Some Pig," but it is up to Charlotte to tell it to the world. This long time family classic is a beautiful story of friendship and sacrifice, and in Nashville Children's Theatre's acclaimed production, when that wonderful spider sets about her devoted work, you will believe in the miracle of Charlotte's Web.

Opened November 6

ACT 1, at Darkhorse Theater, Nashville: August: Osage County, running through November 21 www.ACT1online.com Tracy Letts' acclaimed play about a dysfunctional family coming to terms with one another - August: Osage County - opens at Nashville's iconic Darkhorse Theater on November 6, directed by Bradley Moore and featuring a veritable who's who of Nashville actors. August: Osage County, running through November 21, is presented by ACT 1 as its second show of the 2015-16 season. In Letts' play, the mystery of their missing father brings three sisters to the home of their mother, Violet an acid-tongued, pill-popping cancer patient. Daughters Barbara, Karen and Ivy - along with their significant others and various other kinfolk - feel the full force of their dysfunctional matriarch's venom, as Violet tells every one of them exactly what she thinks of them. Director Bradley Moore had assembled a reputable group of storytellers/actors to bring this story of family dysfunction to life onstage, including Debbie Kraski as Violet Weston, Layne Sasser as Mattie Fae Aiken, David Arnold as Charlie Aiken, Dietz Osborne as Bill Fordham and Cat Arnold as Barbara Fordham. Completing Moore's ensemble are Rob Wilds, Taylor Novak, Jenna Pryor, Jess Miller, Elizabeth Ayers Turner, Dollie Mayfield, Gerald Pitts and Kurt Jarvis. Show dates and times are: November 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 19, 20 and 21 at 7:30 p.m. and Novermber 8 and 15 at 2:30 p.m. at Darkhorse Theater, 4610 Charlotte Avene, Nashville. For ticket information and other details, go to www.act1online.com. August: Osage County is intended for mature audiences.

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.

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?

Opened November 13

Center for the Arts, Murfreesboro: The Glass Menagerie, running through November 22 www.boroarts.org Williams' play was the show that propelled his meteoric rise in American theater. Premiering in Chicago in December 1944, the production was nearly closed after just one week due to poor audience turnout. However, enthusiastic reviews by critics stimulated sold out performances and, three months later, Menagerie moved to New York. It won Williams the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best Play and became his first Broadway success, opening at the Playhouse Theater in March 1945 and closing over a year later in August 1946. A memory of Saint Louis during the 1930s, Menagerie is an emotionally devastating portrait of hope. Aspiring poet Tom Wingfield dreams of adventure while reluctantly supporting his overbearing mother Amanda and debilitatingly shy sister Laura. Pushed by his mother, he brings home a gentleman caller to try to coax his sister from her fragile private world. Menagerie "captures better than any play... the claustrophobic reality of family life, with its jostling interests, imposing expectations, burdensome concern and overwhelming love" (Los Angeles Times).

Cumberland County Playhouse, Crossville: Scrooge, running through December 19 www.ccplayhouse.org Scrooge is the charming stage adaptation of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" by renowned writer-composer-lyricistLeslie Bricusse. It is closely adapted from the 1970 musical film Scrooge starring Albert Finney, which earned Bricusse an Oscar nomination for his score. The beloved Christmas tale will once again star Jason Rossin the title role. Along with Ross, many other Playhouse favorites will be reprising their roles from past productions, including Daniel Black (Jacob Marley), Bob Cleeland (Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come), Jensen Crain (Mary), DeAnna Etchison (Mary), Britt Hancock (Ghost of Christmas Present),Carol Irvin (Ghost of Christmas Past), Lindsey Mapes (Isabel), Lauren Marshall (Mrs. Fezziwig), Chavin Medina (Tiny Tim), Michael Ruff (Tom Jenkins), Chaz Sanders (Dick Wilkins), Chance Wall (Young Scrooge) and Weslie Webster(Mrs. Cratchit). New company member Patrick McGuire will play Bob Cratchit.

Roxy Regional Theatre, Clarksville: The Secret Garden, running through November 27 www.roxyregionaltheatre.org The haunting moors of England will come to life at the Roxy Regional Theatre in the enchanting musical The Secret Garden, based on the enduring family classic penned over a century ago by Frances Hodgson Burnett (who moved with her family from her native England to Knoxville, Tennessee, in 1865), this Tony Award-winning musical, with book and lyrics by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Marsha Normanand music by Lucy Simon, will be directed by Tom Thayer. Virginia Richardson stars as eleven-year-old orphan Mary Lennox, who comes to live with her mysterious Uncle Archibald and her sickly cousin Colin. With the help of her charming new friend, Dickon, Mary rejuvenates the house, its inhabitants and its neglected secret garden in this heartwarming tale of forgiveness and renewal. Featuring Ryan Bowie as Archibald Craven, Tanner Sigears as Colin, and James Hansen as Dickon, the cast also includes Kelley Barker, Leslie Greene, Sean Michael Jaenicke, John McDonald, Lindsay Nantz, Val Roche, Matthew Smolko and Jonathan Whitney, with Tom Thayer on piano. A special Thanksgiving performance on Thursday, November 26, at 7 p.m. will include complimentary pie and coffee with the cast. The Secret Garden plays November 13, 14, 20, 21 and 27 at 8 p.m., November 19, 25 and 26 at 7 p.m. and November 21 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $25 (adults) and $15 (ages 13 and under) and may be purchased online or by phone at (931) 645-7699. Active-duty military, APSU students and CitySaver coupon holders can receive two tickets for the price of one to Wednesday and Thursday performances.

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.

Belmont University Department of Theatre and Dance, at Troutt Theater, Nashville: Homicidally Ever After, by Shawn Knight, running through November 18. Welcome to the third annual meeting of the Union of Fairy Tale, Nursery Rhyme, and Children's Story Characters! Will Prince Charming be reelected President of the Union? Will a villain interrupt the proceedings and curse everyone? Will a plucky sidekick bring groan-inducing jokes? One can only hope.... Join us for an evening of murder and mystery where YOU try to solve the case by scouring a crime scene, bribing key characters, and solving puzzles to find clues. The show is free, and attendance is limited to 100, so arrive early, and help us catch the killer! The show runs Monday, November 16, 7:30 p.m.; Tuesday, November 17, 7:30 p.m.; Wednesday, November 18, 9 p.m.

Opening November 19

Chaffin's Barn Dinner Theatre, Nashville: Yule Y'all, running through December 27 www.dinnertheatre.com Up next is an original holiday production - Yule Y'all - written and directed by the busiest woman in the dinner theater business, aka Ms. Bushfield. It opens next Thursday night, with a cast that includes Martha Wilkinson, Jennifer Richmond, Jeremy Maxwell, Steven Kraski, Craig Hartline (who just completed a run as The Boss in Circle Players' Of Mice and Men), Daniel Keith Bissell and Lisa Marie Wright!

Opening November 20

Cumberland County Playhouse: A Sanders Family Christmas, running through December 22 www.ccplayhouse.com This heartwarming sequel to Connie Ray and Alan Bailey's wildly successful bluegrass/gospel musical Smoke on the Mountain, is now in its seventeenth consecutive year at the Playhouse! The story takes place on Christmas Eve, 1941. The Great Depression is coming to a close and the threat of war looms. A family living near the rural town of Mount Pleasant, nestled in the mountains of North Carolina, is about to say goodbye to their only son, who is shipping out with the U.S. Marine Corps. But before he goes, the family - the ever-popular Sanders Family Singers - heads up the annual Christmas celebration at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church. Directed by Weslie Webster, this heartfelt musical is a surefire crowd pleaser. "It's wonderfully funny and sweet in equal measure," says Webster. "And I'm delighted to welcome three wonderful new actors to the 'Sanders' cast." This year's cast will feature Eric Stephenson as Pastor Mervin Oglethorpe, Patty Payne as June Sanders (she doesn't sing, she signs), Daniel Black as Burl Sanders, Lauren Marshall as Vera Sanders (and the show's Music Director), Patrick McGuire as Stanley Sanders and Kat Blackwood and Chance Wall as twins Denise and Dennis Sanders. Their energetic Gospel sing-along features many memorable holiday songs. Among them: Bill Monroe's "Christmas Time's A Comin'" and Kenny Rogers' and Dolly Parton's "With Bells On." Adding a few tugs on the heartstrings is the difficulty for Vera Sanders to bid an uncertain goodbye to her son. "That theme should resonate with everyone, whether they remember World War II or not," said Music Director Lauren Marshall, who also plays Vera. "Sending boys off to war is always relevant. It's universal. There's so much emotion involved."

Grand Ole Opry/Gaylord Opryland, Nashville: How The Grinch Stole Christmas, The Musical, running through December 27. http://www.grinchmusical.com/ Discover the magic of Dr. Seuss' classic holiday tale as it comes to life on stage. Featuring the hit songs "You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch" and "Welcome Christmas," The Grinch discovers there's more to Christmas than he bargained for in this heart-warming holiday classic. Max the Dog narrates as the mean and scheming Grinch, whose heart is "two sizes too small," decides to steal Christmas away from the holiday-loving Whos. Celebrate the holidays with the show The New York Timescalls "100 times better than any bedside story!"

November 19 and 21

Christ Presbyterian Academy, Nashville: A Midsummer Night's Dream www.cpalions.org 2015 First Night Honoree Paula Flautt directs her students in this adaptation of Shakespeare's classic: "set in the Raj period of British colonial India with fairies who --- though not Indian by heritage they enjoy the environs and fashions!"

Opening November 20

Gaslight Dinner Theatre, Dickson: Mr. Jingle's Christmas Clause, running through December 19 www.gaslightdinnertheatre.org Gaslight Dinner Theatre continues its 15th Anniversary Season with its 72nd show: the premiere of Mr. Jingle's Christmas Clause. Written and created by Gaslight Dinner Theatre's artistic director Greg Frey, this musical comedy centers around Jerry Jingle and his small town hotel, The Luckee Inn. Jerry is not the celebrating sort and his Christmas Eve is interrupted by a host of "not-so-heavenly" beings finding their way to his humble hotel when the last bus to Chicago crumbles near his doorstep. Commotion pursues with mistaken identities, madcap adventures, robbery, and of course true love, all in the midst of the biggest snow storm since 1947! Experience the magical transformation that can only happen this time of year. Mr. Jingle's Christmas Clause is filled to the brim with over 15 of your Holiday favorite songs - some new, some old - but all designed to put you in the spirit. The stellar cast includes Nashville-based Jenny Norris Light ( I Do! I Do!, Seussical, Guys and Dolls, The Andrew's Brothers, All Shook Up); Kim Kinsley (On The Town, Little Women, Nunsense, State Fair, 42nd Street); Noah Rice, a recent Belmont graduate (White Christmas, The Fantasticks, 13-The Musical, Cinderella, Hershey Park); Greg Frey (A Christmas Carol, 9-5 The Musical, My Fair Lady, Fox on the Fairway, Disney's Son of Pinocchio); and New York-based Trevor Sideris (Urinetown: The Musical, Hairspray, Little Shop of Horrors, Les Miserables, Brigadoon). Each actor plays multiple colorful characters which adds to the fun of the evening, keeps you laughing, and makes this musical comedy a memorable and sure-to-be favorite. Delicious holiday luncheon and dinner buffets begin one hour before show time. Price includes buffet, desserts, beverage and show. Gratuity not included. Call the box office at (615) 740-5600 for reservations.

Opening November 27

Chaffin's Barn Dinner Theatre Backstage, Nashville: Murder at the Howard Johnson's, running through December 27 www.dinnertheatre.com

Nashville Rep at TPAC's Johnson Theatre: A Christmas Story, running through December 20 www.nashvillerep.org Reprising a Music City holiday tradition - while providing plenty of laughs for Black Friday - Nashville Repertory Theatre brightens the season with its A Christmas Story, opening November 27, at Tennessee Performing Arts Center's Andrew Johnson Theater at Tennessee Performing Arts Center and running through December 20. Spending the holidays with family includes enjoying home cooked meals and singing carols. But in Ralphie Parker's family, your mouth gets washed with soap, the neighbor's dogs devour your oven-fresh turkey, and those carols are replaced with choruses of "You'll shoot your eye out." Nashville Rep's heartwarming production of this all-American holiday classic is the perfect addition to every family's holiday traditions. Because nothing says Christmas like a leg lamp, pink bunny pajamas, and sticking your tongue to a frozen flag pole! Nashville Rep's cast for A Christmas Story includes Megan Murphy Chambers (Mother), Antonio P. Nappo (Scut), Curtis Reed (Randy),Mikey Rosenbaum (Flick), Patrick Waller (Schwatrz), Derek Whittaker (Ralphie), and Bobby Wyckoff (Old Man).

Tuesday, December 1

VWA Theatricals, at The VanWye Vocal Studio, Nashville: Audition Master Class with Savannah Frazier. Broadway veteran and Nashville's hometown girl Savannah Frazier will lead a master class on the art of auditioning at The Van Wye Vocal Studio on Tuesday, December 1, presented by VWA Theatricals.Frazier made her Broadway debut in Amazing Grace, the Musical, which closed on Sunday, October 25, at the Nederlander Theatre.The master class is best described as a pre-audition workshop. Each student who wants to perform should come prepared to sing either two 16-bar cuts, or one 16 bar cut/one-minute monologue. Participants will then be given suggestions/adjustments by Frazier, and will then be able to perform again with those suggestions in mind. The class is geared toward the objective of a scene or song, and the tactics and process used to achieve the performers goals. When there's specificity in an audition, Frazier says, "It changes the whole game." Participants will receive instruction and advice to achieve the best audition possible, vocally and acting-wise, and to prepare them for what a typical New York audition would be like.

Opening December 3

The Larry Keeton Theatre, Donelson/Nashville: 1940s Radio Christmas Carol, running through December 20 www.thelarrykeetontheatre.org

Studio Tenn, Franklin: It's A Wonderful Life, running through December 20 www.studiotenn.com

Opening December 4

Actors Bridge Ensemble at The Darkhorse Chapel, Nashville: The Nether, running through December 13 www.thenether.eventbrite.com Curtain is at 7 p.m. This is first first production in the Darkhorse Chapel; ABE is staggering our start time with the production happening in the main theater upstairs. Entrance to the Darkhorse Chapel is on 47th Avenue.Featuring: Rodney Pickel, Phil Perry, Bralyn Stokes, Robin-August Fritsch and Vali Forrister (as Detective Morris). The Nether is a daring examination of moral responsibility in virtual worlds. As Detective Morris, an online investigator, questions Mr. Sims about his activities in a role-playing realm so realistic it could be life, she finds herself on slippery ethical ground. Sims argues for freedom to explore even the most deviant corners of our imagination. Morris holds that we cannot flesh out our malign fantasies without consequence; their clash of wills leads to an outcome neither could have imagined. Suspenseful, ingeniously constructed, and fiercely intelligent, Haley's play forces us to confront deeply disturbing questions about the boundaries of reality. Winner of the 2012 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, The Nether is described as both a serpentine crime drama and haunting sci-fi thriller that explores the consequences of living out our private dreams.

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 jmarie58@bellsouth.net.

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

Opening January 7, 2016

Maverick Entertainment, at the Andrew Johnson Theatre at TPAC, Nashville: It's Who You Know, running through January 10 www.ItsWhoYouKnowOnTour.com Chambers Stevens is a bona fide Hollywood multi-hyphenate - actor-comedian-acting coach-author - who somehow has encapsulated all of that and more in his new one-man show It's Who You Know. "Most of us have had brief brushes with a celebrity," Stevens suggests. "Maybe a star is in town shooting a movie and we whip out our cell phone to take a discreet - or not so discreet photo. Maybe they pop up in odd places we don't expect to see them. But when one lives in Hollywood, the brushes with celebrity are more frequent, and often bring hilarious results." Stevens, in fact, has a personal file box that's fairly bulging with the anecdotes he's collected over his 40 years both in and out of the business which forms the basis for his latest one-man show that is different at every performance. Stevens describes the show as being like "sit-down comedy." Inspiration for the show, says Stevens, came from a close encounter with filmmaker Steven Soderbergh at a screening of the movie director's documentary And Everything is Going Fine, about humorist Spalding Gray. Soderbergh told Stevens about a film, Personal History of American Trash,where Gray pulls scripts of plays he had been in, from a box, and proceeds to tell anecdotes about his experiences in those plays. Stevens, a Tennessee native, was a 2013 First Night Honoree.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

The First Night Honors, Nashville: You simply must save the date for 2016 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 Jeffrey Ellis, who is known for being rather ribald and somewhat salty at these things. 2013 First Night Honoree Chambers Stevens is a special guest star! 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 Adcock 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 14, 2016

Nashville Children's Theatre, Nashville: Scot Copeland's Cinderella, running through February 7. www.nashvillechildrenstheatre.org Nashville Children's Theatre's breathtaking new production of the most beloved fairytale of all time: As charming as a Victorian Toy Theatre and as romantic as a Viennese Waltz, this sparkling confection brims with humor, magic, and spectacular theatrical effects. All the iconic elements one would hope to see are here; the hilarious step-sisters, wise fairy godmother, amazing transformations, delicate pumpkin coach, the ball gown, a handsome Prince, the striking clock, a desperate flight and, of course, a delicate glass slipper left behind in the snow - all lovingly designed, carefully crafted, and beautifully played by the extraordinary artists of Nashville Children's Theatre. This winter, come and warm your hands and heart with NCT's Cinderella.

Circle Players and TSU Theatre, Nashville, at Tennessee State University Performing Arts Center's Lewis Theater: Sister Act, running through January 31 www.CirclePlayers.net Tim Larson directs the Nashville area premiere of the hit Broadway musical, starring LaToya Gardner in the role originated on Broadway by Patina Miller, based on the film in which Whoopi Goldberg starred.

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

The Larry Keeton Theatre, Donelson/Nashville: Sunset Boulevard, running through March 5 www.thelarrykeetontheatre.org

Studio Tenn, Franklin: The Glass Menagerie, running through March 6 www.studiotenn.com

Opening February 19, 2016

Blackbird Theater Company and Lipscomb Department of Theatre, Shamblin Theatre at LU, Nashville: The Crucible, running through February 28 www.blackbirdtheater.com or www.theatre.lipscomb.edu First produced in 1953, at a time when America was convulsed by a new epidemic of witch hunting, The Crucible explores the threshold between individual gult and mass hysteria, personal spite and collective evil.It is a play that is not only relentlessly suspenseful and vastly moving but one that compels viewers to fathom their hearts and consciences in ways that only the greatest theater ever can. Beki Baker directs.

Opening February 25

Nashville Children's Theatre, Nashville: Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott, running through March 13 www.nashvillechildrenstheatre.org December 1, 1955, Montgomery, Alabama. Rosa Parks, a black woman, refuses to surrender her seat on a public bus to a white man. Her arrest proved to be a tipping point in American history, inspiring Montgomery's African-American citizens to organize in non-violent protest under the leadership of a new young pastor, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The newly formed Montgomery Improvement Association staged a 13-month boycott of Montgomery's public transit system that resulted in a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down segregation on public buses as unconstitutional.

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 March 31

Tennessee State University Theatre and the TSU Music Program, Nashville, at TSU's Performing Arts Center's Lewis Theatre: West Side Story, running through April 3. Directed by William Crimm.

Opening April 8, 2016

Lipscomb Department of Theatre, at Collins Alumni Auditorium, Nashville: You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown, running through April 15 www.theatre.lipscomb.edu An average day in the life of Charlie Brown: A day made up of little moments picked from all the days in Charlie Brown's young life, from Valentine's Day to the baseball season, from wild optimism to utter despair, all mixed up with the lives of his friends and dog and strung together on the string of single day, from bright, uncertain morning to hopeful, starlit evening. In the end, Charlie Brown reminds us "Happiness is anything and anyone that's loved by you."

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

Nashville Childrens Theatre, Nashville: A Year With Frog and Toad, running through May 15 www.nashvillechildrenstheatre.org A hit on Broadway, A Year With Frog And Toad was nominated for three Tony Awards - including Best Musical. Based on Arnold Lobel's well-loved books and featuring a hummable score by Robert and Willie Reale,this whimsical musical follows two great friends - the cheerful, popular Frog and the rather grumpy Toad - through four, fun-filled seasons. Waking from hibernation in the spring, Frog and Toad plant gardens, swim, rake leaves, go sledding, and learn life lessons along the way. The two best friends celebrate and rejoice in their differences that make them unique and special. The jazzy, upbeat score bubbles with melody and wit, making A Year With Frog and Toad an inventive, exuberant, and enchanting musical for the whole family.

The Larry Keeton Theatre, Donelson/Nashville: The Miss Firecracker Contest, running through April 30 www.thelarrykeetontheatre.org BWW Nashville senior editor and founder/executive director of The First Night Honors, 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 15, 2016

Actors Bridge Ensemble, in collaboration with Belmont University Department of Theatre and Dance, at Belmont's Black Box Theatre, Nashville: The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls (Nashville premiere), running through April 23. Directed by Leah Lowe, Actors Bridge board member and chair of the Theatre Department at Vanderbilt University, it will be performed in Belmont's Black Box Theatre, April 15-23. Once upon a time-in 2005-a twenty-year-old girl named Annie returned to her native Russia to brush up on the language and lose her American accent. Underneath a glamorous Post-Soviet Moscow studded with dangerously high heels, designer bags, and luxe fur coats, she discovers an enchanted motherland teeming with evil stepmothers, wicked witches, and ravenous bears. Annie must learn how to become the heroine of a story more mysterious and treacherous than any childhood fairy tale: her own. This subversive story haunts the audience, and carries a powerful message for young women living in a world where not everything ends up happily ever after.

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

Murfreesboro Little Theatre: Backyard Bard: Romeo & Juliet, running through www.mltarts.org

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

The Larry Keeton Theatre, Donelson/Nashville: Thoroughly Modern Millie, running through June 25 www.thelarrykeetontheatre.org

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


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