Nashville Theater Calendar 1/25/16

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's hard to keep everything straight in this wacky business of the show.

Thus, we are happy to present one of 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 2016 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

Opened January 14

Nashville Children's Theatre, Nashville: Scot Copeland's Cinderella, running through February 7. 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 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. Among others in Larson's cast are Mary Corby, Rae Robeson, Amber Boyer, Taylor Simon, Taylor Tracey, Sydney Hooper, Adele Akin and Ron Veasey.

Opened January 15

Center for the Arts, Murfreesboro: Into The Woods, running through January 31. A modern twist on several beloved Grimm's fairy tales, this Sondheim classic tells the story of the Baker and his Wife, Cinderella, Rapunzel, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Little Red Ridinghood and what follows after "Happy Ever After." Destined to charm audiences of all ages, Into The Woods will make you laugh one moment and touch you emotionally the next. Stephen Sondheim's expertly crafted songs makes this bewitching musical irresistible. The cast, directed by Renee Robinson, features Center for the Arts newcomer Hailey Ray as the Witch, Patrick Kramer and Alexius Frost as the Baker and Baker's Wife, Emily Davis as Cinderella, and Dwayne Benn as Jack.. The role of Little Red Riding Hood is shared by Shelby Jones and Sarah Oppmann. Join Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Rapunzel, Jack and the Giant and other classic fairytale characters as their familiar tales intertwine, go in surprising directions and lead the audience and characters alike down many unexpected paths in this unique fairy tale realm where "happily ever after" doesn't come without a cost. Into the Woods runs January 15 through the 31st with performances on Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults and $13 for Seniors, Students and Military, and $11 for Children. Tickets can be purchased on the Center's website at, by calling (615) 904-2787 or by stopping by the Center during business hours.

ACT 1, Nashville, at Darkhorse Theater: The Flu Season, running through January 30. "The Flu Season really isn't about the flu or the season, of course. It's about a man and woman, called just that, Man and Woman, who meet and grow close as patients in a mental hospital, and their doctor and nurse, called (you guessed it) Doctor and Nurse, who have their own peculiarities and don't help their patients much. Only The Flu Season is not really about all that, either. It's as much about the commentators, Prologue and Epilogue, who watch from the sidelines and interrupt to discuss the story that's unfolding. What it's about, in fact, is the process of writing the play (or the creative process in general). The two figures represent two sides of the creative impulse. Prologue is the earnest, optimistic voice early in the process, confident of his mastery. Cynical Epilogue is the wised-up voice of experience, after facing problems and rewrites: "For what it's worth, which is probably very little."' Memory Strong has gathered an amazing ensemble cast featuring: Erik Schiller as Prologue, Aaron Roston as Epilogue, Douglas Goodman as Doctor, Eric Butler as Man, Patricia Rulon as Nurse and Mallory Kimbrell as Woman. Shows begin at 7:30 p.m. on January 15, 16, 21, 22, 23, 28, 29 and 30, and at 2:30 PM on January 17 and 24. Tickets are $15 a piece and can be purchased at as well as

Opened January 16

Cumberland County Playhouse, Crossville: Church Basement Ladies, running through March 25. Opening in the Adventure Theater on January 16, Church Basement Ladies has been delighting audiences around the country for more than a decade with its lovable characters and pop music-riffing score. Based on the best-selling book Growing Up Lutheran, the Playhouse production of Church Basement Ladies features Carol Irvin, Weslie Webster, Patty Payne, Lindsey Mapes and Jason Ross. This celebration of the church basement kitchen and the women who work there highlights these four women and their relationships as they organize the food and the problems of a rural Minnesota church. From the elderly matriarch of the kitchen (Irvin) to the young bride-to-be learning the proper order of things (Mapes), these women handle a record breaking Christmas dinner, the funeral of a dear friend, a Hawaiian Easter Fundraiser, and a steaming hot July wedding. They stave off potential disasters, share and debate recipes, instruct the young, and keep the Pastor (Ross) on due course while thoroughly enjoying, (or at least tolerating) each other. Audiences will recognize these funny and down to earth Church Basement Ladies as they watch the church year unfold from below the House of God. Martha Wilkinson directs.

Opened January 21

White Orchard Theatre, Nashville, at Ensworth High School Black Box Theatre: Feels Colder Than Love, running through January 29. The show is a series of vignettes that focus on the psychology of the ultimate decision [as viewed] through the prism of five classical plays...The plays? Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet, Sarah Kane's 4:48 Psychosis, Henrik Ibsen's Hedda Gabler and Anton Chekhov's The Seagull. The cast for Feels Colder Than Love features Nashville stage veterans Molly Breen, Pat Reilly, Megan Blevins, Jonah Kraut, Angela Gimlin, Jaymes Campbell and Jessica Theiss. Tickets are available at, or by calling (305) 331-1233. Ensworth High School is located at 7401 Highway 100, Nashville.

Opening January 26

Broadway at TPAC, Nashville: Matilda the Musical, running through January 31 One of Broadway's biggest hits, Matilda is based on Roald Dahl's novel about a precocious 5-year-old, gifted with telekinesis, who loves reading and overcomes obstacles in her home life and at school. The score is by Tim Minchin, with book by Dennis Kelly.

Opening January 28

The Theater Bug, Nashville: 7 Ways to Sunday, running through January 30. Sunday Miller has secret super powers and has seen her own future. She decides to use her power to travel back in time to relive the same day 7 times in an effort to change the outcome. 7 Ways to Sunday is an original musical that deals with mature themes about teen depression and suicide. We urge discretion to anyone attending with children or those with sensitivities to the subject of depression or suicide. PG-13. Presented in partnership with the Tennessee Suicide Prevention Networkrepresented by Samantha Nadler. Book & Lyrics by Cori Anne Laemmel & Music by Eric Fritsch. Shows: Thursday, January 28, 7 p.m.; Friday, January 29, 7 p.m.; Saturday, January 30, 2 p.m.; and Saturday, January 30, 7 p.m.

Opening January 29

Music City Theatre Collective at Dimmick Hall, 85 Fairway Drive, Nashville: Showstoppers: A Musical Fundraiser, running through January 31. Join Music City Theatre Collective for their first fundraiser to help them gear up for their 2016 Season! The cast include professionals performing alongside some of Nashville's most talented kids ages 10-16 in a toe-tapping, hand-clapping review of showstopping numbers from everyone's favorite musicals like Annie, Matilda, Phantom, Rent, Kiss Me Kate, Newsies, and more. The cast includes: Jennifer Whitcomb Oliva, Chase Miller, Caressa Alan, Audrey Johnson, Mallory Mundy, Melissa Silengo, Martha Wilkinson, Iordanis Ekomogloy, Taylor Kelly, James Rudolph, Tosha Pendergrast, Brooke Leigh Davis, and Curtis Reed. Tickets are available by calling 615-918-0647.
Gala Tickets, 1/29 @ 6:30PM: $50 per person, includes wine and beer, walking appetizers, table seating and silent auction/raffles. General Admission Tickets, 1/30 @ 2:30PM, 1/30 @ 7:30PM, 1/31 @ 2:30PM: $25 per person or Table seating for four @ $100; includes 4 complimentary drink tickets and apps for the table.

Encore Theatre Company, Mt. Juliet: Neil Simon's Rumors, running through February 11. At a large, tastefully appointed Sneden's Landing townhouse, the Deputy Mayor of New York has just shot himself. Though only a flesh wound, four couples are about to experience a severe attack of Farce. Gathering for their tenth wedding anniversary, the host lies bleeding in the other room and his wife is nowhere in sight. His lawyer, Ken and wife Chris must get "the story" straight before the other guests arrive. As the confusions and miscommunications mount, the evening spins off into classic farcical hilarity. Daniel DeVault directs a cast that includes Jill Suzanne Braddock-Watson, James Bealor, Mindy Scott Tolber, Doug Allen, Tammy Sutherland, Kurt Jarvis, Megan Dorris, Perry Poster and Katie Oliver. Performances Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. Sundays at 2:30 PM. Call for reservations at (615) 598-8950, or purchase tickets online at

Towne Centre Theatre, Brentwood: Black Tie Broadway, running through February 11. Black Tie Broadway is a fun revue celebrating the music of Broadway across the decades. Arranged/directed by John Ray and choreographed by Katharine Boettcher, this talented ensemble will sing and dance their way into your hearts, performing more than two dozen favorite musical numbers from the best of Broadway. Director John Ray's cast includes Kamryn Boyd, Shawn Davie, Kelly Dutton, Ed Evins, Abigail Haggard, Christy Hatchock, Kate Johnston, Will Lasley, Vanessa Londino, Lauren Martin, Olivia Skurka, Howard Snyder and Deanielle Threet. Curtain is at 8 p.m. for Thursday-Saturday performances, with Sunday matinees at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are available at or (615) 221-1174

Opening February 4

Gaslight Dinner Theatre, Dickson: If The Shoe Fits, running through February 13. Gaslight Dinner Theatre begins its 16th Anniversary Season and 73th show with If The Shoe Fits. Gaslight Dinner Theatre is a professional non-profit venue whose mission is to enrich, entertain and educate our community through exceptional theatrical productions. Written by Matt Thompson, Dana Vermette, and Matt Chiorini, who formerly was the artistic director of People's Branch Theatre. It all started when Delores, an unhappy housewife, and George, a shoe salesman, met at Shoe Fantasy and it was love at first shoe-fitting. The only thing standing in the way was Delores' doting but half-witted husband, Marvin, who would never agree to a divorce. So there was only one thing left to do-kill Marvin so they can run off together and live a carefree life of passion and romance in a tropical paradise. But things get out of hand when Marvin doesn't fall for the bait. What was supposed to be a simple foolproof murder turns into a hilarious fiasco when Esperanza, the eccentric Spanish-speaking maid, arrives on the wrong day and she, too, falls for George. Now George and Delores have to devise a way to get rid of the lovesick Esperanza and carry out their plan to kill Marvin-that is without killing each other first! Their attempts get funnier and funnier as the lovers try again and again to finish the job only to have Esperanza and Marvin unknowingly foil their plans each time. The stellar cast includes Nashville based Charlynn Carter (All Shook Up, Pump Boys and Dinettes, Good Ol' Girls, Guess Who's Coming to Seder?) as Delores, the wife: Chase Miller (The Andrew's Brothers, Cats, Into The Woods, Hairspray) as George, the shoe salesman: Tammie Whited (The Foreigner, Blithe Spirit, Southern Fried Nuptials, A Bad Year for Tomatoes) as Esperanza the maid: and Andy Brown (I Do! I Do!, A Year With Frog and Toad, Married Alive!, Duck Hunter Shoots Angel) as Marvin, the husband.

Sideshow Fringe Presents Clown Nashville, at Darkhorse Theater in the Darkhorse Chapel: Dracula, running through February 7. Deep in the mountains of 19th-century Transylvania, in a vast, ruined castle, Count Dracula waits. His unsuspecting visitor is Jonathan Harker, whose good intentions will release the Count's evil on cosmopolitan London, endagering Harker's society, his friends, and even his beloved fiancée. Devised by a cast of nine under the direction of Jess Darnell, this original physical theater production is the first presented by Clown Nashville. For tickets, go to

Opening February 5

Pull-Tight Players, Franklin: Southern Fried Funeral, running through February 20 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. Johnny Peppers directs.

Roxy Regional Theatre, Clarksville: Blues In The Night, running through February 20, The universal language of the blues will wail out full and strong on the corner of Franklin and First in downtown Clarksville. The scorching Tony-nominated musical revue Blues in the Night opens at the Roxy Regional Theatre on Friday, February 5, at 8 p.m. In keeping with the theatre's traditional pay-what-you-can preview, all tickets not pre-sold at the regular ticket price will go on sale at 7:30 p.m. that evening for a $5 minimum donation. Set in 1930s Chicago, the story of three women in love with the same no-good man is told through over two dozen hot and torchy numbers covering the range of this indigenous American art form, from Bessie Smith to Duke Ellington, Johnny Mercer, Harold Arlen, Alberta Hunter, Jimmy Cox, Ida Cox and more. In advance of his turn as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in the Roxy Regional Theatre's upcoming production of Katori Hall's The Mountaintop, Phillip Bernard Smith takes on the role of The Man in the Saloon. Following her Roxy debut in Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologues, Mariah Sade Ralph plays The Woman of the World, North Carolina native Dwan Hayes is The Lady from the Road, and Kansas native and current Clarksville resident Lacey Connell rounds out the cast as The Girl with a Date. Conceived by Sheldon Epps and directed by Tom Thayer, BLUES IN THE NIGHT features Thayer on piano, accompanied by John Waddle on bass and Thad Wallus on drums, performing such bluesy, jazzy tunes as "Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out," "Rough and Ready Man," "Wild Women Don't Have the Blues" and more. Tickets are $25 (adults) and $15 (ages 13 and under) and may be purchased online at, by phone at (931) 645-7699, or at the theatre during regular box office hours (9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Friday, and one hour prior to curtain).

Saturday, February 6

Verge Theater Company, in collaboration with the Belmont University Department of Theatre and Dance, stage reading of The Widow, at The Belmont Black Box Theatre, Nashville. The Widow, by Iraqi playwright Amir Al-Azraki, is presented as part of his residency at Belmont University. Nour, a widow from the 2003 Iraq war, initiates an affair with an outspoken young teacher, Samir. After receiving threats from a religious militia group, Samir flees Iraq, leaving Nour to deal with the consequences. As a jobless refugee in Canada, Samir struggles to make sense of his life. The play addresses several topical, urgent issues. These include the ongoing tensions between hardline Islamists and moderates, the role of women in Iraq, and the plight of the immigrant. The Widow premiered in Toronto in 2014. The performance is free and open to the public, and there will be a talkback with the playwright immediately after the reading. Troutt Black Box Theatre, Belmont University, 2100 Belmont Blvd., Nashville, TN 37212. One performance only: Saturday, February 6, 7:30 p.m. The performance is free and open to the public. Bethany Langford directs Scout Pitman, John Michael Joiner, Tamara Todres, Santiago Sosa and Taylor Novak. Produced by Nettie Kraft, Brooke Ferguson, and Margaret Horne

Manna From Heaven Dinner House, Nashville: Mandela: Let Freedom Reign. Darryl Van Leer's one-man show - winner of the 2015 BroadwayWorld Nashville Award for best original work - retells the story of Mandela's early life to his leadership of the ANC. He delivers his famous "I Am Prepared to Die" speech at his treason trial and receives a life sentence. He describes the 27 dark years in prison, but also how the Apartheid regime is forced to contend with the unstoppable international outcry. At the climax, he delivers his Inaugural Presidential Address in which he urges all in the new Rainbow Nation to "Let Freedom Reign." Tickets, which are $10 each, are available by calling (615) 891-1533.

Opening February 11

Nashville Rep at TPAC's Johnson Theatre: Good Monsters, running through February 27 Nashville Repertory Theatre presents the world premiere of Good Monsters, a psychological drama centering on an off-duty police officer involved in the shooting of an unarmed teen. Good Monsters will run February 13-27 in Johnson Theater at Tennessee Performing Arts Center. Preview performances are February 11 and 12. "The catalyst for this story," says Good Monsters playwright Nate Eppler, "is a shocking act of violence: an off-duty officer shoots and kills an unarmed teenage girl. But the play starts after that. The play isn't about the shooting; the play is about the ripples that spread out in all directions from this one violent act. The play is about living in the rubble." Nashville Rep's cast for Good Monsters includes Megan Murphy Chambers (Josie), Alexandra Huff (Zero), Nathaniel McIntyre (Frank), R. Alex Murray (Dumptruck), Carey Van Driest (Darlene), and Garris Wimmer (Zell). Preview performances of Good Monsters are February 11 and 12, opening night is Saturday, February 13, and the show runs through February 27. Specific performance dates and times are listed below. Tickets start at $25 for previews and start at $45 for regular run, and can be purchased online at or by calling the Box Office at (615) 782-4040. Good Monsters is written by Nate Eppler and directed by René D. Copeland, Nashville Rep's Producing Artistic Director. Designers are Gary Hoff (Scenic Designer), Trish Clark (Costume Designer), Darren Levin (Lighting Designer), Ricky Lighthall (Sound Designer), and Colin Peterson (Projections Designer). Technical Director is Tyler Axt, and Fight Coordinator is Eric D. Pasto-Crosby.

Opening February 12

Springhouse Theatre Company, Smyrna: Jane Austin's Emma, running through February 28 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.

Center for the Arts, Murfreesboro: Dreamgirls, running through February 28. Full of onstage joy and backstage drama, Dreamgirls tells the story of an up-and-coming 1960s girl singing group, and the triumphs and tribulations that come with fame and fortune. With music by Academy Award nominee Henry Krieger and book and lyrics by Tony and Grammy Award winner Tom Eyen, DREAMGIRLS features the unforgettable hits: "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going," "One Night Only" and "Listen." This Tony and Academy Award winning musical sparkles like never before! This production features a cast of 23 area performers, several of whom are making their CFTA debuts. Starring as "The Dreams" are Ra'Shaun Simon as Deena Jones, Robbyn "Vyrgo" Daniel as Effie Melody White, and Brianna Booker as Lorrell Robinson. Also featured are Bentley Caldwell as Curtis Taylor Jr., Gerold Oliver as James "Thunder" Early, Gillión Welsh as C.C. White, Brittany Easley as Michelle Morris, and Marlon Woods as Marty. Rounding out the cast are Dwayne Benn, Michael McGee, Jessie Warrick, Quantavius Rankins, Blake Holliday, Jack Teal, Cheryl Restel, Jovonda "Jojo" Dickerson, Janetra Vaughn, Dandrea Long, Ty Tubbs, Lauren Belk, Kate Hatch, Kait Kloss and Arabelle Pollick, all playing a multitude of roles throughout the show. Matthew Hayes Hunter directs, with musical direction by Emily Dennis and choreography by Tosha Pendergrast.

Opening February 16

Broadway at TPAC, Nashville: Motown the Musical, through February 21

Opening February 18

The Larry Keeton Theatre, Donelson/Nashville: Sunset Boulevard, running through March 5 "I'm ready for my close-up. "Unforgettable words from an iconic movie turned into a celebrated musical. The Larry Keeton Theatre will present the Middle Tennessee debut of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Tony Award winning musical Sunset Boulevard, starring Ginger Newman in the unforgettable role of Norma Desmond. "Sunset Boulevard" will open February 18, and run through March 5. Also starring in the production are Justin Boyd as Joe Gillis, Tonya Pewitt as Betty, and Randall Cooper as Max. Directed by Clay Hillwig, and produced by Jamie London and Larry Keeton with Newman pulling double-duty as Desmond and as musical director. Based on the 1952 Billy Wilder film the musical is set in Hollywood, 1949. Faded star of the silent screen, Norma Desmond, lives in a fantasy world of the past in her decaying mansion on Sunset Boulevard. Down-on-his-luck screenwriter, handsome, Joe Gillis, has a chance encounter with Norma; where she speak to him of her next big comeback project. Broke and desperate for opportunity, he accepts an off to edit her 'masterpiece' in exchange for room and board. Joe soon finds himself living a luxurious life-style lavished with expensive gifts from Norma. Aging Norma falls in love with young Joe, and he soon discovers himself caught between her claustrophobic and reclusive fantasy world and the outside world with his love, beautiful Betty Schaefer. One fatal night Joe attempts to break free of Norma to be with Betty. Devastated and in a fit of shock and rage, Norma shoots Joe as he struggles to leave. Descending into madness Norma, the once Goddess of the Silent Films, is led away by authorities from her home on Sunset Boulevard.

Studio Tenn, Franklin: The Glass Menagerie, running through March 6 Studio Tenn remounts its award-winning production of Tennessee Williams' classic play The Glass Menagerie with the full original cast (Nan Gurley, Eric Pasto-Crosby, Brent Maddox and Ellie Sikes) and a brand new set design. Performances will be held February 18-28 in Jamison Hall at The Factory at Franklin. Tickets can be purchased at or by calling the Box Office at (615) 541-8200.

Opening February 19

Blackbird Theater Company and Lipscomb Department of Theatre, Shamblin Theatre at LU, Nashville: The Crucible, running through February 28 or 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 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

Broadway at TPAC, Nashville: The Phantom of the Opera, running through March 20

Opening March 19

Nashville Rep at TPAC's Johnson Theatre: Chicago, running through April 16

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 4

Music City Theatre Company at Darkhorse Theater, Nashville: 4000 Miles, running through April 9. Bradley Moore directs Taylor Novak, Britt Byrd and Linda Speir in Amy Herzong's play.

Opening April 8

Lipscomb Department of Theatre, at Collins Alumni Auditorium, Nashville: You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown, running through April 15 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 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 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

Nashville Children's Theatre, Nashville: A Year With Frog and Toad, running through May 15 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 BWW Nashville senior contributing 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. Britt Byrd, Katherine Morgan, Michael Adcock, Amber Boyer, Kurt Jarvis and Rebekah Stogner bring Henley's show to life.

Opening April 15

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

Murfreesboro Little Theatre: Lend Me a Tenor, running through

Opening April 26

Broadway at TPAC, Nashville: Mamma Mia!, running through May 1

Opening May 6

Murfreesboro Little Theatre: Backyard Bard: Romeo & Juliet, running through

Opening May 10

Broadway at TPAC, Nashville: The Bridges of Madison County, running through May 15

Opening May 31

Broadway at TPAC, Nashville: Disney's Beauty and the Beast, running through June 5

Opening June 2

Music City Theatre Company at Darkhorse Theatre, Nashville: Psycho Beach Party, running through June 11. Bradley Moore directs a revival of Charles Busch's Psycho Beach Party, starring Elizabeth Ayres Turner and Taylor Novak.

Opening June 3

Studio Tenn, Franklin, at Schermerhorn Symphony Center: West Side Story, running through June 4,

Pull-Tight Players, Franklin: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, running through June 18 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

Broadway at TPAC, Nashville: If/Then, running through June 7

Opening June 9

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

Opening June 10

Murfreesboro Little Theatre: Butterflies Are Free, running through

Opening July 8

Murfreesboro Little Theatre: Next to Normal, running through

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From This Author Jeffrey Ellis