Nashville Theater Calendar 2/22/16

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 laptops...it'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 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 January 16

Cumberland County Playhouse, Crossville: Church Basement Ladies, running through March 25. www.CCPlayhouse.com 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 February 6

Cumberland County Playhouse, Crossville: Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka, running through March 4. www.ccplayhouse.com Cumberland County Playhouse opens its annual youth/volunteer production, Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka, telling the timeless story of the world-famous candy man and his quest to find an heir comes to life in this musical adaptation, with classic songs from the 1971 Oscar-nominated film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. The stage musical includes the favorites "Pure Imagination" and "Candy Man," as well as new songs from Leslie Bricusse (the film's composer). The movie, adapted from Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, became a cult classic and has gone on to become one of the most beloved titles in the history of children's cinema.Appearing in the title role of Wonka is Malachi Banegas (The Wizard of Oz, The Perils of Pinocchio). Sharing the spotlight with him are five young performers, including David Kappel, who plays the young protagonist Charlie Bucket. Charlie's overstuffed household (two parents, four grandparents, and one bed) is played by an septet of Playhouse volunteer veterans and newcomers alike. Chris Obenberger and Bill Macchio play Grandpa Joe, who leaves his bed to accompany Charlie through the factory. Charlie's live-in grandparents are portrayed by Alysa Medina (Grandma Josephine), Bob Ochsenrider (Grandpa George), andRuth Ochsenrider (Grandma Georgina). Charlie's hard-working parents, Mr. and Mrs. Bucket, are played by John and Brittany Goodwin. Joining Charlie in his quest through Wonka's factory is a quartet of children who personify excess at its worst. Braxdon King stars as the gluttonous Augustus Gloop, Ellie Burnett as the materialistic Veruca Salt, Emery Smith as gum chewing Violet Beauregard and Levi Bailey as technology obsessed Mike Teavee. The Willy Wonka creative team includes choreographer Leila Nelson and music director Ron Murphy, along with digital effects and animations by John Fionte and Tina Campbell, who created the projections for The Wizard of Oz, Mary Poppins and The Perils of Pinocchio. Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka will run through March 4; tickets may be obtained by calling (931) 484-5000 or by visiting www.ccplayhouse.com.

Opened February 11

Chaffin's Barn Dinner Theatre, 8204 Highway 100, Nashville: Funny Valentines, running through March 12 www.dinnertheatre.com Martha Wilkinson directs Brett Cantrell, Audrey Johnson, Jenny Norris-Light, Jeremy Maxwell and Lydia Bushfield in Funny Valentines - the latest offering from Chaffin's Barn Dinner Theatre - which opened February 11 and continues at the iconic Nashville dinner theater through March 12. In Funny Valentines, children's book author Andy Robbins has been an unhappy bachelor since his divorce eight months before from his former collaborator, Ellen. On one incredible day, Ellen re-enters his life eight months pregnant; his agent arrives with a TV contract that needs both Andy's and Ellen's approval, a beautiful lawyer appears to wrap up the TV deal and seduce Andy, and Ellen's mother makes an unexpected appearance. Completely rattled, Andy lies and introduces the lawyer as his agent's fiancée while he tries to get Ellen to sign a contract she opposes. By the final curtain, Andy has grown up just enough to straighten out the mess and win back his wife. This romantic comedy is directed by Chaffin's Barn artistic director Martha Wilkinson, who has been a CBDT mainstay for almost 30 years and has directed and performed in numerous productions at the Barn (which this year celebrates its 50th season) and throughout the region.

Nashville Rep at TPAC's Johnson Theatre: Good Monsters, running through February 27 www.nashvillerep.org 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 nashvillerep.org 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.

Opened February 12

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.

Center for the Arts, Murfreesboro: Dreamgirls, running through February 28. www.boroarts.org 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.

Opened February 18

The Larry Keeton Theatre, Donelson/Nashville: Sunset Boulevard, running through March 5 www.thelarrykeetontheatre.org "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 www.studiotenn.com 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 StudioTenn.com or by calling the Box Office at (615) 541-8200.

Opened February 19

Consider This, Inc., Smyrna Railroad Depot: See How They Run, running through February 27 www.considerthisinc.tix.com So swift is the action, so involved the situations, so rib tickling the plot in this London hit that at its finish audiences are left as exhausted from laughter as though they had run a foot race. Galloping in and out of the four doors of an English vicarage are an American actor and actress (he is now stationed with the air force in England), a cockney maid who has seen too many American movies, an old maid who "touches alcohol for the first time in her life," four men in clergyman suits presenting the problem of which is which, for disguised as one is an escaped prisoner, and a sedate Bishop aghast at all these goings on and the trumped up stories they tell him. Doors open 30 minutes before showtime. Tickets are $12. Presale tickets for Dinner and the show are $30. Reservations for dinner should be made by February 24.

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 guilt 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. The twenty-four member cast also features Shannon Hoppe (Elizabeth Proctor), Lipscomb University sophomore Emily Meinerding (Abigail Williams), and Brian Webb Russell (Deputy Governor Danforth), who portrayed Salieri in Blackbird's 2013 production of Amadeus.

Tennessee Women's Theater Project, Z. Alexander Looby Theatre, Nashville: Emilie: La Marquise du Châtelet Defends Her Life Tonight, running through March 6 www.twtp.org Evelyn O'Neal Brush stars in the title role of Lauren Gunderson's Emilie: La Marquise du Châtelet Defends Her Life Tonight, as Tennessee Women's Theater Project continues its ninth season of provocative professional theater with the Tennessee première of Gunderson's play. Gunderson's play - her second work to be staged this season by TWTP, after last fall's The Taming - is based on the real life story of Emilie du Châtelet, a scientific genius of 18th century France. Women of her era were considered too simple-minded to understand mathematics or physics, but Emilie produced work ranging from a groundbreaking paper on the nature of fire (the first by a woman ever published by the Paris Academy), to a celebrated and still-used translation and commentary on Isaac Newton's Principia Mathematica. She was married to a nobleman of the court of Louis XV, and took a series of lovers, including the writer and philosopher Voltaire. In the play, Emilie is returned from the afterlife to recount and defend her life. With an ensemble of four actors, she replays her interactions with family, colleagues and lovers, and examines her unanswered questions about science and philosophy, life and love.

Belmont University Department of Theatre and Dance, at the Troutt Theatre, Nashville: Las Meninas, running through February 27. Jaclynn Jutting directs Belmont University's Department of Theatre and Dance's spring semester-opening production of Lynn Nottage's Las Meninas, a play they contend will "grab the attention of any audience member, of any background," opening February 19 at Belmont's Troutt Theatre. Jutting, head of the Theatre Directing program at Belmont is directing this production of Las Meninas. In her second year teaching at Belmont, she is excited to present a show that is equal parts comedy and history. An active professional director, Jutting's Brontë is currently running at Athenaeum Theatre in Chicago. Nottage's play follows the life of Marie-Therese, Queen of France, and her journey to discovering her self-worth. The Queen, played by sophomore theatre performance major Abby Evens, will be corseted up in traditional 1664 garb. Marie-Therese possesses the sassiness of a Spaniard, but the poise of a Frenchwoman (most of the time.) Senior theatre performance major, Craig Fairbanks plays King Louis, Marie-Therese's husband in a role that also fulfills the senior capstone requirement for his BFA Theatre Performance degree. Las Meninas opens on Friday, February 19 at 7:30 p.m. in the Belmont Troutt Theatre on Belmont Boulevard and runs until Saturday, February 27. Tickets are free for Belmont students/faculty, $10 for adults, and $5 for non-Belmont students. Tickets are available online or at the door. Call the Belmont University Box Office for ticket information at (615) 460-8500. Concessions will be served before the show and during intermission.

Opening February 24

Roxy Regional Theatre, Clarksville: The Mountaintop, running through February 27. www.roxyregionaltheatre.org During his last night on earth, what thoughts and emotions might have passed through the mind and heart of DR. Martin Luther King, Jr.? During Black History Month, in honor of the civil rights leader, the Roxy Regional Theatre explores this idea in five public performances of The Mountaintop, February 24-27. On the evening of April 3, 1968, after delivering one of his most memorable speeches, an exhausted Dr. King retired to his room at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis. In this gripping re-imagination of events occurring in the hours before his assassination, playwright Katori Hall, a Memphis native, picks up with a fictional depiction of a mysterious stranger who arrives at the motel room with some surprising news, forcing Dr. King to confront his destiny and his legacy to his people. While others in the American Civil Rights Movement were advocating for equality by any means necessary, including violence, Martin Luther King, Jr., drew inspiration from his Christian faith and the peaceful teachings of Mahatma Gandhi. Using the power of words and nonviolent means of resistance, Dr. King was able to achieve seemingly impossible feats toward his ultimate goal of political and social equality for people of all races. Following a four-star review from the Raleigh Indy Week last year for his portrayal of Dr. King in Justice Theater Project's production of THE MOUNTAINTOP, Phillip Bernard Smith reprises the role alongside Mariah Sade Ralph for the Roxy Regional Theatre's production, directed by John McDonald. Wednesday, February 24, is the theatre's traditional pay-what-you-can preview. All tickets not pre-sold at the regular ticket price will go on sale at 6:30pm that evening for a $5 minimum donation. The Mountaintop plays February 24 and 25 at 7 p.m., February 26 at 8 p.m., and February 27 at 2 and 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 (adults) and $15 (ages 13 and under) and may be purchased online at www.roxyregionaltheatre.org, by phone at (931) 645-7699, or at the theatre during regular box office hours (9:00am to 2:00pm, Monday through Friday, and one hour prior to curtain). Active-duty military, APSU students and CitySaver coupon holders can receive two tickets for the price of one to Wednesday's and Thursday's performances.

Vanderbilt University Theatre, at Neely Auditorium, Nashville: How to End Poverty in 90 Minutes, running through February 28. In an effort to focus attention on the overwhelming need to eradicate poverty in this lifetime, Vanderbilt University Theatre will present How to End Poverty in 90 Minutes this weekend, running tonight, February 24, through Sunday, February 28, in Neely Auditorium on the VU campus in Nashville. "In How to End Poverty in 90 Minutes, we take $1000 from the box office ticket sales and over the course of the show the audience decides how to spend that money to best fight poverty in and around Nashville," according to a press release. "There are scenes. There's music. There's dance. There's community conversation. You'll get to hear multiple perspectives from experts on poverty issues, and at the end of the show, the audience decides where the money goes. It's 90 minutes of theatre unlike any you've ever experienced." Curtain time is at 7:30 p.m. February 24-27, with a 1:30 p.m. matinee on Sunday, February 28. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for graduate students and seniors, and $5 for undergraduates (with ID). If you or your organization would like to donate tickets to someone who may not be able to afford them, email leah.lowe@vanderbilt.edu.

Opening February 25

Workshop Staged Reading, at Gordon Jewish Community Center of Nashville: Me & My SMother by Sue Fabisch, running through February 28. www.mommymusic.com/wordpress/smother/ Me and My SMother is an autobiographical comedic love story between the author and her overbearing Jewish mother. As daughter Sarah vents about her mother Ruth, the two actresses reenact their most hilarious moments together. From sharing a hotel room in Melbourne Australia, to being snowed-in in New Jersey without luggage, this dynamically dysfunctional duo attempt to resolve their issues. Through laughter, tears and an unusual delivery at the end, audiences will get farklempt as mother and daughter learn to love each other again. Sue Fabisch is the author of the international sensation, Motherhood the Musical, which has played across the US as well as Scotland and a 2-year tour around Australia (twice!) Other shows include David Michael Finkelstein's Bar Mitzvah (which has enjoyed multiple runs in New Jersey) and Poppy's Pizza Palace (which recently had its premiere in Nashville). While Sue is used to writing musicals (she wrote the book, music and lyrics for all the shows listed above), she is also an award winning songwriter with #1's to her credit. Formerly from NJ, Sue moved to the Nashville area 15 years ago with her husband and three kids. Her brand new comedy Me & My SMother is Fabisch's first non-musical.

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 3

Hume-Fogg Academic High School Theatre, Nashville: In The Heights, running through March 5. www.hfatheatre.com In The Heights tells the universal story of a vibrant community in New York's Washington Heights neighborhood - a place where the coffee from the corner bodega is light and sweet, the windows are always open and the breeze carries the rhythm of three generations of music. In The Heights is written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, star and creator of the Broadway hit Hamilton. Reserved seats are $13 available and are available online www.hfatheatre.com; General Admission: $10 Adults, $5 Students.

Opening March 4

ACT 1, at Darkhorse Theatre, Nashville: Lysistrata, running through March 19. www.ACT1Online.com Bradley Moore directs an updated version of the classic play by Aristophanes. When a brave group of women decide to stand up for peace, they find a powerful, yet unlikely strategy to get their own way. They tell their men the sex stops unless they stop fighting. Lysistrata by Aristophanes has been given a modern twist and dropped into a modern-day woman's prison in ACT 1's bold new take on this classic. Adapted by director Bradley Moore, this version focuses on a group of women in confinement who are fighting for their basic rights & privileges,which have been all but revoked by the Athens Prison authorities while a great territorial war is being fought on the outside. When the free women of the town catch wind of Lysistrata's plan to regain peace on the inside, they join in the crusade by withholding sex themselves to demand peace on the outside. With hugely comedic elements of physical theatre and exaggerated characters, this off-beat adaptation is a vibrant take on an Ancient Greek classic - and not a toga in sight.

Street Theatre Company, at Bailey Middle School, Nashville: In The Heights, running through March 20. www.streettheatrecompany.org Nashville's Street Theatre Company launches its 11th season with Lin Manuel Miranda's Tony Award-winning In The Heights, the smash musical that took Broadway by storm and paved the way for Miranda's new Broadway blockbuster Hamilton. Directed by STC founding artistic director Cathy Sanborn Street, In The Heights will be her farewell production in Nashville as she and her husband, JJ Street move to Wilmington, North Carolina in March. Widely performed throughout the United States, Central and South America - and in London's West End - In The Heights tells the timeless story of a vibrant Latin-American community living in the New York City's Washington Heights neighborhood. The musical fuses the classic styles of musical theater showtunes with hip-hop and Latin rhythms to tell the heart-warming and universal story of family and belonging. In The Heights is onstage at Street Theatre Company's current home - Bailey Middle School in East Nashville - March 9-20. Curtain is at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, with Sunday shows at 5 p.m., along with one 2 p.m matinee performance on Saturday, March 12. Tickets are $20 for adults and $16 for students and seniors, and are available by contacting the Box Office at (615) 554-7414. All tickets are pay-what-you-can on Sundays.

Towne Centre Theatre, Brentwood: Murder's in the Heir, running through March 19. www.townecentretheatre.tix.com Turn the game Clue into a play and you have the masterfully entertaining Murder's in the Heir. Simon Starkweather, the tyrannical billionaire, gathers his family and employees to announce the contents of his will. His lawyer, reveals that he has bequeathed vast fortunes to a few odd relatives and his servants. The rejected heirs are not pleased and roam the old mansion carrying such items as an ax, a gun and poison. When Simon is discovered murdered, his grandson is determined to find his grandfather's killer. Almost every character in this hilarious mystery has the weapon, opportunity and motive to commit the unseen murder, and it will be up to the audience to decide who actually did it! Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased by calling (615) 221-1174 or online at www.townecentretheatre.tix.com. Show times are 8 p.m. for evening performances and 2:30 p.m. for Sunday. Doors open 30 minutes prior to curtain. Tickets are $16 for students, $18 for seniors 60 and over, and $20 for adults. Purchase a specially priced Thursday 4-pack of tickets online and get four tickets for only $60; available online only. Group rates are also available. Towne Centre Theatre is located at 136 Frierson Street in Brentwood.

Monday, March 7

Playhouse Nashville at First Amendment Center, Nashville: Staged Reading of Strong Inside, starring David Chattam. Adapted from the award-winning book by Andrew Maraniss, STRONG INSIDE is a new play detailing the journey of Perry Wallace - the Nashville native who broke the color barrier as the first African-American basketball player in the Southeastern Conference at Vanderbilt from 1966-1970. Actor David Chattam portrays Wallace and other influential figures who left their indelible mark on the turbulent times in unforgettable ways in a script currently under development by Playhouse Nashville. Admission is free and begins with a reception from 6:30 to 7 p.m. prior to the reading. A talkback with the creative team immediately follows the reading.

Opening March 10

Robertson County Players, at Springfield High School Theatre, Springfield: The Man Who Came to Dinner, running through March 19. " Sarah Head directs and Ronny Noles produces Moss Hart and George S Kaufman's comic masterpiece. Performances March 10, 11, 12, 17, 18 and 19 at 7 p.m. each evening, with a special Saturday matinee on March 12 at 2 p.m.

Opening March 11

Arts Center of Cannon County, Woodbury: Memphis the Musical, running through March 26 www.artscenterofcc.com

The Theater Bug, Nashville: Showmance, presented by Studio Tenn, running through March 13 www.thetheaterbug.org Great fun for audiences of all ages, Showmance is an original musical written specifically for child actors by The Theater Bug's director and founder, Cori Anne Laemmel. The production will feature an all-youth cast of approximately 40 children. Performances will be held in Jamison Hall inside the Factory at Franklin.

Opening March 9

Broadway at TPAC, Nashville: The Phantom of the Opera, running through March 20 www.tpac.org

Opening March 18

Circle Players, at the Z. Alexander Looby Theatre, Nashville: Children of Eden, running through April 3. www.circleplayers.net Joshua Waldrep directs this epic, heartfelt musical by Stephen Schwartz, based on the story of Genesis and its age-old conflict between parents and children.

Valley Regional Theater, at Billy S. Hobbs Community Center, White House: The Phantom of the Opera, running through March 19. www.valleyregionaltheater.com The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux, adapted for stage by Tracy Wells, with music by Donizetti, Mozart, Puccini and Gounod. Performance dates are Friday March 18 at 7 p.m. and Saturday March 19 at 2 and 7 p.m. Matinee tickets are $10 and evening performances are $15.00 Reservations can be made by calling (615) 334-6127. Due to loud unexpected noises and scenes of violence, this show is not recommended for small children.

Opening March 19

Nashville Rep at TPAC's Johnson Theatre: Chicago, running through April 16 www.nashvillerep.org Chorus girl Roxie Hart tried to pin the murder of her lover on her unwitting husband, but the jig is up and Roxie has landed in Cook County Jail. Jazz star and accused murderer Velma Kelly is less than pleased to see Roxie on her cell block, since Roxie's sensational crime and feigned innocence capture the attention of the public as well as Velma's hotshot lawyer Billy Flynn. This Tony Award-winning satire whisks you into a world where everyone is a dazzling performer, truth is defined by what gets the most attention, and owning the spotlight is the most important thing. Nashville Rep's cast for Chicago stars Martha Wilkinson (Roxie), Corrie Maxwell (Velma), and Geoff Davin (Billy). Additional cast includes Jennifer Whitcomb-Oliva (Matron "Mama" Morton), Shawn Knight (Amos/Ensemble), and J. London (Mary Sunshine). Ensemble members include Devon Buchanan, Wesley Carpenter, Jess Darnell, Billy Ditty, Rosemary Fossee, Mia Rose Lynne, Neely Scott, and Everett Tarlton. Tickets are $25 for previews and start at $50 for regular run. Cabaret tables close to the stage seat four and begin at $60 per person. Tickets can be purchased online at nashvillerep.org or by calling the Box Office at (615) 782-4040. Preview performances of Chicago are March 17 and 18, and opening night is Saturday, March 19.

Opening March 21

Chicago Talking Machine Company, at Centennial Black Box Theatre, Nashville: The Strange, running through March 26. www.chicagotalkingmachine.com Kristin McCalley Landis and Tamara Todres star in the Nashville premiere of Jenny Magnus' The Strange, produced by The Chicago Talking Machine Company at the Centennial Black Box Theater, 211 27th Avenue North, March 21-26. Tickets for The Strange are now available at www.thestrange.brownpapertickets.com. Nashville-based playwright Nate Eppler (whose critically acclaimed Good Monsters is now in its world premiere production by Nashville Repertory Theatre) will lead a conversation with Jenny Magnus following the March 25 performance. In Magnus' play, a woman and a girl meet by chance late one night. They candidly trade truths and tales and try to figure each other out. Over time, they meet twice more in the same room and wonder if their first meeting changed each other. The Strange asks if one person can ever truly influence another, and if we have any control over how others absorb the things that we share with them. The Chicago Talking Machine Company is a music, theatre and film Production Company. Founded in Chicago in 2009, it is now based in Nashville. To learn more, go to www.chicagotalkingmachine.com.

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. www.mctc.ticketleap.com 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 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

Nashville Children's 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 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.

Tuesday, April 19

MAS Nashville at Jamison Hall, The Factory at Franklin: SuperMAS www.masnashville.com Following up their super-fun, super-wild, super-packed performance last October at The Belcourt, MAS is back with a brand new show in a brand new venue! Cori Laemmel, Erin Parker, Laura Matula, Megan Murphy Chambers and Melodie Madden Adams bring you SuperMAS on Studio Tenn's stage in Jamison Theatre at The Factory. In SuperMAS, their ninth original production, the MAS gals will embrace their inner super-heroines; when they're not fighting crime and leaping tall buildings, they're delivering all of what audiences have come to love and expect: fantastic harmonies, glitter, high heels and humor in the polished-yet-irreverent way that only MAS can.

Opening April 22

Nashville Ballet at TPAC's Andrew Jackson Hall, Nashville: Carmina Burana, running through April 24 www.nashvilleballet.com

Murfreesboro Little Theatre: Lend Me a Tenor, running through www.mltarts.org

Opening April 26

Broadway at TPAC, Nashville: Mamma Mia!, running through May 1 www.tpac.org

Opening May 6

ACT 1, at Darkhorse Theater, Nashville: Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean, running through May 21, www.act1online.com

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

Opening May 10

Broadway at TPAC, Nashville: The Bridges of Madison County, running through May 15 www.tpac.org

Opening May 31

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

Opening June 2

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

Opening June 3

Arts Center of Cannon County, Woodbury: Always, Patsy Cline, running through June 18 www.artscenterofcc.com

Circle Players, at the Z. Alexander Looby Theatre, Nashville: Disney's The Little Mermaid, running through June 19. www.circleplayers.net In a magical kingdom beneath the sea, the beautiful young mermaid Ariel longs to leave her ocean home to live in the world above. Based on Hans Christian Andersen's beloved stories and the classic animated film, Disney's The Little Mermaid is a hauntingly beautiful love story for the ages. Directed by Brittany Blaire Anderson.

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

Broadway at TPAC, Nashville: If/Then, running through June 7 www.tpac.org

Opening June 9

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

Opening June 10

Murfreesboro Little Theatre: Butterflies Are Free, running through www.mltarts.org

Opening July 8

Arts Center of Cannon County, Woodbury: The Little Mermaid, running through July 23 www.artscenterofcc.com

Murfreesboro Little Theatre: Next to Normal, running through www.mltarts.org

Opening August 12

Arts Center of Cannon County, Woodbury: Rock of Ages, running through August 27 www.artscenterofcc.com

Opening September 30

Arts Center of Cannon County, Woodbury: The Odd Couple, running through October 15 www.artscenterofcc.com

Opening November 4

Arts Center of Cannon County, Woodbury: Chitty Chitty Bang Band, running through November 19 www.artscenterofcc.com



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From This Author Jeffrey Ellis