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Nashville Theater Calendar 9/9/15

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

Thus, we are happy to present a new feature: 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

Opened May 22

Cumberland County Playhouse, Crossville: Smoke on the Mountain, running through October 10 Smoke takes place on a Saturday night in Mount Pleasant, North Carolina, and the Reverend Oglethorpe has invited the Sanders Family Singers to provide an uplifting evening of song. The audience becomes the congregation as two dozen traditional and original hymns weave together with stories of witness from family members, along with a healthy dose of laughter. Though the Sanders Family try to appear perfect in the eyes of a critical congregation - who are skeptical about the whole notion of a "Saturday Night Sing" - one thing after another goes awry and they reveal their true and hilariously imperfect natures. The honesty, humor (sometimes unintentional!) and faith of this Southern mountain family and the church's new preacher connect strongly with audiences of all ages and faiths, who find themselves part of a very special afternoon or evening.

Opened August 6:

Cumberland County Playhouse: The Fox on the Fairway, running through October 16 Cumberland County Playhouse presents a madcap adventure about love, life, and man's eternal love affair with golf, The Fox on the Fairway! Written by Ken Ludwig (Crazy for You,Lend Me A Tenor, Moon Over Buffalo), The Fox on the Fairway pulls the rug out from under the stuffy members of a posh country club. Filled with mistaken identities, slamming doors, and over-the-top romantic shenanigans, it's a fast-paced comedy that recalls the Marx Brothers' classics. This hysterical comedy is sure to be a hit with everyone who loved Suite Surrender or The Foreigner! Bingham (Jason Ross), president of the Quail Valley Country Club, is in a difficult position. The golfer he thought would play for his club been recruited by his cocky and arrogant competitor Dickie (Britt Hancock) and switched sides. Now the huge bet he had foolishly wagered is likely to be lost. Fortunately, he discovers that that his newly hired hand Justin (Chance Wall) is quite a good golfer and finagles his nomination. Justin does not disappoint and has a huge lead, when the tournament is interrupted by bad weather. Meanwhile, Justin learns that his fiancée Louise (Lindsey Mapes) has lost the engagement ring he gave her (she accidentally flushed it down the toilet) and comes unglued. The game resumes the next day, but Justin loses the lead, and, upset, takes an unfortunate swing, breaking his arm. Bingham is desperate, and the appearance of his wife (Lauren Marshall) only complicates matters when she catches him much too close to Pamela (Weslie Webster), his hot-blooded vice-president.

Opened August 13

Nashville Shakespeare Festival at Centennial Park: Henry V, running through September 13 Toward the end of the Civil War, on the eve of battle, enemies come together on a Tennessee battlefield to enact Shakespeare's play about the young king of England who leads his nation in a war against France. Throughout the 19th Century, Shakespeare was performed and read in almost every part of our country. Politicians quoted him in their speeches, generals in their orders, soldiers in their letters home, and slaves and former slaves turned to Shakespeare to educate and inspire. This NSF production, directed by Nat McIntyre, will use Shakespeare's historical drama to reflect on the American Civil War, using the very words that Shakespeare wrote over 400 years ago. His cast includes David Compton, Matt Garner, Ross Bolen, Christy Berryessa, Tamiko Robinson, Matt Rosenbaum, Tony Morton, Aaron Munoz, Alan Lee, Karen Sterberg and members of the NSF Apprentice Company. Henry V runs August 13 - September 13, Thursdays through Sundays and Labor Day Monday at the Centennial Park Bandshell; $10 suggested donation at the date. Food and drink vendors open up shop at 6 p.m. each evening, with pre-show entertainment getting under way at 6:30 p.m. Performances start at 7:30 p.m.

Opened August 28

Street Theatre Company, Nashville, at Z. Alexander Looby Theatre: Heathers the Musical, running through September 13 Street Theatre Company, well-known for staging darkly edgy productions, brings yet another musical premiere to Nashville with the Off-Broadway hit Heathers. Based on the cult classic movie of the same name, the musical centers around three shoulder-padded, scrunchie-wearing Heathers in the 1980s, who are the hottest and cruelest girls in school. The Heathers are in trouble when a misfit rejects them for the dark, sexy stranger who plans to put them in their place: six feet under. Featuring a musical score and book by Laurence O'Keefe and Kevin Murphy (Legally Blonde, Reefer Madness), Heathers opened in New York first as a concert. Audiences were so enthralled by the rock score that it opened as a full production in Los Angeles where its performances sold out. Due to its success, the musical was then staged Off-Broadway, where it was nominated for the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Music, among several other award nominations.

Opened September 3

Chaffin's Barn Dinner Theatre, Nashville: Arsenic and Old Lace, running through October 11

Nashville Repertory Theatre at TPAC's Johnson Theatre: Rapture, Blister, Burn, running through September 19 Friends Catherine and Gwen reunite after more than a decade apart when Catherine returns home to care for her mother. Catherine has had a dazzling career as a high-profile author while Gwen chose to raise a family-after marrying the man Catherine gave up to pursue her goals. As they catch up, each woman begins to covet the other's life and question her own path. The New York Times calls this Pulitzer Prize-nominated play "intensely smart, immensely funny" as it explores life choices in the wake of 20th century feminist ideals. This production is recommended for high school and above. Rapture, Blister, Burn playwright Gina Gionfriddo notes that "women take pride in avoiding their mothers' disappointments only to disappoint themselves in new ways that will make the generation below them cringe," as she discusses some of the themes of her witty play. Nashville Rep's guest director Lauren Shouse adds, "In the pursuit to make a 'better' choice, it is not surprising that we get caught up in how weshould be living our lives rather than how we want to live our lives. In this play, a woman comes face to face with all the choices she didn't make."

Opened September 4

Cumberland County Playhouse: The Foreigner, running through November 5 The Foreigner returns to the Cumberland County Playhouse Mainstage! Says director Weslie Webster (Smoke on the Mountain, Wizard of Oz),"Ever since it was first performed at CCP in 1987, The Foreigner has been the most requested title - and the most popular production - in Playhouse history. And I'm just thrilled that I once again get to work with all the amazing actors who made the show a smash hit last year." Since its 1983 premiere, Larry Shue's side-splitting farce has earned two Obie Awards and two Outer Critics Circle Awards as Best New American Play and Best Off-Broadway Production. In it, we meet the painfully shy Charlie Baker (Jason Ross) who has been brought to a remote fishing lodge in Georgia by his friend Froggy (Michael Ruff), a British demolitions expert who runs training sessions at a nearby army base. Terrified of actually having to converse with strangers once Froggy departs, Charlie pretends to be a foreigner who doesn't understand English. When the other residents of the lodge begin to speak freely around him, he not only becomes privy to secrets both frivolous and dangerous, he also discovers an adventurous extrovert within himself. Also returning to the cast are Carol Irvin as the lodge's owner Betty Meeks, Lauren Marshall as former debutante Catherine Simms, who's visiting with her brother Ellard (Daniel Black) and fiancé Reverend David Lee (Britt Hancock). Grammy nominee Bobby Taylor rounds out the cast as the disreputable local Owen Musser.

Opening September 10

Gaslight Dinner Theatre, Dickson: Barbra's Wedding, running through September 19 Gaslight Dinner Theatre continues its 16th Anniversary Season and 71st show with Barbra's Wedding by Daniel Stern. You and a guest are invited, but he is not! An out-of-work television actor and his wife examine their own marriage in the midst of the madness surrounding their famous neighbor, Barbra Streisand's, elaborate Malibu event to which they are not invited! Jerry and Molly Schiff are the only non-celebrities in their Malibu neighborhood. Jerry (Brian Best), whose only claim to fame was a small role in a short lived sitcom, is still "living the dream" which only threatens to wreck his marriage. Molly (Francine Berk) tries to hold it all together until the balloon pops and her world starts to blow away! Written by Hollywood Actor/Playwright Daniel Stern (best known for his roles in Breaking Away, City Slickers, the first two Home Alone films, and as the narrator for the television series The Wonder Years), Stern's hilarious Off-Broadway comedy deals with such hot button issues as over-zealous paparazzi, property rights in Malibu, society's insatiable appetite for celebrity, the Hollywood pecking order and "environmentalist" Arnold Schwarzenegger's Humvee. Barbra's Wedding premiered at the Falcon Theatre in Burbank , CA on September 23, 2005, featuring Daniel Stern and Crystal Bernard of the long-running TV series, Wings.

Opening September 11

Actors Bridge Ensemble, Nashville, at Belmont's Black Box Theater: Hearts Like Fists, running through September 20 A superhero noir comedy about the dangers of love. The city's heart beats with fear: Doctor X is sneaking into apartments and injecting lovers with a lethal poison. Lisa's heart beats with hope: Now that she's joined the elite Crimefighters, maybe she can live a life with meaning. And every beat of Peter's wounded heart brings him closer to death, but he's designing an artificial replacement that will never break. Can the Crimefighters stop Doctor X? Do Peter and Lisa have a chance at love? And who is the girl with a face like a plate?

Center for the Arts, Murfreesboro: Harvey, running through September 20 In this wonderful comedy, Elwood P. Dowd insists on including his friend Harvey in all of his sister Veta's social gatherings. Trouble is, Harvey is an imaginary six-and-a-half-foot-tall rabbit. To avoid future embarrassment for her family, Veta decides to have Elwood committed to a sanitarium. A comedy of errors ensues and Elwood and Harvey become the catalysts for a family mending its wounds and for romance blossoming in unexpected places.

Opening September 17

Studio Tenn, Franklin: Gypsy, running through October 4 A long-time short-list production for Studio Tenn, Gypsy is widely exalted as the Greatest American Book Musical, integrating a rich, compelling story and complex characters into its Broadway songbook standards such as "Everything's Coming Up Roses," "Let Me Entertain You," and "Together (Wherever We Go)." Bombastic and overbearing stage mother Rose is desperate to catapult her children to stardom during Vaudeville's heyday. When her younger daughter June flees the family and The Circuit, quiet, sidelined Louise steps into the limelight. With Vaudeville waning, mother and daughter find themselves on an unexpected path to fame. Studio Tenn is going all out in this bold, dynamic production - nothing short of the royal treatment Gypsy deserves.

Opening September 18

Encore Theatre Company, Mt. Juliet: The Mousetrap, running through October 3 A newly-wed couple opens up a new boarding house. their first day of business brings in four distinctively odd characters who take residence after a snow storm settles in. Without really knowing who their tenants are, suspicion and terror strikes the Monkswell Manor, especially when someone dies. Who did it? Can Detective Sergeant Trotter figure it out before it is too late? Will he stop the murderer, or will someone else fall into the mousetrap?

Lakewood Theatre Company, Old Hickory: Black Coffee, running through October 4 This little known mystery will surprise and delight Christie fans. Written in 1934, the story concerns a physicist named Sir Claude Amory who has come up with a formula for an atom bomb. In the first act, Sir Claude is poisoned (in his coffee, naturally) and Hercule Poirot is called in to solve the case with the twists and turns expected in a true Christie fashion!

Murfreesboro Little Theatre: Of Mice and Men, running through September 27

Springhouse Theatre Company, Smyrna: Fiddler on the Roof, running through October 4 Enjoy the memorable music and infectious zest for life found in the village of Anatevka as STC starts the season with one of the most beloved musicals of all time.

Sunday, September 20

The 2015 First Night Honors at Chaffin's Barn Dinner Theatre, Nashville. The First Night Honors continue in 2015 with events taking place throughout the year, culminating with a festival of celebrations showcasing the movers and shakers, techies and artists, the bold and the beautiful. Geoff Davin, Stephanie Jones-Benton and Erica Patterson host the annual salute to the First Night Honorees, with curtain at 7 p.m. Memory Strong hosts the pre-show in the Backstage at the Barn venue, starting at 6 p.m. Cash bar available throughout the evening. Tickets are $25; call (615) 300-2513 for reservations.

Opening September 22

Broadway at TPAC, Nashville: Dirty Dancing, running through September 27

Opening September 25

Cumberland County Playhouse, Crossville: Once On This Island, running through November 6

Opening October 2

Arts Center of Cannon County, Woodbury: 12 Angry Men, running through October 17

Opening October 8

The Larry Keeton Theatre, Donelson/Nashville: The Music Man, running through October 24

Nashville Rep at TPAC's Johnson Theatre: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, running through October 31

October 8 & 10

Nashville Opera at TPAC's Andrew Jackson Hall: Puccini's Turandot After composing La Boheme, Tosca and Madama Butterfly, what could Puccini possibly do for a final statement? The answer: TURANDOT. Containing some of the greatest operatic music ever written, TURANDOT is the culmination of Puccini's brilliant career. This grand-scale opera is full of thrilling choruses, thundering orchestrations, and a cast consisting of, well, most of ancient China! This magnificent work-which features Pavarotti's signature aria, "Nessun dorma"-promises to be a landmark event for the Nashville Opera and an evening not to be missed. Approximate running time: 2 hours, 25 minutes (includes two 20-minute intermissions)

Opening October 9

Pull-Tight Players, Franklin: The Foreigner, running through October 24 This perennial favorite from playwright Larry Shue has become an American theatre staple and with good reason. The tale of a mild-mannered English science fiction proofreader who finds himself at a rural fishing lodge in Georgia and on the receiving end of a host of secrets and scandalous tales from other lodge visitors zings from comedy to action en route to a thrilling Act Two climax.

Renaissance Players, Dickson: Cheaper By The Dozen, running through October 18

Opening October 15

Chaffin's Barn Dinner Theatre, Nashville: Alone Together, running through November 15

Opening October 16

Center for the Arts, Murfreesboro: The Addams Family, running through November 1

Street Theatre Company, Nashville, at Bailey Middle School: The Last Queen of Wonderland, running through October 24

Opening October 20

Broadway at TPAC, Nashville: Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella, running through October 25

Opening October 22

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

Opening October 23

Encore Theatre Company, Mt. Juliet: Gin Rummy, running through November 7

Opening November 6

Arts Center of Cannon County, Woodbury: Mary Poppins, running through November 21

Murfreesboro Little Theatre: My Fair Lady, running through November 22

Street Theatre Company, Nashville, at Bailey Middle School: Bat Boy the Musical, running through November 22

Opening November 10

Broadway at TPAC, Nashville: Bullets Over Broadway, running through November 15

Opening November 13

Center for the Arts, Murfreesboro: The Glass Menagerie, running through November 22

Nashville Opera at The Noah Liff Opera Center: Philip Glass' Hydrogen Jukebox Join us for an intimate voyage through the cultural landscape of America from the 1950's through the 1980s. Delving into such topics as life, death, the atomic bomb and potential annihilation, Eastern philosophy, sex, drugs, rock and roll, war, and significant political events, Hydrogen Jukebox is a kaleidoscope of societal phenomena. Above all, though, Hydrogen Jukebox tries to portray the American People-a collective of individuals searching a better way towards understanding, meaning, and happiness in hectic and often confusing times. This electrifying opera-featuring a haunting, dynamic score by Philip Glass and the prophetic poetry of Allen Ginsberg-promises to overwhelm your senses with a poignant experience that is at once passionately nostalgic and strikingly relevant. Approximate running time: 2 hours, 10 minutes (with one 20-minute intermission)

Opening November 19

Chaffin's Barn Dinner Theatre, Nashville: Yule Y'all, running through December 27

Gaslight Dinner Theatre, Dickson: Mr. Jingle's Christmas Clause, running through December 19

Opening November 20

Cumberland County Playhouse: A Sanders Family Christmas, running through December 22

Opening November 27

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

Nashville Rep at TPAC's Johnson Theatre: A Christmas Story, running through December 20

Opening December 3

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

Studio Tenn, Franklin: It's A Wonderful Life, running through December 20

Opening December 4

Arts Center of Cannon County, Woodbury: A Tuna Christmas, running through December 13

Center for the Arts, Murfreesboro: White Christmas, running through December 20

Lakewood Theatre Company, Old Hickory: The Lion in Winter, running through December 20 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 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

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 11

Murfreesboro Little Theatre: A Coney Island Christmas, running through December 20

Opening January 15, 2016

Murfreesboro Little Theatre: The Exonerated, running through January 24

Opening January 22

Nashville Opera at TPAC's James K. Polk Theater: Mozart's Cosi Fan Tutte 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

Opening February 5, 2016

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.

Opening February 11, 2016

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

Opening February 12, 2016

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.

Opening February 16, 2016

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

Opening February 18, 2016

The Larry Keeton Theatre, Donelson/Nashville: Sunset Boulevard, running through March 5

Studio Tenn, Franklin: The Glass Menagerie, running through March 6

Opening March 9, 2016

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

?Opening March 19, 2016

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

Opening April 8, 2016

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, 2016

The Larry Keeton Theatre, Donelson/Nashville: The Miss Firecracker Contest, running through April 30

Opening April 22, 2016

Murfreesboro Little Theatre: Lend Me a Tenor, running through

Opening April 26, 2016

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

Opening May 6, 2016

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

Opening May 10, 2016

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

Opening May 31, 2016

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

Opening June 3, 2016

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, 2016

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

Opening June 9, 2016

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

Opening June 10, 2016

Murfreesboro Little Theatre: Butterflies Are Free, running through

Opening July 8, 2016

Murfreesboro Little Theatre: Next to Normal, running through

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