Nashville's Theater Calendar 5/16/16

"Spring is here! Why doesn't my heart go dancing?" - or at least to the theater to be transported to a different world, another time and place where life is transformed and magic happens before your very eyes...

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.

This week's Theatrical Birthdays of note: Monday, May 16: Actor/director and educator Scott Baker of Lipscomb University's department of theatre and Middle Tennessee State University alum Stephen Savage, who now calls New York City home, both celebrate their birthdays today! Tuesday, May 17: Nashville actor Tyler Evick; Lipscomb University alumna Taylor Browning; actor Eric Tichenor, former Nashvillian now living in Louisville; 2015 First Night Honoree K. Larry Keeton, namesake of The Larry Keeton Theatre; the luminous and lovely Crossville native and Cumberland County Playhouse alumna Kat Walker Hill; and the talented KACIE PHILLIPS. Wednesday, May 18: Nashville theater icon, the hale and hearty Matthew Carlton; former First Night Award-winner Clay Lutz; and musician Steven Dunning. Thursday, May 19: Recent University of Tennessee graduate Marshall Nagy; 2010 First Night Most Promising Actor Luke Hatmaker; 2013 First Night Most Promising Actor Tyler Jeffrey Adams; one of the nation's best lighting designers, Richard Davis; and the multi-talented writer/actress Brooke Bryant. Friday, May 20: Belmont University Musical Theatre's David Shamburger and Nashville Shakespeare Festival's and Vanderbilt University's Ann Marie Deer Owens. Saturday, May 21: Pianist and musical director Stephen Burnette; actress/puppeteer and all-around amazing Mary Tanner Bailey; playwright/actress and local television executive Trish Puryear Crist; 2014 First Night Most Promising Actor Paige Brouillette; Belmont University alum Jefferson Carson; Memphis singer/actress and vocal coach Julie Freeman; and The Renaissance Players' main man Jon Kopsichke.

Opened April 1

Cumberland County Playhouse, Crossville: The Sparkley Clean Funeral Singers, running through May 28. www.ccplayhouse.com The Sparkley Clean Funeral Singers centers around the Lashley Sisters, a country-singing duo whose star was on the rise (with hit tunes like "Big Boned Dreams, Tiny Tambourines") until the publicity surrounding an accident brought their careers to a screeching halt. It seems Lashley Lee Lashley (Weslie Webster) was driving the band's tour bus while under the influence. Now the girls are back in their hometown of Ashland City, where sister Junie (playwright Lori Fischer) has taken over the family business, The Sparkley Clean Dry Cleaners. She also takes care of her father Lyle (Bill Frey), who's been having trouble remembering things lately. With Lashley fresh out of rehab and Junie up to her elbows in laundry, a professional comeback for the Lashley Sisters seems unlikely. That is, until Pastor Phil (Britt Hancock) of the Third United Separated Harmony Church informs them that Bindy Moss, the church's Funeral Singer, has gone to her eternal rest and asks them to take over the job. Junie pens the unforgettable tune "Bindy, Take A Seat At The Banquet Table (Cause There's No Need For Food Drives In Heaven)" and together with a reluctant Lashley, starts the sisters on a new career path: performing personalized sendoffs for the dearly departed! Will Lashley be able to stay clean and sober? Will Junie be able to juggle her taking care of the business - and her father - while writing her unique funeral songs? And will the Lashley Sisters make it back to Nashville? Audiences can find out beginning April 1, in The Sparkley Clean Funeral Singers, an unforgettable new musical comedy that's equally hilarious and heartwarming.

Opened April 22

Cumberland County Playhouse, Crossville: Southern Fried Nuptials, running through June 10. www.ccplayhouse.com Get ready to walk down the aisle to sidesplitting laughter as Cumberland County Playhouse presents Southern Fried Nuptials, the uproarious sequel to Southern Fried Funeral by Nashville playwrights J. Dietz Osborne and Nate Eppler. Southern Fried Nuptials reacquaints audiences with the Frye family of New Edinburgh, Mississippi, and features Carol Irvin as matriarch Dorothy, Weslie Webster as daughter Harlene, Nicole Hackmann as daughter Sammy Jo, and Daniel Black as Dewey Jr. As the play begins, it's three days before Harlene's wedding to attorney Atticus Van Leer (Britt Hancock). Nerves are running high and it seems Harlene, who has already postponed the wedding three times, in on the verge of postponing again. And although she doesn't know it yet, her wedding coordinator just eloped and moved to Atlanta. To make matters worse, Sammy Jo and her husband Beecham (Jason Ross) are moving in six days, but Sammy Jo still hasn't worked up the nerve to tell the rest of the family. And in the midst of all of this, the sudden appearance of a mysterious man from Harlene's past (Playhouse newcomer Joseph Wilson) brings the already hilarious complications to a whole new level! Rounding out the cast are Patty Payne and Judy Murphy as neighbors Martha Ann and Fairy June, Bill Frey as Vester Pickens and Terri Ritter as last-minute replacement wedding coordinator Ozella Meeks, whose last visit to the Frye house ended up with her getting a pie in the face.

Opened April 28

Chaffin's Barn Dinner Theatre, Nashville: Neil Simon's Rumors, running through June 3 www.dinnertheatre.com Widely regarded as one of the most successful, prolific and performed playwrights in the world, Neil Simon might well be considered the best comedy playwright in American Theater and Nashville audiences at Chaffin's Barn Dinner Theatre will be able to revel in the coming weeks as one of Simon's best-loved plays is brought to life on the miraculous floating stage by a cast of award-winning actors. Simon's Rumors - directed by Lydia Bushfield - stars Martha Wilkinson, Derek Whittaker, Bradley Moore, Joy Tilley-Perryman, Jenny Norris Light, Chase Miller, Charlie Winton, Linda Speir and Mike Scott, who will "not only keep your side splitting, but front and back splitting," promises a press release from Chaffin's Barn. Wilkinson and Whittaker, who were part of the first Barn cast of Rumors some 25 years ago, return to the venue to take on starring roles in the classic comedy. Showtimes for Rumors are Thursday through Saturday Evenings: Buffet: 6-7:30 p.m., Show: 8 p.m.; Sunday Matinee: Buffet 12 noon, Show: 2 p.m.; Every Thursday Matinee: Doors Open at 11 a.m., with the show at noon. Tickets for Thursday's matinee are only $19 (bring your own lunch or order a box lunch for $8.50 Reservations are required by calling (615) 646-9977.

Opened 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 Melissa Williams directs. Melissa Williams, longtime Nashville theater veteran, directs the final show of ACT 1's 2015-16 season - Ed Graczyk's Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean - running at Darkhorse Theater May 6-21. Williams has assembled a versatile cast to tell a story that's really about change: How some experience it, and some ignore the concept altogether. Her cast includes Adele Akin (a veteran of an earlier Circle Players production of the play) as Juanita, Memory Strong as Mona, Laurel Baker Harrison as Sissy, Anastasia Zavaro as Joanne, Kathleen Jaffe as Stella May, Molly Breen asEdna, William Welch as Joe, Kristin Bunge Parsons as Mona (Then) and Jenni Marie Chemay Cadaret as Sissy (Then). Show dates are May 6-21, at the Darkhorse Theater, 4610 Charlotte Avenue. Curtain for Thursday-Saturday shows is at 7:30 p.m., with Sunday matinees at 5:30 p.m. The house opens a half hour prior to curtain. Tickets are $15 each, and can be purchased at the door, or at www.tickets.act1online.com.

Lakewood Theatre, Old Hickory: The 12th of Whatever, running through May 22 www.ticketsnashville.com This modern adaptation of Twelfth Night is set in an American high school at prom season. This comedy tells the story of how Victor, a transfer student, must prove that he is not a spy the only way he knows how. He becomes Chelsea and sets about to help class president, Octavia, win the "man" of her dreams. Friday and Saturday night shows start at 7:30 p.m., with Sunday matinees at 2:30 p.m.

Murfreesboro Little Theatre: Backyard Bard: Romeo & Juliet, running through May 29. www.mltarts.org Murfreesboro Little Theatre proudly presents William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, directed by Shane Lowery and Joseph Stanley. Join us for a wonderful night of Shakespeare under the stars. Hamburgers, hot dogs, turkey legs, pickles, and soft drinks - will be on sale; or - you can bring your own picnic basket - we just want you to come and enjoy the show.The show will run 3 weekends. May 13-May 29. Admission is free and show starts at 7 p.m. The play is set in the roaring '20s, so please feel free come dressed in your favorite 1920's costume.

Tennessee Women's Theater Project, at the Z. Alexander Looby Theatre, Nashville: Women's Work 2016, running through May 22 www.twtp.org The Tenth Annual edition of Women's Work, TWTP's festival and celebration of works created by women. Each year we present the work of women playwrights, poets, singers and musicians, essayists, circus performers, painters, filmmakers, dancers and choreographers and photographers from across Tennessee and across the country. Among the highlights are the now-traditional Mother's Day Poetry reading on May 8. Our always-popular Dance Night is Saturday, May 14. On the closing day, May 22, we'll present a staged reading of a new play commissioned by Tennessee Women's Theater Project: "A Modern Day Quilt," by Becky Wahlstrom. The play is based on the stories of a group of women who have been getting together weekly for some two decades in a studio in Nashville's Centennial Park, working on sewing projects and sharing stories over a potluck meal.

Tennessee Women's Theater Project's Tenth Annual Women's Work Festival returns to Nashville's Z. Alexander Looby Theater beginning Friday May 6, featuring performing and visual arts created by women. Running through Sunday May 22, the festival spans a wide variety of styles and genres to offer a completely different program at every performance: poetry and essays; one-woman shows; plays and readings; dance, music, film and a display of visual art works in the theater.

Middle Tennessee's first and only annual showcase for the creative efforts of women was created when Maryanna Clarke, company founder and artistic director, suffered a back injury in early 2007: "After weeks with my pain meds and my walker, I had to concede I would not be able to direct the play we had booked for May that year," she recalls. "I emailed every woman artist I knew, offering our stage for their plays, poems, films - all varieties of performing arts."

Women from Nashville and across the country responded, and ten years later, TWTP's showcase is still going strong.

Women's Work Highlights

Women's Work offers playwrights a stage for readings and workshop performances - audience exposure is crucial to the development of a play. Robyn Brooks of Maryland, Marilynn Anselmi of North Carolina and Nashville's Judy Klass understand the benefits: all are presenting readings of new plays for the fifth year in a row. Back this year is Sue Fabisch, whose Motherhood: The Musical was workshopped at the festival in 2008 (and since has toured from New York to Australia) bringing a new work called Me and My Smother.

First time playwright presenters this year include Brooke Bryant (Night Warrior), and Nashville School of the Arts faculty member Misty Ayres-Miranda (Falling Apples), and a pair of one-acts from Natalie Parker-Lawrence. The closing performance on Sunday May 22 is the reading of a new play commissioned by Tennessee Women's Theater Project. Written by the actor, educator and playwright Becky Wahlstrom, A Modern Day Quilt is based on a real group of Nashville women who for two decades have gathered weekly in a Centennial Park studio to sew, share a potluck meal and the stories of their lives.

More highlights of Women's Work 2016: Films, including Midnight Munchies, a short by Karen Linton and Snow Globe, by Madeleine Hicks, winner of the Tennessee Filmmaker Award at the 2016 Chattanooga Film Festival. Amanda Bloomer contributes a monologue entitled Pumpin' Ain't Easy. Music includes "Joy - A Work in Progress," a cabaret performance by Kim Kinsley; and "Look into my eyes {she pleads}," by Rebekah Alexander, a vocal piece inspired by a line in Racine's adaptation of the Phaedra myth. This year's visual art display includes photography by Nikki Staggs, calligraphy by Carol Ann Baily, and water colors and textile art by Melanie Menefee Carter.

Single tickets to Women's Work are an affordable $10 each; a $30 pass offers admission to any four performances, and the $60 Festival Pass is good for admission to all shows. Ticket revenues and the support of sponsors and grantors including The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, are enabling the company to compensate the presenting artists for their appearances: $6 of every $10 in ticket sales will go to the presenters.

Women's Work opens Friday May 6 at the Looby Theatre, adjacent to the Looby Branch Library at 2301 Rosa L. Parks Blvd. The festival continues weekends throughSunday May 22. Showtimes are at 7:30 pm Thursday through Saturday, and 2:30 pm Sundays. For a complete schedule of performers, show dates and times, reservations and information, call (615) 681-7220, or visit Tennessee Women's Theater Project on Facebook or online at www.twtp.org.

The Women's Work 2015:

Thursday May 19, 7:30 pm - Theater: staged reading of Falling Apples, by Misty Ayres-Miranda

Friday May 20, 7:30 pm - Theater: staged reading of Me and My Smother, by Sue Fabisch

Saturday May 21, 7:30 pm - Theater: Staged reading of After The Fall, by Marilynn Barner Anselmi

Sunday May 22, 2:30 pm - Theater: Reading of A Modern Day Quilt, by Becky Wahlstrom, a play commissioned by Tennessee Women's Theater Project

Visual Arts

Photographs by Nikki Staggs; Calligraphy by Carol Ann Baily; and Water Colors and Textile Art by Melanie Menefee Carter will be on display for the run of the festival.

Opened May 13

Center for the Arts, Murfreesboro: 42nd Street, running through May 22 www.boroarts.org The Center for the Arts presents the wonderful, classic musical 42nd Street, running May 13 - 29, 2016. Come see all the wonderful dancing, laugh at the crazy antics and tap your toes along with the familar songs of this beloved Tony award winning show. Tickets are on sale now at www.boroarts.org or by calling (615) 904-2787, or stopping by The Center for the Arts during our business hours. Prices are $15 for adults; $13 for seniors, students and military; and $11 for children.

Verge Theater Company, at Belmont's Black Box Theatre, Nashville: Skinless, running through May 26 www.vergetheaterco.org David Lee directs Verge Theater Company's next production - Johnna Adams' Skinless - running May 13-26 at the Belmont Black Box Theater. According to a synopsis of the play, provided by the company: "In Johnna Adams' gothic-thriller Skinless, legends of skinless people who roam the woods of rural Georgia may prove more fact than fiction. Emmi Falco is a PhD candidate obsessed with forgotten pulp-horror writer Zinnia Wells, whose belief in the Skinless hid secrets even more haunting. Set both in the halls of present-day academia and on the Wells' remote farm more than a half-century in the past, Skinless winds an intelligent, wrought, and wicked tale that is equal-parts Tom Stoppard's Arcadia and Sam Shepard's Buried Child." Lee directs an ensemble of actors which includes 2015 First Night Honoree Wesley Paine, along with Allie Huff, Alexandra Chopson, Brooke Gronemeyer, Becky Wahlstrom and Taylor Chew. The understudy cast is made up of Fiona Soul, Tessa Bryant, Sadie Andros, Morgan Conder, Nettie Kraft and Amanda Bell. Performances of Skinless are slated for May 13, 14 and 15, May 20, 21, 23 and 26. Curtain for each performance is at 7:30 p.m. each evening. Tickets are $15 and are available at www.vergetheaterco.org.

Opening May 20

Street Theatre Company, at Holy Trinity Community Church, Nashville: Assassins, running through June 5. www.streettheatrecompany.org Coming off of its tremendously successful season opener In The Heights, Street Theatre Company stages its second show of the 2016 season, Stephen Sondheim's provocative musical Assassins. With music and lyrics by Sondheim (Sweeney Todd, Into the Woods), the production opened off-Broadway before moving to London's West End. The show created such a buzz that it reopened in New York, this time on Broadway, where it won multiple Tony and Drama Desk awards. With a book by John Weidman and based on an idea by Charles Gilbert, Jr., Assassins centers around the men and women who attempted (successfully or not) to assassinate United States Presidents. The story unfolds through Sondheim's revue­style music that changes styles based on the eras in which the assassinations occur. Assassins is at Street Theatre Company, currently in residence at Holy Trinity Community Church (6727 Charlotte Pike), May 20 through June 5. The show is rated PG­13 for strong language and adult themes. Parental guidance and discretion is encouraged. Showtimes are Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 5 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults and $16 for students and seniors, and Thursdays are Pay­What­You­Can. Tickets are available by contacting the box office at (615) 554­7414 or by visiting www.streettheatrecompany.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 Jamie London directs, with musical direction by Ginger Newman.

Opening June 10

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

Opening June 16

Gaslight Dinner Theatre, Dickson: Judy!, running through July 2 www.gaslightdinnertheatre.org This charming musical is dedicated to the woman who came to personify American popular music during the last century. Judy Garland came from rags to riches to become one of the most popular female entertainers in the world. Filled to the brim with Judy's most loved songs like, "Over the Rainbow," "I've Got Rhythm," "The Trolley Song," "Meet Me in St. Louis," "I'm Nobody's Baby," and "You'll Never Be Alone." Judy's inspiring story is the true embodiment of the American spirit, and is sure to inspire and delight audiences of all ages. Linda Sue Simmons Runyeon and Chase Miller bring to life the remarkable journey of the most popular female entertainer of our time.... Judy Garland. Brain Lucas tinkles the ivory as we take a stroll down memory lane with this musical tribute to the Legend and what it took to get there! Tickets are available at (615) 740-5600 or online at www.gaslightdinnertheatre.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 July 18

Destiny Theatre Experience, at The Darkhorse Theater, Nashville: 7 Plays in 7 Days, running through July 30. After the success of the first 7 Plays In 7 Days in 2014, the Destiny Theatre Experience is bringing the event back with seven different plays for another seven-day run (July 18-24) with three encores July 28-30. Come join us for seven original plays by Shawn Whitsell. Tentative show schedule (in no particular order) Songs For Our Sons, 143, STEREO-type, En-Contracted, A Suffered Wrong, Colored and Moments in Time (tentative). Opening reception Sunday, July 17. More info to come. Save the dates!

Opening July 20

4th Story Theater and Street Theatre Company, at West End United Methodist Church, Nashville: You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown, running through July 24. www.westendumc.org

Opening August 10

4th Story Theater, at West End United Methodist Church, Nashville: Songs For a New World, running through August 21. www.westendumc.org

Opening August 11

The Larry Keeton Theatre, Donelson: Cabaret, running through August 27. www.thelarrykeetontheatre.org

Opening August 12

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

Opening September 8

Nashville Repertory Theatre, at TPAC's Andrew Johnson Theatre: The Last Five Years Book, running through September 24. www.nashvillerep.org Music and Lyrics by Jason Robert Brown. Running September 8-24. Previews: September 8-9 / Regular Run: September 10-24. Over the span of five years Cathy and Jamie meet, fall in love, marry, and divorce. The tale of their passionate, hilarious, and heart-breaking relationship is brilliantly told from beginning to end and from end to beginning at the same time.

Opening September 9

Tennessee Performing Arts Center Broadway at TPAC Series: Evita with Studio Tenn, running through September 18. www.tpac.org Activist, suffragist, and venerated celebrity, Eva Perón captivated a nation as Argentina's First Lady. The international musical sensation Evita chronicles her life and work, from her humble beginnings in the rural lowlands of South America through her ascent to fame, fortune, and untimely death. Broadway powerhouse Eden Espinosa stars in Studio Tenn's custom-designed presentation, a collaboration with the Tennessee Performing Arts Center built here in Music City, using the finest talents from Nashville and New York. Following its initial debut as rock opera concept album in 1976, Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's smash hit stage production of Evita swept the 1980 Tony Awards - winning Best Musical, Best Original Score, Best Book of a Musical, and others - and has been performed all over the world.

Opening September 15

Nashville Children's Theatre: Afflicted: Daughters of Salem, running through October 2. www.NashvilleCT.org This production will be best appreciated by adults and children ages 10 and up. The untold tale of the girls of Salem. 1691. Abigail Williams, Ann Putnam, Mercy Lewis, Mary Warren, and Betty Paris meet with the slave, Tituba, deep in the dark woods of Puritan New England at night. Denied all outlets for imagination, the girls unite in secret society. When the girls force Tituba to tell their fortunes, they ignite a crucible of events that burns out of control, leading straight to the infamous Salem Witch Trials. In award-winning playwright Laurie Brooks' fictionalized look into peer politics and teenage rebellion, alliances will be formed and betrayed, promises made and broken, power taken and lost - and through secrets, gossip, fear, lies and accusations, these young girls ignite a crucible of dark events that will brand them amongst the most notorious teenagers in American history. Following each performance, audience members will have the chance to participate in a unique post-show forum to delve into the themes of the play, a trademark of Brooks' plays. The resolution of the play will happen in the forum.

Opening September 30

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

Opening October 6

The Larry Keeton Theater, Donelson: Annie Get Your Gun, running through October 22. www.thelarrykeetontheatre.org

Opening October 7

ACT 1, at Darkhorse Theater, Nashville: Arsenic and Old Lace, running through October 22. www.act1online.com Daniel DeVault directs the classic comedy by Joseph Kesselring.

Opening October 13

Nashville Repertory Theatre, at TPAC's Andrew Johnson Theatre: Noises Off by Michael Frayn, running November 5. Previews: October 13-14 / Regular Run: October 15-November 5. In this show-within-a-show sex farce, the chaos of rehearsal becomes chaos behind the scenes (literally), and ultimately, utter disaster. This brilliant comedy was a riotous success when Nashville Rep produced it over ten years ago, and a big laugh is always a worthwhile venture...

Opening October 14

4th Story Theater and Street Theatre Company, at West End United Methodist Church, Nashville: School of Rock, running through October 22. www.westendumc.org

Opening October 18

Tennessee Performing Arts Center Broadway at TPAC Series: Rent 20th Anniversary, running through October 23. www.tpac.org In 1996, an original rock musical by a little-known composer opened on Broadway and forever changed the landscape of American theatre. Two decades later, Jonathan Larson's RENT continues to speak loudly and defiantly to audiences across generations and all over the world. And now, this Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning masterpiece returns to the stage in a vibrant 20th anniversary touring production. A re-imagining of Puccini's La Bohème, RENT follows an unforgettable year in the lives of seven artists struggling to follow their dreams without selling out. With its inspiring message of joy and hope in the face of fear, this timeless celebration of friendship and creativity reminds us to measure our lives with the only thing that truly matters - love.

Opening October 27

Nashville Children's Theatre: Junie B. Jones Is Not A Crook, running through December 4. www.NashvilleCT.org Adapted by Allison Gregory. From the series by Barbara Park. Junie B. Jones, the world's funniest kindergartner, is back at NCT in a brand new stage adventure! A terrible thing has happened to Junie B.! And it's called-someone took her new black furry mittens! And they kept them! They didn't even put them in the Lost and Found at school. A stealer stoled them! So when Junie B. finds a wonderful pen on the floor, one of those wowie-wow-wow pens that writes four different colors, she should be allowed to keep it, too. Right? That's fair. Finders keepers, losers weepers! Right?

Opening November 2

4th Story Theater, at West End United Methodist Church, Nashville: Cotton Patch Gospel, running through November 13. www.westendumc.org

Opening November 4

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

Opening November 11

ACT 1, at Darkhorse Theater, Nashville: A Lie of the Mind, running through November 26 www.act1online.com David McGinnis directs the play by Sam Shepard.

Opening November 15

Tennessee Performing Arts Center Broadway at TPAC Series: The Book of Mormon, running through November 20. www.tpac.org The New York Times calls it "the best musical of this century." The Washington Post says, "It is the kind of evening that restores your faith in musicals." And Entertainment Weekly says, "Grade A: the funniest musical of all time." Jimmy Fallon of The Tonight Show says "It's genius. It's brilliant. It's phenomenal." It's The Book of Mormon, the nine-time Tony Award winning Best Musical from the creators of South Park. Contains explicit language.

Opening November 27

Nashville Repertory Theatre, at TPAC's Andrew Johnson Theatre: A Christmas Story adapted by Phillip Grecian, based on the motion picture A Christmas Story by Jean Shepherd, Leigh Brown and Bob Clark, running through December 21. www.nashvillerep.org Preview: November 27 / Regular Run: November 28-December 21. This is Nashville Rep's eighth consecutive year performing A Christmas Story for Nashville, and we're pretty sure you don't need another description of the show. There's a leg lamp, a pink bunny suit, and "Deck The Halls" sung at a Chinese restaurant.

Opening December 1

The Larry Keeton Theatre, Donelson: Nuncrackers, running through December 18. www.thelarrykeetontheatre.org

Opening December 15

Nashville Children's Theatre: Special Holiday Event: Nashville Children's Theatre's Cinderella, running through December 22. www.NashvilleCT.org Dramatized by Scot Copeland. Nashville Children's Theatre's breathtaking production of Cinderella is your new holiday tradition! As colorful as a Victorian pop-up book and as lush as a Viennese Waltz, this sparkling holiday confection brims with humor, romance, and spectacular theatrical effects. All the iconic elements one would hope to see are here; hilarious stepsisters, wise fairy godmother, amazing transformations, delicate pumpkin coach, beautiful 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.

Opening January 19

Nashville Children's Theatre: Treasure Island, running through February 5, 2017. www.NashvilleCT.org Dramatized by Scot Copeland. Based on the book by Robert Louis Stevenson. Adventure awaits so lay your course for the sun-baked sands of the Caribbean as young Jim Hawkins, treasure map in hand, sets sail in an epic drum-pounding tale that has it all: suspense, comedy, mystery, swashbuckling swordplay, honor and treachery - all among a crew of some of the most colorful heroes and villains in all of literature. Dramatized by NCT's own Scot Copeland, Treasure Island is the ultimate pirate adventure, reinvented for today's young audiences and families!

Opening January 24

Tennessee Performing Arts Center Broadway at TPAC Series: A Gentlemen's Guide to Love and Murder, running through January 29, 2017. www.tpac.org The most celebrated musical of the 2013-14 Broadway season, Gentlemen's Guide received ten 2014 Tony Award nominations, eventually winning four awards: Best Musical, Direction of a Musical, Book of a Musical, and Best Costume Design. In addition, it won the Best Musical prizes from the Drama League, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle, and received a 2015 Grammy Award nomination for Best Musical Show Album.

Opening February 9

Nashville Repertory Theatre, at TPAC's Andrew Johnson Theatre: Posterity by Doug Wright, running through February 25, 2017. www.nashvillerep.org Previews: February 9-10, 2017 / Regular Run: February 11-25, 2017. Take a world renowned Norwegian playwright, Henrik Ibsen, near the end of his life, and force him into a room with Norway's favorite sculptor, Gustav Vigland, whose ambitions make it necessary for him to persuade a reluctant Ibsen to sit for him. Then their battle begins. This will be the regional premiere of this play by Pulitzer and Tony winner Doug Wright, who developed it initially with the support of the Ingram New Works Fellowship.

Opening February 14

Tennessee Performing Arts Center Broadway at TPAC Series: The Sound of Music, running through February 19, 2017. www.tpac.org The Sound of Music is a brand new production directed by three-time Tony Award winner Jack O'Brien. The spirited, romantic, and beloved musical story of Maria and the von Trapp Family will once again thrill audiences with its Tony, Grammy, and Academy Award winning Best Score, including "My Favorite Things," "Do-Re-Mi," "Climb Ev'ry Mountain," "Edelweiss," and the title song. The Sound of Music features music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse, suggested by "The Trapp Family Singers" by Maria Augusta Trapp. The Sound of Music enjoyed extraordinary success as the first live television production of a musical in over 50 years when The Sound of Music Live! aired on NBC in December, 2013, and was seen by over 44 million people. 2015 marked the 50th anniversary of the film version, which continues to be the most successful movie musical ever.

Opening February 16

The Larry Keeton Theatre, Donelson: My Fair Lady, running through March 4. www.thelarrykeetontheatre.com BroadwayWorld Nashville senior contributing editor Jeffrey Ellis directs the Lerner and Loewe classic, with musical direction by Ginger Newman and choreography by Lauri Gregoire.

Opening February 23

Nashville Children's Theatre: And In This Corner: Cassius Clay, running through March 12, 2017. www.NashvilleCT.org This production will be best appreciated by adults and children ages 10 and up. What kind of fights are you going to fight and what are you going to fight for? Before he was real-life superhero Muhammad Ali, he was Cassius Clay, a black teenager growing up in segregated Louisville, Kentucky. Against all odds, the young boxer pursues and achieves his dream of Olympic Gold, but finds his triumph hollow when faced with the realities of segregated Jim Crow America. Vowing to never be treated as a second-class citizen again, Cassius decides he is going to be the type of person who fights not only for himself, but for others too. In this corner, ignorance, bigotry, poverty and injustice. And in this corner...Cassius Clay!

Opening March 9

ACT 1, at Darkhorse Theater, Nashville: Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on American Themes, Parts 1 and 2, performed in repertory, through March 25. www.act1online.com Jim Manning (Millennium Approaches) and Lane Wright (Perestroika) direct.

Opening March 21

Tennessee Performing Arts Center Broadway at TPAC Series: The Bodyguard, running through March 26, 2017. www.tpac.org The Bodyguard is the award-winning musical, based on the smash hit film, starring Grammy Award-nominee and R&B superstar Deborah Cox. Former Secret Service agent turned bodyguard, Frank Farmer, is hired to protect superstar Rachel Marron from an unknown stalker. Each expects to be in charge; what they don't expect is to fall in love. A breathtakingly romantic thriller, The Bodyguard features a host of irresistible classics including "Queen of the Night," "So Emotional," "One Moment In Time," "Saving All My Love," "Run to You," "I Have Nothing," "I Wanna Dance With Somebody," and one of the biggest selling songs of all time - "I Will Always Love You."

Opening March 23

Nashville Repertory Theatre, at TPAC's Andrew Johnson Theatre: A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry, running April 15, 2017. www.nashvillerep.org Previews: March 23-24, 2017 / Regular Run: March 25-April 15, 2017. With the passing of the patriarch, a life insurance check of significant value arrives. How will the money best be spent for the benefit of the family? Should a home be purchased, a business venture invested in, or medical school paid for? And whose decision is it? Whose dream gets deferred?

Opening April 13

Nashville Children's Theatre: Goodnight, Moon: running through May 14, 2017. www.NashvilleCT.org Adapted by Chad Henry. Music and Lyrics by Chad Henry. Based on the book by Margaret Wise Brown. Illustrations by Clement Hurd. In the great green room, there was a telephone, and a red balloon, and a picture of the cow jumping over the moon. Everybody's favorite bedtime book is magically transformed into an imaginative, unforgettable theatrical experience, live, on NCT's stage. It's a sparkling, wonder-filled musical that elaborates on the original with style and wit, yet remains true to the simple, loving heart of this beloved book. You'll find a hundred delightful surprises on the way to getting exactly what you expect!

Opening April 20

The Larry Keeton Theatre, Donelson: Daddy's Dyin', Who's Got the Will?, running through May 6. www.thelarrykeetontheatre.org

Opening April 21

Tennessee Performing Arts Center Broadway at TPAC Series: Riverdance, running through April 23, 2017. www.tpac.org The international Irish dance phenomenon is back by popular demand in Riverdance - The 20th Anniversary World Tour. Drawing on Irish traditions, The Combined talents of the performers propel Irish dancing and music into the present day, capturing the imagination of audiences across all ages and cultures in an innovative and exciting blend of dance, music and song. Of all the performances to emerge from Ireland - in rock, music, theatre and film - nothing has carried the energy, the sensuality and the spectacle of Riverdance.

Opening April 25

Tennessee Performing Arts Center Broadway at TPAC Series: The Curious Incident of the Dog at Nighttime, running through April 30, 2017. www.tpac.org The Curious Incident of the Dog at Nighttime on Broadway is the recipient of five Tony Awards including Best Play, six Drama Desk Awards including Outstanding Play, five Outer Critics Circle Awards including Outstanding New Broadway Play, and the Drama League Award for Outstanding Production of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Play. The production was named among the Top 10 productions of 2014 by amNY, Asbury Park Press, Associated Press, Bergen Record, Broadway.com, Broadway Insider, Chicago Tribune, Daily News, Deadline, Entertainment Weekly, Hollywood Reporter, Huffington Post, New York Magazine, New York Post, NY-1, The New York Times, Playbill, Star Ledger, Time Magazine, Time Out New York and Towleroad.

Opening May 12

ACT 1 at Darkhorse Theater, Nashville: Noises Off!, running through May 27. www.act1online.com Bradley Moore directs the Michael Frayn farce.

Opening May 23

Tennessee Performing Arts Center Broadway at TPAC Series: Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, running through May 28, 2017. www.tpac.org Long before she was Carole King, chart-topping music legend, she was Carol Klein, Brooklyn girl with passion and chutzpah. She fought her way into the record business as a teenager. By the time she reached her twenties, King had the husband of her dreams and a flourishing career writing hits for the biggest acts in rock 'n' roll. But it wasn't until her personal life began to crack that she finally managed to find her true voice. Beautiful tells the inspiring true story of King's remarkable rise to stardom, from being part of a hit songwriting team with her husband Gerry Goffin, to her relationship with fellow writers and best friends Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann, to becoming one of the most successful solo acts in popular music history. Along the way, she made more than beautiful music, she wrote the soundtrack to a generation. Beautiful features a stunning array of beloved songs written by Gerry Goffin/Carole King and Barry Mann/Cynthia Weil, including "I Feel The Earth Move," "One Fine Day," "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman," "You've Got A Friend," and the title song.

Opening June 9

ACT 1, at Darkhorse Theater, Nashville: Reefer Madness the Musical, running through June 24. www.act1online.com Jason Lewis directs the musical based on the classic 1930s movie melodrama.

Opening June 15

The Larry Keeton Theatre, Donelson: The Little Mermaid, running through July 1. www.thelarrykeetontheatre.org

Opening June 27

Tennessee Performing Arts Center Broadway at TPAC Series: Something Rotten!, running through July 2, 2017. www.tpac.org Something Rotten! is "Broadway's big, fat hit!" (New York Post). Set in 1595, this hilarious smash tells the story of Nick and Nigel Bottom, two brothers who are desperate to write a hit play. When a local soothsayer foretells that the future of theatre involves singing, dancing, and acting at the same time, Nick and Nigel set out to write the world's very first musical! With its heart on its ruffled sleeve and sequins in its soul, Something Rotten! is "The Producers + The Book of Mormon x The Drowsy Chaperone. Squared!" (New York Magazine).



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From This Author Jeffrey Ellis