Fountain Hills Theater to Present World Premiere Musical THE GREAT GATSBY

The Great Gatsby will play March 22 – April 7, 2024. 

By: Feb. 25, 2024
Fountain Hills Theater to Present World Premiere Musical THE GREAT GATSBY
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Fountain Hills Theater will present the World Premiere of the musical The Great Gatsby. This sparkling musical beautifully captures the glamour, wealth and materialism of the Roaring ‘20s. A self-made millionaire, Jay Gatsby's desire for wealth, popularity and power in the Jazz Age, hides a deeper passion: his love for Daisy, the woman he met and fell for years ago, but who has since married wealthy Tom Buchanan.

The Great Gatsby, based on the F. Scott Fitzgerald classic, is directed by Peter J. Hill, musically directed by Jay Melberg and choreographed by Noel Irick. Book and lyrics by Peter J. Hill. Music by Jay Melberg and Peter J. Hill. *Rated PG-13 for mature subject matter.

When FHT's Artistic Director Peter J. Hill saw that the classic F. Scott Fitzgerald novel ‘The Great Gatsby' was to fall into public domain in 2023, he saw that the novel was ripe for musicalization.  Bright, unique characters and a touching, but tragic tale set in the Jazz Age called out to him as a musical.  Studiously avoiding the film versions and concentrating on how to bring this classic story to the small stage at FHT, Hill began work on the libretto and lyrics in 2021 during the COVID pandemic.  ‘It was wonderful to reread the novel and realize that some of the most famous quotes from the book, suddenly and delightfully became song titles for me. I mean “He looked at her the way all women want to be looked at by a man” or “Reserving judgements is a matter of infinite hope.” And even “Can't repeat the past?... Why of course you can!” are just great song titles, right?'

Hill says; ‘We also face the challenge of FHT's small stage, but that's a challenge faced by so many community theaters across the country that I wanted to keep the musical within their range and budgets.  This, of course, means that we cannot bring the classic ‘yellow coupe' of the novel on stage, but we're hoping it's handled in a way that fully tells the story without requiring the actual cars on the stage.'

Hill is the author of many musicals including The Ballad of Buzzard Basin, The Three Musketeers, Could You Repeat the Question, The Man Who Would Be King and others.  He chose to team with his musical writing partner, Jay Melberg (A Christmas Carol: The Musical) to compose the jazz influenced score.  Together, they hope to do justice to this great American novel, its author and the wonderful characters that populate its pages.

In the past decade, an increasing number of Hollywood movies have served as the basis for stage musicals. This reversed a 60-year trend during which musicals that were hits on Broadway, such as Show Boat, West Side Story, My Fair Lady, The Sound of Music and others, were eventually turned into successful films. Artistic Director Peter J. Hill has devoted the current season to this phenomenon with the season comprised almost entirely of movies adapted to the stage.  

The Great Gatsby will play March 22 – April 7, 2024.  Performances are Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30PM and Sundays at 2PM.  Individual tickets are $35.00. Seniors receive a $5.00 discount on all Thursday performances. Group, Active Duty and Veteran discounts are available. *Rated PG for mature themes. 

All performances are at Fountain Hills Theater on its Mainstage at 11445 N. Saguaro Blvd. (The Corner of Saguaro and Rand). Tickets are available through the Theater Box Office at (480) 837-9661 x3 or by visiting the button below.  Box Office Hours are 10:00AM-5:00 PM Tuesday through Saturday. For additional information not contained in this press release, please call Fountain Hills Theater Artistic Director, Peter J. Hill at (480) 837-9661 EXT. 7.  

ABOUT FOUNTAIN HILLS THEATER

Fountain Hills Theater presents 3 regularly scheduled seasons of productions in their two theaters.  The Theater's year-round offering includes Mainstage, Mainstage Too!, and Youth productions.  Additionally, special events, community outreach, and educational arts programming for our youth is also offered. The Mainstage (often called the “big”) theater seats 130 and is devoted to medium and large-scale popular musicals and plays including the best of Broadway and Off-Broadway. No seat is more than 35 feet from the stage. The Youth/Mainstage Too! (also called the “little” theater) is a smaller, more intimate 90-seat, thrust style auditorium that offers thought-provoking, inspiring and sometimes challenging productions including Broadway musicals, original plays, musicals, and art works. Most of the youth productions are performed in the more intimate, smaller theater. Both stages often run productions concurrently. Special events are offered throughout the season on both stages as well as in community centers. The Theater has been in operation as a professionally-directed community theater for over 30 years. The Mission of Fountain Hills Theater is “to engage, inspire and entertain diverse audiences, train and support our youth, and celebrate the essential power of the performing arts.” Fountain Hills Theater is a 501(c)(3) organization. All gifts are tax deductible. The Theater is 100% funded by ticket sales and donations. Volunteer opportunities are available. Fountain Hills Theater is located at 11445 N. Saguaro Blvd., Fountain Hills, AZ 85268. Phone: 480.837.9661. Fax: 480.837.5972. The Box Office is open Tues.-Fri., 10am-5pm and Sat. 10am-5pm (closed Sun. and Mon.).




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