Now in its 56th year, summer theatre at Tibbits Opera House once again offers something for everyone with a program full of music, dancing, comedy, romance and drama.
Tibbits 2019 Summer Theatre Season begins in June with the romantic comedy of Ken Ludwig’s Be My Baby, then the family musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, followed by the classic love story West Side Story, then closing with the hilarious farce full of mayhem and mistaken identity See How They Run.
Ken Ludwig’s Be My Baby opens the season and runs June 20-22 and 26-29 at 7:30pm with matinees on June 20 and 26 at 2pm. In this feel-good comedy, an irascible Scotsman and an uptight English woman, John and Maude, take on the journey of a lifetime after his ward marries her niece. When the young couple adopt a newborn, the older couple travels 6,000 miles to California to bring the baby safely home to Scotland. The problem is, John and Maude despise each other. To make matters worse, they get stranded in San Francisco for several weeks forcing them to jointly care for the helpless infant. Amidst the humorous challenges they form a partnership and learn some startling lessons about life and love. By the same author as Lend Me a Tenor, Leading Ladies, Crazy for You, and Fox on the Fairway.
The stage explodes with music, dance and an imaginative retelling of the Biblical story of Joseph, his 11 brothers, father Jacob, and the coat of many colors in Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, which runs July 5-6 and July 11-13 at 7:30pm with 2pm shows on July 7 for a special Sunday matinee and again on the 10. Joseph has a gift of explaining people’s dreams, and out of jealousy his brothers sell him into slavery. After successfully interpreting the pharaoh’s dream and predicting a famine, Joseph becomes the pharaoh’s advisor. When famine hits, Joseph’s brothers come to him for relief but must first prove they’ve changed. This enduring show is full of catchy songs in a variety of styles, from show-stopper to country to calypso, along with the unforgettable classics “Any Dream Will Do” and “Close Every Door.”
The world’s greatest love story takes to the streets of New York City in West Side Story, the landmark Broadway musical considered one of theatre’s finest accomplishments, which runs July 25-27 and Aug 1-3 at 7:30pm with 2pm matinees on July 25 and Aug 31. This book by Arthur Laurents, music by Leonard Bernstein, and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim transforms Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet into 1950s city life as two young, idealistic lovers find themselves caught between warring street gangs, the Jets and the Sharks. Their struggle to survive in a world of hate, violence and prejudice is one of the most innovative, heart-wrenching and relevant musical dramas of our time. With a memorable score and exuberant dance the poignant story still resonates today. Song classics include “Maria,” “America,” “Tonight,” “I Feel Pretty,” and “Somewhere.”
Finishing the TST season is Philip King’s See How They Run. Witness the hilarious action, confusing situations and rib-tickling plot of this farce Aug 8-10 and 15-17 at 7:30pm with matinees Aug 8 and 14 at 2pm. Galloping in and out of the four doors of an English vicarage are an American actor and actress (he is 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.
Along with the four Tibbits mainstage shows, a variety of professional Popcorn Theatre shows for the kids will take place every Friday and Saturday from June 21-Aug. 10 at 10am. Titles will be announced at a later date.
Season tickets for the mainstage shows are $117 with fees are currently on sale. Gift certificates are currently available for season tickets, individual shows, or for any denomination by calling 517.278.6029, by visiting the administrative offices at 93 W. Chicago St., or by going online to Tibbits.org. The historic Tibbits Opera House is located at 14 S. Hanchett St. in Coldwater, MI.