After becoming one of the only theatres in the nation to produce a summer theatre season in 2020, Tibbits Summer Theatre continues to press on announcing its 58th professional season featuring familiar titles and still currently set in The Ponds event pavilion.
Tibbits’ 2021 Summer Theatre season, the first under Artistic Director Peter Riopelle, offers three musicals: a fun and elegant musical review, “The Best of Broadway;” the beloved musical classic, “The Fantasticks;” and the charming family show, “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.” The season closes with the heartwarming play “On Golden Pond.”
Last summer Tibbits staff adapted to the new guidelines of a COVID world with social distancing, mask-wearing, and a beautiful outdoor venue nestled among the lush landscaping at the Ponds of Coldwater, just minutes from the theatre. While the hope is that it is safe to move back to the theatre before summer, the decision was made to plan for the same restrictions. If restrictions change and theatres can reopen, the show titles, dates, and times will remain intact with some possible additional shows.
According to Riopelle, “If we are outside again, we wanted to capitalize on the beautiful setting and choose shows that fit well in that setting, and if we are able can just as easily move to back to the theatre.”
“The Best of Broadway” opens the season and runs June 16-18 and 22-25 with matinees on June 17 and 23. Come on along and listen to the lullaby of Broadway in this lively, fun and elegant revue of Broadway’s Greatest Hits. From Broadway’s humble beginnings, through its golden age, to the modern-day mega-musicals, audiences will be humming along and tapping their toes to the most memorable moments in musicals throughout the ages. From “Showboat” to “Phantom” to “Hamilton” and everything in between, it’s Broadway’s best under the stars.
Next, the stage will continue to be filled with music with the funny and moving classic “The Fantasticks,” which runs June 30, July 1-2 and 6-9 with matinees on July 1 and 7. “The Fantasticks” is the longest-running musical in the world and with good reason: its poetry, passion, playfulness and pathos combine to create a comic and wistful romantic fable about love that grows with each new season. With its most memorable song, “Try to Remember” Riopelle assures, “It’s fantastic for a breezy summer night!”
Certain to delight kids of all ages, the final musical of the season, “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown,” is charming, witty and fun. It runs July 14-16 and 20-23, with matinees on July 15 and 21. “You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown” explores life through the eyes of Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus and the whole “Peanuts” gang. Join the familiar comic friends as they explore life’s great questions while playing baseball, lamenting over homework, swooning over their crushes, and celebrating the joy of friendship. Musical numbers include “My Blanket and Me,” “The Kite,” “Suppertime,” “Happiness,” and more.
The season closes with the heartwarming play, “On Golden Pond” which runs July 28-30 and Aug 3-6 with matinees on July 29 and Aug 4. The play tells the love story of Ethel and Norman Thayer, who are returning to their summer home on Golden Pond for the 48th year. He is a retired professor, nearing eighty, with heart palpitations and a failing memory—but still as tart-tongued, observant and eager for life as ever. Ethel is ten years younger, and the perfect foil for Norman, delighting in all the small things they cherish and that continue to enrich their long life together. This Tony and Drama Desk award-winning play became the beloved Oscar winning film of the same name starring Henry Fonda and Katherine Hepburn. This touching tale of evergreen devotion and the enduring strength of love and family is according to Riopelle, “a golden way to end the summer with Tibbits at The Ponds of Coldwater.”
Gift certificates are currently available for season tickets, individual shows, or for any denomination by calling 517.278.6029, visiting the administrative offices at 93 W. Chicago St., or going online to Tibbits.org. Season tickets for the shows are $100 (including fees) which will go on sale in January. Single tickets will go on sale in the spring at $28 each (including fees). Evening summer performances begin at 7:30pm with matinees at 2pm. The historic Tibbits Opera House is located at 14 S. Hanchett St. in Coldwater, MI.