Inside JCPRD: TIP opens its 2021 season with a little disco, a glass slipper, a musical detective, dancing newspaper boys and a little HIP HOP

After the cancellation of the 2020 season of musicals due to COVID-19, Theatre in the Park is looking forward to welcoming crowds to see five shows which have never been produced on the TIP stage before.

By Producing Artistic Director Tim Bair

Summer has arrived… and boy, are we looking forward to getting back on stage again!

June 4 is just around the corner, and that means only one thing… the Greek isles and “Mamma Mia!” Yep. One of the most popular musicals of all-time hits the stage and celebrates the music of ABBA and the story of Sophie her wedding and a search for her birth father. (It could be one of three… go figure!) Non-stop laughs and terrific dance numbers will leave you singing all the way to the car at the end of the night.

Closing out June will be the hilarious murder mystery musical “Curtains!” After the leading lady of a new musical dies on opening night, a wanna-be-musical-theatre-star detective heads up the investigation and hilarity is everywhere you turn. Written by the musical theater icons Kander and Ebb, this show is full of glorious tunes and sports a charmingly delightful script.

Arriving in July is something that is not new to anyone. Except it is! The most recent Broadway adaptation of the glass slipper tale of tripping; Rodgers + Hammerstein’s “Cinderella!” This new adaptation still has lots of your favorite songs from the original and includes some new tunes and a libretto by Tony Award nominee Douglas Carter Beane. Oh, and there are a few new characters and unexpected plot twists. You’ll love it!

TIPs 52nd season begins June 4 and will feature several shows highlighting talented local hoofers, including “Half Time – Gotta Dance,” and “Newsies.”

Next up… well… something you’ve probably not heard of before! Based on the motion picture “Gotta Dance,” it’s “Half Time – Gotta Dance!” And you do not wanna miss this one! The musical is the true story of some folks with really big dreams… to dance in a half time show for a major league basketball team. They all love to dance. It seems they all have something to prove. And… oh yea… they are all over 50! Well, you can guess what happens. They audition. They make the team. And then… the best part of all… they find out they are going to have to learn hip-hop! Yep! Picture it… eight women and one man all over 50… doing a little hip-hop ditty in front of 20,000 fans. (I told you you didn’t wanna miss this one!)

Closing out our musical season is one of the dancing-est shows you will see in a long time. Based on the 1992 motion picture and inspired by a true story, it’s Disney’s “Newsies!” It’s the turn of the century and the publishers in New York City decide to raise the prices of newspapers at the expense of the newspaper boys! Well, the newsies are not gonna stand for it, and the leader, Jack, and the entire lot strike to fight for what’s right. Rousing tunes like “Seize the Day” and terrific dancing is sure to make this the highlight of your summer!

And one more fun tidbit… on Aug. 8 (the day after our final performance of “Newsies”) we’ve got a big thank you from JCPRD to all of our patrons and the community. Evening in the Park! Starting at 5 pm, we’ll have two hours of old timey, feel good, foot stomping music by the Match Sellers and then the Short Round String Band! We will close the evening off with a movie under the stars. We’ll have concessions available and lots of stars to gaze at! Everybody is invited, and did we mention it’s free? Well its free!

All in all, we’ve got a terrific season planned at TIP. We sure hope you’ll join us. We’ll be glad to see you!