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Wednesday, October 01, 2014
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Published: Sunday, 6/15/2014 - Updated: 3 months ago

5 national Broadway tours for Valentine Theatre's 16th season

BY SUE BRICKEY
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Vicki Lawrence & Mama: A Two-Woman Show, will be presented Oct. 17 by the Emmy-winning comedian. Vicki Lawrence & Mama: A Two-Woman Show, will be presented Oct. 17 by the Emmy-winning comedian.
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Broadway‘‍s star power will light up The Valentine when the curtain goes up on the historic theater’‍s 16th season this fall. 

There will be five national Broadway tours for the 2014-2015 season, beginning with Jekyll and Hyde: The Musical, on Nov. 5. The production, which features music by Frank Wildhorn and Leslie Bricusse, is based on the Robert Louis Stevenson classic about a scientist and his monstrous alter ego who terrorizes Victorian London, and offers a mix of madness, murder, and romance.

Anything Goes, the national tour of the show, set on an ocean liner, that won the 2011 Tony Award for Best Musical Revival, arrives Nov. 16. With music and lyrics by Cole Porter, Anything Goes made its Broadway debut in 1934 was filmed twice. Songs include "You're the Top" and "I Get a Kick Out of You."

Another Tony Award winner, Peter and the Starcatcher, written as a prequel to the classic story of Peter Pan, features 12 actors playing more than 100 characters. The show, designed  for all ages, will make its magic in the Valentine on Feb. 5.

Memphis The Musical, which won 2010 Tony awards for  Best Musical, Best Score, and Best Book, will be staged March 8. Set in the 1950s, it tells the story of a young white Memphis disc jockey named Huey Calhoun who wants to take the sounds of rock and blues from underground dance clubs to mainstream audiences. He faces the divides of racial segregation when he falls in love with Felicia, an African-American singer.

“It‘‍s a very well-rounded Broadway season, diverse, with a good mix of recent Broadway hits and revivals. It’‍s truly our most ambitious to date,” said Matt Lentz, the Valentine‘‍s director of marketing and public relations.

Four singers who have been bright lights on and off Broadway stages come to the Valentine in 4 Girls 4 on May 4. The stars are Donna McKechnie, who was a hit as Cassie in the musical  A Chorus Line on Broadway, winning a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical in 1976; Andrea McArdle, a Tony Award nominee who starred as Broadway’‍s original Annie; Maureen McGovern, who sang “The Morning After” theme song in the film The Poseidon Adventure, and Faith Prince, who earned praise for her work in  Broadway revivals of Guys & Dolls and Bells Are Ringing. “They are well-known to people who know and love Broadway and Broadway tunes,” Lentz said.

The Season of the Arts Plaza pARTy will open the season on the Valentine’s Key Bank outdoor stage Sept. 6 with performances from 5 to 11 p.m. by  the Valentine’s resident performing arts organizations, including the Toledo Opera, the Toledo Ballet, the Toledo Repertoire Theatre, the Toledo Jazz Orchestra, the Toledo School for the Arts, Masterworks Chorale, Ballet Theatre of Toledo, and the Toledo Symphony, will perform in the outdoor plaza and throughout the theater. Admission is free, and there will be food and  an outdoor beer garden, wine, and a full bar. Proceeds benefit a new local Performing Arts Group Fund administered by the Toledo Community Foundation.

Comedy

Vicki Lawrence & Mama: A Two-Woman Show, will be presented Oct. 17 by the Emmy-winning Lawrence, who became famous in the role of Thelma Harper, aka “Mama,” on television‘‍s Carol Burnett Show and in her own TV series, Mama‘‍s Family. This performance will include some familiar material, but will feature new work that blends stand-up comedy, music, and Lawrence’‍s views on “the real world,” in a tribute to four decades of Mama. 

In the Studio A Theatre

The Valentine will produce three shows for its intimate, 85-seat Studio A stage, located off the Adams Street entrance. Presented for three weekends, Oct. 24-31 and Nov. 7-22, will be a local favorite, the adult-oriented Evil Dead the Musical, based on the Evil Dead movie series, The Evil Dead, Evil Dead 2, and Army of Darkness

Greater Tuna, featuring noted Toledo actor Paul Causman in a comedy that takes an affectionate but satirical look at small-town Southern life in a fictional Texas town, will be staged Jan. 16-18, Jan. 23-25, and Jan. 30 and 31 and Feb. 1.

The Hound of the Baskervilles, based on the classic Sherlock Holmes detective story by Arthur Conan Doyle, will play  March 6-8, March 13-15, and March 27-29.

Family Series

Five shows will be part of the new season for families, including John Tartaglia’s ImaginOcean on Nov. 2; Harold and the Purple Crayon,  Jan.  25; Frindle, Feb. 22; Curious George, March 7, and Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day on May 9. The productions are designed for families with children ages pre-kindergarten through grade 6.

The Valentine also will present a second season of Valentine School Days, an Educational Outreach program that presents professional touring companies in educational theater productions suitable for field trips during the school week. Six are scheduled: John Tartaglia’s ImaginOcean on Nov. 3; Harold and the Purple Crayon on Jan. 26; Frindle on Feb. 23; The Tempest on March 2; Curious George on March 6, and Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day May 8. All performances are at 10 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. and are designed to appeal to grades pre-kindergarten through 12. Teachers and home school parents can contact Program Coordinator, Kate Rardin, at 419-242-3490 ext 20 for ticket prices and reservations.

Special Attraction

Also part of the Valentine‘‍s new season is 50 Shades the Musical Parody. This adults-only comedy that takes a humorous look at the erotic novel 50 Shades of Grey, which became a national best-seller list phenomenon, is tentatively scheduled for Sept. 26.

Movies

Silver Screen Friday, a popular series of 11 classic films shown on Fridays at 7:30 p.m., begins Oct. 24 with Young Frankenstein. Among the series highlights are It’‍s A Wonderful Life on Dec. 19, Gone With the Wind on Jan. 9, and Saturday Night Fever on Jan. 23. The series is sponsored by The Blade. Tickets are $5. The Valentine‘‍s bar serves through intermission.

The Art House Film Series, which begins Nov. 23 with The Rules of the Game by Jean Renoir, will also feature Alfred Hitchcock‘‍s The 39 Steps on Dec. 21  and Akira Kurasawa’‍s Ikiru on Feb. 8. The films will be screened  Sundays at 2 p.m. in the Studio A theater. Tickets, $5, are general admission. The series is sponsored by The Blade.

Ballet and Music

The classic ballet Sleeping Beauty, performed by the Russian National Ballet Theatre with music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  will be presented Jan. 8.

The Dorothy MacKenzie Price Piano Recital, named for local philanthropist and performing arts advocate Dorothy MacKenzie Price, comes to the Valentine this season. Ryan Behan, a member of the Ohio State University faculty, will perform the music of Chopin and Rachmaninoff on April 10.

The Valentine will co-present the Toledo Jazz Orchestra in three concerts: Stan Kenton Christmas on Dec. 21, Basie & Ellington on March 1, and the music of Henry Mancini on  April 12.

Benefit Gala

Midtown Men, featuring four members of the original Broadway  Jersey Boys cast, will star at the Valentine’‍s annual Benefit Gala on Nov. 1, performing music of the Beatles, the Beach Boys, the Four Seasons, and Motown. Tickets, $75-$100, will include dinner, the concert, dancing, and dessert. 

Tickets for productions at the Valentine range in price from $5 to $68 for single seats and  $16 to $267 for series seating. Subscription renewals for current subscribers begin Monday and will close June 30; orders from new subscribers will be taken Monday and filled starting July 7, in order of receipt. Individual tickets go on sale in August. Season tickets can be purchased through the Valentine box office at 419-242-2787 on online at valentinetheatre.com.

Contact Sue Brickey at: sbrickey@theblade.com.



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