From the acrobatics of Cirque du Soleil’s “Quidam” to the antics of a premier comedy at Music Theatre of Wichita, local theatre goers are sure to be entertained this year.
More than 50 world-class performers will be flying through the air at the Intrust Bank Arena through Sunday in Cirque du Soleil’s “Quidam.”
Later on this year, Music Theatre of Wichita will bring in top-notch actors from across the country to perform in the American premiere of “Betty Blue Eyes.” The music and lyrics for the comedy were written by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe, the writers of “Honk.”
In the musical, a businessman in post-World War II England raises a pig named Betty to serve at the royal wedding, which circumvents the rationing laws. Eccentric villagers get involved and Betty is moved about – much to the amusement of the audience.
The same lyricists wrote additional songs for the stage version of “Mary Poppins,” which will also be performed by MTW this summer.
Other companies are also gearing up for new seasons. Several international virtuosos will perform in Wichita Grand Opera’s season that starts with “Otello” later this month. Giuseppe Verdi wrote the music for this classic opera that is based on Shakespeare’s “Othello.”
The Crown Uptown and the Forum Theatre will present many hit comedies and musicals, including “Spring Awakening” and “The Mystery of Irma Vep,” while Mosley Street Melodrama and Cabaret Oldtown will show off some comedic new scripts such as “Bite it, Wichita.” There will also be works by William Shakespeare, Anton Chekov and Steve Martin performed on stages throughout Wichita.
Following is a guide to the 2013 theater season in Wichita.
Intrust Bank Arena
Call 316-755-SEAT or 855-755-SEAT or www.intrustbankarena.com
Cirque du Soleil’s “Quidam” (Today through Sunday) A young girl’s escape into an imaginary world.
Music Theatre of Wichita
Performances in Century II, 225 W. Douglas. Tickets/info:316- 265-3107 or http://www.mtwichita.org/
“Monty Python’s Spamalot” (June 12-16) The Tony Award-winning musical based on “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.”
“Les Miserables” (June 26-30) Based on Victor Hugo’s classic epic, this musical portrays France during the 1800’s.
“The King and I” (July 10-14) Rodgers and Hammerstein’s hit musical based on the 19th century true story of a schoolteacher and the King of Siam.
“Betty Blue Eyes” (July 24-28) A comedy featuring an uprising over a pig in a meat-rationed 1947 English village.
“Mary Poppins” (Aug. 9 – 11 and 14 – 18) The regional premier of this heart-warming Disney classic about a larger-than-life nanny and the family she helps.
Performances in Century II Concert Hall, 225 W. Douglas. Tickets/info: WichitaTix at 316-219-4849 or theaterleague.com
“Jersey Boys” (Jan. 30-Feb. 10): This Tony-winning best musical re-creates the rise and eventual breakup of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.
“Dreamgirls” (March 19-21): A revival of this Tony-winning tribute to Motown inspired by acts like the Supremes, Jackie Wilson and James Brown.
“Stomp” (April 9-10): Troupe members make rhythmic music using matchboxes, brooms, garbage cans and more.
Performances at 147 S. Hillside. Tickets/info: 316-618-0444 or www.forumwichita.com
“The Mystery of Irma Vep” (Jan. 10-Feb. 3): Two actors perform eight characters in this Gothic melodrama that includes a vampire and an Egyptian princess.
“Cabaret” (Feb. 14-March 13): A classic musical that takes place in a Cabaret in 1930s Berlin during the rise of Hitler’s Nazi party.
“Hello, Dolly” (March 21-April 7): Wichita’s Tony-nominated Karla Burns plays the irrepressible Dolly, who wants to spread love – and money – around.
“The Full Monty” (April 25-May 19): A musical about several unemployed steelworkers who decide to perform in a male strip show.
Wichita Center for the Arts
Performances in Irene Vickers Baker Theatre, 9112 E. Central. Tickets/info: 316-315-0151 or www.wcfta.com
“Radiating Like a Stone” (Feb. 13-17): World premiere about the 1970s Wichita feminist movement.
“How the World Began” (April 17-21): A New York City biology teacher takes a job in Kansas. Tensions flare after she remarks about the origin of the universe.
Performances upstairs at 4121/2 E. Douglas. Tickets/info: 316-265-4400
“All Ways a Woman” (Begins Feb. 1)
Crown Uptown Theatre
Performances at 3207 E. Douglas. Tickets/info: 316-612-7696 or www.crownuptown.com
“Church Basement Ladies 4: A Mighty Fortress Is Our Basement” (Feb. 1-March 9): Fourth installment of the gently irreverent, touchingly homespun musical about Minnesota women who debate – and often solve – all of life’s problems from the basement kitchen of their Lutheran church.
“Annie Get Your Gun” (March 22-April 27): Irving Berlin’s play about the contentious romance between plainspoken sharpshooter Annie Oakley and Frank Butler, her handsome rival in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show.
“Little Women” (May 10-June 8): A musical adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s classic about a mother and her four daughter’s domestic life during the Civil War.
“Hairspray” (June 21-July 27): Award-winning musical about 1960s life in Baltimore as seen through the eyes of a music-crazy teen who dreams of performing.
“Spring Awakening” (Aug. 9-31): Tony Award-winning best musical gives a rock beat to a 19th-century German story about sexual awakening among teens.
“Cats” (Sept. 13-Oct. 19) Based on T.S. Elliot’s “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats,” this long-running Broadway musical brought the song “Memory” to stage and features the music of award-winning composer Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Mosley Street Melodrama
Performances at 234 N. Mosley in Old Town. Tickets/info: 316-263-0222 or www.mosleystreet.com.
“Greater Tuna” (Jan. 11-Feb. 2) Two actors perform 20 roles in this humorous glance at small-town life.
“Bite It, Wichita: The Foodie Network Challenge” (April 4-May 25)
A Tom Frye Melodrama (May 30-July 20)
Wichita Grand Opera
“Otello” (Jan. 19) Giuseppe Verdi’s opera based on William Shakespeare’s “Othello” examines evil, jealousy, power and murder.
“Don Pasquale” (Feb. 9) An old bachelor decides to marry a younger woman in order to punish his nephew in this comic opera.
“The Marriage of Figaro” (March 16) Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s comic opera about betrayal and forgiveness.
“Swan Lake” (May 1) A Russian dance company performs Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s classic ballet.
Wichita Community Theatre
Performances at 258 N. Fountain. Tickets/info: 316-686-1282 or wichitact.org
“Brighton Beach Memoirs” (Jan. 24-Feb. 10): Neil Simon’s semi-autobiographical coming-of-age comedy about a family in New York City in the late 1930s.
“Doubt” (March 13-17): This Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning drama focuses on a nun confronting a priest about his improper relations with a student.
“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” (April 18-May 5): William Shakespeare’s comedy about an arranged marriage, young lovers and a fairy kingdom.
“Dixie Swim Club” (June 6-23): A comedy about five women from a college swim team who get together for a weekend every year to invigorate their relationships and invariably examine their lives.
“The Underpants” (July 25-Aug. 11): Playwright and comedian Steve Martin adapts a 1910 German farce about customs and conformity.
Guild Hall Players
Performances in St. John’s Episcopal Church, 3750 E. Douglas. Tickets/info: 316-683-5686.
“Next Fall” (Feb. 28-March 3): This Tony-nominated comedy-drama deals with an injured closeted gay man whose partner is forced to confront the man’s shocked family in the ICU.
“The Cherry Orchard” (April 18-21): Anton Chekov’s classic comedy-drama about a once-wealthy Russian family making difficult choices in difficult times.
“The Fantasticks” (Aug. 1-4): A romantic musical about young lovers learning how hard it is to grow up and hold onto their dreams.
Wichita Shakespeare Company
Performances at area parks and other locations
“Two Gentlemen of Verona” (June 7-23) William Shakespeare’s comedy about love, friendship and fidelity.
“Cymbeline” (Sept. 6-22) Cymbeline possesses a complicated plot with twists and turns, soldiers and royalty, and wagers and poisons in William Shakespeare’s romance.