From Neverland to Frankenstein: theater groups offering 28 productions this fall

Wichita Theater League opens its 2018-19 season in December with “Finding Neverland,” the story behind Peter Pan.  Tickets to single shows go on sale Monday, Sept. 10.
Wichita Theater League opens its 2018-19 season in December with “Finding Neverland,” the story behind Peter Pan. Tickets to single shows go on sale Monday, Sept. 10. Courtesy photo


Broadway in Wichita

“Finding Neverland” (Dec. 18-20) – The lone American Theatre Guild entry for this part of the 2018-19 season tells the story behind J.M. Barrie, a playwright whose encounter with four young brothers and their beautiful widowed mother leads him to create “Peter Pan.”

Details: Performances in Century II Concert Hall. 225 W. Douglas; shows at 7:30 p.m. Season tickets (four shows): $115-$275; call 800-776-7469. Season also includes Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella (Jan. 28-30), Jersey Boys (Feb. 19-20), Evita (March 18-20) and Beautiful - The Carole King Musical (May 15-19). Individual show tickets go on sale Monday, Sept. 10. Information: www.broadwayWichita.com or WichitaTIX.com

Roxy’s Downtown

“The Andrews Brothers” (Sept. 21 to Oct. 14) – When the Andrews Sisters can’t make a World War II USO performance, three male stagehands (Nicholas J. Reese, Ryan Schafer and Sam Warner) step in and save the day in the spirit of “Some Like It Hot” and the Bob Hope-Bing Crosby “Road” movies. Kyle Vespestad directs the cast, which also includes Madi White. The score includes more than two dozen songs from the era, including “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,” “Slow Boat to China,” “Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree” and “Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive.” Performances are Friday-Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons.

“The Kyle & Monte Christmas Musical 2” (Nov. 16 to Dec. 23) – Roxy favorites Vespestad and Monte Riegel Wheeler are back for the third straight year of holiday hijinks with music, original comedy, games and audience participation. Performances are from Wednesday to Saturday nights, with Sunday performances at various times. Some performances are already sold out.

Details: Performances at 412½ E. Douglas. Tickets: $20-$30. Call 316-265-4400.

Forum Theatre

“Bonnie & Clyde” (Sept. 27 to Oct. 14) – In Depression-era Texas, a young Bonnie Parker (Ari Chandler) falls in love with Clyde Barrow (Steve Hitchcock), a criminal on the run from the law. Their love affair soon spirals out of control, while their notoriety rises. The ill-fated lovers find themselves racing to the top of the Public Enemies list. With a score made of blues, gospel and rockabilly, the musical captures the real-life exploits of the legendary outlaws and questions America’s tragic pursuit of pop fame.

“Barrymore” (Nov. 1-11) -- Virtually a one-man show (a second character, a stagehand, is only heard from a loudspeaker), Wichita’s Ray Wills plays John Barrymore, the former box office star and matinee idol who must confront his past as he prepares for a comeback as the title role in “Richard III.”

“Winter Wonderettes” (Nov. 29 to Dec. 16) – In the holiday sequel to the girl-group homage “The Fabulous Wonderettes,” the women and their four-part harmony must come to the rescue in 1968 when Santa is a no-show for the annual Harper’s Hardware Holiday Party.

Details: Performances at the Wilke Center Black Box Theatre inside First United Methodist Church, 330 N. Broadway; shows at 8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays. Individual show tickets: $17 for opening nights, $23 for other Thursday and Sunday shows, $25 for Fridays and Saturdays. Call 316-618-0444. Information: www.forumwichita.com

Dinner Theater

Mosley Street Melodrama

“Young Frank Einstein” (through Oct. 27) – Called a loving homage to Mel Brooks’ classic, the company takes the famed monster tale and flips it even further on its head. The second act is a “Halloween Spooktacular Musical Comedy Revue.”

“Will Santa Drink Canada Dry (or Go Tell It on the Mountie)” (Nov. 8 to Dec. 30) – All of the melodrama tropes -- the daft Mountie hero, the mustache-twirling villain, the damsel in distress -- bring a Christmas story to life.

Details: Performances at 234 N. Mosley in Old Town; shows at 7:50 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays (doors open at 6 p.m., dinner 6:15-7:30 p.m.). From Nov. 25-Dec. 23, shows at 7:50 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays and 6:50 p.m. Sundays (doors open at 5 p.m., dinner 5:15-6:30) plus 1:50 p.m. Saturday matinee (doors open at noon, buffet 12:15-1:30 p.m.). Tickets are $30 for dinner and a show, $26 for seniors and children and $20 for show only. Call 316-263-0222. Information: www.mosleystreet.com

Prairie Pines Playhouse

“Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Missing Holly” (Nov. 16 to Dec. 23) -- Arthur Conan Doyle’s sleuth is put to the test in this holiday-themed production, which includes a catered, three-course dinner.

Details: Performances Thursdays-Sundays through Dec. 23 (Wednesdays-Sundays after Thanksgiving), 4055 N. Tyler Road. Doors open at 6:15 p.m. for cider and browsing in Old Barn Christmas Shop; show at 8 p.m. Tickets: $35.95. Call 316-303-2037.


Wichita Community Theatre

“Fun Home” (through Sept. 16) A Tony Award-winning musical where lesbian author Alison Bechdel looks back at her childhood growing up as the daughter of a funeral home operator who himself is coming to terms with his sexuality.

“And Then There Were None (aka Ten Little Indians)” (Oct. 17-28) – In this Agatha Christie classic, eight people, all strangers to each other, are invited to an island off the English coast. At dinner the first night, they hear a recorded voice accusing each of them of a murder committed in their past that was never solved.

“Harvey” (Nov. 28 to Dec. 9) – In this stage classic, Elwood P. Dowd insists on including his friend Harvey -- an imaginary six-and-a-half-foot-tall rabbit – in all social gatherings. But after an attempt by his family to have Elwood committed, it seems he’s had a strange influence on more than one of his doctors.

Details: Performances at 258 N. Fountain; shows at 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets: $15 adults, $13 seniors/military/students (special $11 tickets on opening nights). Call 316-686-1282.

Guild Hall Players

“The Crucible” (Oct. 18-21) – Arthur Miller’s enduring American classic recounts the events of the infamous events of the Salem witch trials as evidence of the timeless clash between the forces of fear and human dignity.

Details: Performances in St. James Episcopal Church, 3750 E. Douglas; shows at 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and 7 p.m. Sunday. Tickets: $12 adults, $10 students/military. Call 316-683-5686. Information: www.stjameswichita.org

WSR Signature Theatre

“The Addams Family” (Oct. 26-28) – Gomez, Morticia, Lurch, Uncle Fester and the rest come to life in a stage musical version of the comic strip-turned-TV show-turned-movie.

Details: Performances in Scottish Rite Auditorium, 332 E. First. Shows at 8 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays and 7 p.m. Sundays. Tickets: $10-$18 with discounts for seniors, military and students; available at the door (no reservations). Information: 316-644-7018.

Kechi Playhouse

“All I Really Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten” (through Sept. 23) – Robert Fulghum’s book is the basis of this stage musical.

“Ix’Ticha -- Spider God of the Amazon!” (Sept. 28 to Oct. 28) – A revival of the 2010 original production that spoofed sci-fi and horror B-movies with creatures from the black lagoon and irradiated dinosaurs and aliens from a distant planet.

Details: Performances at 100 E. Kechi Road, Kechi. Shows at 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets: $14 Friday-Saturday, $12 Sunday matinee. Call 316-744-2152.

Children’s Theatre

Music Theatre for Young People

“Band Geeks” (Oct. 12-14) – A celebration of the trials and tribulations of those who spend their halftimes trodding up and down the football field.

“A Little Princess” (Dec. 7-9) – A musical based on the beloved novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett, named by the School Library Journal as one of the top 100 chapter books of all time.

Details: Performances in Mary Jane Teall Theater in Century II, 225 W. Douglas; shows at 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Season tickets: $48 (four shows); individual shows, $12 adults in advance and $15 at the door, $10 students both in advance or at door; 316-219-4849 or www.wichitatix.com For more information go to www.mtypks.org

Wichita Children’s Theatre & Dance Center

“Boo Revue” (Oct. 19-20; 201 Lulu) – A “Halloween Spectacular” with singing and dancing ghosts and goblins.

“The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” (Dec. 12-15; Mary Jane Teal Theatre, Century II) – The long-running annual tradition, this 1971 tale about six rambunctious kids who perform a nontraditional church pageant and give new meaning to the holiday season.

Details: Recommended for ages 5 and up. Performances at 201 Lulu, or Mary Jane Teal Theatre; call for show times. Tickets: $8. Call 316-262-2282. Information: www.wctdc.org.

Children’s Theatre’s Once Upon a Time Series

“Junie B. Jones is Not a Crook” (Oct. 4-6) – The kidlit heroine is center stage in this tale involving fuzzy mittens.

“The Runaway Snowman” (Nov. 29-30, Dec. 1 and 15) – This holiday musical focuses on Happy, the talking snowman, who wins a local contest and soon becomes quite a celebrity in town.

Details: For ages 2-8 with audience participation. Performances at 201 Lulu; call for show times. Tickets: $8, or $9.50 for pizza and show. Call 316-262-2282. Information: www.wctdc.org.


Wichita State

“The Search” (Sept. 26-30; Welsbacher Theatre, Hughes Metropolitan Complex, 29th and Oliver) The winner of WSU’s playwriting competition is staged.

“Seussical” (Oct. 25-28; Wilner Auditorium) – The Cat in the Hat, Horton (who hears a Who) and Gertrude McFuzz are among the Dr. Seuss characters brought to life in this musical.

“Street Scene” (Nov. 2 and 4; Miller Concert Hall, Duerksen Fine Arts Center) – WSU’s opera department presents the work by Kurt Weill.

Details: Showtimes and ticket prices to be announced. Call 316-978-3233.

Newman University

“Death by Chocolate” (Oct. 11-13; Jabara Theatre) – A murder mystery dinner theater is offered, with a four-course meal that had better include something chocolate.

“Mamma Mia!” (Nov. 15-18; DeMattias Performance Hall) – A musical -- revived for a movie sequel this summer -- that relies on ABBA tunes to tell the story of a girl seeking to find her father.

Details: Performances at 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. “Death by Chocolate” ticket prices not available. “Mamma Mia!” tickets $12 for general admission, $10 for senior citizens and military.

Friends University

“Frankenstein” (Sept. 28-29) – Novelist Mary Shelley’s monster tale takes the stage for Friends.

Details: Performances in Sebits Auditorium on the Friends campus. Tickets are $11 adults, $8 for seniors and students. Shows at 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday. Call 316-295-5677.