Keeper of the Plans

Music Theatre Wichita announces 2019 summer season

Music Theatre Wichita will produce “A Chorus Line” July 10-14, 2019. The company announced its 2019 summer season on Wednesday.
Music Theatre Wichita will produce “A Chorus Line” July 10-14, 2019. The company announced its 2019 summer season on Wednesday. Courtesy

Music Theatre Wichita on Wednesday announced its 2019 summer season, complete with traditional musicals and one fresh from Broadway.

It will be the first time since 2014 that no Disney musicals are included in the summer slate.

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There will also not be a two-weekend run for the final musical of the season, as MTW has done for the last three years (“The Little Mermaid,” “Newsies” and “Mamma Mia!”).

Here is the lineup announced Wednesday evening.

  • “The Sound of Music,” June 12-16

To open the season, MTW will look to the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic “The Sound of Music.” The production will coincide with the 60th anniversary of the show’s Broadway debut. MTW last produced “The Sound of Music” in 1999, “and it is always one of our most-requested shows,” said Angela Cassette, MTW’s development director. The show will feature MTW’s largest orchestra of the summer, as well as two songs that are occasionally omitted from productions of the show, plus “I Have Confidence” and “Something Good,” which were both written for the 1965 film.

Rated G (2 hours, 30 minutes)

  • “An American in Paris,” June 26-30

“An American in Paris,” despite being based on a 1951 film by the same name, is a new musical. The show, which incorporates songs by George and Ira Gershwin, opened on Broadway in 2015. It won four Tony Awards, including best choreography for its jazz and ballet numbers. The opportunity to produce this show “was a pleasant surprise to us this year,” Cassette said. “While many Gershwin musicals are lighthearted and frivolous, this show also carries great depth and boasts wonderful storytelling.”

Rated PG (2 hours, 40 minutes)

  • “A Chorus Line,” July 10-14

Both “A Chorus Line” and “Chicago” battled for top honors at the 1976 Tony Awards, so perhaps it’s fitting MTW is staging both musicals next summer. “A Chorus Line,” which also won the Pulitzer Prize, eventually took the Tony for Best Musical. The show is told from the perspectives of various New Yorkers, who describe their lives and their decision to become dancers. And, of course, there’s the kickline the show is known for. MTW produced the show last in 2005, then before that in 1989.

Rated PG-13 for strong language (2 hours)

  • “Chicago,” July 24-28

“Chicago,” which was last produced by MTW in 2003, currently holds the record for longest-running Broadway show in America. The musical, which won an Oscar for Best Picture and a Tony Award for Best Revival, is a satire on the criminal justice system. The original Broadway production was choreographed by well-known choreographer Bob Fosse. It’s known for songs including the “Cell Block Tango” and “All That Jazz.”

Rated PG-13 for strong language (2 hours, 30 minutes)

  • “In the Heights,” Aug. 7-11

This musical, which details life in New York City’s Washington Heights, was the launching point for the career of Lin-Manuel Miranda, its author and Broadway star. Miranda would later go on to write and star in “Hamilton,” for which he is primarily known. But “In the Heights” also won the Tony Award for Best Musical in 2008. The score has a heavy hip-hop influence and features many lyrics that are rapped rather than sung. It’s the first time MTW has produced the musical.

Rated PG (2 hours, 25 minutes)

Season tickets are on sale now, and current season ticket holders can get the 2019 season at 2018 prices if they renew by Oct. 30.

Season tickets range from $126-$275.

For more information, visit www.mtwichita.org, call 316-265-3107 or visit the box office at Century II, 225 W. Douglas.

Music Theatre Wichita's "The Little Mermaid" opens Aug. 8 at Century II's Concert Hall. To help you get in the mood, watch some rehearsal footage of the show. Courtesy: Music Theatre Wichita

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