Thursday, June 20, 2024

‘The Producers,’ ‘Heathers the Musical’ part of Opera House Theatre Company’s 2024 season

Opera House Theater Company will celebrate year 39 with five shows produced at Thalian Hall in 2024. (Courtesy photo)

WILMINGTON — Just as a local theater company wrapped its final show of the season over the weekend, its bill for 2024 has been released.

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Opera House Theater Company will celebrate year 39 with five shows next year. It kicks off Dec. 30 with the Mel Brooks’ comedy “The Producers,” also slated to be the New Year’s Eve show as part of OHTC and Thalian Hall’s annual gala.

Among the list of productions are theatre classics — “Death of a Salesman” and “Annie” — and premieres for the community theater company, including “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical” (the national Broadway tour came through Wilson Center last year).

All shows take place at Thalian Hall’s main stage. Below is the rundown:

‘The Producers’
Dec. 30 – Jan. 14
With book by Thomas Meehan and Mel Brooks, and music and lyrics by Brooks, the musical was adapted by Brooks’ famed 1967 film of the same name. The farce gives a behind-the-scenes glimpse into Broadway producers, two of whom take on a show destined to fail but fraudulently oversell the performance.

It will be directed by Ray Kennedy, with music direction by Brian Whitted. Auditions for the show will be held on Saturday, Oct. 7, at the Lucille Shuffler Center (2011 Carolina Beach Road).

‘Death Of A Salesman’
Feb. 23- March 3
The American classic, penned by Arthur Miller in 1949, takes on the American Dream and themes of infidelity and truth. The two-act tragedy follows the story of Willy Loman, a door-to-door salesman struggling with depression after failing to live up to his expectations in the business.

The show will be directed by Stoney B. Mootoo and will star local actor Fracaswell Hyman as Willy Loman.

June 20 – July 7
With book by Thomas Meehan, music by Charles Strouse, and lyrics by Martin Charnin, “Annie” brings everyone’s favorite story of rags to riches to life.

The musical has scored seven Tony Awards, and is well known for its songs  “Tomorrow” and “It’s the Hard Knock Life.”

Based on the 1924 comic strip “Little Orphan Annie” — taken loosely from an 1885 poem of the same name — the show follows Annie as she is adopted by billionaire businessman Daddy Warbucks. It takes place in the 1920s, as Annie escapes her former orphanage housemother, Miss Hannigan, a cantankerous woman who hates children. Hannigan and two grifters scheme to get Annie back and cash in on reward money Warbucks put out to find the orphan’s real parents. 

The show will be directed by Carson Hobbs.

‘Beautiful: The Carole King Musical’
July 18 – 28
“Beautiful” shines a light on the brilliant songwriting of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Carole King.

King’s music has been hailed by musicians, singers, producers, and audiences alike, with hits such as “You’ve Got a Friend,” “One Fine Day,” “Up on the Roof,” “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling,” “Will You Love Me Tomorrow,” and “Natural Woman.”

The musical tells the story of the Tony- and Grammy awards-winning musician’s rise to stardom. From the days of writing songs with her husband, Gerry Goffin, to King’s relationship with fellow writers and best friends Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann, the pop singer-songwriter has maintained success across many platforms of music.

The show will be directed by Ray Kennedy, with music directed by Brian Whitted. The show’s book is by Douglas McGrath, with words and music by Gerry Goffin, Carole King, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil.

“Heathers: The Musical”
Aug. 1 – 4
Based on the 1988 cult hit movie of the same name, “Heathers: The Musical” is cheeky with its irreverent take on high school life. It showcases the struggles of teenage girls, all named Heather, as one outlier, Veronica, seemingly finds herself in the good graces of Westberg High’s popular crowd.

The dark comedy is for mature audiences, with book, music, and lyrics by Kevin Murphy & Laurence O’Keefe. It will be directed by Sydney Smith Martin and staged as part of Opera House Theatre Company’s Apprentice Program.

Fiddler on the Roof
Aug. 15 – 25
The 59-year musical by Joseph Stein — with music by Jerry Bock, and lyrics by Sheldon Harnick — was the first in Broadway history to surpass 3,000 show runs on Broadway. “Fiddler on the Roof” has secured nine Tony Awards, spawned five revivals and was made into a popular 1971 film.

The story is one of family and faith, taking place at the turn of the 20th century, when Tevye, a milkman, attempts to hold onto to his Jewish cultural traditions as modern-day influences threaten those mores. His three daughters wish to marry for love over matchmaking, as normally done in their Jewish family, yet their choices don’t pass muster for their father.

The show, consisting of popular songs like “Matchmaker, Matchmaker,” “Sunrise, Sunset,” and “Do You Love Me?”, will be directed by Suellen Yates, with music by Brian Whitted.

Season packages are available here, with the New Year’s Eve Gala tickets here.

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Shea Carver
Shea Carver
Shea Carver is the editor in chief at Port City Daily. A UNCW alumna, Shea worked in the print media business in Wilmington for 22 years before joining the PCD team in October 2020. She specializes in arts coverage — music, film, literature, theatre — the dining scene, and can often be tapped on where to go, what to do and who to see in Wilmington. When she isn’t hanging with her pup, Shadow Wolf, tending the garden or spinning vinyl, she’s attending concerts and live theater.

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