2017 Theatre Season

RITZ SCHOOL FOR PERFORMING ARTS

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2017 STUDENT SHOWCASE: MAY 15, 2017 7 p.m. 

The Ritz School for the Performing Arts will be hosting its 2017 Student Showcase at the Ritz Theatre at 7 p.m., May 15. Tickets are $5.

“I would encourage people to come see this performance because the talent is going to be mind boggling,” said Artistic Director David Hope. “I’ve spent 40 years working with high school kids and anyone who thinks they aren’t capable of turning in incredible performances are uninformed.”

One of the unique aspects of the Student Showcase is the variety of performances, ranging from drama to comedy, Broadway music, singing and dance.

Hope added that it’s important to support the youth as they pursue performing arts.

“We’re giving our students a wonderful education that would otherwise not be available,” he said. “They’re the future of our community’s performing arts. If we want to continue to have theatre in our community, we must support our future participants.”

Enrollment in the Ritz School for the Performing Arts this year is the program’s largest so far.

Artistic director David Hope said 40 students were accepted, a 20 percent increase over last year.

“When you consider the number of students we’ve graduated, this is the largest beginning class we’ve had and they’re all so talented,” Hope said. 

Participating students in the Ritz School for the Performing Arts are enrolled at Brooks, Cherokee, Colbert County, Muscle Shoals, Phil Campbell, Red Bay and Wilson High Schools as well as home school students. 

The Ritz School for the Performing Arts is a year-long performing arts school for students whose schools do not offer full time performing arts classes. 


Center Stage

 

The Dixie Swim Club: June 1-3, 8 & 9

 Show Time: 7:35 pm

 by Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope, Jamie Wooten

 Directed by Andrew Maples and Laura Connolly

 Directors Andrew Maples and Laura Connolly return to the Ritz stage in June to direct “The Dixie Swim Club,” the story of five Southern women who recharge their relationship by gathering for a long weekend every August.

“It tells the story of how these five women navigate their way through life and their friendships since college,” Maples said. “They really are five best friends who rely heavily on one another to go through life.”

Maples said these kinds of plays are his favorites. 

“The characters are hilarious at times, but there is some part of every character that someone can identify with,” he said. “They’re telling such a personal story about friendship and what we choose to make of our family.”

 


A Comedy of Tenors: August 24-26 & 31, Sept. 1

Show Time: 7:35

By Ken Ludwig

Directed by Michael Green

Get ready! The fast-paced farce “A Comedy of Tenors” is coming to the Ritz Theatre, directed by Michael Green.

The play is the sequel to the Ritz’ 1992 production, “Lend Me A Tenor,” also directed by Green. 

When he discovered playwright Ken Ludwig penned a sequel to the show, Green said he had to jump on board.

“I’m a big fan of comedies,” Green said. “Musicals and comedies are the best things to do in a theatre. There is nothing better than hearing people in the audience laugh.”

Auditions for the Center Stage production of Ken Ludwig’s “A Comedy of Tenors” will be held at 7 p.m. on Monday, June 26 and Tuesday, June 27 in the Annex of the Ritz Theatre on 3rd Street in Sheffield. For more information about auditions, call 256-383-0533.

 

Opal: October 5-8

Show Time: 7:35

By Robert Lindsey-Nassif

Directed by Darren Butler

This fall, Darren Butler will undertake the Off Broadway hit “Opal,” winner of the Richard Rodgers and AT&T award. 

The musical is written by Robert Lindsey-Nassif, composer and lyricist of “Honkey Tonk Highway.”

Set in the early 1900s, the story is based on the real-life diary of a young girl who is orphaned in a shipwreck and adopted by a lone Oregon farmer. 

“ ‘Opal’ is a story about hope,”
Butler said. “I saw it Off-Broadway and fell in love with the story and music. It’s a show about endurance, the triumph of the human spirit, and love. It’s the sort of show that will make you laugh, bring a tear to your eye, and it will definitely warm your heart.”

The New York Times called “Opal”  “Splendid … lovely music draws one into a place of magical transformations. It is a rare achievement.”

Audition dates for Opal to be announced at a later date. 

 
 

SummerStock at the Ritz

 

Fiddler on the Roof: July 20-22, 27 & 29
Show Time: 7:35 p.m. and 2:05 p.m. on Sunday
Music by Jerome Robbins & Harold Prince 
Directed by David Hope. Music Director Gene Anne Gifford

Since it was first staged in 1965, “Fiddler on the Roof” has enjoyed a UK production, a film and numerous revivals on Broadway and the West End. 

“Fiddler has been on my list of musicals that I’d like to do for several years,” said SummerStock artistic director David Hope.  “It’s an absolutely wonderful show.” 

The music of “Fiddler” includes classic songs such as “Matchmaker, Matchmaker,” “If I Were A Rich Man,” “To Life,” “Sunrise, Sunset,” and “Do You Love Me?”

Hope said the show has wonderful music and characters with a plot that is emotional and fun. 

He added that the show is just as pertinent today as it was in the 1960s. 

“The personal story line deals with a man named Tevye and his five daughters,” Hope said. “His three oldest daughters are at the age when they want to find a young man and get married. But Jewish tradition says that the father picks the husband for his daughter. The young people, as young people always do, are going against the tradition.” 

But Tevye has a hard time dealing with that. 

“It’s that battle Tevye has: I love my daughters, but I also love the Jewish religion, how can I go against everything I believe, and again how can I go against my daughters?” 

There is also a political and social side of the plot where the Russian Tsar is moving all the Jews out of Russia. 

“The plight of immigrants and refugees of today is very relatable to the Jewish communities in Russia in 1905,” Hope said. 

SummerStock at the Ritz will stage “Fiddler on the Roof” at the Ritz Theatre at 7:35 p.m., July 20 - 22, 27 and 28.


Event Calendar

Friday April 28 @ 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Veda Reed solo show
Sunday May 21 @ 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Luminosity: The Power of Pastel exhibit opening
Monday May 22
Luminosity: The Power of Pastel

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