2018 Theatre Season
2018 Center Stage
First Baptist of Ivy Gap
7:35 p.m., April 19 - 21, 26 & 27
Written by Ron Osborne
During World War II, six women from First Baptist of Ivy Gap roll bandages and plan the church’s 75th anniversary celebration; the wise-cracking pastor’s wife, a mother whose son is ghting in the Pacific, a rebellious organist, a woman who dreams of a career in Hollywood, the shy newcomer with a secret, and an influential Baptist with a secret of her own. Twenty-five years later, the “First Baptist Six” reunite with revelations formed over a quarter of a century that shake relationships.
“A beautiful Southern comedy that will keep you in stitches beginning to end.” — Elizabethton Star
The Marvelous Wonderettes
7:35 p.m., October 4 - 6, 11 & 12
Written by Roger Bean
It’s 1958. Betty Jean, Cindy Lou, Missy and Suzy serenade us with classic 1950s hits such as Lollipop, Dream Lover, Stupid Cupid, and Lipstick on Your Collar. Their hopes and dreams are as big as their crinoline skirts! At their ten-year reunion, we learn about the highs and lows they have experienced during the past ten years. We are charmed to find that no matter what life throws their way, they will conquer it together! Featuring over 30 classic ’50s and ’60s hits, "The Marvelous Wonderettes" will keep you smiling in this must-take musical trip down memory lane!
“Effervescent and irresistible! An utter charm bomb!”
Declarations: An Evening with Thomas Jefferson
7:35 p.m., Oct. 25-27
With Bill Barker as Thomas Jefferson
The author of the Declaration of Independence, the first Secretary of State, the second Vice President and the third President of our United States will visit the Ritz in October! Thomas Jefferson is expertly reenacted by Bill Barker, one of Colonial Williamsburg’s star actor. Audiences will be transported back in time to feel and hear what it would be like to mingle with a Founding Father. Barker has performed at the White House, the Palace of Versailles and throughout the U.S., U.K. and France.
“Barker both looks like the former president and knows his writings so well that to confront him is to feel convincingly like one is debating the real Jefferson.” — U.S. News
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SummerStock at the Ritz
7:35 p.m., July 19-21, 26 & 27
Written by Rodgers & Hammerstein
Rodgers & Hammerstein’s first collaboration remains, in many ways, their most innovative. Set in a Western Indian territory just after the turn of the century, the high-spirited rivalry between the local farmers and cowboys provides the colorful background against which Curly, a handsome cowboy, and Laurey, a winsome farm girl, play out their love story. Winner of two Academy Awards for music, New York Drama League’s Best Musical of the Century, four Laurence Olivier Awards, two Tony Awards and one Emmy. The ageless music includes Oh, What A Beautiful Mornin’, The Surrey With the Fringe on Top, People Will Say We’re In Love and Oklahoma.
“If ever a show earned its exclamation point, it’s this one!” — Wall Street Journal
Ritz School Student Schowcase 2018
7 p.m., May 17
$5 general admission
Featuring young performers from across the region
The 2018 Ritz School for the Performing Arts Student Showcase will be 7 p.m., May 17 at the Ritz Theatre, 111 W. Third Street, Sheffield. Tickets are $5 general admission.
The showcase includes acting, vocal performance and dance performed by students from Brooks, Central, Colbert County, Colbert Heights, Central, Muscle Shoals, Phil Campbell, Red Bay and Rogers.
“This performance gives our students the opportunity to get up in front of an audience and practice what they’ve been studying,” said David Hope, artistic director and acting instructor. “There’s nothing like performing in front of a live audience, so it’s a reward for them after a long school year and an opportunity to demonstrate their artistic growth.”
The student showcase will feature dance numbers from “La La Land” and “Hairspray,” Broadway vocal medleys and various scenes and monologues that highlight students’ acting skills.
The Ritz School provides a high level of training for high school students who have a strong interest in, and aptitude for, the performing arts. Classes are designed to develop and prepare students to perform in solo and group performances. Instructors at the school include vocal instructor Gene Anne Gifford and dance instructor Madeline Hammond.
“Obviously, our students look forward to performing in the showcase, and we all work a little harder when we know that we are going to be in front of an audience,” Hope said. “Because we only get them once a week, it takes them a year to get to this point, but it’s always exciting for them. They know it’s time to deliver.”