2017-03-15 / Arts & Entertainment News

The Naples Players cue up a season for all in 2017-18

ALEXANDER ALEXANDER The Naples Players have cued up excitement, engagement and entertainment with a 2017-18 season of timeless musicals, re-invigorated classics and relevant contemporary works. Recently announced by Artistic Director Bryce Alexander, the lineup spans family musicals to “lean-in” dramas and disco divas to dueling nursinghome roommates.

“We’ll explore societal pressures like money, status and self-image and what we sacrifice to fit in,” Mr. Alexander says, adding theatergoers of every age and creed will have plenty to engage with. Here’s what audiences can look forward to:

¦ “Sister Act: The Musical,” June 29-July 30 in Blackburn Hall – When disco-diva Deloris Van Cartier witnesses a murder, she is put in protective custody in a convent, where she finds herself at odds with both the rigid lifestyle and uptight Mother Superior. Before long, she breathes new life into the church and community — and in doing so, blows her cover.

¦ “She Kills Monsters,” Oct. 11-Nov. 5 in Blackburn Hall – This high-octane dramatic comedy by Qui Nguyen transports audiences into the world of the “Dungeons & Dragons” playbook left behind by Tilly Evans when she dies suddenly at the age of 15. Packed with homicidal fairies, nasty ogres and some of the nerdiest and most heroic characters to be found outside of a video game, it’s a heart-pounding homage to the geek and warrior within us all.

¦ “Maple & Vine,” Oct. 25-Nov. 19 in the Tobye Studio – In this drama by Jordan Harrison, Katha and Ryu have become allergic to their 21st century lives. After they meet a charismatic man from a community of 1950s re-enactors, they forsake cellphones and sushi for cigarettes and Tupperware parties. In this compulsively authentic world, Katha and Ryu are surprised by what their new neighbors — and they themselves — are willing to sacrifice for happiness.

¦ “Miracle on 34th Street: The Musical,” Nov. 29-Dec. 23 in Blackburn Hall: When neighbor Fred Gailey tries to woo single mother Doris Walker by taking her 6-year-old daughter to see Santa Claus at Macy’s, Doris is not impressed. But when it turns out Macy’s Santa might be the real Kris Kringle, a wave of love spreads across New York City that melts even the most cynical of hearts.

¦ “Charles Ives Take Me Home,” Jan. 17-Feb. 11, 2018, in Blackburn Hall – This poignant comedy by Jessica Dickey explores dissonance, defense and devotion through the story of a father’s love of music and a daughter’s passion for basketball. The two are at odds, but thankfully they have modernist composer Charles Ives playing referee.

¦ “Rapture, Blister, Burn,” Feb. 7-March 4, 2018, in the Tobye Studio – Catherine and Gwen were grad school classmates who chose opposite paths after graduation. Catherine built a career as a rock-star academic, while Gwen built a home with her husband and children. Decades later, unfulfilled in contrasting ways, each covets the other’s life, commencing a dangerous game of musical chairs — with the prize being Gwen’s husband. With searing insight and trademark wit, this play by Gina Gionfriddo presents an unflinching look at gender politics in the wake of 20th-century feminist ideals.

¦ “The Taming of the Shrew,” Feb. 17-March 18, 2018, on The Baker Stage – Shakespeare’s classic tale of the brutish, fortune-hunting scoundrel Petruchio and his wealthy, shrewish wife Katharina will be performed as it was meant to be: outdoors on The Baker Stage.

¦ “The Music Man,” March 7-April 8, 2018, in Blackburn Hall – This Tony Award-winning musical comedy has been entertaining audiences since 1957 and is a family-friendly story to be shared with every generation. Follow fast-talking traveling salesman Harold Hill as he cons the people of River City, Iowa, into buying instruments and uniforms for a boys’ band that he vows to organize. When he falls for the librarian, his plans to skip town with the cash are foiled.

¦ “Kalamazoo,” March 28-April 22, 2018, in the Tobye Studio – Peg and Irv, two quirky but endearing baby boomers, bravely venture into the world of modern dating. But when these opposites attract, they discover love isn’t any easier the second time around. The romantic comedy by Michelle Kholos Brooks and Kelly Younger won the Riva Shiner Comedy Awards.

¦ “Ripcord,” April 25-May 20 in Blackburn Hall – David Lindsay-Abaire’s comedy takes place in a sunny room on an upper floor that’s prime real estate in the Bristol Place Senior Living Facility. When the cantankerous Abby is forced to share her quarters with new arrival Marilyn, she has no choice but to get rid of the infuriatingly chipper woman by any means necessary. A seemingly harmless bet between the old women quickly escalates into a dangerous game of one-upmanship that reveals not just the tenacity of these worthy opponents, but also deeper truths that each of them would rather remain hidden.

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Subscription packages for The Naples Players’ 2017-18 season are on sale now. Single tickets go on sale Sept. 1.

The current season wraps up with “My Fair Lady,” running through April 2 in Blackburn Hall, and with “These Shining Lives,” running March 22-April 15 in the Tobye Studio.

For tickets or more information, call the box office at 263-7990 or visit www.naplesplayers.org. ¦

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