The Niagara Regional Theatre Guild has announced its 91st season of community theater on the Niagara Frontier will include five shows:
The first show of the 2013-14 season will be "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum," a slapstick comedy with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and based on the book by Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart. It will be directed by Dawn Marcolini Newton of Grand Island in September through October. A poor Roman slave wishes to be free and his master agrees if the slave can fix it so the master marries the girl next door who is promised to a pompous Roman general. Unfortunately, others in the neighborhood seem to have different plans for the girl and the slave finds out gaining his freedom isn't so easy.
The second show is "Little Women (The Musical)", one of NRTG patrons' most requested shows. Based on the experiences of author Louisa May Alcott's own family, the adventures of Jo, Meg, Beth and Amy March during America's Civil War are timeless and deal with issues as relevant today as when they were written. In November 2013, Dan Zerpa of Buffalo will direct "Little Women."
The third show, the most requested show by NRTG patrons, is "The Lion In Winter," a historical drama written by James Goldman that will be directed by Les Bailey of Cheektowaga in February through March 2014. A drama, this is the classic story about Henry II, his wife Eleanor of Aquataine, his mistress Alias who is betrothed to his son, and his three sons Richard the Lionheart, Geoffrey and John, all of whom have a burning ambition to take Henry II's throne. Surprisingly humorous dialog combined with a wickedly clever plotting with intrigue will keep the audience guessing the outcome.
The fourth show is "Damn Yankees," a classic musical written by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross and based on the book by George Abbott and Douglass Wallop. The show will be directed by Fran Newton of Grand Island in April 2014. An overzealous fan of the Washington Senators baseball team sells his soul to the devil so his team can win. The conflict between the fan and the devil will have you smiling and humming such songs as Broadway gems as "Whatever Lola Wants, Lola Gets."
The last show and the second-most requested show by NRTG patrons is "You Can't Take It With You" written by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart. This heartwarming and hilarious comedy with a great message will be directed by Gary Gaffney of Amherst in May 2014. A family's patriarch has a philosophy of "Do what makes you happy" with family members all doing their own "unique happiness" until a respectable son of a Wall Street bigwig falls for one of the female members of the family.
Season tickets are available now through the last performance of "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum."
The productions will take place at The Ellicott Creek Playhouse, 530 Ellicott Creek Road, Tonawanda. Since moving to the new theater, record attendance has been recorded including sell-out performances. Patrons are encouraged to purchase season tickets as early as possible. Call 716-284-6358 for information, reservations and tickets, or visit www.niagaratheatre.com.