131 Elm Street, West Springfield MA 01089 • 413.747.7797 • Box Office: 10am-5pm M/Th/F, 10am-6pm Tu/Wed, 10am-1pm Sat
Locally-produced professional live theater since 1997
by Marsha Norman, with music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown
Musical • September 7 – October 22, 2017
This musical originated up the road at the Williamstown Theatre Festival before moving to Broadway, where it garnered several Tony awards, and is adapted from Robert James Waller's 1992 book — an incredible first novel that landed on the New York Times Bestseller List and stayed there for three years before being made into a film starring Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood. The story revolves around Francesca Johnson, an Italian war bride now living in Winterset, Iowa in 1965. She has had eighteen years of a largely unfulfilling farm life, and when her husband Bud and two teenage children leave Iowa to attend a national 4H fair, she looks forward to a weekend free from responsibility. But then a stranger named Robert Kincaid, a photographer for National Geographic, drives up seeking directions to the covered bridges he's been assigned to photograph, and from that moment both of their lives will change.
Comedy • November 2 – December 10, 2017
A Pulitzer Prize winner, Crimes of the Heart is set in Hazelhurst, Mississippi, in 1974, five years after Hurricane Camille. The three Magrath sisters — Lenny, Meg, and Babe — have reunited at Old Granddaddy's house, home of the family patriarch who is living out his last hours in the local hospital. Lenny, the oldest sister, is unmarried at thirty and facing fewer and fewer marital prospects. Meg, the middle sister, has come back after a failed singing career in California. Babe, the youngest, is out on bail after having shot her husband in the stomach. They are joined by Chick, a priggish first cousin; Doc, who is Meg's old boyfriend who still carries the torch for her; and Barnette Lloyd, the awkward young lawyer determined to keep Babe out of jail while helpless not to fall in love with her. As one critic put it, "It's a play with heart, wit, and zany passion."
ALABAMA STORY by Kenneth Jones
Drama • January 4 – February 11, 2018
Alabama Story introduces the little-known true story of the State Librarian of Alabama, Emily Wheelock Reed, who was persecuted for protecting books in the Jim Crow South. It has been hailed as a social justice drama that's a "vest-pocket cousin" to To Kill A Mockingbird. In 1959, Garth Williams, a well-known writer and illustrator from the East Coast, has just published a children's book entitled The Rabbit's Wedding, in which a black rabbit marries a white rabbit. State Senator E. W. Higgins is outraged, certain that the book promotes race-mixing, and mounts a crusade to have it removed from the shelves and banned. Described as a "love letter to reading", productions have garnered both critical praise and standing ovations wherever it's been produced.
OUTSIDE MULLINGAR by John Patrick Shanley
Drama • February 22 – April 1, 2018
From the author of Doubt and Moonstruck comes this lovely story set in the midlands of Ireland. Anthony and Rosemary are two lovelorn neighboring farmers who haven't got a clue when it comes to love. Anthony's father Tony and Rosemary's mother Aoife have been locked in a bitter land feud. Rosemary has been romantically interested in Anthony for all of her life, but he is shy and unaware of her feelings. He also doesn't like the daily grind of farming, and his father is threatening to leave the farm to a nephew from America. For those hopless singletons to find happiness, they will have to overcome the land feud, familial rivalries, and their own romantic fears. The story is a tenderhearted portrait full of dark humor and poetic prose that reminds us it's never too late to take a chance on love.
by Jo Swerling & Abe Burrows, with music and lyrics by Frank Loesser
Musical • April 12 – May 27, 2018
For years we've wanted to revive an old-fashioned classic Broadway musical, and there could be none better than Guys and Dolls. Inspired by two short stories by Damon Runyon, it opened on Broadway in 1950 and ran for 1,200 performances, willing the Tony Award for Best Musical. The Runyon stories had been written decades earlier and featured gangsters, gamblers, and others from the New York underworld, all of whom had a unique slang way of communicating. Nathan Detroit is a gambling man who runs an illegal floating crap game, but he's being chased by local policeman Lieutenant Brannigan. The one likely spot left for his game is the Biltmore Garage, but he has to come up with $1,000 as a security deposit — so he turns to his friend Sky Masterson and proposes a bet he cannot lose: Sky has to convince prim missionary Sarah Brown to have dinner with him ... in Havana! A favorite of audiences everywhere, Guys and Dolls has been called "the perfect musical comedy".
For tickets, call (413) 747-7797