CROSSVILLE, Tenn. – Cumberland County Playhouse’s 2016 season offers a variety of entertaining escapes for everyone. From a magical chocolate factory to an underwater kingdom, to a romantic Greek island – and a dozen other locales – the Playhouse’s new season looks to be one of its most exciting lineups ever.
“We’re thrilled to announce next year’s lineup,” says Associate Producing Director Bryce McDonald. “It’s filled with some of the biggest titles to have appeared on Broadway in recent years. We’ve also secured the rights to new titles by the authors of some of the Playhouse’s biggest hits, along with bringing back the perennial favorites, Smoke on the Mountain and A Sanders Family Christmas.”
The Playhouse’s 2016 Season:
Church Basement Ladies: Escape to beautiful rural Minnesota with this celebration of the church basement kitchen and the women who work there! Laugh along with these four unforgettable women as they organize the food and solve the problems of a rural church in 1965. They stave off potential disasters, share and debate recipes, instruct the young, and keep the Pastor on course while thoroughly enjoying (or at least tolerating) each other as the true “steel magnolias” of the church. Witness the church year as it unfolds from below the house of God! January 16 through March 25, Rated G, sponsored by Crossville® Tile Outlet Store.
Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka: Escape to a magical world of sheer deliciousness as this timeless story of the world-famous candy man and his quest to find an heir comes to chocolate-covered life! Our kids, teens and volunteers will light up the stage in this captivating adaptation of Roald Dahl’s fantastical tale. Featuring the enchanting songs from the 1971 film starring Gene Wilder and new songs by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley, Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka is a scrumpdiddlyumptious musical guaranteed to delight everyone’s sweet tooth! February 6 through March 4, Rated G, sponsored by Dr. Anthony Wilson.
The Nerd: Escape all your cares with this side-splitting comedy! A young architect who is visited by a man he’s never met but who saved his life in Vietnam—the visitor turning out to be an incredibly inept, hopelessly bumbling “nerd” who outstays his welcome with a vengeance. From Larry Shue, the author of the smash hit The Foreigner, this show is sure to tickle your funny bone and surprise you with a “twist” that you’ll never see coming! March 11 through April 16, Rated PG, sponsored by Stanley Bise, M.D.
The Sparkley Clean Funeral Singers: Escape to quaint, quiet Ashland City, TN with this hilarious new musical! Daughter Junie inherits the job of taking over the family business, tending to Dad (who’s having a hard time remembering things) and keeping an eye on younger sister Lashley. Junie’s dream of being a country singer is put on hold until the town Pastor asks the sisters to write and perform personal send-offs for the dearly departed. Playwright Lori Fischer (Barbara’s Blue Kitchen) brings us the Southern premiere of this brand new heart-felt, laughter-filled musical comedy. April 1 through May 28, Rated PG, sponsored by Bilbrey Funeral Home.
Southern Fried Nuptials: Escape to New Edinburgh, Mississippi once again with a new offering from the authors of Southern Fried Funeral! The Frye family is back and this time one of them is getting married. Or maybe not! The engagement of Atticus Van Leer and Harlene Frye has been on again, off again more times than they can count. Now half the town has been invited, the dress has been fitted, the flowers have been ordered and the gifts are piling up in the living room. Will they or won’t they? April 22 through June 10, Rated G, The Beef & Barrel and Red’s Ale House.
Elemental: Forces of Nature: Escape to the realm of the elemental forces of nature! Whether wind, earth, fire or water we have a very real fascination with the elements. Join the talented students and teachers from our Triple Threat Performance Education Program, sponsored by Vianney E. Villaruz, M.D., Cardiology CMG-CMM, for their magnificent interpretations of the four elements of the cosmos! May 13 & 14, Rated G, sponsored by Keith & Carol Pontius.
Smoke on the Mountain: Mount Pleasant, North Carolina is the setting for this down-home country escape. The enthusiastic new minister of Mount Pleasant Baptist has enlisted the Sanders Family for the church’s first-ever Saturday Night Gospel Sing. Between singing and playing two dozen rousing bluegrass songs, the family shares their witness. As one thing after another goes awry, they reveal their true – and hilariously imperfect – natures. 23rd consecutive season at the Playhouse! June 3 through July 29, Rated G, sponsored by Cracker Barrel Old Country Store.
The Little Mermaid: Escape to a magical kingdom under the sea, where the beautiful young mermaid Ariel longs to leave her ocean home to live in the world above. Based on one of Hans Christian Andersen’s most beloved stories and the classic animated film, Disney’s The Little Mermaid is a hauntingly beautiful love story for the ages. This fishy fable will capture your heart with its irresistible songs including “Under the Sea,” “Kiss the Girl,” and “Part of Your World.” June 17 through August 28, Rated G, sponsored by Plateau Pediatrics.
Mamma Mia!: Escape to a stunning Greek island paradise with the ultimate feel-good show! Straight from Broadway, over 54 million people all around the world have fallen in love with MAMMA MIA! On the eve of her wedding, a daughter’s quest to discover the identity of her father brings 3 men from her mother’s past back to the island they last visited 20 years ago. The magic of ABBA’s timeless songs propels this enchanting tale of love, laughter and friendship, and everyone’s having the time of their lives! July 15 through September 9, Rated G, co-sponsored by Cookeville Regional Medical Center & Fairfield Glade Resort.
Lend Me A Tenor: Escape to a luxurious hotel in the in the 1930s in this madcap screwball comedy! World-famous opera star Tito Merelli, arrives in Cleveland, Ohio and passes out. Mistaking him for dead, the opera manager taps his hapless assistant Max to suit up and replace the divo. Meanwhile, the tenor’s jealous wife, his female co-star, Max’s girlfriend and the head of the opera guild are all on the scene fighting for the star’s attention. From Ken Ludwig, author of The Fox on the Fairway. August 5 through September 22, Rated PG-13, sponsored by Uplands Village.
The Secret Garden: Escape to the windswept English moors with this enchanting musical! Based on the novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden is the magical tale of a young orphan who discovers an enchanted garden, softens the heart of a lonely recluse and rekindles a family’s love. With music by Sharon Burgett, lyrics by Diana Matterson & Sue Beckwith-Smith, and book and additional lyrics by Jim Crabtree, this beautiful show is one for the whole family! September 16 through October 23, Rated G, co-sponsored by Beltone Hearing Aid Center and Cumberland Medical Center/Covenant Health.
The Addams Family: Escape the mundane in this magnificently macabre new musical comedy! In this original story, the Addams family is put to the test when outsiders come to dinner, hurling Gomez, Morticia, Wednesday, Pugsley, Uncle Fester, Grandmama and Lurch headlong into a night that will change the family forever. This musical extravaganza has all the fun you would expect from America’s first family of fright. September 30 through November 12, Rated PG, co-sponsored by Cumberland County Bank and Pink Zebra.
A Christmas Story: Escape to a bygone era with the Broadway musical comedy based on the classic 1983 movie! In 1940’s Indiana, a bespectacled boy named Ralphie has a big imagination and one wish for Christmas–a Red Ryder BB Gun. A kooky leg lamp, outrageous pink bunny pajamas, a cranky department store Santa and a triple-dog-dare to lick a freezing flagpole are just a few of the obstacles that stand between Ralphie and his Christmas dream. November 4 through December 18, Rated PG, sponsored by M. Stewart Galloway, M.D., Janis L. Holt, M.D., Cumberland Eye Care.
A Sanders Family Christmas: Escape to the snow-capped Smoky Mountains with the heartwarming sequel to Connie Ray and Alan Bailey’s wildly successful bluegrass gospel musical Smoke on the Mountain! It’s December 24, 1941, and America is going to war. So is Dennis Sanders of the Sanders Family Singers. Join Pastor Mervin Oglethorpe and the rest of the Sanders Family as they send Dennis off with hilarious and touching stories and twenty-five Southern Gospel Christmas favorites. November 18 through December 22, Rated G, sponsored by Stonehaus Winery.
To learn more about these shows, or order a season brochure or season tickets, along with tickets for all shows and concerts, call (931) 484-5000, or visit www.ccplayhouse.com. Tickets and information are also available for Southern Stars Symphonic Brass and other events. All CCP productions are made possible through sponsor support, with additional support provided by the Tennessee Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Here’s video from CCP’s season announcement:
Currently at the Playhouse: The Foreigner (pictured at left), through November 6, rated G, co-sponsored by Dr. Anthony Wilson and Stanley Bise, M.D. and Inlaws, Outlaws, and Other People (That Should Be Shot), through December 12, rated G, sponsored by Uplands Village.
Upcoming: Scrooge, November 13 through December 19, rated G, sponsored by M. Stewart Galloway, M.D., Janis L. Holt, M.D., Cumberland Eye Care, and A Sanders Family Christmas, November 20 through December 22, rated G, sponsored by Stonehaus Winery.
*Images and video courtesy the Cumberland County Playhouse.