Director's Preview with Scott Ford

Resident Director Scott Ford gives eager audiences a glimpse at the town of Gilead, Wisconsin where our Fall musical, "The Spitfire Grill," is set. Take a look and grab your tickets now! 

 About The Spitfire Grill

Percy Talbott, a feisty parolee, follows her dreams from the pages of an old travel book to a small town in Wisconsin and finds a place for herself working at Hannah’s Spitfire Grill. It is for sale, but there are no takers for the only eatery in the depressed town. Newcomer Percy suggests to Hannah that she raffle it off. Entry fees are one hundred dollars and the best essay on why one would want the grill wins. Soon, mail is arriving by the wheelbarrow full and things are definitely cookin’.

The New Yorker called it “touching and memorable,” while Variety proclaims “Poignant and spine-chilling! A show with universal appeal! The score is exciting, infectious, and lively!” This soulful and transcendent musical is full of soaring melodies, sure to send you home feeling warm all over.

Welcome to Lyric Arts' new website!

        Andrew LEshovsky         External Relations Manager

        Andrew LEshovsky
        External Relations Manager

Hey friends! We are so excited to invite you to our new website. We decided it was time to give ourselves a new look. We wanted to bring a more bold and colorful look to our website, offering you more function, more information, and more fun! Make sure to check out our newly redesigned past productions page, our reformatted blog, and find out how to donate to Lyric Arts in a more informational section of our ways to give page! We've made it even easier to sign up for volunteering opportunities, Page & Stage, theater tours, and a lot more. Take a look around for lots of surprises like an updated look to our education and workshop pages, artist opportunities, audition information, a new media room, and costume rental pages.

We've got all the great things the old site had too, like stage production pages and concert details, so you can see what's coming up on the Main Street Stage. You can still buy tickets online, register for workshops, and make a donation! Soon you'll be able to purchase a season subscription or concert package, so stay tuned.

We hope you enjoy the new experience and be sure to check us out on your smart phone, tablet, and more! We're mobile friendly now...not just the usual friendly. We hope we'll see you for The Explorers Club, opening September 11th

See you soon!
Andrew

Dig Deeper—Gaily Breaking New Ground!

The Explorers Club headquarters, New York City, 2009

The Explorers Club headquarters, New York City, 2009

In just two weeks, Lyric Arts will kick off its 2015-2016 season with the ridiculously funny farce, The Explorers Club.  The play is set in London, 1876 and the prestigious Explorers Club is in crisis:  their acting president wants to admit a woman, and their bartender is terrible.  True, this female candidate is brilliant, but the decision to let in a woman could shake the very foundation of the British Empire, and how do you make such an important decision without a decent drink? 

Getrude Bell, British explorer, (image from Letters From Baghdad)

Getrude Bell, British explorer, (image from Letters From Baghdad)

To give you a sense of the historical context of this premise, the society that inspired this production, The Explorers Club, founded in New York City in 1904, accepted its first women in 1981. The Royal Society, perhaps the world’s most renowned fellowship of scientists, made its debut in 1660 and did not admit a woman until 1945.  Canada’s Royal Society barred women until 1938, and France’s Academy of Sciences would not elect a woman to full membership until 1979, blackballing Marie Curie along the way.  A recent study concluded that female playwrights are no more produced on Broadway than they were a century ago.  In developing Phyllida’s character, playwright Nell Benjamin drew from her own life experiences breaking ground in a male-dominated profession and from female adventurers like Nellie Bly, Isabella Bird and Gertrude Bell. 

The modern-day Explorers Club is a multi-disciplinary society dedicated to the advancement of field research and to preserving the instinct to explore.  The Club provides expedition resources and maintains Research Collections to assist those engaged in exploration and scientific research.  The Club actively encourages public interest in exploration and the sciences through its public lectures program and other events, such as their infamous Annual Dinner honoring accomplishments in exploration. 

Fried cockroach appetizer, The Explorers Club Annual Dinner in New York City, 2014

Fried cockroach appetizer, The Explorers Club Annual Dinner in New York City, 2014

The Dinner is regularly attended by notable names such as astronaut Buzz Aldrin,  documentary photographer and expedition leader Ally Alegra, and astronomer Neil deGrasse Tyson.  The dress code is "black tie or exploration attire” and, although none of the animals eaten are endangered, the menu is absolutely wild.  Items have included deep-fried earthworms, python patties, roasted kangaroo, cockroaches with honey, and ice pops topped with crickets.

Although our production won't have such feral fare, there will be plenty of wild antics and outrageous characters lampooning the best and worst of the golden age of British exploration and imperialism.  See you at the theater!

Announcing our 2015-2016 season!

SeasonAnnounceFacebook1516.jpg

Last night we unveiled our 2015-2016 season, and we couldn't be more excited! Keep an eye out for more information coming soon about season tickets and more, here on our website and on our Facebook page. We've got big things in store and we can't wait to move forward with you!

The Explorer's Club
September 11—27, 2015

By Nell Benjamin
Directed by: Matt McNabb, Resident Director

The place is London, 1879. The prestigious Explorer’s Club is in crisis: their acting president wants to admit a woman, and their bartender is terrible. True, this female candidate is brilliant, beautiful, and has discovered a legendary Lost City, but the decision to let in a woman could shake the very foundation of the British Empire, and how do you make such a decision without a decent drink? Grab your safety goggles for some very mad science involving deadly cobras, irate Irishmen and the occasional airship.

First performed in the summer of 2013 at the Manhattan Theatre Club II, The Explorer’s Club is a freewheeling farce lauded by Variety as “wildly funny” and “comic gold” by the New York Post. A rare comedy that fulfills its mandate: to do nothing more than make you laugh–and it surely will.

The Spitfire Grill
October 16—November 1, 2015

By Fred Alley, James Valq, and Lee David Zoltoff
Directed by: Scott Ford, Resident Director

Percy Talbott, a feisty parolee, follows her dreams from the pages of an old travel book to a small town in Wisconsin and finds a place for herself working at Hannah's Spitfire Grill. It is for sale, but there are no takers for the only eatery in the depressed town. Newcomer Percy suggests to Hannah that she raffle it off. Entry fees are one hundred dollars and the best essay on why one would want the grill wins. Soon, mail is arriving by the wheelbarrow full and things are definitely cookin'.

The New Yorker called it “touching and memorable,” while Variety proclaims “Poignant and spine-chilling! A show with universal appeal! The score is exciting, infectious, and lively!” This soulful and transcendent musical is full of soaring melodies, sure to send you home feeling warm all over.

From Home for the Holidays
November 20—December 20, 2015

By John Patrick Bray
Directed by: Craig Johnson

Stay tuned for more details about this exciting holiday show—one that will not only be a world premiere piece, but one written especially for Lyric Arts!

“Mainly for Kids Production”: Laura Ingalls Wilder Christmas
December 3—19, 2015

By Laurie Brooks
Directed by: Kari Steinbach

In their poorest winter ever, when the crops have been devastated by locusts and the family must deal with the death of baby Freddie, Charles Ingalls backtracks his family to Burr Oak, Iowa, to take over the running of a hotel. When wealthy Mrs. Starr asks for Laura as a companion to read to her in the afternoons, Laura is overjoyed to be invited into such a fine house, but when she overhears Mrs. Starr offer to adopt Laura, she is certain that Ma and Pa will give her up to look after the other children. As Christmas morning approaches, Laura is faced with a decision: Will she choose what she believes is best for the family or will she find a way to stay with Pa, Ma, Mary and Carrie?

This original play presents the poignant story of the "missing" two years in the life of the Ingalls family—the only substantial period that Laura chose not to write about in her Little House books. A Laura Ingalls Wilder Christmas tells a story of healing that celebrates the importance of enduring family bonds.

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
January 8—25, 2016

By Rebecca Feldman, Music by Jay Reiss, Book by Rachel Sheinkin
Directed by: To Be Announced

An eclectic group of six mid-pubescents vie for the spelling championship of a lifetime. While candidly disclosing hilarious and touching stories from their home life, the tweens spell their way through a series of [potentially made-up] words hoping to never hear the soul-crushing, pout-inducing, life un-affirming "ding" of the bell that signals a spelling mistake. Six spellers enter; one speller leaves! At least the losers get a juice box.

Using competition to define themselves from their crazy families and struggling to escape childhood, their search is overseen by grown-ups who never completely succeeded in escaping it themselves. A nominee for six Tony awards in 2005, and winner of two, this delightful comedy is fast-paced and loved by many.

"Theater for Young Performers" Production: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
February 19—28, 2016

By Deborah Lynn Frockt (Adapted from the original works of Lewis Carroll)
Directed by: Cassandra Proball

It’s a very ordinary and rather boring day for Alice until she spots a White Rabbit with a pocket watch whizzing through a world that’s beyond imagination! Her insatiable curiosity draws her into a madcap adventure in which she meets remarkable characters like the Caterpillar, Talking Flowers, a Duchess and her Cook, a Gryphon and Mock Turtle, a Mad Hatter and a March Hare. When Alice finally catches up with the White Rabbit in the Queen’s Court, she’s in for her biggest adventure of all. In its inaugural year, this “Theater for Young Performers” production is a journey through the wonder-filled world of Alice and a delight for the adventurous of any age.

Shrek the Musical
March 18—April 22, 2016

By David Lindsay-Abaire, Music by Jeanine Tesori
Directed by Matt McNabb, Resident Director
Music Direction by Louis Berg-Arnold

In a faraway kingdom turned upside down, things get ugly when an unseemly ogre — not a handsome prince — shows up to rescue a feisty princess. Throw in a donkey who won’t shut up, a bad guy with a SHORT temper, a cookie with an attitude and over a dozen other fairy tale misfits, and you’ve got the kind of mess that calls for a real hero. Luckily, there’s one on hand…and his name is Shrek.

Based on the Oscar®-winning DreamWorks film that started it all, Shrek The Musical brings the hilarious story of everyone’s favorite ogre to dazzling life in an all-singing, all-dancing extravaganza to the stage.

Anatomy of Gray
April 22—May 8, 2016

by Jim Leonard, Jr.
Directed by Scott Ford, Resident Director

The award-winning author of The DivinersAnd They Dance Real Slow in Jackson, and Crow and Weasel describes his newest play as "A children's story for adults." When June's father dies, she prays for a healer to come to the small town of Gray, so that no one will ever suffer again; the next thing she knows, there's a tornado, and a man in a balloon blows into town claiming to be a doctor.

At first, the new doctor cures anything and everything, but soon the town's preacher takes ill with a mysterious plague. And then the plague begins to spread. Set in Indiana during the late 1800's, Anatomy of Gray explores death, loss, love, and healing in a unique coming of age story.

The Odd Couple
June 3—19, 2016

By Neil Simon
Directed by Daniel Ellis

It’s a night of cards at Oscar Madison’s apartment. And if the mess is any indication, it's no wonder that his wife left him. Late to arrive is Felix Unger, who has just been separated from his wife. Fastidious, depressed and none too tense, Felix seems suicidal, but as the action unfolds Oscar becomes the one with murder on his mind when the clean-freak and the slob ultimately decide to room together and hilarity ensues.

Following its premiere on Broadway in 1965, and giving birth to a successful film and television series of the same name, The Odd Couple offers some of the funniest dialogue ever written and is a laugh a second in this hit Broadway play.

Nice Work If You Can Get It
July 8—August 7, 2016

By Joe DiPietro Music by Gershwin & Gershwin
Directed by Adrian Balbontin

It's the Roaring Twenties and a cast of outrageous characters gather in New York to celebrate the wedding of wealthy playboy Jimmy Winter. But things don't go as planned when the playboy meets Billie Bendix, a bubbly and feisty bootlegger who melts his heart.

The champagne flows and the gin fizzes in the hilarious, Tony®-winning musical comedy complete with extravagant dance numbers, glittering costumes and an unlikely love story. Featuring a treasure trove of George and Ira Gershwin’s most beloved, instantly recognizable hits, including, “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off,” “Someone to Watch Over Me” and “Fascinating Rhythm,” it’s a sparkling tale with laughter, romance and high-stepping Broadway magic!