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Cultural Park Theater gears up for Broadway season

By Staff | Jul 26, 2018

Cultural Park Theater is gearing up for its 56th Broadway Series season of musicals, plays and revues.

Season tickets and ticket-packages are on sale at the box office to ensure your place to all 10 performances spanning from this September to May of next year.

This season is shaping up to be an entertaining one, with some classic shows such as “The Wizard of Oz” and “Chicago” to be featured.

Executive Director of Cultural Park Theater, Michael Moran, is excited to kick off the new season and see the well-being of the theater thrive.

“We are looking forward to this season because we not only have a great lineup this year, but coming off of last year’s record sales, we want to see our theater audience continue to grow,” he said. “This year’s musicals “Chicago” and “Jesus Christ Superstar” have already been big favorites at our box office.”

The 10 shows to be featured in this season’s series are as follows:

* “The Wizard of Oz” Sept. 7-16

You’ll find there’s no place like home as Dorothy, a small-town Kansas teen finds herself transported to the land of Oz following a twister on her farm. She makes some friends along the way who decide to stick together and see the great and powerful Oz, but not if the Wicked Witch of the West can stop them first.

* “A Wedding in Tuscany” Oct. 5-14

The Italian American song book of the most popular songs of pop culture and classic music takes the stage in Cultural Park’s original musical revue.

* “Don’t Drink The Water” Oct. 26- Nov. 4

Behind the Iron Curtain in a European country, Axel Magee, the son of the American ambassador, is left in charge when his father leaves the embassy for business. An American family of tourists find themselves in hot water as they are on the run from the communist police who believe they are spies.

* “Cultural Park Theater’s Spectacular Christmas Revue” Dec. 12-16

A Christmas and family oriented original script from Cultural Park every year. Storylines usually include a family that is having an in-house crisis during the Christmas season. As the show progresses, they work through the crisis they are facing. They are light in nature, with a very happy ending and incorporates pop songs and Broadway tunes.

* “Jesus Christ Superstar” Jan. 11-20

This rock opera is loosely based on the Gospel’s accounts of the last week of Jesus’ life from the arrival of Jesus and his disciples in Jerusalem and ending with his crucifixion. The story depicts the struggle between Jesus and Judas as well as the relationship between Jesus and Mary Magdalene.

* “The Butler Did It” Feb. 1-10

A comedy that parodies every English mystery play ever written with an American flare. Miss Maple, organizes a clever weekend party, inviting detective writers to her spooky Ravenswood Manor where they are to play fictional characters. She has booby-trapped the house for all sort of amusing incidents. But what happens when a real murder takes place?

* “Chicago” March 1-10

Set in the roaring “jazz hot” 20’s, this musical tells the story of two murderesses in Cook County Jail. Velma has killed her husband and sister after finding out the two are sexually involved. Roxie murdered her lover she’d been cheating on her husband with. Velma finds help from fellow prisoner Mama Morton and lawyer Billy Flynn who finds a way to get Velma out and back into the showbiz world. What will Roxie have to say about that?

* “Ripcord” March 22-31

In the Bristol Place Assisted Living Facility, cantankerous Abby is forced to share her room with new arrival Marilyn. Abby is determined to get rid of the annoyingly optimistic woman by any means necessary. A bet quickly turns into a dangerous game of one-upmanship that reveals things about each woman they wish would be private.

* “Broken Hearts” April 5-14

A new musical 50’s and 60’s revue show that combines Cultural Park’s popular “Jersey Girls Revue” and “Brooklyn Boys Revue” into a new and fun highlight of their season.

* “Lend Me A Tenor” April 26- May 5

The biggest night in the history of the Cleveland Grand Opera Company and world-famous tenor Tito Merelli is nowhere to be found. Henry Saunders, the opera’s executive director is in a panic trying to figure out what to do. Merelli finally appears but it is apparent he is not exactly performance ready due to an awful stomach ache. Chaos ensues between Merelli and his wife, with Saunders daughter dragged into it. Merelli ingests tranquilizers unknowingly. The play unfolds into a riotous and unpredictable mash of mistaken identities and renewed love.

“Each year we form a play reading committee. It is their job to talk to actors, directors, patrons to see what productions they would most like to see in the upcoming year. Then they research availability and costs of doing the show and then refer their selections to our board for final approval,” Moran said of the determining factors when deciding which shows to put on.

He said the theater was thrilled to be able to put on a previously popular show, “Chicago”.

“We did ‘Chicago’ at the theater about six years ago to completely sold out houses. Our patrons have asked us ever since to get it back again. As soon as we saw the rights for the show become available we jumped at the chance and are looking forward to a new run for this great production,” Moran said. “Jesus Christ Superstar has been on our theater wish list for years and this year we just decided to go for it.”

Cultural Park Theater holds open auditions to the public if any thespians in the community want to scratch the acting bug.

“Cultural Park is a non profit community theater and we have open auditions for all of our productions,” Moran said. “We post them at the theater, on our website, Facebook page and box office.”

The theater is also looking to expand its directors’ circle and backstage force. They are currently interviewing new directors and set designers for the season.

“We not only are the oldest community theater in Lee County but the busiest as well,” Moran said. “We strive to bring the best performances of top notch plays musicals and concerts to our patrons each year.”

Moran added he is so thankful to patrons and sponsors of the theater for their support and promises that they will provide the best evening one can have with live theater.

Season packages are $150 for all 10 shows, Snowbird passes are $120 for eight shows and they offer a 10-ticket flex-pass for $155 where you get 10 tickets to use for any show in the Broadway Series excluding concerts.

Group rates are also available.

Shows are Friday and Saturday nights at 8 p.m. as well as matinee performances Saturdays and Sundays at 3 p.m..

Individual tickets are $21 for adults, $18 for seniors (60+), $15 for students (with ID), $12 for children (under 12) and $15 for cast members.

Pick them up at Cultural Park Theater Box Office Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. or by calling 239-772-5862.

Cultural Park Theater is at 528 Cultural Park Blvd. in Cape Coral.

Connect with this reporter on Twitter: @haddad_cj