By Scooter MacMillan, Springer Opera HouseJuly 17, 2013
FORT BENNING, Ga., (July 17, 2013) -- The Springer is embarking on the biggest season in Columbus theater history. Not only will the new Dorothy W. McClure Theatre open in October with the Springer Children's Theatre production of Pinkalicious: The Musical Oct. 2-13, but the 2013-14 season is going to be the most amazing season ever in the Greater Chattahoochee Valley area.
The State Theatre of Georgia's 2013-14 season will be the most startling, exciting, thrilling, entertaining … and, dare we say … expensive theater season produced by the Springer or any theater in the area.
Certainly, the show that has caused the most buzz and driven a dramatic spike in season tickets sales is Les Misérables. The Springer has been negotiating for years to get the rights to produce the musical adaptation of Victor Hugo's much-loved story. But it's to be expected that getting the rights to the world's longest running musical would take some effort and patience.
Les Misérables has been seen by more than 65 million people in 42 countries since it opened in 1980. The musical epic of passion and destruction in 19th century France has won more than 100 international awards. It will be the most expensive and elaborate show that any Columbus theater has ever produced. But by the time Les Misérables hits the Mainstage for its Feb. 27--March 15 run, there will already have been a lot of plays at the Springer:
•Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat will open the Springer's Mainstage Series Sept. 19--Oct. 5. Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's musical tells the story of Israel's favorite son and his adventures in Canaan and Egypt. This Broadway hit will feature a large cast with a huge children's chorus.
•Next up will be the Oct. 2 openings of Pinkalicious: The Musical and the Dorothy W. McClure Theatre on 1st Avenue, right behind the Springer and next door to Foley Hall, the multi-purpose room that has served as the Springer's second stage for the Springer Children's Theatre and for the Studio II series for the last 15 years.
•Second in the Mainstage Series production is Rave On! The Buddy Holly Experience. This show will feature the McGuigan brothers, who wowed Columbus audiences with Yesterday and Today: The Beatles Interactive Experience this past March. The McGuigan brothers became musicians when their father was stationed at Fort Benning. Every Friday and Saturday night three of the brothers and their dad each played guitar and honed their musical skills.
•California Dreaming will play Nov. 14-23 in McClure Theatre, the first show in the Studio II Series. California Dreaming is an original musical journey through the West Coast music scene of the mid-196os and early '70s. Featuring the music of the Beach Boys; Crosby, Stills and Nash; The Momas and the Papas and the Fifth Dimension. This will be the musical's world premiere.
•Just as in years past, the holiday season will feature two shows. On the Mainstage will be A Christmas Carol: The Musical Dec. 5-22. Charles Dickens' tale of tight-fisted Ebenezer Scrooge and his Christmas Eve transformation will be told with lavish singing and dancing. The Studio II Series in McClure Theatre will feature the longest running play in Columbus history --- A Tuna Christmas. It runs Dec. 12-24.
•A Raisin in the Sun will run Jan. 23--Feb. 1. A Raisin in the Sun changed American theater forever, bringing to the stage ideas and dreams that had never appeared on Broadway before. The story of the amazing Younger family, hardworking African-Americans who decide to buy a house in a white neighborhood, was winner of four Tony Awards, including Best Play.
•Les Misérables will be the next play in the Mainstage Series. It will be followed by James and the Giant Peach, a production of the Springer Children's Theatre Series. It will run March 19-30 in the McClure Theatre. James and the Giant Peach is Roald Dahl's story of James and his buggy friends who hop a traveling peach and travel around the country.
•The final Studio II Series production of the 2013-14 season will be the ground-breaking original comedy Oops … I Tweeted Again! in the McClure Theatre. This is the interactive sequel to the Springer's 2011 hit I Tweeted On My iPad (and I LIKED it) April 10-19. This world premiere is a romp through the brave new over-sharing world of social networking. It includes Tweets and Facebook posts and text messages so the audience decides the direction of every show. For the first time in history, audience members are encouraged to turn their cell phones on!
•The season will conclude with the Mainstage production of Neil Simon's The Odd Couple May 1-17. This Broadway comedy hit spawned two movies and three TV series based upon the story of two divorced men -- one a slob, the other a neat-nik -- who share an apartment. As the patterns of their failed marriages begin to reappear, hilarity runs amok.