Beck Center Announces 2017- 2018 Theater Season

Beck Center for the Arts is pleased to announce its 2017-2018 professional theater season filled with their signature eclectic titles that include classics, a regional premiere, and the seventh collaboration with Baldwin Wallace University Musical Theater program as they celebrate the 50th anniversary of HAIR.

“This is an especially exciting slate of plays and musicals as they collectively have such an amazing pedigree. Artists and audiences will be exhilarated and challenged all season long with these terrific pieces,” says Scott Spence, Beck Center Artistic Director (now heading into his 28th season at Beck).

Subscriptions and Flex Passes for the 2017-2018 season are on sale now and range from $100 to $267. For more information, call Beck Center Customer Service at 216.521.2540 x10. Individual tickets may be purchased beginning Tuesday, August 1, 2017. Curtain times are 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays; however, performance times vary for The Little Mermaid, and Hair. Preview performances are the Thursdays before opening night. For more information visit beckcenter.org.

Beck’s 2017-18 Theater Season includes the following productions:

September 15 – October 8, 2017 in the Mackey Theater One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

Written by Dale Wasserman & Directed by William Roudebush One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, based on the cult novel written by Ken Kesey, tells the story of institutional madness where obedience and conformity are the only acceptable indications of good mental health. Randle Patrick McMurphy, a charming rogue, instantly questions the asylum’s procedures. He begins to rally his fellow patients in increasingly greater acts of Independence. When these acts are not tolerated, McMurphy learns that the authorities and Nurse Ratched have terrible ways of enabling conformity. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is the winner of the 2001 Tony Award, and Outer Critics Circle Award, for Outstanding Revival of a Play. 

October 6 – November 5, 2017 in the Studio Theater Waiting for Godot

Written by Samuel Beckett & directed by Eric Schmeidl Waiting for Godot is tragic comedy in which Samuel Beckett explores the futility of man's hope. Two wandering vagrants wait in the middle of nowhere to meet up with Mr. Godot, hoping he will change their lives for the better. While they wait, they speculate, joke, engage with fellow travelers, and ponder life’s greater questions. Waiting for Godot is a masterpiece that draws endless interpretations, and is considered one of the most significant plays of the twentieth century.

December 1 – 31, 2017 in the Mackey Theater Disney’s The Little Mermaid, ENCORE PRODUCTION

Directed by Scott Spence with Musical Direction by Larry Goodpaster, and Choreography by Martín Céspedes, featuring Kathleen Rooney as Ariel and Natalie Blalock (Broadway’s The Scarlet Pimpernel) as Ursula. Beck Center's award-winning production returns for another holiday season filled with family, magic, and more. 2016 Cleveland Critics Circle Awards Winner for Best Musical Direction and Best Projection Design.

February 9 – February 25, 2018 in the Mackey Theater HAIR

Book and Lyrics by James Rado and Gerome Ragni and Directed by Victoria Bussert. Beck Center and Baldwin Wallace Music University Theatre Program collaborate for the 50th anniversary of the ground-breaking musical that introduced rock 'n' roll to Broadway. HAIR examines a group of 60s-era youth struggling to balance their lives, loves, and the sexual revolution with their rebellion against the Vietnam War and their conservative parents and society. The musical's depiction of drugs, sex, the nude scene, and irreverence for the American flag, has caused much controversy since its debut. The show spawned several Top 40 hits including “Aquarius” and “Let the Sun Shine In.” HAIR is the winner of the 2009 Tony Award, and Drama Desk Award, for Outstanding Revival of a Musical and the 1969 Grammy Award Winner for Best Score from an Original Cast Show Album.

March 30 – April 29, 2018 in the Studio Theater My First Time, REGIONAL PREMIERE

Written by Ken Davenport and Directed by Scott Spence My First Time features hysterical and heartbreaking stories about first sexual experiences written by real people. Before blogging technically began there was myfirsttime.com. It allowed people to anonymously share their own true stories about their First Times. The website became an instant phenomenon and stories poured in from around the globe that were sweet, sad, absurd, funny, heterosexual, homosexual, shy, sexy, and everything in between. My First Time brings these true stories to life, and you may be able to share your first time – anonymously of course.

June 1 – July 1, 2018 in the Studio Theater Bent

Written by Martin Sherman and Directed by Matthew Wright the influential play Bent follows a group of gay men finding ways to survive persecution before and after the Night of the Long Knives. Within the confines of a concentration camp a secret love affair illustrates how the selfless love of one person for another can overcome oppression, even under the most extreme circumstances. When Bent was written, there was little awareness about the persecution of homosexuals by the Nazis. The original production starred Ian McKellen, and the play has gone on to increase education and historical research. Nominated for a 1979 Tony Award for Best Play.

July 6 – August 12, 2018 in the Mackey Theater Gypsy           

Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and directed by Scott Spence Gypsy is the winner of multiple Tony, Grammy, and Drama Desk Awards for both the original production and its revivals, it is considered by many to be one of Broadway’s all-time triumphs. The musical follows an overbearing stage mother, Mama Rose, and her two daughters across the country during the 1920’s when vaudeville was dying and burlesque was born. Based on the memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee, the score features songs that have become standards, and helped launch the career of Stephen Sondheim. “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” and “Let Me Entertain You,” are among the musical highlights.

“It’s been called ‘The Perfect Musical’ - and I’m not going to argue with that,” remarked Spence.

Beth Kretschmar

Director of Marketing, Beck Center for the Arts

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Volume 13, Issue 9, Posted 4:19 PM, 05.02.2017