Shane Peterman, the new artistic director of WaterTower Theatre, is making his love of musicals known. Shortly after replacing a play in the Addison theater's current season with Stephen Schwartz's Godspell, he has made sure that two of the company's five upcoming mainstage productions are musicals, along with another limited-run engagement musical to be announced later.
The 2019-20 season is quite different from that which was planned by Joanie Schultz last year before she resigned. Peterman came to WaterTower from Lyric Stage, a company that focuses exclusively on musicals.
"Our goal is simple: to build community through diverse storytelling that is both thought-provoking and entertaining," says Peterman. "Our 24th season focuses on unique stories across generations, emphasizing the importance of diverse backgrounds and the communities from which these stories are told."
First up is the movie-turned-musical Sister Act, with music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Glenn Slater, and book by Cheri and Bill Steinkellner. This "divine musical comedy" follows disco diva Deloris Van Cartier, who witnesses a murder and is put in protective custody in the one place she won't be found: a convent. Cheryl Denson directs with Adam C. Wright music directing, and it runs October 24-November 10, 2019.
A co-production with Lone Star Circus is next, just in time for the holidays. Incredible acts ranging from hula hoops to death-defying trapeze stunts are all tied together with a charismatic host and hilarious clowns for Cirque Holidays, running December 5-22, 2019.
Mary Chase's Pulitzer Prize-winning play Harvey rings in 2020 under the direction of Dick Monday. It follows Elwood P. Dowd, whose best friend is a six-foot, three-and-one-half-inch invisible rabbit named Harvey. Naturally, this worries his socialite sister Veta, who tries to have Elwood committed but ends up in a doctor's care herself after recounting her brother's condition. It runs February 6-23, 2020.
The astonishing true story of Charlotte von Mahlsdorf forms the basis for Doug Wright's I Am My Own Wife, directed by Ashley Puckett Gonzales. Using more than 30 characters, Wright pieces together Charlotte's captivating and controversial life as a 65-year old German transgender woman who managed to survive both the Nazi onslaught and the repressive East German Communist regime. The Pulitzer Prize-winning, one-person play runs April 16-May 3, 2020.
Jason Robert Brown's The Bridges of Madison County finishes out the 2019-20 season, directed by John De Los Santos and music directed by Vonda K. Bowling. Based on the bestselling novel and with a book by Marsha Norman, the musical recalls the unexpected affair between Francesca Johnson, a devoted Italian-born housewife, and Robert Kincaid, a roving National Geographic photographer in 1965 Iowa. It runs June 11-28, 2020.
Five-show season subscriptions range in price from $119-$175 and go on sale starting April 30. The renewal deadline for current subscribers is June 30. If you subscribe or renew by August 1, you can get up to $26 off.
Individual tickets range from $33-$39 and go on sale in September. For more information, go online at www.watertowertheatre.org or call the box office at 972-450-6232.