Season Announcement

Movie magic inspires Farmers Branch theater company's 2020 season

Movie magic inspires Farmers Branch theater company's 2020 season

The Drowsy Chaperone
A scene from the 2015 production of The Drowsy Chaperone. Photo courtesy of The Firehouse Theatre

The Firehouse Theatre in Farmers Branch has put together a well-rounded mix of shows for its 2020 season. The lineup includes beloved classics, a new work, a fan favorite, and a holiday show, with the return of a popular Dallas actress reprising a favorite role.

The company's theme for the season is Do Something (which is better than do nothing?), and opens with the return of The Drowsy Chaperone. Firehouse produced the pastiche musical by Bob Martin, Don McKellar, Lisa Lambert, and Greg Morrison in 2015, and Janelle Lutz will once again play Janet van de Graaf. A large portion of the original cast will also return.

"Our patrons have been asking us to produce The Drowsy Chaperone again for years," says Firehouse artistic director Derek Whitener, who is also directing (music direction is by Bethany Lorentzen). "It's the perfect way to open our anniversary season."

With the house lights down, a man in a chair appears onstage and puts on his favorite record: the cast recording of a fictitious 1928 musical. The recording comes to life with two lovers on the eve of their wedding, a bumbling best man, a desperate theater producer, a not-so-bright hostess, two gangsters posing as pastry chefs, a misguided Don Juan, and an intoxicated chaperone. It runs January 30-February 23, 2020.

Broadway dancer Zach Ingram will direct and choreograph Charlie Smalls and William F. Brown's The Wiz, a retelling of L. Frank Baum's classic novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz with a dazzling mix of rock, gospel, and soul music. It runs March 13-April 5, 2020.

Rock of Ages is next, with a score comprised of classic rock anthems from Styx, Journey, Bon Jovi, and more. It’s the tail end of the '80s in Hollywood, and the party is raging at one of the Sunset Strip's last legendary venues, where rock idol Stacee Jaxx regularly plays. An aspiring rock singer and a starry-eyed small-town girl dream of an exciting future, but the fairy tale comes to an end when German developers sweep into town with plans to turn the fabled Strip into another capitalist strip mall. Ashley H. White directs, with music direction by Vonda K. Bowling. It runs May 7-24, 2020.

"The greatest movie musical of all time" is faithfully and lovingly adapted for the stage by Betty Comden, Adolph Green, Arthur Freed, and Nacio Herb Brown. Singin' in the Rain has a starlet, a leading man, and a romance that could change lives and make or break careers. M. Scott Tatum directs, and it runs July 15-August 9, 2020.

Based on the acclaimed 2001 film, Amelie tells the magical (and musical) story of an extraordinary young woman who lives quietly in the world but loudly in her mind. When a chance at love comes her way, she realizes that she'll have to risk everything and say what's in her heart. Whitener directs, with music direction by Mark Mullino. It runs September 3-20, 2020.

Winner of three Tony Awards, Urinetown is a hilarious musical satire of the legal system, capitalism, social irresponsibility, populism, bureaucracy, corporate mismanagement, municipal politics, and musical theater itself. In a Gotham-like city, a terrible water shortage caused by a 20-year drought has led to a government-enforced ban on private toilets. The citizens must use public amenities, regulated by a single malevolent company that profits by charging admission for one of humanity's most basic needs. Amid the people, a hero decides that he's had enough and plans a revolution to lead them all to freedom. Brandon Tijerina directs, and it runs October 1-18, 2020.

Based on the Alfred Hitchcock classic, The 39 Steps is a riotous adaptation that depicts a man with a boring life meeting a woman with a thick accent who says she's a spy. When he takes her home, she is murdered. Soon, a mysterious organization called "The 39 Steps" is hot on the man's trail in a nationwide manhunt that climaxes in a death-defying finale. Tyler Jeffrey Adams directs, and it runs November 5-15, 2020.

The season finishes with Elf the Musical, based on the cherished 2003 New Line Cinema hit. Young orphan Buddy mistakenly crawls into Santa's bag of gifts and is transported to the North Pole. The would-be elf is raised unaware that he is actually a human, until his enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth. With Santa's permission, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father and discover his true identity. Mark Mullino directs, with music direction by Vonda K. Bowling and choreography by Kelly McCain. It runs December 2-20, 2020.

Tickets are available now by calling 972-620-3747 or visiting thefirehousetheatre.com.