A lot of favorites are returning this year for Uptown Players. Not only will audiences get their yearly fix of Broadway Our Way, but they'll enjoy some much-anticipated angelic closure and receive a holiday visit from Judy Garland.
As was previously promised, the entire original cast of 2016's Millennium Approaches is returning for Perestroika, the conclusion of Tony Kushner's Pulitzer Prize-winning, two-part play Angels in America. The second part picks up right where the first left off, giving audiences the epic conclusion of the fate of two couples, in which one partner has abandoned the other and God has abandoned Heaven. Considered one of the most important modern American plays, it explores gay culture, race, political injustice, inequality, and the future of America through the lens of the AIDS crisis of the 1980s. Not part of the regular season, this special add-on is being presented September 28-October 7, 2018, during Gay History Month.
Slipping back into Judy Garland's beaded shift dresses for Uptown Players is Janelle Lutz, starring in A Very Judy Christmas. Local jack-of-all-trades B.J. Cleveland is writing and directing the show, which pays tribute to 1960s TV specials. In this world premiere, Garland invites us into her home to share the holiday with her and her celebrity friends, including Ethel Merman and Liza Minnelli. See what other surprise guests pop in December 1-16, 2018.
The first of the season's shows not to be performed at the Kalita Humphreys Theater is Spring Awakening, the Duncan Sheik and Steven Slater musical about teenagers discovering their sexuality, independence, and morality in late 19th century Germany. It's a limited engagement of only four performances, January 31-February 3, 2019, and will run at the Moody Performance Hall.
Nearly 100 years later, New York A-listers are just trying to survive in Disaster!, a goofy homage to the iconic disaster movies of the 1970s. The musical comedy from Seth Rudetsky and Jack Plotnick sets the action on a floating discotheque and then throws in earthquakes; tidal waves; infernos; and disco hits such as "Knock on Wood," "Hooked on a Feeling," I Am Woman," and "Hot Stuff." It runs March 22-April 7, 2019.
The Uptown Players divas return for another entertaining weekend of Broadway music performed with a twist, but due to ticket demand the annual fundraiser, Broadway Our Way is moving this year to the Moody Performance Hall. The oh-so-busy B.J. Cleveland writes and directs for the eighth straight year. Performance dates are May 10-12, 2019.
A provocative new musical by Max Vernon called The View Upstairs pulls you inside the UpStairs Lounge, a vibrant '70s gay bar in the French Quarter of New Orleans. The forgotten community comes to life when a young fashion designer from 2017 buys the abandoned space, setting off an exhilarating journey of seduction and self-exploration. It runs June 22-July 7, 2019.
The season's lone play is Bekka Brunstetter's comedy The Cake. The timely regional premiere by one of the writers of the TV drama This Is Us is set in a North Carolina bakery, where a sweet-natured Christian named Della is asked to make the wedding cake for her best friend's daughter, who's newly returned from New York. When Della learns that there's not one bride, but two, she is forced to re-examine her deeply held beliefs — and her own marriage. It closes out the season August 9-25, 2019.
Individual ticket prices for all shows range from $25 to $60. Season ticket "flex packages" for four, five, or six shows are available and can be purchased online at www.uptownplayers.org or by calling 214-219-2718.