Nashville’s theatre scene has boomed in recent years, with a number of professional, semi-professional, and community theatres offering increasingly high-quality productions. There are far too many plays being staged in Nashville and Middle Tennessee to mention. But what follows is a selection of plays representing some of our favorite offerings from some of Nashville’s favorite theatres.
August 10–26, 2018
Based on the real-life Newsboy Strike of 1899, this new Disney musical tells the story of Jack Kelly, a rebellious newsboy who dreams of a life as an artist away from the big city. After publishing giant Joseph Pulitzer raises newspaper prices at the newsboys’ expense, Kelly and his fellow newsies take action. With help from the beautiful female reporter Katherine Plumber, all of New York City soon recognizes the power of “the little man.”
Circle Players complete 2018–19 season can be perused at circleplayers.net/upcoming-season. If you’re a true fan, you won’t want to miss Hair, If/Then, or A Chorus Line, among others.
August 31–September 9, 2018
“There is something at work in my soul which I do not understand.” Pushing the limits of science and morality in his search for love and purpose, Victor Frankenstein unleashes a creation that he cannot control. To celebrate the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s gothic novel, Studio Tenn presents a heartfelt new stage adaptation by A.S. Peterson (The Battle of Franklin) that will leave you pondering your own sense of belonging long after the lights come up.
Studio Tenn’s 2018–19 offerings include perennial favorites like Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, as well as Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Damn Yankees. For more, visit studiotenn.com/18-19-ticket-information.
September 8–22, 2018
Nashville Repertory Theatre
Who says puppet shows are just for kids? Join the Rep on a musical tour through Avenue Q, where humans and puppets alike confront the everyday challenges of adult life: falling in love, finding your purpose, and fighting the urge to stay in your apartment forever. Packed with irreverent numbers such as “It Sucks to Be Me” and “The Internet Is for P**n,” this musical will have you crying with laughter, nodding in agreement, and wondering just when you started to care so much about the personal lives of puppets.
The Rep’s 2018–19 season also includes a number of favorites, including “A Christmas Story” and “Shakespeare in Love,” so visit their website at nashvillerep.org/1819season to learn more!
October 4–14, 2018
Twilight of the Gods
This is local theatre at its finest. Blackbird is reprising its original comedic thriller by Blackbird founders Wes Driver and Greg Greene, which premiered in 2010 as the company’s first production, earning critical acclaim including recognition as Best New Play of 2010 by theNashville Scene. The play has enjoyed subsequent productions in New York City, Memphis, and Jefferson City, and is back in Nashville by popular demand!
Twilight of the Gods finds Mark Twain, Edgar Allan Poe, Annie Oakley, and Arthur Conan Doyle among the nineteenth century luminaries locked in a battle of wits and ideologies with a killer in their midst, as their dream for a modern utopia turns into a Gothic nightmare.
For more information, visit blackbirdtheater.com.
October 11–27, 2018
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Larry Keeton Theatre
An eclectic group of six mid-pubescents vie for the spelling championship of a lifetime. While candidly disclosing hilarious and touching stories from their home lives, the tweens spell their way through a series of (potentially made-up) words, hoping never to hear the soul-crushing, pout-inducing, life un-affirming "ding" of the bell that signals a spelling mistake. Six spellers enter; one speller leaves! At least the losers get a juice box.
For those of you unfamiliar with The Larry Keeton Theatre, this community theatre offers fan-favorite productions in a dinner theatre format. This year, they’re offering beloved classics from Steel Magnolias to Sister Act: The Musical. Visit thelarrykeetontheatre.org for more information!
November 2–27, 2018
Brooklyn: The Musical
Street Theatre Company
Brooklyn focuses on a group of five ragtag homeless musicians known as the City Weeds who periodically transforms a street corner under the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge into a stage where they present their play about Parisian singer Brooklyn, named after the New York City borough from which her wayward father Taylor hailed. Orphaned when her depressed mother Faith hangs herself, the girl in quick succession is sent to live in a convent where she discovers her vocal talents, becomes a star, performs at Carnegie Hall, sets out in search of her father (who she discovers is a drug-addicted Vietnam War vet), and engages in a competition with local diva Paradice at Madison Square Garden.
Check out the rest of Street Theatre Company’s Mainstage 2018 Season at streettheatrecompany.org/mainstage-season-2018.
November 20–December 16, 2018
Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Lakewood Theatre Company
Based on Truman Capote’s classic novella, Breakfast at Tiffany’s tells the story of a young Southern-born writer, known to us only as Fred, who becomes infatuated with his Upper East Side neighbor: the beguiling, effervescent beauty Miss Holiday Golightly. As Holly pulls Fred into her world of spontaneous parties and luxury, he finds himself increasingly fascinated with this captivating woman.
Check out the rest of this community theatre’s season at lakewoodtheatreco.com/2018-season-2.
February 15 – March 2, 2019
The Bomb-itty of Errors
Act 1 Artist’s Cooperative Theatre
The Bomb-itty of Errors is a high-paced, energetic, musical "add-rap-tation" of Willy Shakespeare's 'The Comedy of Errors'. Elizabethan times get pumped up with live hip-hop flavor in this hilarious, award-winning show. First performed Off-Broadway in New York, nominated for Drama Desk Award, Outer Critic's Circle Award, and winner of the Jefferson Award and Best Show at the HBO Comedy Festival, The Bomb-itty has played in Chicago, Philadelphia, London, Amsterdam, and continues to find new fans, audiences, and productions around the globe. Usually performed with a live DJ onstage, actors sing, rap, and rhyme fun, catchy, and laugh-out-loud songs.
As always, Act 1’s 2018–19 season seems focused on adaptation, and contains numerous interesting offerings, including Stupid F*****g Bird, an adaptation of Chekhov’s classic The Seagull, and Violent Delights [A Shakespearean Brawl-esque Sideshow]. For more information, visit act1online.com/season.php.
Photo provided: from Twilight of the Gods