2017-18 “All-American” season to include ‘NEWSIES’
Also, ‘‘Dreamgirls, ‘Great Gatsby’, ‘West Side Story’, “Million Dollar Quartet”
Hollywood and Broadway actor Brian Reddy to star in comedy
Once again, the Springer Opera House has beat other American theatres to the punch by negotiating early production rights to Broadway’s hottest new musical property: Disney’s “Newsies.”
The State Theatre of Georgia announced last night that it will produce the giant Broadway hit in December as its family holiday offering. Fresh from Broadway, “Newsies” is the Tony Award-winning musical that tells the story of the 1899 New York paperboy strike in which an army of orphan street kids takes on the world’s most powerful publishing empire. The show is known for an exhilarating musical score and elaborate dance numbers.
After lengthy negotiations, Broadway publishers notified producing artistic director Paul Pierce last week that Disney had awarded the show’s highly-restricted production rights to the Springer. “We are honored to be one of the few American theatres to be entrusted with this rare Broadway property,” said Pierce at the Springer’s season announcement event Thursday night. “We are working hard to make the Springer a hotspot for American premieres of new works and blue ribbon Broadway releases.”
Pierce also announced that popular Hollywood and Broadway character actor Brian Reddy will join the Springer as a guest artist next season, starring in the Neil Simon comedy, “Last of the Red Hot Lovers,” which Pierce will direct. Reddy is New York-based actor known for his roles in movies such as “O, Brother Where Art Thou?”, “Casino”, “Primal Fear” and “Dante’s Peak”, tv series such as “House of Cards,” “Madam Secretary,” “Seinfeld” and The Good Wife” and in twelve Broadway shows, including “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” with Scarlett Johannson, “Finian’s Rainbow” and “Dinner at Eight.” Reddy is a Georgia native
The 2017-18 Springer Mainstage Season will begin with the Motown and soul musical “Dreamgirls” (September 22-October 8 ), followed by “Newsies” (December 1-23), F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Jazz Age love story, “The Great Gatsby” (January 25-February 4) the legendary Broadway classic, “West Side Story” (March 2-17) and Neil Simon’s comedy, “Last of the Red Hot Lovers,” starring Brian Reddy (April 27-May 12)
The Springer Studio Series will open with the Broadway sensation, “Million Dollar Quartet,” the true story of a chance musical encounter between rock ‘n’ roll icons Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins. (November 2-19)
In a surprise move, Pierce announced he will retire from the popular holiday cult favorite, “A Tuna Christmas” this year and pass the torch to a “next generation of master comedians,” Jim Pharr and Ben Redding. The two young actors will step into the 24 roles in a comedy that entertained some 60,000 patrons for sixteen years, performed by Pierce and the late Ron Anderson. (December 14-23). The Studio Series will conclude with a new play by Georgia’s rising star playwright, Topher Payne, “Perfect Arrangement” – a stylish comedy about the U.S. government’s notorious “Lavender Scare” that made its Off-Broadway debut last year at Primary Stages.
Springer Children’s Theatre director Sally Baker announced the series for young audiences: The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales (July 7-23), The True Story of the Three Little Pigs (October 6-22) and the Jackie Robinson play, Jackie and Me (May 9-18).
The Springer also dedicated a new star on its Walk of Fame to the famous “March King”, John Phillip Sousa, who appeared with his band in 1906. The star was commemorated in honor of longtime Springer volunteer Tom Zwaga. Zwaga was the construction superintendent on the Springer’s 1998 $12 million renovation and historic preservation project. “Tom put his heart and soul into that renovation,” Pierce explained. “And since retiring from the construction business, he has babied our building as a volunteer. He knows every nook and cranny, all of our systems and what is behind every wall and under every floor. For the past nineteen years, Tom has been our go-to expert on the fine points of protecting this precious landmark.”
Season Tickets are on sale now and range from $150 to $240 with discounts for seniors, students and public service workers. Subscriptions are also available for the Children’s Theatre Series. For more information, call the Springer box office at 706-327-3688 or visit springeroperahouse.org