September 2017

Drum Roll Please… Arts Center of Coastal Carolina’s 2017/18 Theater Season Has WOW Factor

Author: Andrea Gannon

This fall, the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina kicks off its sensational season with the joyous Tony Award-winning musical The Color Purple, (October 4-22), fresh off Broadway and now produced here for its South Carolina premiere. From Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning bestseller and Stephen Spielberg’s Oscar-nominated film comes this breathtaking musical with a fresh, uplifting score of jazz, ragtime, gospel and blues. Hailed as “one of the greatest revivals ever!” by New York Magazine, The Color Purple is the epic tale of 40-years in the life of a family in rural Georgia.

At the story’s center is 14-year-old Celie. When Celie is forced by her overbearing father to marry a farmer, she is separated from all that she loves. This stirring family chronicle follows the inspirational Celie as she journeys from childhood through joy to anguish and then hope as she discovers the power of love and life.

The production garnered 11 Tony nominations, and The Color Purple won the 2016 Tony Award for Best Musical Revival, two Drama Desk awards, and the 2017 Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album.

Just in time for the holidays, is the high-stepping, high-energy hit Newsies, December 6-31. Fresh off its First National Tour, the Arts Center is thrilled to produce the Carolina premiere of Disney Theatricals’ Tony Award-winning Newsies. Set in New York City at the turn of the century, Newsies is the rousing tale of Jack Kelly, a charismatic newsboy and leader of a ragged band of teenaged “newsies,” who dreams of a better life far from the streets. But when publishing titans Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst raise distribution prices at the newsboys’ expense, Jack finds a cause to fight for and rallies newsies from across the city to strike and take a stand for what’s right. The story is inspired by the real-life newsboys strike of 1899 in New York City, with music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Jack Feldman and book by Harvey Fierstein.

The rousing songs, high-energy dance numbers, and an uplifting story make for an evening of inspirational storytelling in the best possible sense. With Tony wins for Best Choreography and Best Musical Score, Newsies also won two Drama Desk awards and was nominated for a Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album.

Chills await in winter with our patrons’ number one non-musical, the thriller Dial M for Murder, a must for whodunit fans, February 6-25, 2018. Frederick Knott’s Tony Award-winning classic thriller, Dial M for Murder, was turned into a suspenseful Alfred Hitchcock film after its highly successful run on Broadway. Tony Wendice married his wife for her money and now plans to murder her for the same reason. He arranges the perfect murder…or so he thinks. When the would-be murderer he hires ends up dead, Tony will go to any length to see his wife convicted for the crime. Add in a blackmailing scoundrel, a former lover and a police inspector from Scotland Yard, and you have a thrilling whodunit. Clues abound in the unfolding of the tale, so be watchful! The New York Times calls the award-winning play, “remarkably good theatre—tingling with excitement.”

In May, join us for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s masterful Evita—your number one requested musical. Evita became the first British musical to receive the Tony Award for Best Musical. With music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice, the show also garnered six Drama Desk awards, the Outer Critics Circle award, and seven Tony awards. Evita focuses on the life of Argentine political leader Eva Peron, the ambitious second wife of Argentine president Juan Peron, and follows her early life, rise to political dominance, and charity work. The show wows with numbers including “Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina,” “And the Money Kept Rolling In (and Out),” “The Rainbow Tour,” and “High-flying, Adored.” The eclectic range of musical styles includes classical, with its opening choral piece (“Requiem for Evita”), instrumentals, rhythmic Latinate, as well as ballads and rock.

The Sunday Times described Lloyd Webber’s score as “an unparalleled fusion of twentieth century musical experience.” The 2012 Broadway revival was nominated for three Tony Awards including Best Musical Revival and five Drama Desk awards.

For hot summertime fun, get your boogie shoes on as we celebrate the legendary music of the Bee Gees in the Southeastern premiere of Saturday Night Fever. This is a story about a 19-year-old Brooklyn ladies’ man, Tony Manero, whose weekends are spent at the local discotheque where he luxuriates in the admiration of the crowd, his growing relationship with the new girl at the club, and how he can temporarily forget the realities of his life, including a not-so-great job and his gang of deadbeat friends. In the midst of his passion for dancing at the club, Tony finds himself caught up in a love triangle with his ex-girlfriend and new girl Stephanie. “Stayin’ Alive,” “Boogie Shoes,” “Tragedy,” “More than a Woman,” and “How Deep is Your Love,” are just a few of the gems in this disco party of a musical!

Fueled by these and more vintage Bee Gees hits, this contemporary retelling captures the energy, passion and life-changing moments that have thrilled movie audiences since 1977. Now, a new generation of dancers meets a new generation of playgoers to explore the soaring sounds and pulsating rhythms of this coming-of-age disco fantasy.

Subscriptions are on sale now for the entire theater season, as are single tickets for The Color Purple. Either may be purchased online at artshhi.com or by calling (843) 842-ARTS (2787).

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