University Theatre travels the globe in 2018-19 season

Contact: Emily Duguay

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—The University Theatre at Western Michigan University announced its 2018-19 season featuring cowboys, drag queens, the best of Broadway, stage adaptations of movie favorites and more. This season's performances star alumni from Kalamazoo to New York City, partnering with Education for the Arts and Millennium Restaurant Group.

Season passes are on sale now and offer significant savings. Single tickets for fall semester shows will go on sale Tuesday, Sept. 4. Tickets can be purchased online or by calling (269) 387-6222. Ticket prices vary. WMU faculty, staff and students enjoy discounts to WMU Theatre productions.

For more information, visit WMU Theatre. Most shows are presented in the Gilmore Theatre Complex on WMU's campus. "Tony N' Tina's Wedding" will be held at Cityscape Events in downtown Kalamazoo.

2018- 19 season

"Almost, Maine," Sept. 21 through Oct. 7

In this heart-warming play by John Cariani, nine cleverly connected love stories are told by the residents of Almost—a whimsical, imaginary town situated somewhere under the Northern lights of Maine. Surprising, hilarious and charming, "Almost, Maine" is an intimate look at love, mending hearts and small-town America.

"Shakespeare in Love," Oct. 5-14

This production is based on the screenplay by Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard and adapted for the stage by Lee Hall. A young William Shakespeare has writer's block, a deadline and no way out. That is until he lays eyes on the beautiful, but otherwise engaged, Viola. Inspired by the smash-hit film of the same name, "Shakespeare in Love" is a hilarious romp filled with mistaken identity and star-crossed lovers

"Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown," Oct. 26 through Nov. 4

Based on the book by Jeffrey Lane with music and lyrics by David Yazbek, "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown" is a zany new musical adapted from Pedro Almodóvar’s beloved film by the same name. It's a story about women and the men who pursue them…finding them, losing them, needing them and rejecting them. Writers  Lane and Yazbek, the team behind "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels," have taken Almodóvar’s tale and infused it with their own wry, comic style and an irresistible Spanish beat.

"The Lady in Question," Nov. 9-18

Written by Charles Busch and featuring WMU alumnus Sutton Lee Seymour, "The Lady is Question" is a free-wheeling satire of 1940’s thrillers. It tells the suspenseful tale of Gertrude Garnet, the most glamorous concert pianist on the international stage. On tour in 1940 Bavaria, her colossal self-absorption is challenged when a handsome American professor engages her aid in rescuing his mother from a Nazi prison.

"Next Stop, Broadway!" Nov. 29 through Dec. 1

The WMU music theatre class of 2019 will share the stage with Broadway's Brenda Braxton for the annual cabaret event. Within one year of graduating from the High School for the Performing Arts,  Braxton was cast in the hit Broadway show "Guys and Dolls." Her performance in Broadway’s musical revue "Smokey Joe's Cafe" earned her a Tony Award nomination, the NAACP Theater Award, the city of Chicago's Jefferson Award and a Grammy Award for best cast album. Other Broadway credits include "Jelly's Last Jam" with Gregory Hines andSavion Glover, "Cats, Legs, Diamond," and the original production of "Dreamgirls" with Jennifer Holiday.

"The Wolves," Jan. 25 through Feb. 10

Atomic power drives this extraordinary new play by Sarah DaLappe about a girls indoor soccer team blasting its way through life. In this dizzying, tightly wound ensemble drama, a pack of adolescent warriors brave the challenges that have nothing to do with sports and everything to do with survival.  

"The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance," Feb. 8-17

Journey to the Wild West in this classic story of good versus evil, law versus the gun, one man versus Liberty Valance. Written by Jethro Compton and based on the short story by Dorothy M. Johnson, this gritty re-telling of the famous western film tells a tale of love, hope, politics and revenge set against a backdrop of a lawless society.

"The Dancing Granny," March 8-17

Ananse, the clever spider from West African folklore, tries to trick Granny Anika into dancing away from her beautiful garden so that he can steal her vegetables. This production, by Jiréh Breon Holder and based on the book by Ashley Bryan, will come alive with traditional African drumming and dance, creating infectious fun for the whole family.

"Tony N' Tina's Wedding," March 22 through April 2

Back by popular demand, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Vitale cordially invite you to Tony and Tina’s Wedding. With as many laughs as there are Italian stereotypes, this big, fat Italian wedding has the audience feeling like a member of the family.

"Guys and Dolls," April 5-14

Considered by many to be a perfect musical comedy, "Guys and Dolls" is a spectacularly fun song-and-dance show that's loaded with toe-tapping entertainment. The story follows big-time New York City gamblers Sky Masterson and Nathan Detroit, who can't resist making or taking a bet on anything. When a pretty missionary sets up shop in the neighborhood, Nathan stakes a grand that Sky can't get her to go on a date with him. But all bets are off when Sky falls madly in love in this timeless, romantic tale.

For more WMU news, arts and events, visit WMU News online.