The Hope Summer Repertory Theatre (HSRT) announces a 35th season filled with musicals, comedy, and classics. The season runs from June 16 to August 12 with the shows in a rotating, repertory format. A professional theatre company featuring Equity guest artists, Hope Summer Repertory Theatre features six shows in three venues as well as a Children's Performance Troupe.
Plus, to celebrate their 35th birthday HSRT is giving away presents. Anyone who turns 35 sometime during the year 2006 can have a free season coupon to all four DeWitt stage shows. 35-year-olds simply need to present a driver's license at the ticket office to claim their four free shows.
The season opens with the Tony-award winning musical, "Oliver!" on June 16 at 8 p.m. in the DeWitt Theatre. Charles Dicken's moving tale of a run away orphan who seeks a good life, but ends up spending time with the Artful Dodger and Fagin, has touched millions. The musical introduced a number of songs now considered musical theatre classics, such as "Food, Glorious Food," "Consider Yourself," "Where is Love," and "Who Will Buy." Additional 8 p.m. shows on June 17, 20, 21, 22, 27, 29, July 5, 11, 13, 21, 25, 31, August 3 and 7. A 2 p.m. matinee is also scheduled for July 13.
HSRT then moves into Shakespeare mode, although in its own unique style. The 1993 hit comedy, "Shakespeare in Hollywood," opens on June 23 at 8 p.m. in the DeWitt Theatre. The audience visits the set of a 1930 Hollywood attempt at filming "A Midsummer's Night's Dream" where the movie people deal with an injured Mickey Rooney and the walk-off of their main star as production time nears. Originally commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, this slapstick comedy is for Shakespeare fans and their friends. Additional 8 p.m. "Shakespeare in Hollywood" performances occur on June 24, 28, July 6, 10, 15, 18, 26, and August 5.
Not content to leave Shakespeare to Hollywood, HSRT will then present Shakespeare's original version of "A Midsummer Night's Dream," at 8 p.m. on July 28 in the DeWitt Theatre. Shakespeare's tale of lovers, nymphs, marriage, and dreams includes such memorable characters as Puck and Oberon. "The course of true love never did run smooth," writes Shakespeare in this tale which bears out that truth. Additional 8 p.m. shows on July 29, August 2, 4, 8, 10, and 12.
But HSRT is not done with Shakespeare yet. Think of Monty Python writers hanging out with the Bard and you have some idea what the always popular cabaret show will be like when HSRT presents "The Shakespeare Revue," opening at 8:30 p.m. on July 19 at Til Midnight Restaurant. Inspired by Shakespeare's work, over 40 contributors, including Noel Coward, Cole Porter, Tom Lehrer, Stephen Sondheim and Monty Python, combine for songs and sketches which even the non-Shakespearian will enjoy. Additional 8:30 p.m. shows on July 20, 24, 29, August 2, 4, 8, and 10. Food and beverages at Til Midnight will be available for purchase.
HSRT's final mainstage show is the tap-dancing musical comedy, "Dames at Sea," opening at 8 p.m. on July 7 in the DeWitt Theatre. A send up of the 1930's film musical genre, the musical tells the story of a young tap dancer who reaches stardom on the deck of a battleship. The floating setting comes about when a sailor/songwriter offers the ship as an alternative for a show in need, and romance eventually sails off into the sunset. An upbeat musical in the tradition of "42nd Street." Additional 8 p.m. shows on July 8, 12, 14, 17, 22, 27 August 1, 9, and 11.
Snow Auditorium is HSRT's location for contemporary, cutting-edge theatre. Opening June 30 at 8 p.m, "Memory House," by Kathleen Tolan, looks at a mother and daughter grappling with the past in order to face the future. As the girl works on her college essay, the unexamined issues of the girl's adoption from Russia, the rupture of her parents divorce, and the fear of leaving home break through the surface as the mother cajoles, deflects, and maneuvers around her own feelings of sadness and loss. A funny and moving story about the complexity of living in the world today. Additional shows on July 1, 8, 11, 12, 14, 17, 21, 22, 25, 27, 31, August 1 and 3
The DeWitt Theatre Ticket Office opens May 24, and tickets will also be available through the DeVos Fieldhouse Ticket Office. Prices range from $8-$26 for musicals, and $8-$18 for plays. Season coupons, ranging from $45-$85, are also available.
The box office is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays. On performance dates, the DeWitt Ticket Office will be open through intermission. The ticket office is located in DeWittCulturalCenter at 12th Street
and Columbia Avenue. For tickets or information call the box office at 616-395-7890 or visit the HSRT website at www.hope.edu/hsrt .
The DeWitt Theatre is located at 141 East 12th Street. Snow Auditorium is located on the former 12th Street between College and Columbia avenues, and Til Midnight is located at 171 East 24th Street.