Mansfield Playhouse announces its 55th season lineup

·4 min read

The Mansfield Playhouse will open its 55th season with Rodgers & Hammerstein's "Cinderella."

"We are excited to open our 55th season with the full 'Cinderella,''' artistic director Doug Wertz said. "The rest of the season is a great blend of thriller, comedy and a unique twist to an old Christmas classic 'A Christmas Carol.' Of course, we look forward to our two children's musical productions as well. Our cabaret-style 2nd Stage will also include two productions for the regular season."

Before the end of 2023, the Playhouse will offer three shows on the main stage. "Cinderella" will take place Sept. 8, 9, 15, 16 and 17.

It's the timeless classic of sweet, beautiful Cinderella, who is cruelly mistreated by her evil stepmother and stepsisters and helped by her magical fairy godmother.

In October, the thriller "Angel Street (Gaslight)" will grace the stage. It tells the story of the Manninghams, who live on Angel Street in 19th century London.

Scotland Yard suspects a murder

Mr. Manningham is slowly driving his wife Bella to the brink of insanity. An inspector from Scotland Yard thinks Mannigham committed murder 15 years ago in that same house. Author Patrick Hamilton has sustained some of the most suspenseful sequences in modern theater.

Dates are Oct. 20, 21, 27, 28 and 29.

Rounding out the calendar year will be "A Christmas Carol: Every Man Has the Power to Do Good" on Dec. 8, 9, 15, 16 and 17.

In this lively adaptation, patrons will meet Mr. Bentley, learn about the letters Scrooge wrote to his sister and discover who Mr. Newbury is. Described as a fresh take on an old tale, "A Christmas Carol" offers new scary bits, a few good laughs, a tender moment or two and some surprises.

The next main state production will be "Over the River and Through the Woods" on March 8, 9, 15, 16 and 17, 2024. Nick is a single, Italian-American guy from New Jersey. He sees both sets of grandparents every Sunday for dinner.

Their routine is disrupted when Nick is offered a dream job in Seattle. The grandparents do their best to keep him from leaving.

Closing out the main state productions will be "The 39 Steps." It's a combination of Hitchcock, a juicy spy novel and Monty Python humor. There are 150 zany characters, played by a cast of four.

The dates are April 19, 20, 26, 27 and 28.

In addition to the main stage shows, there will be two productions on the more intimate 2nd Stage. "Airport Encounters" will be offered Nov. 10, 11, 17 and 18.

Encompassing the show will be 12 scenes of characters as they come and go from the airport.

'Crimes of the Heart' slated for 2nd Stage

The other 2nd Stage production will be "Crimes of the Heart" on May 10, 11, 17 and 18. The scene is Mississippi, where the three Magrath sisters have gathered to await news of the family patriarch, who is living out his last hours at the local hospital.

"Crimes of the Heart" is the story of how its young characters escape the past to seize the future. It will linger in the mind long after the curtain has descended.

The always popular Youth Theatre also will offer a pair of shows after the turn of the calendar.

Disney's "Frozen Jr." is based on the 2018 Broadway musical and tells the story of true love and acceptance between sisters. It promises to melt even the coldest heart. Dates are Jan. 26, 27, Feb. 2, 3 and 4.

The final show of the 2023-24 season will be "Peter Pan Jr." on June 14, 15, 21, 22 and 23. Peter and his mischievous fairy sidekick, Tinkerbell, visit the nursery of the Darling children late one night. With a sprinkle of pixie dust, they begin a magical journey across the stars that none of them will ever forget.

"The Mansfield Playhouse will continue to offer rental and partnerships for other artists, movie screenings, concerts, etc., when available dates open up between productions," Wertz said. "Once we finish our current season, tickets will go live through our website at Exciting times here as we broaden the community building with open auditions and bring new talents to the stage."


Twitter: @MNJCaudill

This article originally appeared on Mansfield News Journal: Mansfield Playhouse offering 'Cinderella,' other shows in season