2023 Season Announcement
It’s finally here! We want to share with you the upcoming shows that will be on the Erie Playhouse stage for 2023. There’s lots of great stuff we’re really excited about, and we hope you are too! Without further ado, here are the shows:
January 20-21, 27-29 & February 2-5
Book by: Marshal Brickman & Rick Elice,
Music by: Bob Gaudio & Bob Crewe
Oh, what a story. In Belleville, New Jersey, in 1951, Tommy DeVito performed together with his brother Nicky, and their friend Nick Massi, as The Variety Trio. He then meets 16-year-old Frankie Castelluccio, and the rest is history. Together, they rocket toward stardom, selling over 100 million records worldwide as Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, and being inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame.
JERSEY BOYS is the international musical phenomenon that takes you behind the scenes — and behind the music — of this iconic foursome from the wrong side of the tracks in New Jersey. Told in a documentary-style format that dramatizes the fascinating evolution of the formation, success and eventual break-up of the group, you’ll be transported to the 1960s through beloved chart-topping hits like “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Sherry,” “Stay,” “My Eyes Adored You,” “Walk Like a Man,” “Who Loves You,” “Rag Doll,” “Working My Way Back to You,” “December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)” and many others, featuring that stratospheric falsetto we all know and love.
JERSEY BOYS won four 2006 Tony Awards®, including Best Musical, the 2007 Grammy Award for Best Musical and the 2009 Olivier Award® for Best New Musical. A movie adaption of the musical, with John Lloyd Young reprising his role as Frankie Valli, and directed by Clint Eastwood, was released in 2014.
You Can’t Take It With You
March 17-18, 24-26, 30-31 & April 1-2
By: George S. Kaufman & Moss Hart
The Pulitzer Prize-winning play of 1936 — an achievement usually awarded to dramas — YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU is a classic, timeless screwball comedy with loads of heart. The film version, directed by Frank Capra, won the Best Picture Oscar in 1937. There’s a reason it continues to be one of the most popular and successful plays of modern times: Theatre-goers love a good escape.
The Vanderhof family fills their days with plenty of shenanigans and dysfunctional behavior. Grandpa Martin Vanderhof spends his time collecting snakes and has never paid his income taxes, his grown granddaughter dances around the house in a tutu daily, his son-in-law sets off fire fireworks in the basement, to name a few. There’s also a delivery driver who never left the house after delivering ice seven years prior, a grand duchess and more.
When Martin’s granddaughter Alice — the only normal individual in the family — comes home and announces she has fallen in love with the son of her boss, the family eagerly awaits his arrival to pick her up for a date. But she worries that his family of Wall Street types will never accept her off-the-wall family. The show’s overriding message is to pursue what you love and not worry about money — after all, you can’t take it with you. If you’re looking to escape your troubles for a couple hours, these lovable, zany characters will achieve what goofballs achieve best: making you laugh, again and again.
The Spongebob Musical
August 4-5, 11-13, 17-20
Book by: Kyle Jarrow, Musical Production
Conceived by: Tine Landau
Original Songs by: Yolanda Adams, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith, Sara Bareilles, Jonathan Coulton, Alex Ebert of Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, The Flaming Lips, Lady A, Cyndi Lauper, John Legend, Panic! At the Disco, Plain White T’s, They Might Be Giants, T.I.
Songs by: David Bowie, Tom Kenny & Andy Paley
I’m ready! Adapted from the iconic Nickelodeon animated TV series, SpongeBob Squarepants, this upbeat musical with exuberant neon-colored sets and costumes takes you on an unforgettable underwater adventure. The story is multi-layered for kids and adults, so the whole family will enjoy tapping their feet to the beat and rooting for everyone’s favorite characters from Bikini Bottom. Join SpongeBob, Patrick, Sandy, Squidward and the gang for a theatrical experience filled with giddy fun!
The story begins with SpongeBob facing another day of work at the Krusty Krab. Just as Mr. Krab declines SpongeBob’s request for a promotion to manager, the entire town feels a tremor from a nearby volcano about to erupt. Amid the impending total annihilation, the friends work together to solve the crisis, experiencing setback after setback. Then, just when all hope seems lost, a most unexpected hero arises, proving that the power of optimism really can save the world.
The happy-making score is comprised of individual songs by varying songwriters — from John Legend to Sara Bareilles to the Plain White T’s and more — all beautifully tied together through dazzling orchestrations. Despite being based on a kids’ show, this original musical with a ton of heart opened to critical acclaim, earning 12 Tony Award nominations in 2018, so be sure to mark your calendar for your seafaring escape!
Beautiful: The Carole King Musical
September 15-16, 22-24, 28-30 & October 1
Book by: Douglas McGrath
Music and Lyrics by: Carole King, Gerry Goffin, Cynthia Weil, & Berry Mann
Ready to feel the earth move? BEAUTIFUL: THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL a jukebox musical with timeless hits and a great story. Long before she was Carole King, the chart-topping music legend, she was an ordinary girl with an extraordinary talent.
BEAUTIFUL tells the inspiring true story of Carole King, from her early days as a Brooklyn teenager struggling to enter the record business to her years as a chart-topping music legend. Beautiful covers the pop classics she wrote for the biggest acts in music, to her chart-busting success with Tapestry. The show takes you back to where it all began. From being part of a hit songwriting team with husband Gerry Goffin, her relationship with fellow writers and best friends Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann, to one of the most successful solo acts in music history. Beautiful features over two dozen pop classics, including “You’ve Got a Friend”, “Will You Love Me Tomorrow”, “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman”, “I Feel the Earth Move”, “The Locomotion”, “One Fine Day”, “So Far Away”, “Beautiful”, “It’s Too Late”, and more.
BEAUTIFUL won two Tony Awards and a Grammy for the Best Musical Theater Album of 2015. Her album Tapestry, released in 1971, sold 25 million copies and was No.36 on the Rolling Stone list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. As a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award winner with 118 Billboard Hot 100 hits, she’s regarded as one of the most significant and influential female musicians of all time. Don’t miss this incredible, heartwarming show.
Angels In America Parts 1 & 2
October 20-22, 27-29 & November 2-5 (Presented in Rep)
By: Tony Kushner
A masterpiece of 20th century theater, ANGELS IN AMERICA: A GAY FANTASIA ON NATIONAL THEMES is a play in two parts by American playwright Tony Kushner. With production values that go from darkly realistic to wildly fantastical, the work portrays the intersecting lives of several New Yorkers and their bonds of love, loss, loneliness and forgiveness. The dialogue offers a complex examination of a wide variety of themes, including Reagan-era politics, homosexuality, the spreading AIDS epidemic, and a rapidly changing social and political climate.
The two parts of the play — entitled MILLENNIUM APPROACHES and PERESTROIKA, respectively — will be presented in rep, playing on different days of the week, so you’ll be able to see each part on separate performance dates.
Widely regarded as Kushner’s career-defining work, it opened on Broadway in 1993, winning numerous awards, including the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the Tony Award for Best Play, and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play. It was adapted into an HBO miniseries starring Al Pacino, Mary Louise-Parker, Emma Thompson and Meryl Streep (as the ghost of the infamous Manhattanite Ethel Rosenberg). The miniseries became the first program to sweep every major eligible category at the 56th Primetime Emmy Awards, and won all four acting categories. It also won in all five eligible categories at the 61st Golden Globe Awards. You won’t want to miss this extraordinary two-part event.
Add some mystery to your holiday season, with a show brand new to Erie that we know families will love! It will be revealed soon, so stay tuned!
She Persisted: The Musical
February 17-19, 24-26
School Matinees February 22-24
Based on the bestselling children’s book written by Chelsea Clinton and illustrated by Alexandra Boiger — “She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World” — SHE PERSISTED, THE MUSICAL is a trailblazing new musical for young audiences. rallying cry for all of those tiny feminists, mini activists and little ones ready to take on the world, one dream at a time!
The story centers around a fourth-grader, Naomi, whose field trip to a Women’s History Museum turns into a thrilling time-travel adventure (the youngest generation might think of it as the PBS Kids’ show Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum set to music). Naomi encounters inspirational women who have overcome social, economic and racial barriers to make waves throughout U.S. history.
From activists to athletes, artists to astronauts, inventors to supreme court justices, the musical cleverly conveys positive messages and features the stories of fearless female heroes Harriet Tubman, Virginia Apgar, Ruby Bridges, Sally Ride, Florence Griffith Joyner, Sonia Sotomayor, Nellie Bly and more, who encourage girls to listen to their own voices, and not be afraid to use them. Watching these revered figures come to life through bouncy music and meaningful lyrics will make for a history lesson the whole family will enjoy.
Spring Children’s Musical
May 12-14, 19-21
In May, the Playhouse will present an exciting new release for our Youtheatre audiences that will be announced soon!
Fall Into the Classics
School Day Matinee 16-17
By: William Shakespeare
A fun and educational exploration into the world of William Shakespeare, delving into the language and stories that set the stage for many contemporary stories told today to produce a student-led adaptation of one of his works.
Green Day’s American Idiot
Music by: Green Day
Lyrics by: Billie Joe Armstrong
Book by: Billie Joe Armstrong & Michael Mayer
The two-time Tony Award-winning hit musical GREEN DAY’S AMERICAN IDIOT, based on the punk band’s Grammy Award-winning multi-platinum album, boldly takes the American musical where it’s never gone before. This concert version will feature a talented cast and all the high-octane energy of the full production from start to finish.
Featuring every song from the Green Day’s groundbreaking concept album American Idiot, as well as several songs from its follow-up release, 21st Century Breakdown, the plot centers around three disgruntled men — Johnny, Tunny and Will — as they struggle to find meaning in a post-9/11 world. When the trio decides to escape the media-saturated life of suburbia, they strike out in different directions: Tunny enters the armed forces, Will is called back home to be with his pregnant girlfriend, and Johnny’s attention becomes divided by a seductive love interest and a dangerous new friendship. Eventually, they reunite back home with pockets full of hard-won maturity and a new outlook on life.
A fast-paced rock opera, GREEN DAY’S AMERICAN IDIOT is sung-through, featuring little dialogue, instead relying on the gritty and dynamic lyrics from the groundbreaking album to tell the story. This sonic palette of youthful angst presents mature messages, but its character arcs and performances are as invigorating and emotionally moving as anything you may see this season.