At SBMT’s semiannual members’ meeting on Jan. 28, 2019, Board Chairman Jay Steele and Executive Director Sara Dean unveiled next year’s slate of shows and concerts to an appreciative audience. The shows were revealed in reverse chronological order with characteristic fanfare and showmanship. Seven of SBMT’s past performers sang songs from each of the shows as a projection screen showed a summary of the show’s plot.
The season begins with our fall production of A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder in September 2019. This knock-’em-dead, uproarious hit was Broadway’s most-nominated show of 2014. With ten Tony nominations and four wins—including Best Musical—it is filled with unforgettable music, non-stop laughs and one scene-stealing actor who plays eight different roles! When the low-born Monty Navarro finds out that he’s eighth in line for an earldom in the lofty D’Ysquith family, he figures his chances of outliving his predecessors are slight and sets off down a far more ghoulish path. Can he knock off his unsuspecting relatives without being caught and become the ninth Earl of Highhurst? And what of love? It seems murder isn’t the only thing on Monty’s mind! The show will be directed by Walter M. Mayes, who is currently starring as The King in Big River, and who served as producer for Mame last September.
Later in the fall, SBMT will present our second annual Tacos & Tunes fun(d)raiser. You’re the star of the show as you take the microphone to sing your favorite tune, accompanied by Bob Sunshine on the piano. Then you’ll party the night away with your fellow theatre lovers as you bid on unique silent auction items, and feast on fabulous food catered by Maricruz Espinoza. This intimate evening is one-night-only, with limited availability, so be sure to get your tickets early when they go on sale.
In January of 2020, we are delighted to present She Loves Me, which has been lauded as “possibly the most charming musical ever written.” It was adapted for the Broadway stage by the composers of Fiddler on the Roof and Cabaret. The show was nominated for five Tonys in 1964 and won Best Musical Revival in 1993. This romantic plot more recently inspired the movie You’ve Got Mail. Set in a 1930s European perfumery, we meet shop clerks, Amalia and Georg, who, more often than not, don’t see eye to eye. After both respond to a “lonely hearts advertisement” in the newspaper, they now live for the love letters that they exchange, but the identity of their admirers remains unknown. A revival of this show starring Laura Benanti and Zachary Levi played on Broadway just three years ago and aired on the PBS series Great Performances. Our director for She Loves Me will be Martin Rojas Dietrich.
During the run of She Loves Me in early 2020, Brad Handshy, who created our sellout Broadway by the Decade series, brings you a special concert event called 2020 Hindsight: Songs I Wish I’d Written (At Least In Part) to mark Stephen Sondheim’s 90th birthday. This collection of show-stopping tunes—by other songwriters—are part of a list that Sondheim curated himself. They are tunes he either admires or considers his favorites by such composers as Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein, Cole Porter, George Gershwin, Cy Coleman, Johnny Mercer, Harold Arlen, and Jule Styne—among others! This event will feature many of your favorite SBMT and Broadway by the Decade singers!
Our mainstage show in May will be Rodgers & Hammerstein’s South Pacific, the show that was the most-requested musical in our 2017 patron survey. Set in an island paradise during World War II, this Broadway classic relates two parallel love stories of characters who are threatened by prejudice and war. Nellie, a spunky nurse from Arkansas, falls in love with a mature French planter, Emile. Nellie learns that the mother of his children was an island native and, unable to turn her back on the prejudices with which she was raised, refuses Emile’s proposal of marriage. Meanwhile, the strapping Lt. Joe Cable denies himself the fulfillment of a future with an innocent Tonkinese girl with whom he’s fallen in love out of the same fears that haunt Nellie. When Emile is recruited to accompany Joe on a dangerous mission, Nellie realizes that life is too short not to seize her own chance for happiness, thus confronting and conquering her prejudices. Bring your “honey bun” for tons of fun to this very special show, which will be directed by Lee Ann Payne—the same director who will be helming Thoroughly Modern Millie for us this year.
At the end of May, while South Pacific is in the middle of its run, we will bring you a second concert event—created from scratch for your enjoyment—called Love & War: Songs of the 40s. The show will be directed by Dave Leon, who last directed The Hunchback of Notre Dame for SBMT. This was an era that produced countless staples of The Great American Songbook. Songs are not yet finalized, but we have plenty from which to choose, including: As Time Goes By • Beer Barrel Polka • Bill Bailey • Blueberry Hill • Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy • Bye Bye Blackbird • Chattanooga Choo Choo • Danny Boy • Don’t Sit Under The Apple Tree • Imagination • Night And Day • Over The Rainbow • Pennies From Heaven • Route 66 • Singin’ In The Rain • Stormy Weather • Swingin’ On A Star • When You Wish Upon A Star • White Christmas • You Are My Sunshine.
Season brochures will be sent out to current subscribers in the spring. If you want to get on our mailing list to ensure you are notified as soon as tickets go on sale, so you can get the best choice of seats, please click here.
The meeting also featured award presentations and an appeal for volunteers, but we’ll save that for a separate blog post.