Travel in search of self, healing or fame seems to be the recurring theme in Queensbury Theatre's selections for its 2018-19 season.
A woman whose face bears the scar of a tragic childhood accident journeys across the country looking for a minister to heal her. Violet, the first offering of the four musical season announced by Queensbury, won the Drama's Critics' Circle Award in 1997 and is headed for the professional theater in the CityCentre this September.
In December, Queensbury will offer the family friendly Elf, with its well known story of the human boy mistakenly transported to Santa's workshop who just never does too well as an elf. He journeys back to his human family in New York to find his place in the world.
Going on a journey also is an important aspect of For Tonight, the story of a Welsh boy whose parents have died, who travels to Liverpool to figure out what's next in his life. The Romani, their legends and their music, are weaved throughout this story that will be presented in February.
Finally Side Show opening in late March is based on the true story of conjoined twins Violet and Daisy Hilton who were joined at the hips and buttocks and became stars during the Depression.
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“We are very excited to announce our 2018/19 Mainstage Season, and we hope you will join us at Queensbury for these four high-quality, professional, and affordable musicals which will feature all local talent,” said Marley Singletary, producing executive director. “Our lineup includes one blockbuster title, two musical theater favorites, and one world premiere. Dedicated to telling meaningful stories on our stage, each show tells the story of the human experience."
Here's the detailed lineup from Queensbury:
VIOLET - September 6-23, 2018
This multi-award-winning musical follows a scarred woman who embarks on a cross-country bus trip to be
healed by a minister... discovering the true meaning of beauty along the way.
Winner of the Drama Critics' Circle Award and Lucille Lortel Award for Best Musical when it premiered Off-
Broadway in 1997, and then on to a Tony-nominated Broadway debut in 2014 with a revised version, Violet is a moving musical featuring show-stopping anthems, ranging from American-roots to folk to gospel. With a score from Tony-winning composer Jeanine Tesori (Caroline, or Change; Thoroughly Modern Millie; Shrek; Fun Home) and book and lyrics by the acclaimed Brian Crawley (A Little Princess), Violet is inspired by the short story, The Ugliest Pilgrim by Doris Betts, astounding critics and audiences alike in two separate decades.
As a girl, Violet was struck by a wayward axe blade when her father was chopping wood, leaving her with
a visible scar across her face. With enough money finally saved she's traveling across the Deep South in
1964 towards a miracle – the healing touch of a TV evangelist who will make her beautiful. Although she
may not succeed in having the scar on her face healed, Violet is able to repair those scars that are lying
deeper than her skin. On the way, she meets a young, African-American soldier whose love for her
reaches far past her physical “imperfections."
Book and Lyrics by Brian Crawley
Music by Jeanine Tesori
ELF - December 6-23, 2018
A title known the world over, Elf The Musical is a must-produce holiday musical that can easily become an
annual tradition for any theatre. Based on the cherished 2003 New Line Cinema hit, Elf features songs by
Tony Award nominees, Matthew Skylar and Chad Beguelin (Disney's Aladdin on Broadway, The Wedding
Singer), with a book by Tony Award winners, Thomas Meehan (Annie, The Producers, Hairspray) and
Bob Martin (The Drowsy Chaperone).
Buddy, a young orphan, mistakenly crawls into Santa's bag of gifts and is transported to the North Pole.
The would-be elf is raised, unaware that he is actually a human, until his enormous size and poor toymaking
abilities cause him to face the truth. With Santa's permission, Buddy embarks on a journey to
New York City to find his birth father and discover his true identity. Faced with the harsh realities that his
father is on the naughty list and his half-brother doesn't even believe in Santa, Buddy is determined to win
over his new family and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas.
This modern day holiday classic is sure to make everyone embrace their inner elf. After all, the best way
to spread Christmas Cheer is singing loud for all to hear.
Book by Thomas Meehan and Bob Martin
Music by Matthew Skylar
Lyrics by Chad Beguelin
FOR TONIGHT (World Premiere) - February 7-24, 2019
When their parents die of a mysterious illness in their small Welsh village, surviving siblings Thomas,
Haydon, and Nettie are forced to fend for themselves. Inspired by the Romani who once shared their
home, Haydon heads off to Liverpool, guitar in hand, to find what he's been missing. There he meets a
Romani woman, Mirela, who speaks to his wandering soul.
This enchanting story, inspired by the author’s great-great-great grandfather’s journals, is magically recounted
by a band of Romani musicians. It challenges prejudices, family relationships, and what it means
to embrace the unknown. Through a riveting indie-rock/folk score, "For Tonight" explores the indelible
power of home.
Finalist for New Horizons Music Festival, 2015
Top Ten Best Song 'Drewe & Stiles Best Song Award' - London, England
Nominated for Best New/Original Work - 2015 BroadwayWorld Connecticut Awards
Book by Spencer Williams, Shenelle Salcido, and Whitney Rhodes
Music and Lyrics by Spencer Williams and Shenelle Salcido
SIDE SHOW - March 28-April 14, 2019
Based on the true story of Siamese twins Violet and Daisy Hilton who became stars during the Depression,
Side Show is a moving portrait of two women joined at the hip whose extraordinary bondage brings
them fame but denies them love. Told almost entirely in song, the show follows their progression from
England to America, around the vaudeville circuit and to Hollywood on the eve of their appearance in the
1932 movie Freaks.
With a completely reworked plot and new songs like "Very Well Connected", "All in the Mind", and "The
Great Wedding Show", the 2014 revival delves deeper into the back story of the Hilton twins. With the implementation of the twins' relationship with Harry Houdini and of a proposed separation surgery, the new book fleshes out characters and situations that endow the songs with more sophistication and truth.
By Bill Russell and Henry Krieger
For more information, visit queensburytheatre.org.