Bay City Players, Michigan’s oldest continuously operating community theatre, will open its 97th season with Stephen Sondheim’s Company next autumn, and close with family favorite The Sound of Music in spring 2015. In between, playgoers will be entertained with a unique interpretation of the holiday favorite Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, the classic American comedy You Can’t Take It With You, and the 2013 Tony Award winning comedy Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, written originally for David Hyde Pierce and Sigourney Weaver. (Season Memberships go on sale April 2 more information coming)
Book by George Furth, Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
October 9, 10, 11, 12 & 16, 17, 18, 19, 2014
Directed by Michael Wisniewski
The clashing sounds and pulsing rhythms of New York City underscore this landmark “concept” show, considered by many to have inaugurated the modern era of musical theatre. COMPANY follows our anti-hero bachelor Robert as he makes his way through a series of encounters with April (the stewardess), Kathy (the girl who’s going to marry someone else), Marta (the “peculiar” one), as well as with his married friends. On the night of his 35th birthday, confirmed bachelor Robert contemplates his unmarried state. In vignette after hilarious vignette, we are introduced to “those good and crazy people,” his married friends, as Robert weighs the pros and cons of married life. In the end, he realizes being alone is “alone, not alive.”
Charles Dickens’ A CHRISTMAS CAROL
Adapted by Doris Baizley
December 5, 6, 7 & 11, 12, 13, 14, 2014
Directed by Leeds Bird and Trevor Keyes
A bright, modern approach to a Christmas classic, adapted by Doris Baizley, has everything we love about this story, but with a special twist. Scrooge, tiny Tim, the three Christmas spirits, Marley’s ghost are all here but each with a spin that delights and surprises. When a troupe of traveling actors digs into their trunk of tricks and mysteries, the fun and surprise grows bigger and better. Spirits rise out of the floor; ghosts float off in a cloud of smoke; carolers and happy children fill the stage with the thrill of Christmas yet to come. This Christmas Carol embraces the entire family in a gigantic holiday hug.
VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE
by Christopher Durang; 2013 Tony Winner: Best Play
January 23, 24, 25 & 29, 30, 31 February 1, 2015
Directed by Tina Sills
Middle-aged siblings Vanya and Sonia share a home in Bucks County, PA, where they bicker and complain about the circumstances of their lives. Suddenly, their movie-star sister, Masha, swoops in with her new boy toy, Spike. Old resentments flare up, eventually leading to threats to sell the house. Also on the scene are sassy maid Cassandra, who can predict the future, and a lovely young aspiring actress named Nina, whose prettiness somewhat worries the imperious Masha.
YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU
by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman
March 13, 14, 15 & 19, 20, 21, 22, 2015
Directed by Susan Ross
At first the Sycamores seem mad, but it is not long before we realize that if they are mad, the rest of the world is madder. In contrast to these delightful people are the unhappy Kirbys. The plot shows how Tony, attractive young son of the Kirbys, falls in love with Alice Sycamore and brings his parents to dine at the Sycamore home on the wrong evening. The shock sustained by the Kirbys, who are invited to eat cheap food, shows Alice that marriage with Tony is out of the question. The Sycamores, however, though sympathetic to Alice, find it hard to realize her point of view. Meantime, Tony, who knows the Sycamores are right and his own people wrong, will not give her up, and in the end Mr. Kirby is converted to the happy madness of the Sycamores, particularly since he happens in during a visit by an ex-Grand Duchess, earning her living as a waitress. No mention has as yet been made of the strange activities of certain members of the household engaged in the manufacture of fireworks; nor of the printing press set up in the parlor; nor of Rheba the maid and her friend Donald; nor of Grandpa’s interview with the tax collector when he tells him he doesn’t believe in the income tax.
THE SOUND OF MUSIC
Music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse, suggested by “The von Trapp Family Singers” by Maria Augusta Trapp
April 30, May 1, 2, 3 & May 7, 8, 9, 10, 2015
Directed by Kurt Miller
The final collaboration between Rodgers & Hammerstein was destined to become the world’s most beloved musical. When a postulant proves too high-spirited for the religious life, she is dispatched to serve as governess for the seven children of a widowed naval Captain. Her growing rapport with the youngsters, coupled with her generosity of spirit, gradually captures the heart of the stern Captain, and they marry. Upon returning from their honeymoon they discover that Austria has been invaded by the Nazis, who demand the Captain’s immediate service in their navy. The family’s narrow escape over the mountains to Switzerland on the eve of World War II provides one of the most thrilling and inspirational finales ever presented in the theatre. The motion picture version remains the most popular movie musical of all time.