The Cumberland County Playhouse has recently announced the remainder of its 2021 Season. “We’re very excited to announce the rest of the 2021 season,” said producing director Bryce McDonald. “We were able to secure the rights not only to some of the shows that were postponed in 2020, but we included some beloved classics along with some exciting new titles!”
Beginning June 15, Driving Miss Daisy returns to the Adventure stage. This beloved Pulitzer Prize winning play by Alfred Uhry is a timeless, moving, funny, and ultimately hopeful reflection of race relations in America’s Deep South, told through the unlikely relationship between two endearing characters. When Daisy Werthan (Patty Payne), a widowed, 72-year-old Jewish woman living in midcentury Atlanta, is deemed too old to drive, her son (Jason Ross) hires Hoke Colburn (Michael Ruff), an African American man, to serve as her chauffeur. What begins as a troubled and hostile pairing, soon blossoms into a profound, life-altering friendship that transcends all the societal boundaries placed between them. Their iconic tale of pride, changing times and the transformative power of friendship has warmed the hearts of millions worldwide.
Driving Miss Daisy plays through August 5, is rated PG, and is co-sponsored by Crossville Tile Outlet Store and Tim and Pat Nickell.
On July 2, Prepare ye for Godspell, the adored classic from Stephen Schwartz, the Grammy and Academy-Award winning composer of Wicked. This high-energy musical follows a group of people that help Jesus Christ tell parables from The Gospel According to St. Matthew. A heavy dose of comedy, along with an eclectic blend of songs, ranging in style from pop to vaudeville, will dazzle you as the story of Jesus’ life dances across the stage. Raise your spirit with the Tony-nominated score filled with the popular hits “Day by Day”, “Learn Your Lessons Well”, and “Turn Back, O Man.” This timeless tale of friendship, loyalty, community, and love will tug on your heartstrings as a spectacular cast of Playhouse favorites performs the greatest story ever told. So, come sing about love – at Godspell.
Godspell plays through August 22 on the Mainstage, is rated PG, and is co-sponsored by The Pour House Bistro and Fairfield Glade Resort.
July 23 through September 2 brings Always… Patsy Cline to the Adventure Theater. Created and originally directed by Ted Swindley, this spectacular tribute musical tells the true story of the friendship that developed between country music superstar Patsy Cline and Louise Segar, her most devoted fan. Louise narrates the story of the day in 1961 when she met Patsy at Houston’s Esquire Ballroom. Afterward, Patsy kept in touch with her number one fan by writing her long hand-written letters that she signed “(Love) Always, Patsy Cline.” Featuring all of Cline’s chart-topping hits including “Walkin’ After Midnight,” “Crazy,” “I Fall to Pieces,” and “Sweet Dreams,” Always… Patsy Cline is an evening of nostalgic song and heartfelt humor starring Tennessee’s Miss America Kellye Cash as Patsy Cline and Playhouse royalty Patty Payne as her biggest fan!
Always… Patsy Cline is rated PG and is co-sponsored by Comfort Suites/Hampton Inn, Club Wyndham, and Hospice of Cumberland County.
August 13 through September 30, the Adventure Theater is the scene for the pulse-pounding thriller The 39 Steps. Mix a Hitchcock masterpiece with a juicy spy novel, add a dash of Monty Python and you have The 39 Steps, a fast-paced whodunit for anyone who loves the magic of theatre! This two-time Tony Award winning treat is packed with non-stop laughs, over 150 zany characters (played by a ridiculously talented cast of four), an onstage plane crash, handcuffs, missing fingers, and some good old-fashioned romance! A hilarious parody based on the 1935 film by Alfred Hitchcock and adapted from the 1915 novel by John Buchan, The 39 Steps amounts to an unforgettable evening of pure pleasure!
The 39 Steps is rated PG, and sponsored by Tracey Barnes, owner/broker, Atlas Real Estate.
On September 10, Little House on the Prairie, the Musical (book by Rachel Sheinkin, music by Rachel Portman, lyrics by Donna Di Novelli) opens on the Mainstage. Through the magic of live theatre, sweeping stage adaptation of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s treasured books follows the Ingalls family’s journey westward and settlement in De Smet, South Dakota where Ma and Pa Ingalls hoped to make a better life for their children. In story, song, and dance, we see the Ingalls suffering the hardships of winter blizzards and prairie ﬁres as well as rejoicing in the settlement of the land. Most of all, the story follows Laura as she grows from a child who loved to run free into a woman who embraces the responsibilities of her own future while remaining true to herself. You don’t want to miss the chance to see these beloved characters come to life on our very stage!
Little House on the Prairie, the Musical runs through October 28, is rated G, and is sponsored by Uplands Village.
October 8 through November 11, the enchanting Peter and the Starcatcher comes to the Adventure Theater. This dazzling new play by Rick Elice is based on the novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, and features music by Wayne Barker. A wildly theatrical, hilarious, and innovative tale of how a miserable orphan came to be “The Boy Who Never Grew Up,” Peter and the Starcatcher upends the century-old legend of Peter Pan in this grownup’s prequel to the classic story. A young orphan and his mates are shipped off from Victorian England to a distant island, knowing nothing of the mysterious trunk in the captain’s cabin, which contains a precious, otherworldly cargo. At sea, with the help of a precocious young girl, the boys discover that the trunk’s precious cargo is starstuff, a celestial substance so powerful that it must never fall into the wrong hands. But when the ship is taken over by pirates – led by the fearsome Black Stache, a villain determined to claim the trunk and its treasure for his own – the journey quickly becomes a thrilling adventure. Don’t miss this epic origin story of one of pop culture’s most enduring and beloved characters and discover the Neverland you never knew!
Peter and the Starcatcher is rated PG, co-sponsored by Crossville Tile Outlet Store and John and Christine Stinson.
The Playhouse kicks off the holiday season on November 5 with Scrooge the Musical by Leslie Bricusse. One of CCP’s most popular holiday hits returns to the Mainstage to delight audiences once again! This timeless musical follows the plot of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, in which the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge undergoes a profound experience of redemption over the course of a Christmas Eve night, after being visited by the ghost of his former partner Jacob Marley and the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future. Starring Playhouse favorite Jason Ross as Scrooge, this delightful show full of song, dance, and plenty of Christmas cheer is guaranteed to put your entire family in the holiday spirit!
Scrooge the Musical plays through December 18, is rated G, and is sponsored by Tim and Susan Tewalt.
And on November 19, the 2021 season finale opens in the Adventure Theater: Plaid Tidings, a special holiday edition of Forever Plaid by Stuart Ross - The Legendary Plaids come back to Earth to spread yuletide joy with the greatest holiday hits of the ages. Filled with Christmas standards that have all been “Plaid-erized,” our boys are back to perform their Christmas special. At first, Francis, Jinx, Smudge, and Sparky aren’t sure why they’ve returned to Earth for another posthumous performance, but a phone call from Rosemary Clooney lets them know that they’re needed to put a little harmony into a discordant world. Sprinkled among the Christmas offerings are audience favorites, like their riotous three-minute-and-eleven-second version of the Ed Sullivan Show – this time, featuring the Rockettes, the Chipmunks, and The Vienna Boys Choir! This truly “heaven-sent” holiday treat will lift your spirits and fill you with nostalgia for a bygone era of classic music sung in perfect harmony.
Plaid Tidings runs through December 19, is rated G, and is co-sponsored by Good Samaritan Society, Bilbrey Funeral Home, and Senator Paul Bailey.
Currently at the Playhouse: Duck Hunter Shoots Angel, through June 14, rated PG-13, and co-sponsored by Beltone Hearing Aid Centers of TN and ProMortgage, a Real Estate Lending Group.
Seating for currently running shows is general admission and reservations are required. Booking early is recommended, as seating is limited. Beginning June 15, the remainder of the season will be reserved seating as usual. Tickets can be purchased online at ccplayhouse.com or by calling the Playhouse Box Office at (931) 484-5000.
All CCP productions are made possible through sponsor support, with additional support provided by the Tennessee Arts Commission, Playhouse media sponsor The Crossville Chronicle, and Playhouse Season Partners Plateau Pediatrics and Tim and Susan Tewalt.