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BEST OF BROADWAY
Coming August 2018, the Theatre Guild of Hampden will present Shrek the Musical
as this summer's youth production. In this one-of-a-kind, hilarious fairy tale curses are reversed, monsters get the girls, donkeys and dragons find love, and princesses are beautiful in all shapes and sizes. Grumpy, gruff, green ogre Shrek lives alone in his swamp. The world is fearful and mocking of him, and he is more than happy to leave the world to itself, in turn. Suddenly, his hermit existence is thrown open, when a group of homeless fairy tale characters — Pinocchio, the Gingerbread Man, the Three Little Pigs, and more — burst upon his swamp, seeking refuge from the persecution of the cruel, vertically-challenged Lord Farquaad. Shrek seeks out Farquaad, who offers him a deal: if Shrek rescues the Princess Fiona (whom Farquaad wishes to marry for her crown), then Farquaad will ensure the return of Shrek’s swamp by returning the fairy tale creatures to their homes.
In a desperate attempt to regain his swamp’s hermetic piece, Shrek enters the world for the first time in his life. He travels to Princess Fiona’s prison, rescues her from a fire-breathing dragon, and then – scariest of all – is forced to get to know the princess as he tries to bring her back to evil Farquaad. To the determinedly unsocial ogre’s dismay, Fiona is very different from what he expected a princess to be. She may even provoke Shrek’s most novel experience yet: Love. Shrek the Musical transforms the contemporary children’s book and popular animated feature film into a stage musical that is sure to entertain and make audiences believers in happy endings for all. This don't-miss show will be directed by Darcy Walulak.
Hailed by critics and audiences for its heart and its wit, My Fair Lady is a beautiful musical about transformation, patronage, gender politics and class, based on George Bernard Shaw’s play, Pygmalion. Acclaimed Professor and confirmed bachelor Henry Higgins makes a wager with his linguistic colleague Colonel Pickering that in six months he can pass off “gutter snipe” Eliza Doolittle as a duchess at an embassy ball. Through arduous training, day and night, Eliza learns how to speak English “properly” and transforms into a lady respected and adored by all classes. Along the way she bewitches young Freddy Einsford-Hill into falling in love with her and convinces a supposed linguistics expert that she is royalty.
Through her transformation process, Eliza forges a deep connection with Colonel Pickering and most especially with Professor Higgins. However, she finds herself in a difficult position, now too refined to go back to her old life and not with any means or desire to live life as a lady of leisure – especially by herself. When Higgins completely fails to acknowledge Eliza’s role in her own transformation, she leaves his home. It is only then that Higgins realizes that he cares deeply for Eliza. The play ends with Eliza’s return to Higgins’ home, and the ending is left ambiguous, yet it is beloved for being both one of the cleverest and one of the most romantic plays of all time.
Show to be held in Spring 2019. Directed by Paula Cortis, with Music Director Tom Slowik and Choreographer Melissa Dupont.
SHREK THE MUSICAL
A theatrical piece of distinct power, with some of Tennessee Williams’ most potent lyricism, The Glass Menagerie is a memory play as told to us by Tom Wingfield, a merchant marine looking back on the Depression years he spent with his overbearing Southern genteel mother, Amanda, and his physically disabled, cripplingly shy sister, Laura. While Amanda strives to give her children a life beyond the decrepit St. Louis tenement they inhabit, she is herself trapped by the memory of her life past-- a life of cotillions and suitors and wealth, now long gone. Tom, working at a shoe factory and paying the family’s rent, finds his own escape in drinking and going to the movies, while Laura pours her energy into caring for her delicate glass figurines. Pressured by his mother to help find Laura a suitable husband, he invites an acquaintance from the factory to the apartment, a powerful possibility that pushes Amanda deeper into her obsessions and makes Laura even more vulnerable to shattering, exposed like the glass menagerie she treasures.
Williams’ intensely personal and brilliantly tender masterpiece exposes the complexity of our memories, and the ways in which we can never truly escape them. Show dates are last weekend in February and first weekend in March 2019. The Glass Menagerie will be directed by Mark Giza with Stage Manager Janet Plumb.
THE GLASS MENAGERIE
LATE FEBRUARY/EARLY MARCH 2019
On October 12 & 13, 2018 Mark Giza will be hosting the Theatre Guild of Hampden's Best of Broadway- A Salute to Our Favorite Musicals for two special nights at the Hampden Town Hall Auditorium. You'll see stars from many of our past shows performing songs from all your favorite musicals. Check back soon for more details.
MY FAIR LADY