Muskegon Civic Theatre chooses directors, announces audition dates

Muskegon Civic Theatre has chosen directors and announced audition dates for its 2016-2017 season.

Kirk Wahamaki, Andrew Zahrt, Natalie Carmolli, James Query and Jason Paul Bertoia will direct productions during the season that opens Sept. 16, and runs through May 7, 2017.

MCT will begin with mystery writer Agatha Christie’s “A Murder is Announced.” Directed by Wahamaki, who also is MCT’s artistic director, the show will run Sept. 16 through Oct. 1, in the 170-seat Beardsley Theater.

Set in a Victorian mansion, the story which features Christie’s iconic amateur sleuth, Miss Marple, is about what happens after a newspaper reports the time and place of a homicide that has not yet been committed.

Auditions will be July 25 and 26, with callbacks scheduled for July 27.

Next up will be “Hands on a Hardbody,” a musical comedy directed by Zahrt.

Running in the Beardsley from Nov. 18 through Dec. 4, “Hands on a Hardbody” is about 10 contestants trying to win a Nissan hardbody truck; the victor in the endurance contest will be whoever can keep at least one hand on the truck the longest.

The centerpiece of the production is an actual truck that is on stage.

With a book by Doug Wright, lyrics by Amanda Green and music by Green and Trey Anastasio, “Hands on a Hardbody” was nominated for three 2013 Tony Awards, including Best Original Score.

Auditions will be Sept. 26 and 27. If necessary, callbacks will be Sept. 28.

The production’s musical director will be Kevin C. Foley who recently played Cinderella’s Prince in MCT’s production of “Into the Woods.”

Carmolli will direct playwright Michael Healey’s “The Drawer Boy,” which will run for six performances Jan. 20-28, 2017.

The play is about a Toronto actor who visits a farm to research rural life for a new play. There he interacts with two farmers — veterans of World War II — who have some surprises in store.

“The Drawer Boy” will be MCT’s “black box” offering at the Frauenthal Theater, meaning the audience will be on stage with the performers.

Auditions will be Nov. 28 and 29, with callbacks Nov. 30.

Next will be Query’s direction of “I Hate Hamlet,” playwright Paul Rudnick’s comedy about a young television actor who is cast to play the title role in William Shakespeare’s tragedy “Hamlet.”

The actor, who cannot stand “Hamlet,” moves into a New York apartment once occupied by the late John Barrymore, the actor who is considered to be one of the greatest Hamlets of all time.

Barrymore’s ghost appears — drunk, as the raucous Barrymore often was in life — to help and hassle the younger man.

“I Hate Hamlet” will run Feb. 17 through March 4, 2017, in the Beardsley. Auditions will be Dec. 12 and 23, callbacks Dec. 14.

MCT will close the season with the “Mary Poppins,” the Broadway musical fantasy based on the books by P.L. Travers and the 1964 Walt Disney film adaptation.

The MCT production running May 4-7, 2017 at the 1,748-seat Frauenthal Theater will be directed by Bertoia, and have musical direction by Philip David DeYoung.

The popular show features such songs as “Anything Can Happen if You Let It,” “Feed the Birds,” “Jolly Holiday,” “Step in Time,” “A Spoonful of Sugar,” “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” and the Academy Award-winning “Chim-Chim Cher-ee.”

Auditions will be Feb. 20 and 21, 2017; callbacks are scheduled for Feb. 22.

Categories: Theatre

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