The 2014-2015 McPherson College Theatre season will include funny shows of all kinds – bawdy comedies and Broadway hits as well as more subtle humor.
“The Heir Apparent” by David Ives will kick off the season Sept. 25-27 in Mingenback Theatre. Set in 1708 Paris, the play follows Eraste, who has it all: good looks, a beautiful fiancée, Isabelle, and a huge inheritance from his aged uncle. But Isabelle’s mother, Madame Argante, will only let the two marry if Eraste can show that he will soon inherit the estate. Complicating matters is the rich Uncle Geronte. Not only does he refuse to die, but he also plans to marry the fair Isabelle himself. The multiple strands of the plot are unraveled to great comic effect in the rhyming couplets of French classical comedy where everyone lives happily, and richly, ever after. The production that just closed at the Classic Stage Company off-Broadway was dubbed by the “New York Times” as “Boisterous, Bawdy and Endlessly Funny.”
Next up, “Miscast: a Night of Broadway Hits” arranged and directed by Jd. Bowman, associate professor of theatre, and Dr. Josh Norris, assistant professor of music and director of choral activities, will include selections from current Broadway shows Oct. 17-18 and 24-25 in Brown Auditorium. “Miscast” is another edition of MC’s up-to-date musical revues, featuring some of the best songs from the biggest shows. The college will be showcasing songs from current Broadway shows such as “The Book of Mormon,” “The Lion King,” and “Once,” as well as standards from classic shows such as “Kiss Me, Kate,” “Sweet Charity,” and even some favorite Disney classics. Homecoming is the perfect time to showcase this collaboration among the instrumental, vocal, and musical theatre branches of the college’s performing arts department.
Next is a classic comedy from master playwright Neil Simon – “California Suite,” showing Nov. 20-24 in Mingenback Theatre. Four different stories take place in the same hotel suite, but they couldn’t be more different. A husband wakes up to a destroyed hotel room and a prostitute passed out in his bed. Does he have time to clean up his mess before his wife surprises him with a visit? A woman prepares to receive the biggest acting award of her career. But how will she react when she learns her husband has been playing a character for their entire marriage? These four unique stories will be led by the next generation of directors from McPherson College.
“On the Verge, or the Geography of Yearning” by Eric Overmyer will show Feb. 27-28 and March 5-7 in Mingenback Theatre. This magical story highlights the elasticity of time and language. Three female explorers from the Victorian era reach Terra Ingocnita (a new, unexplored land). Their sense of wonder and curiosity lead them further and further into the unexplored, and they soon discover that they are traveling through time as well. The travelers realize that the answer to life is in the exploring and the only constant in their world is change.
The final comedy of the season is “The Foreigner” by Larry Shue, showing April 17-18 in Brown Auditorium. Once you’ve seen Larry Shue’s comical “Foreigner,” you won’t likely forget it. Charlie and his friend are vacationing at a Georgia fishing cabin. In order to keep Charlie from being bothered by the locals, he is introduced as being a foreigner from a country that doesn’t speak any English. But instead of promoting solitude, the “foreigner” brings out all the locals who want to help educate Charlie in the ways of the American South. Directed by Addie Johnson, this show is sure to delight and tickle the funny bone.
All shows start at 7:30 p.m. Tickets to all shows cost $5 for adults and $3.50 for children ages high school and younger as well as seniors. Theatergoers may also obtain a First Nighter’s Membership, which costs $75 for an individual, $150 for a double membership and $225 for a family membership. Membership includes show admission for the entire season as well as a student-produced dinner themed to the production served before every show.
Reservations may be made by contacting the theatre box office at 620-242-0444 or at email@example.com.