FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – The staff and Board of Directors at the Cumberland Theatre are excited to officially announce the line-up for their 2019 Season. The season, which marks the theatre’s 31st year of producing live entertainment, features a variety of musicals, comedies, dramas, and classics. Plans also include a play reading series, movies, a young actor’s production and other special events.
The season will officially open in February with the Pulitzer Prize winning play Rabbit Hole by David Lindsay-Abaire. This sometimes funny, sometimes haunting play centers around Becca and Howie Corbett who have everything a family could want, until a life-shattering accident turns their world upside down and leaves the couple drifting perilously apart. Rabbit Hole charts their bittersweet search for comfort in the darkest of places and for a path that will lead them back into the light of day. The play premiered on Broadway in 2006 and was nominated for several Tony Awards. In 2010, it was made into a feature film starring Nicole Kidman and directed by John Cameron Mitchell.
In April, the theatre will feature the cult musical, Reefer Madness inspired by the original 1936 film of the same name. The musical comedy takes a tongue-in-cheek look at the hysteria caused when clean-cut kids fall prey to marijuana, leading them on a hysterical downward spiral filled with evil jazz music, sex and violence. Reefer Madness is a highly stylized and satirical political commentary. The musical numbers range from big Broadway-style showstoppers to swing tunes like ‘Down at the Ol’ Five and Dime’ and the Vegas-style ‘Listen to Jesus, Jimmy,’ featuring J.C. Himself leading a chorus of showgirl angels.
The classic play A Streetcar Named Desire will run for two weeks in June. Regarded as one of the finest plays of the 20th century and considered by many to be playwright Tennessee Williams' greatest work, the play depicts southern belle schoolteacher, Blanche DuBois, who arrives in New Orleans needing the charity of her sister and brutish brother-in-law, Stella and Stanley Kowalski, for relief from the loss of her childhood home. Stella and Stanley already have a volatile relationship, but the cramped quarters and Blanche’s deceptions only serve to pour gas on the already existing flame. The play won the Pulitzer Prize in 1947 and in 1951, was adapted into an Academy Award-winning film starring Marlon Brando and Vivien Leigh.
The summer will continue with the award-winning Broadway musical Legally Blonde, based on the popular movie starring Reese Witherspoon. It follows the transformation of Elle Woods as she tackles stereotypes and scandal in pursuit of her dreams. Her life is turned upside down when her boyfriend Warner dumps her so he can attend Harvard Law. Determined to get him back, Elle ingeniously charms her way into the prestigious law school. While there, she struggles with peers, professors and her ex. With the support of some new friends, though, Elle quickly realizes her potential and sets out to prove herself to the world.
In August, the new comedy Meteor Shower will run for two weekends. Written by comedian Steve Martin, using his trademark absurdist humor, the play bends the fluid nature of time and reality. Corky and Norm are excited to host Gerald and Laura at their home to watch a once-in-a-lifetime meteor shower. But as the stars come out and the conversation gets rolling, it becomes clear that Gerald and Laura might not be all that they appear to be. Over the course of a crazy, starlit dinner party, the wildly unexpected occurs. The play recently had its debut on Broadway and starred Amy Schumer and Keegan-Michael Key.
October will feature the classic thriller Dracula, written by Steven Dietz and based on the famous Bram Stoker novel. The familiar tale of the vampire from Transylvania will run for three weekends. The final main stage show of the season will be Meredith Wilson’s musical adaptation of A Miracle on 34th Street, which will take the stage in December. The show closely follows the holiday movie about Macy’s famous Santa Claus who may or may not be the real Kris Kringle.
The Cumberland Theatre is owned and overseen by its volunteer board of trustees including President BettyJo Gehauf, Vice President Phyllis Lyon, Secretary Dawn Wolford, Treasurer Sheryl Brown, Shirley Giarritta, Dottie Kight, Greg Malloy, Anthony Pinardi, Matt Scarpelli, Jake Shade, Mary Shrout and Don Whisted. Kimberli Rowley and Rhett Wolford serve as the theatre’s Artistic Directors.
The theatre employs professional actors, directors, and designers from all over the country as well as local actors and students and faculty from Frostburg State University.