The staff and Board of Directors at the Cumberland Theatre are excited to officially announce the line-up for their 2020 Season. The season, which marks the theatre’s 32nd year of producing live entertainment, features a variety of musicals, comedies, dramas, and classics. Plans also include the annual New Play Reading Series, Shakespeare in the Park, the Stars of Tomorrow production featuring actors 6 – 20 years old, and other special events.
The season will officially open in February with Stephen Sondheim’s Tony Award-winning musical Assassins. Said by many to be one of the most controversial musicals ever written, Assassins lays bare the lives of nine individuals who assassinated or tried to assassinate the President of the United States, in a one-act historical "revusical" that explores the dark side of the American experience. From John Wilkes Booth to Lee Harvey Oswald, writers, Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman, bend the rules of time and space, creating a nightmarish roller coaster ride in which assassins and would-be assassins from different historical periods meet, interact and inspire each other to harrowing acts in the name of the American Dream.
In March, the glamour and decadent excess of the Jazz Age come to the stage in F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic novel, The Great Gatsby adapted to for the stage by Simon Levy. Jay Gatsby, a self-made millionaire, passionately pursues the elusive Daisy Buchanan while Nick Carraway, a young newcomer to Long Island, is drawn into their world of obsession, greed and danger.
April with feature the 2014 Pulitzer Prize-winning dramady The Flick by Annie Baker. In a run- down movie theater in central Massachusetts, three underpaid employees mop the floors and attend to one of the last 35mm film projectors in the state. Their tiny battles and not-so-tiny heartbreaks play out in the empty aisles, becoming more gripping than the lackluster, second- run movies on screen. New York Magazine called the play “funny, heartbreaking, sly, and unblinking - the best argument anyone has yet made for the continued necessity, and profound uniqueness, of theater.”
To celebrate National LGBT Pride Month, the theatre will stage the comedy The Cake for two weekend in June. Based on a true story, the play focuses on Della who makes cakes, not judgment calls – those she leaves to her husband, Tim. But when the girl she helped raise comes back home to North Carolina to get married, and the fiancé is actually a fiancée, Della’s life gets turned upside down and for the first time in her life, Della has to think for herself.
The summer will continue with the award-winning Broadway musical Chicago by John Kander and Fred Ebb. In roaring twenties Chicago, chorine Roxie Hart murders a faithless lover and convinces her hapless husband, Amos, to take the rap...until he finds out he's been duped and turns on Roxie. Convicted and sent to death row, Roxie and another "Merry Murderess," Velma Kelly, vie for the spotlight and the headlines, ultimately joining forces in search of the "American Dream": fame, fortune, and acquittal. This sharp-edged satire features a dazzling score that sparked immortal staging by Bob Fosse. It is the longest running musical revival on Broadway and was made into an Oscar-winning feature film starring Renee Zellweger, Catherine Zeta Jones and Richard Gere.
In late August, the theatre will open the play August: Osage County, a Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Tracy Letts. Winner of the 2008 Tony Award for Best Play, this family drama focuses on a vanished father, a pill-popping mother and three sisters harboring shady little secrets. When the large Weston family unexpectedly reunites after Dad disappears, their Oklahoman family homestead explodes in a maelstrom of repressed truths and unsettling secrets, exposing the dark side of the Midwestern American family. A film version of the play starring Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts was released in 2013.
October will feature the classic mystery Clue: Live on Stage. Based on the iconic 1985 Paramount movie starring Tim Curry, which was inspired by the classic Hasbro board game, The show is farce-meets-murder mystery. The tale begins at a remote mansion, where six mysterious guests assemble for an unusual dinner party where murder and blackmail are on the menu. When their host turns up dead, they all become suspects. Led by the Wadsworth - the butler, Miss Scarlett, Professor Plum, Mrs. White, Mr. Green, Mrs. Peacock and Colonel Mustard race to find the killer as the body count stacks up.
The 2020 Season will close with Elf the Musical in December. Based on the 2003 holiday film, Elf starring Will Ferrell and James Caan, the show tells the story of Buddy, a young orphan, mistakenly crawls into Santa's bag of gifts and is transported to the North Pole. The would-be elf is raised, unaware that he is actually a human until his enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth. With Santa's permission, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father and discover his true identity.
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, Emily Haworth, Dottie Kight, Bob Mayhew, Anthony Pinardi, Matt Scarpelli, Jake Shade, Mary Shrout, Annette Wolford 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.
Subscription Passes and 2020 Flex Passes are now available.