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Jun 28

“Cinderella” and “Half Time – Gotta Dance,” and “Newsies” all have July performances

Posted on June 28, 2021 at 12:55 PM by Becky Burnside

The tale of a girl who is magically transformed into a princess, a true story about a sexagenarian hip-hop dance team, and the first of six performance of a musical about how the newsboys of New York City banded together to form their own union are all productions planned when the 2001 outdoor season of the Theatre in the Park continues in July. 

Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella,” which is Rated G, will be on Theatre in the Park’s stage on July 2 and 3 with no performance on July 4, and July 7 through 10. “Half Time - Gotta Dance,” which is Rated PG-13, will be performed on July 16 through 18 and July 21 through 24. And “Newsies,” which is rated PG, will have the first performance of a seven-night run on July 30, and will continue through Aug. 1, and Aug. 4 through 7. Also during July, two more films will be presented on the outdoor stage as part of the 2021 Movies in the Park program;  Disney’s “The Little Mermaid,” and “Moana.” 

You know the story of the overworked girl and her fairy godmother, but did you know Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella” was originally conceived as a 1957 CBS television special starring Julie Andrews, and over the ensuing decades has been revamped twice for Broadway before becoming a smash hit movie starring Brandy and Whitney Houston? In 2013, it was brought back to contemporary theater to become, not just the story of a girl who is magically transformed into a princess, but the story of a young woman who fights for the downtrodden, always sees the good in others, is willing to make friends in the most unlikely places, and uses her passion to help create a better world.

“Half Time - Gotta Dance” is the incredible true story of ten determined 60-plus dreamers who audition to dance at half time for a major basketball team only to discover they won’t be dancing tap, salsa, or swing. Instead, they will bring down the house with a style that is entirely new to them: hip-hop. Along the way through mentorship and friendship they battle self-doubt, stereotypes and even each other for a chance to bust a move at center court in front of 20,000 screaming fans. Together they remind us that in life, when the odds are stacked against you and the challenges seem too great to overcome, it’s not the end of the game- it’s half time! 

Based on a 1992 Disney film, “Newsies” tells the story of how in 1899, the newsboys of New York City banded together to form their own union and held The World, The Sun, and New York captive until their demands for better pay were met. The story focuses on Jack Kelly, ring leader of the Manhattan newises, his new friends Davey and Les, who are trying to support their family while their father is out of work, and Katherine Plumber, a smart, no nonsense young reporter trying to break through in a world where women are supposed to be seen and not heard.  Together with a vibrant group of newsboys, and a little help from the brassy owner of New York City’s best burlesque club, they get carried away into a strike that becomes bigger than they ever could have imagined.  

Much more information about the theater and this year’s productions is available at the Theatre in the Park’s website.

For outdoor productions, gates open at 7 p.m., and shows begin at 8:30 p.m.  General admission is $10 for adults, $6 for youth ages four to ten, plus tax, and free for children three and under, but tickets are still required. Tickets can be purchased at the box office or online. “Anytime tickets” available via either ticket-buying method, are not specific to a certain night or performance, and can be printed out at home and scanned at the gate. 

Continuing in 2021 is Thrifty Thursdays when a 20 percent discount is offered on Thursday night performances. This makes adult tickets $8 and children’s tickets $4.80, plus tax. The discounted tickets must be purchased at the box office the evening of the show.

Also continuing are Movies in the Park, a program that lets participants see popular recent films on a 40-foot screen on the TIP stage for only $1 per person at the gate. With the exception of two Friday screenings on Aug. 13 and 20 during August, films are shown on selected Tuesday nights when musical productions are not scheduled. Upcoming 2021 Movies in the Park shows are: Disney’s “The Little Mermaid,” rated G, on July 6; Disney’s “Moana,” rated PG, on July 20; Disney’s “Tangled,” rated PG, on Aug. 3; “The Incredibles,” rated PG, on Aug. 13; and “Up,” rated PG, on Aug. 20.

The Theatre in the Park’s outdoor location is north of the main entrance to Shawnee Mission Park at 7710 Renner Road in Shawnee. This year’s outdoor season, and the Movies in the Park presentations are sponsored by AdventHealth and FNBO. “Cinderella” and “Newsies” are sponsored in part by FNBO. Sponsorships for specific shows are still available, and you can learn more by calling Kate Buenger (913) 826-3016 or at kate.buenger@jocogov.org.