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Nov 30

Plus - Eight great shows set for Theatre in the Park’s 2023 season

Posted on November 30, 2022 at 12:44 PM by Becky Burnside

By David Markham

Everyone’s favorite hat-wearing cat, as well as Horton the elephant, and the irresponsible Lazy Mayzie bring the fantastical world of Dr. Seuss to life in the final musical production of Theatre in the Park’s 2022 season. TIP also recently announced its 54th season to be presented in 2023.

“Seussical the Musical” begins Dec. 9 and runs through Dec. 23 at The Black Box Theatre located inside the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center. 

In this popular musical comedy, The Cat in the Hat tells the story of Horton, an elephant who discovers a speck of dust that contains the Whos, including Jojo, a Who child sent off to military school for thinking too many "thinks." Horton faces a double challenge: not only must he protect the Whos from a world of naysayers and dangers, but he must guard an abandoned egg, left in his care by the irresponsible Mayzie La Bird. Although Horton faces ridicule, danger, kidnapping, and a trial, the intrepid Gertrude McFuzz never loses faith in him. Ultimately, the powers of friendship, loyalty, family, and community are challenged and emerge triumphant.Seussical birds

“Seussical the Musical” is Rated G and is suitable for all audiences. More information about this production can be found at theatreinthepark.org. 

“Seussical the Musical,” will be presented 13 times. Each show will last about 2.5 hours with one 15-minute intermission. Evening performances beginning at 6 p.m. Sundays are scheduled for Dec. 11 and 18, while shows beginning at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesdays through Saturdays, are planned for Dec. 9, 10, 15, 16, 17, 21, 22, and 23. Afternoon performances at 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sundays are planned for Dec. 10, 17, and 18. Interpreters for the deaf and hard of hearing will be present for the evening performance on Saturday, Dec. 17.

For performances beginning at 6 or 7:30 p.m., tickets are $14.50 for children ages 10 and under, $14.85 for seniors 60 and older, and $16.50 for adults 11 to 59. Admission costs for afternoon shows are $11.60 for ages 10 and under, $11.88 for seniors 60 and older, and $13.20 for adults 11 and older.

New for this show are 21 reservable bean bags, which are arranged on the floor between the stage and the main audience seating. Bean bag tickets are intended for youth, but there are no age or weight limits and cost $10 for evening shows and $8 for matinees. 

 The house opens 30 minutes before show time.  Seating is assigned at time of ticket purchase. Tickets are available anytime online at theatreinthepark.org/purchase-arts-and-heritage-center-tickets, or can be purchased at JCAHC during regular hours. The TIP Box Office at the front desk of JCAHC opens at 6:30 p.m. on performance nights and 1 p.m. for matinees. 

Related Seussical Art classes for all ages are being offered at JCAHC prior to Saturday matinee shows on Dec. 10 and 17. Participants can create some fantastically fun art before the shows. These programs begin at 1 p.m. and last about an hour. Participants will supply the creativity, and all materials are included. The cost is $5 per person, 

TIP’s 2023 schedule involves eight shows, including three indoor productions at The Black Box Theatre, and five summer shows on TIP’s outdoor stage in Shawnee Mission Park.  

Up first in 2023 is “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” which will be at JCAHC March 10 through 26, and is Rated PG16. Outdoor summer productions to presented on TIP’s stage in Shawnee Mission Park will include:  Disney’s “Freaky Friday,” which is Rated G and on stage June 2 through 10; “Meet Me in St. Louis” which is Rated G; and on stage June 16 through 24; “13,” Rated PG, June 30 through July 8; “White Christmas,” Rated G, July 14 through 22; and “Footloose,” Rated PG, July 28 through Aug. 5. The fall indoor production at The Black Box Theatre will be “Little Shop of Horrors,” which is Rated PG, and will take place Oct. 6 through 22. TIP’s December production at JCAHC will again be “Seussical the Musical,” which is Rated G, and will take place on Dec. 8 through 23.

“I’m excited about the variety of shows we have this season,” said Producing Artistic Director Tim Bair. “There is something for everyone! We’ve got big ‘old fashioned’ kind of shows in “Meet Me in St. Louis,” and “White Christmas,” rather modern shows with Disney’s “Freaky Friday” and “13” and a few that may feel nostalgic for some folks with “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” “Footloose,” and “Little Shop of Horrors.” We’ve only produced one of our 2023 season shows before; “Footloose” back in 2007.”

Although specific films have not yet been announced, officials anticipate the popular Movies in the Park program will also return in 2023. Through this program, patrons can see popular films on a 40-foot screen on the TIP stage on selected summer nights when musical productions are not scheduled.

Auditions for TIP’s outdoor summer productions are scheduled for April 15 and 16, while the dates for indoor show auditions will be set in the new year. Bair anticipates around 150 people will be cast in summer shows, while another 50 or more will be cast for indoor shows.

The Black Box Theatre provides the Theatre in the Park with a year-round venue to supplement its outdoor summer productions during June, July, and August in Shawnee Mission Park. JCAHC is located at 8788 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park.

Visit TIP’s website for more information about the 2023 season.