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Thursday
Sep062018

Market Theatre Announces Ambitious 9-Show Season

By Paul Hyde/Anderson Observer

Before a packed crowd Thursday night, Anderson’s Market Theatre Co. announced its most ambitious season ever, with a total of nine shows planned.

On tap for 2019 will be two free outdoor productions, two children’s shows and seven Broadway musicals.

Two big Upstate premieres are scheduled: “Bonnie & Clyde: The Musical” and “Heathers: The Musical.”

The Market Theatre’s season runs on the calendar year. Here’s the full fourth-season lineup:

  •  “Our Town” (Feb. 8-17). Thornton Wilder’s classic 1938 play, a slice of nostalgic Americana, focuses on the ordinary and beautiful events in the lives of people in a small town. (Directed by Robert Fuson) 
  •  “How I Became a Pirate” (March 22-April 7). The children’s show is based on the book by Melinda Long with music and lyrics by the veteran creative team of Janet Yates Vogel and Mark Friedman. (Directed by Aaron Pennington) 
  •  “Bonnie & Clyde: The Musical” (May 17-June 2). The Depression-era outlaws mix crime with romance in Frank Wildhorn’s 2009 show. “Bonnie & Clyde” was the most-requested show in a recent survey of Market audiences.
  •  Free Shakespeare in the Park (June 21-24). Shakespeare in the Park will be "The Adventures of Pericles," an epic journey of myth, magic and adventure. One storm at sea brings love, and another takes it away. Pericles, Prince of Tyre journeys to find redemption in one of Shakespeare's hidden gems. The free performances of a play by Shakespeare return for the fifth year in Anderson’s Carolina Wren Park. 
  • “Heathers: The Musical” (July 19-Aug. 4). Based on the 1989 cult film by John Waters, “Heathers” looks at the joys and anguish of high school, with a provocative message about bullying. (Directed by Christopher Rose) 
  • “The Sixth Annual 24-Hour Musical” (August TBA). The Market Theatre partners with a charity to put together an entire Broadway-style musical in 24 hours. (Directed by Drew Whitley) 
  • “Into the Woods” – a free production in Carolina Wren Park (September 5-15). Stephen Sondheim’s Tony Award-winning musical offers a modern take on familiar fairy tales. (Directed by the Noah Taylor)
  • “The 39 Steps” (Oct. 10-20). The fast-paced spy caper is based on Alfred Hitchcock’s classic film, in turn based on a John Buchan novel. (Directed by Drew Whitley) 
  • “Junie B. Jones in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells” (Dec 5-15). The irrepressible Junie and her first-grade classmates return in a holiday show to delight children and their parents. (Directed by Jessica Wayland)

“Our goal is to offer quality, affordable entertainment and something for everyone,” said Noah Taylor, executive artistic director of the Market Theatre.

A BANNER YEAR

The Market Theatre in 2018 has enjoyed a banner year, with ticket sales likely to break previous records, Taylor said.

Even as the Market Theatre makes plans for its 2019 season, two shows remain this year: “The Addams Family” (Oct. 12-28) and “Annie” (Nov. 29-Dec. 16).

Though Market performances take place mostly in the theater’s warehouse-style space, the theater has never shied away from big musicals such as “Legally Blonde” and the recent edgy hit “Cabaret.”

“That gives us the courage to take on challenging and bold shows in the future,” Taylor said.

Taylor’s “dream project” for 2019 is the production of “Into the Woods” to be presented admission-free in Carolina Wren Park, thanks to the support of the City of Anderson.

“The City of Anderson has been thrilled with the success of Shakespeare in the Park, so when I took the idea of taking ‘Into the Wood’ outside under the stars, the city said ‘absolutely.’ There was no hesitation,” Taylor said.

The Market Theatre has staged one children’s show every year but Taylor decided to up that to two children’s shows in 2019.

“Kids shows are so popular,” he said.

A children’s show based on the beloved “Junie B. Jones” books sold out its entire run in the Market’s first season, so the theater will present another account of the young heroine in “Junie B. Jones in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells” in December 2019. 

Taylor founded both Anderson’s Shakespeare in the Park and “The 24-Hour Musical,” but those projects were not part of the Market Theatre’s operations. That changes in 2019.

“Now they’re going to officially be under the same brand,” Taylor said.

The overall aim of the Market Theatre is to please as many tastes as possible, Taylor said.

“I’m excited to announce a bigger season and to offer more in terms of diversity and opportunities for people to be involved,” he said. “We want to be a place that unifies the community.”

For tickets to the 2019 Market Theatre season, see the website www.themarketanderson.org or call 864-729-2999.

Paul Hyde, a veteran Upstate journalist, writes about everything under the South Carolina sun. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter: @PaulHyde7. Write to him at paulhydeus@yahoo.com.

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