MTWichita is back in action with this first production, a concert presentation of Smokey Joe's Cafe. This fast-paced evening of songs that include "On Broadway" and "Love Potion #9" will have you tapping your toes and humming along. Bring your chairs for a lovely evening under the stars at MTWichita's outdoor home for 2021 - the Capitol Federal Amphitheater in Andover.
Featuring talented performers from such Broadway shows as Hamilton, Motown, The Scottsboro Boys, Sister Act, and Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, MTWichita is proud to present Smokey Joe’s Cafe - In Concert.
This fast-moving concert features songs written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, who created hit tunes for some of the greatest recording artists of the era.
Their first big break came in 1952 when ‘Big Mama’ Thornton recorded “Hound Dog,” and the team continued writing hit tunes for a variety of Black artists, including George Benson (“On Broadway”), Ben E. King (“Stand by Me,” “There Goes My Baby”), the Clovers (“Love Potion #9”), Wilbert Harrison (“Kansas City”), and the Coasters (“Yakety Yak,” “Charlie Brown”). The songwriting duo also wrote a string of hits for Elvis Presley (“Jailhouse Rock,” “Loving You”).
35 of these classic rock ’n’ roll tunes will be featured in six outdoor concerts in Andover, performed by nine of the brightest young singers currently working on stage and in the recording studios.
Performers include MTWichita veterans Julius Thomas and Erin Elizabeth Clemons, from the Broadway and national companies of Hamilton. Julius is a graduate of WSU and a former member of the MTWichita resident company, and is also the assistant director for the production. Julius has played Berry Gordy in Motown, and appeared in 11 Broadway shows and national tours.
Erin, another former company member, has returned to MTWichita as Mary Magdalene in Jesus Christ Superstar and Esmeralda in The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
Other familiar faces include Altamiece Carolyn Cooper (Motormouth Maybelle in Hairspray, Matron ‘Mama’ Morton in Chicago), and Ernie Pruneda (Usnavi in In the Heights).
Artists with extensive Broadway and touring credits who are making their MTWichita debuts include Isaiah Bailey, Edwin Bates, Tristen Buettel, Robert H. Fowler, and Susan O’Dea. The concert is directed and staged by MTWichita artistic director Brian J. Marcum.
The live onstage band will be led by Thomas W. Douglas, who initially came to Wichita in 1999 to perform in “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” and who has now been the company’s musical director and conductor for twenty years.
Jeremy Stolle, a Wichita favorite and Broadway Phantom of the Opera, and friends present an evening of showstoppers, from standards to original songs. This heartfelt concert about life, love, and the perserverance it takes to make it on Broadway is the perfect family show for our times.
Jeremy is a current Phantom veteran with over a decade of experience wearing the mask. Yes, you will hear Phantom like you have never heard Phantom before, but there is so much more beyond the darkness of the Phantom’s lair. “No More Talk of Darkness” infuses Jeremy’s unparalleled voice and extensive musicianship with the high packed, show stopping power of the Unreachable Stars Band to create the ultimate celebration and electrifying spectacle of the Broadway mega musical. Everyone in the Unreachable Stars band plays multiple instruments, sings 5 languages and rocks venues with a never ending enthusiasm for Broadway and beyond. This concert crosses over several musical genres with many hilarious tales which will keep you on the edge of your seat. The music has been designed for full theatrical impact by movie composer, James Morgan, in his New York Sound studios. His dynamic arrangements of these hit songs from stage and screen are designed to GO BIG or GO HOME! Enjoy the circus!
At a theatrical boarding house in France, 10-year-old Mirette befriends a mysterious wire walker, leading to a high-flying adventure. This charming all-family musical features a tuneful score by Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt (The Fantasticks, I Do! I Do!) and was discovered at the NAMT Festival of New Works.
In the tradition of its best all-family musicals, MTWichita proudly presents the Wichita premiere of Mirette, based on the Caldecott Award-winning book “Mirette on the High Wire” by Emily Arnold McCully. Playing June 16-20 inside the Century II Convention Hall, Mirette features a colorful collection of characters and a lively, tuneful musical score by Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt, creators of The Fantasticks, I Do! I Do!, and 110 in the Shade.
The story takes place in 1899 Paris, around a theatrical boarding house where young Mirette helps her mother Madame Gateau take care of a colorful assortment of guests. When a mysterious man arrives seeking lodgings, Mirette is fascinated to learn he is a once-famous tightrope walker. When Mirette discovers her own natural gift for wire walking, their growing friendship leads to a high flying adventure.
Scenic design by Jordan Slusher evokes the milieu of 1899 Paris through a series of richly detailed projected backgrounds, offering many unique vistas of the City of Light. Costumes will be provided by Melissa Penkava Koza, with lighting by Don Fox and sound by David Muehl, Chuck Koslowske is musical director for Mirette, assisted by Jesse Warkentin, with both of them playing twin grand pianos.
Mirette runs 85 minutes with no intermission, and is rated G, suitable for the entire family. Social distancing and mask-wearing will be required in the Convention Hall at all times.
We'll see you under the stars for a star-studded night. Featuring local performers, many of whom have Broadway credits, this mix of Broadway and patriotic songs will leave you feeling hopeful and encouraged about the bonds we share as Americans.
A patriotic celebration of this country and the art form we love so much, the American musical theater. Red, White, and Broadway is a 90 minute outdoor extravaganza that will have you singing along to patriotic tunes like "America the Beautiful" and "Yankee Doodle Dandy" as well as some of your favorites from Broadway shows like The Music Man, South Pacific, and Ragtime. You will not want to miss this amazingly talented cast singing and dancing. We even have a barbershop quartet and fireworks (July 3 and 4 only). As of April 15, July 2 and 3 are sold out - get your tickets for July 4 while they are still available!
Broadway stars Matt Bogart (Jersey Boys, Miss Saigon), Desi Oakley (Wicked, Waitress), Javier Ignacio (Side Show, Company), and Debra M. Walton (The Pajama Game) return to lead a rousing evening of high-energy entertainment, celebrating 50 years of MTWichita's success in paving the road to Broadway for talented young artists.
For half a century, Music Theatre Wichita has paved the way for talented young performers to succeed on Broadway and beyond, and two of our most distinguished alumni now return to lead a song-filled tribute to MTWichita's first 50 years. Matt Bogart, whose Broadway credits include Jersey Boys, Aida, and Miss Saigon, Desi Oakley, star of Chicago, Wicked, and the national tour of Waitress, Javier Ignacio, whose Broadway credits include Company and Side Show, and Debra M. Walton, whose credits include The Pajama Game and the national tours of South Pacific, Annie Get Your Gun, and Chicago will join a talented company of singers and dancers in this exciting evening, paying tribute to our triumphs of the past, while offering a glimpse into our even more dazzling future.
In its first-ever production at MTWichita, this summer-lovin' favorite will have you dancing in the aisles. A tuneful ode to teenage angst and peer pressure, Grease is a toe-tapping treasure of nostalgia that moves like greased lightning!
The MTWichita 50th Anniversary season cruises over to mythical Rydell High for Grease, the most popular back-to-school musical ever written. In 1970, Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey were community theatre actors in Chicago, who saw the recent musical Hair and loved its teen energy, honest sexuality, and rock and roll songs. They decided to try writing their own show, based on their high school experiences in the late 1950s, and they called it Grease, in honor of that era’s hairstyles. The show debuted in Chicago in 1971 and moved to Broadway the following year. Critics were underwhelmed but audiences loved it and kept it running for 3,388 performances, a new long-run record for Broadway. A hit film version in 1978 added excellent new songs to the already tuneful score, and several successful Broadway revivals followed. For its first-ever production at MTWichita, director Wayne Bryan promises a dynamically talented group of Greasers and Pink Ladies, bringing new life to songs from both stage and film versions, and paying special tribute to the unique place of women in the 1950s. Bring your best Hand Jive to the Capitol Federal Amphitheater lawn, and experience an evening of Summer Lovin’ that moves like Greased Lightning!