City Springs Theatre Company begins its second season September 13 with Mary Poppins and ends it July 19, 2020, with Spamalot. The professional nonprofit, in residence at the Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center, uses the 1,070-seat Byers Theatre, which can feel quite large depending on your seat and ticket price.
Like Atlanta Lyric Theatre, the City Springs company stages only musicals. A word to the wise: Runs are short — only eight performances each. The company is led by executive artistic director Brandt Blocker, managing director Natalie DeLancey and associate artistic director Shuler Hensley. A closer look at the season follows.
By Richard M. Sherman, Robert B. Sherman, George Stiles, Anthony Drewe and Julian Fellowes
September 13–22, 2019
The much-loved 1964 Disney movie became a stage musical in London in 2004 and on Broadway in 2006, running for more than six years. It was nominated for seven Tony awards, including best musical, losing to Spring Awakening but winning for Bob Crowley’s scenic design. With the stage version, the creative team tried to infuse more of P.L. Travers’ original books into the plot, and the familiar score — “A Spoonful of Sugar,” “Jolly Holiday,” “Feed the Birds,” “Let’s Go Fly a Kite,” etc. — was augmented with 12 reprises and eight new numbers. Aurora Theatre in Lawrenceville, you might recall, staged the show in 2014. A national tour visited the Fox Theatre in 2013.
Music and lyrics by Irving Berlin
December 13–22, 2019
Fans of musicals may recall the 1942 feature film with Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire and Marjorie Reynolds, which shows up on television every December. While tuneful, it contains scenes that are racially insensitive today. The piece was retooled for a world premiere at Connecticut’s Goodspeed Opera House in 2014. It had a holiday season run on Broadway in 2016–17. Holiday Inn tells the story of a song-and-dance man who leaves showbiz for a Connecticut farm, which he eventually turns into a supper club open only . . . on the holidays. The score includes the Berlin standards “Blue Skies,” “Easter Parade,” “Steppin’ Out With My Baby,” “White Christmas” and “Cheek to Cheek,” among others.
A GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO LOVE & MURDER
Music by Steven Lutvak, lyrics by Lutvak and Robert Freedman, book by Freedman
March 6–15, 2020
A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder was a surprise hit in the 2014 Broadway season, with nine Tony award nominations and medallions for best musical, book, direction and costume design. The show, often described as a “murderous romp,” tells the story of lowborn Brit Monty Navarro, who learns he’s eighth in line for an earldom and determines that the best way to achieve that status is to kill his unsuspecting relatives one by one. The conceit is that each doomed family member is played by a single actor.
Music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Glenn Slater, book by Cheri and Bill Steinkellner
May 1–10, 2020
When a disco diva witnesses a murder, she’s put into protective custody in the only place police are sure she won’t be found — a convent. “Sister” Deloris (Whoopi Goldberg in the 1992 movie) breathes new life into the church and her community. Sister Act began its life at California’s Pasadena Playhouse and Atlanta’s Alliance Theatre in 2006–7. It ran for more than a year on Broadway in 2011–12 and was nominated for five Tony awards, including best musical. Menken’s credits, of course, include Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid and Newsies, among others. Beyond his partnership with Menken, Slater’s credits include School of Rock and the more recent A Bronx Tale.
Music by John Du Prez and Eric Idle, lyrics and book by Idle
July 10–19, 2020
The message here: Always look on the bright side of life! Spamalot, lovingly ripped off from the 1975 comedy film Monty Python and the Holy Grail, retells the legend of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table, who are charged by God to find the elusive Holy Grail. On their quest, they encounter the golden-voiced Lady of the Lake, beautiful showgirls, flying cows, a killer rabbit and one especially rude Frenchman. Spamalot ran for almost four years on Broadway, received 14 Tony Award nominations and won for best musical of 2005. Director Mike Nichols and featured actor Sara Ramirez (as the Lady of the Lake) also took home Tonys. A national tour visited the Fox Theatre in 2011.
Season subscriptions ($150–$325 plus fees) and single tickets ($30–$82) are on sale online HERE or by calling 404-477-4365.