FLT ready for new season of entertainment
By BRENDA HARRISON Editor of The News Journal Florence, S.C.
The Florence Little Theatre starts its 94th season with the opening of “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast” on Sept. 8.
“Not only is this our 94th season, it is the 10th season in our current theatre on S. Dargan St.,” noted FLT President Robin Thompson. “We’re very excited about the 2017-2018 season.”
“‘Beauty and the Beast’ was one of the last shows we did at the old theatre on South Cashua. When it became available in 2006 we were one of the first theaters to get rights to do it.”
“We were thrilled to produce it in 2006, but since moving we have anticipated offering it here where we have a much larger stage and more height providing the opportunity for a more dramatic set. Also, our production coincides with the Disney live-action movie that opened earlier this year,” Thompson noted.
He added that FLT Workshop presented “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Jr.” a while back which was a youth production and not the full show.
The 2017-2018 season offers a variety of five productions. The season will close with “Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” which was also presented at the old theatre, as well as “Driving Miss Daisy.”
“We are reviving three of our most successful shows and bringing in two others for the first time,” Thompson commented.
“The Game’s Afoot,” a classic comedy will follow “Beauty.” This is a play by comedy master Ken Ludwig whose plays have been well received at FLT, he said.
Another comedy, “You Can’t Take It With You.” completes the new season lineup.
“We have three veteran directors, Julia Saverance, Shannon Dunn and Shaw Thompson, and we are introducing two new directors, Shauna Lair and Brittney Miles.
“We are carrying on the FLT tradition as we continue to grow,” said Thompson. He added that “Beauty” has a very talented cast featuring both new and veteran performers.
Season memberships are available through the run of “Beauty,” Thompson said, and partial memberships will be offered after. Season ticket prices are adult, $95; seniors (62 plus) $90; and young adults (under 18) $65. Single tickets are on sale as well. Call the box office, Monday-Friday from 12-5 p.m. at (843) 662-3731 to purchase tickets or memberships.
The 2017-18 season:
• “Beauty And The Beast” opens on Sept. 8 and runs thru Sept. 17. Julia Saverance is director.
The classic story tells of Belle, a young woman in a provincial town, and the Beast, who is really a young prince trapped under the spell of an enchantress. If the Beast can learn to love and be loved, the curse will end and he will be transformed into his former self. Favorite songs include “Be Our Guest” and the beloved title song “Beauty and the Beast.” This show is filled with spectacular costumes and sets. It is a must-see for the whole family.
• Ken Ludwig’s “The Game’s Afoot” with Shannon Dunn, director, Nov. 10-18.
This hilarious play brings murder, mystery, mayhem and madcap adventure to the stage. Broadway star William Gillette, famous the world over for his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes, has invited fellow cast members to his opulent home for a dinner party. But when one of the guests winds up dead, Gillette will have to summon every ounce of Sherlock he can to solve the mystery.
• “Driving Miss Daisy” with Shauna Lair, director. It will be presented Jan.19-27, 2018
The time is 1948, the place is a small southern town in the USA. In this place and this era an unlikely friendship develops between a cantankerous elderly white woman and a proud, thoughtful black man who is employed as her driver. Over the years they find the common humanity in one another.
• “You Can’t Take It With You,” with Brittany Miles, director, March 9-17, 2018
At first the Sycamores seem eccentric, but it is not long before we realize they are also joyous. In contrast to these delightful people are the unhappy Kirby family. What unfolds next is a tale of young love between members of the two families and the zany interactions of everyone involved.
• “Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” with Shaw Thompson, director, April 27-May 6, 2018.
The Biblical saga of Joseph and his coat of many colors comes to life in this vibrant family musical. Sold into slavery by his jealous brothers, Joseph perseveres and, using wit and faith, rises to become Pharaoh’s second-in-command. Featuring unforgettable songs such as “Any Dream Will Do,” “Jacob and Sons” and “Close Every Door,” this delightful musical parable is one of the most enduring shows of all time.