Community theaters stay busy through the summer


In most of our local, live theatrical venues, the main stage shows have ended for the season. In the fall a new season of shows will begin. That does not mean, however, that the theatrical outfits have shut their doors for the summer. Far from it. Summer is now a time for the local theaters to host acting camps, hold workshops, run auditions and to stage short run performances and staged readings. Following is a rundown of what’s going on this summer at our local theater companies.

Summer at Tacoma Musical Playhouse

TMP’s various Summer Youth Musical Theater Camps have been hard at work learning parts for a variety of shows. Performances are now ongoing.

“The Lion King Kids Experience” – 1st-3rd Grade
Cast 1: Aug. 4, 5 p.m. and Aug. 5, 1 p.m.
Cast 2:  Aug. 4, 6:30 p.m. and Aug. 5, 11 a.m.

Inspired by the motion picture and the hit Broadway musical, “The Lion King Kids Experience” is a 30-minute production. This show introduces us to villagers who tell the story of the animal kingdom and the pride lands Lion-King-Jrwith all of our special characters including Mufasa, Simba, Nala, Sarabi, Scar, Rafiki, Zazu, the Hyenas, Timon, Pumba and much more.

Simba, a lion cub, is meant to succeed his father, Mufasa, as King of the Pride Lands. However, once Simba’s uncle Scar pushes Mufasa into a wildebeest stampede to his death, Scar blames Simba, who then runs away and grows up with a lemur and warthog – Timon and Pumba – who have been on their own as well. Simba later rediscovers his childhood best friend, Nala, and his shaman, Rafiki, before returning to challenge Scar and to take his place in the Circle of Life as the rightful king. General seating $7.

“Aladdin Jr.” – 4th-6th Grade
Cast 1: Aug. 4, 8 p.m. and Aug. 5, 3 p.m.
Cast 2: Aug. 5, 5:30 p.m. (Understudy Cast) – Please order these tickets

Based on the iconic animated film, with an Academy Award-winning score by Alan Menken, Howard Ashman and Tim Rice, Disney’s “Aladdin Jr.” is sure to send audiences soaring on a flying carpet ride filled with romance and adventure. When the street urchin, Aladdin, vies for the attention of the beautiful princess, Jasmine, he uses a genie’s magic power to become a prince in order to marry her. Iago, Jafar, the Genie and an ensemble of townspeople, shop owners, harem girls, princes, and more are here in Disney’s “Aladdin Jr.,” a musical adventure filled with magic, mayhem and the power of love. General seating $7.

“The Lion King Jr.” – 7th-9th Grade
Cast 1: Aug. 11, 5:30 p.m. and Aug. 12, 1 p.m.
Cast 2: Aug. 11, 7:30 p.m. and Aug. 12, 3 p.m.
See description above. General seating $7.

“Le Miserables School Edition” – 10th-12th Grade and newly graduated seniors
August 12, 7 p.m. and Aug. 13, 1 p.m.

Winner of more than 100 international awards and seen by more than 65 million people worldwide, “Les Misérables” is an epic and uplifting story about the survival of the human spirit.

In 19th century France, Jean Valjean is released from years of unjust imprisonment but finds nothing in store for him except mistrust and mistreatment. He breaks his parole in hopes of starting a new life, initiating a life-long struggle for redemption as he is relentlessly pursued by Police Inspector Javert, who refuses to believe Valjean can change his ways. Finally, during the Paris student uprising of 1832, Javert must confront his ideals after Valjean spares his life and saves the student revolutionary who has captured the heart of Valjean’s adopted daughter. Epic, grand and uplifting, “Les Misérables School Edition” packs an emotional wallop that has thrilled audiences all over the world. Reserved seating $10.

Voice and piano lessons at TMP

Tacoma Musical Playhouse is excited to offer private voice and piano lessons again this season. TMP asserts that voice or piano lessons are an incredibly important part of becoming a well-rounded performer.

Lessons are half-hour sessions ($30) or one-hour sessions ($45). For more information or to schedule lessons contact: Ashely Cozine, director of education at TMP (253) 565-6867,

Summer at Tacoma Little Theatre

“I Hate Shakespeare”
Aug. 4, 5 and 6
(For times and information, see Culture Corner)

“Legally Blonde Jr.”
Aug. 11 and 12, 7:30 p.m. and Aug. 13, 2 p.m.

TLT Legally Blonde“Legally Blonde Jr.” follows the transformation of Elle Woods as she tackles stereotypes, snobbery and scandal in pursuit of her dreams. When Elle’s high school boyfriend, Warner, dumps her and heads to Harvard, claiming she’s not “serious” enough, Elle takes matters into her own hands, crafting a showy song-and-dance personal essay. She charms her way into law school. Befriends classmate Emmett and spunky hairdresser Paulette. Along the way, Elle finds that books and looks aren’t mutually exclusive. Outsmarting her peers, she realizes that law may be her natural calling after all.

Gritty City Sirens and TUSH present “Polyglamorous”
Aug. 19, 7 p.m. and 10 p.m.

Classic neo burlesque returns to the stage when Tacoma’s Gritty City Sirens and Olympia’s TUSH! Burlesque join together for a night of incredible entertainment. There will be duets, trios, small and large group numbers from both troupes and special guests Jane Air, Mylo Precious, and Jack Toft. Tickets $18-$28.

Fools Play Improv
Aug. 26, 10:30 p.m.
(Fourth Saturday of each month)

TLT Fools ImprovFormed by two sets of brothers, Michael and Christopher Harris, and Geoff and Edward Gibbs, Fools Play began their journey at the Tacoma Little Theatre in 1994. The four have been performing improv comedy ever since in the Puget Sound area. Most recently, the troupe could be found at the Tacoma Youth Theatre but is now returning to the place it all started. A whole new generation of Fools, along with some familiar old friends, will be bringing 23 years of experience creating and building their own unique brand of improv back to the TLT stage.

Each show will last from 10:30 p.m. until midnight including a mid-show intermission. Concessions, including alcoholic beverages, will be available for purchase from Tacoma Little Theatre, and tickets cost $10.

Summer at Lakewood Playhouse

Every year, Lakewood Playhouse teaches hundreds of children from our local community important lessons about confidence, personal responsibility, working together and creative expression. These strong theatrical skills are also important in life. LIT is committed to continuing this vision in our Institute of Theatre (for all ages) and our productions based programs.

Performance of “Once Upon a Mattress” – Grades 7-12
Aug. 11, 12, 18, 19, 7p.m. and Aug. 12 and 19, 2 p.m., $10

Summer Camp: “Charlotte’s Web”
(3 weeks) Aug. 7-11, Aug. 14-18, and Aug. 21-25, 5-8 p.m.

LIT_charlotte-s-web_origThis is Lakewood Playhouse’s on-stage together multi-generational production, giving the opportunity for families to experience theatre together. Ages 6-106. Tuition: $450. Performances: Aug. 25 at 7 p.m., Aug. 26 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. $10

Summer Camp: “Preparing the Actor” – Grades 1-7
(One week) Aug. 7-11, 1-5 p.m.

A skill-building class for all levels of experience. Tuition: $150. Performances: Presentation during last hour of class.

Summer Camp: “1940s LIVE Radio Play” – Grades 4-12
(One week) Aug. 14-18, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

rLIT_adio-play_origStudents will rehearse and then perform a live 1940s radio play along with all live sound effects from the director’s extensive collection of Foley sound effects equipment. Tuition: $300. Performances: Aug. 21, 4 p.m. and Aug. 22, 11 a.m. $10

Summer Camp: “Musical Theatre Revue” – Grades 4-12
(One week) Aug. 21-25, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

LIT_Musical_origStudents will learn Broadway style show tunes along with dances and dialogue that will weave together in a Broadway style musical revue. Instructor: Lakewood Institute of Theatre Production Manager Debbie Armstrong. Tuition: $300. Performances: Aug. 21, 4 p.m. and Aug. 22, 11 a.m. $10

Summer at New Muses Theatre

Aug. 4-20, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m.

Trapped in the arctic ice, Captain Robert Walton rescues a man floating on the frozen sea. As the mysterious stranger recovers, he recounts the harrowing tale of his life. How he brought to life a creature of dead flesh, abandoned his creation to the wild, and the deadly chain of violence and terror that followed. But who is the monster and who is the man?

“9 Circles” by Bill Cain
Aug. 20, 7 p.m. (One Night Only)
Dukesbay Theater, 508 6th Ave.

A psychological thriller based on actual events, “9 Circles” tells the story of an American soldier on trial for his life. The young soldier — honorably discharged but then accused of an unspeakable war crime in Iraq – Daniel Reeves is forced to navigate a Dantesque labyrinth of commanding officers, public defenders, lawyers, preachers and military psychiatrists. By turns shocking, mesmerizing and bitingly funny, “9 Circles” accompanies this astonishing young soldier on a tour de force journey to a shattering conclusion in which the infinite size and tremendous power of a young man’s soul is revealed. Pay-what-you-can. Tickets available at the door.

Summer at Tacoma Youth Theatre

tacoma youth theater

Summer Camp: “Alice in Wonderland” – Ages 5-10
Aug. 7-11, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Half-day camp. An original adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s fun and fantastical tale. Registration is only available by phone. (253) 677-0531.Performances: Aug. 12 and 13, 3 p.m.

Summer Camp: “Beauty and the Beast” – Ages 7-14
Aug. 14-18, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

An original adaptation of Villeneuve’s 1740 classic fairy tale. Registration is only available by phone. (253) 677-0531. Performances: Aug. 19 and 20, 3 p.m.

Summer Camp: “Moby Dick” – Ages 9-16
Aug. 21-25, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

An original adaptation of Herman Melville’s tragic tale of revenge and ruin. Registration is only available by phone. (253) 677-0531. Performances: Aug. 26 and 27, 3 p.m.

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