This year marks the 60th anniversary of the classic musical by R&H.
Musical Theater Heritage was founded by executive director George Harter and is artistic-directed by Amy Coady. In 2005, the company will also create an original evening of American songs (America in Song), and offer concerts of Guys and Dolls and Man of La Mancha.
The 2005 season will include some Actors' Equity guest artists, part of MTH's expansion efforts.
Free of sets and costumes, the concerts allow the scores to shine, new artistic director Coady told Playbill.com.
"These classics are so well crafted that the music and lyrics tell the stories quite clearly on their own," she said. "Our concerts will provide a chance for audiences to revisit beloved material and, hopefully, to discover something new within the songs." Coady, a Kansas City native who returned to her hometown recently after living in Manhattan, where she appeared in cabarets and was a member of the BMI-Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop, will direct and create America in Song
"I was exposed to a great deal of useful information about musical theatre and American songwriters while I was in New York," Coady said. "I'm thrilled to share what I learned with Kansas City audiences, and eager to learn what their interests are."
MTH founder George Harter is a longtime Kansas City radio personality and host of the syndicated "A Night on the Town."
"His expertise in musical theatre is again going to be part of our work," Coady said. "George brings context — a lot of New York history and interesting theatre trivia — to our shows. Undoubtedly, his insights will add unique texture to our three musicals this year."
Carousel will star local favorite Nathan Granner as Billy Bigelow, 8 PM April 22-23 at the Belger Arts Center in Kansas City. Coady directs; Molly Jessup musical directs.
America in Song will be heard 8 PM June 24-25 at the Belger Arts Center. Amy Coady directs; Gerald Stockstill is musical director.
Guys and Dolls plays 8 PM Sept. 9-10 at the Belger Arts Center. Coady directs; Wayne Hawkins musical directs.
Man of La Mancha sings 8 PM Oct. 28-29 at the Belger Arts Center. Sylvia Stoner directs; Jennifer Robinson is musical director.
Belger Arts Center is at 2100 Walnut in the Crossroads Arts District in downtown Kansas City, MO. For more information, call (816) 756-0282 or visit www.musicaltheaterheritage.com.