The main theater at the Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center bustled with eager students, all awaiting the announcement of the shows in the Center’s 2018-2019 You’re Home subscription series. Speculation about the shows could be heard, a collective whisper between seats. Press members gathered in the front rows alongside the actors featured in this year’s productions. The theater fluttered with excitement, growing louder until the lights were thrown off. Immediate silence fell over the enthusiastic crowd, which burst back to life more and more with each show’s announcement.
To kick off the year, the Center will be presenting Sweeney Todd, running from October 5th to 21st. Featuring music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, the demon barber returns to London seeking revenge in this musical thriller hailed as one of the greatest masterpieces musical theatre has to offer.
They’re creepy and they’re kooky, and they’re coming to Lincoln Park from November 16th to 18th! Following the oddly normal love story of their beloved daughter, Wednesday, The Addams Family: Young at Part is a comedy that’s perfect for the whole family.
The holiday season will bring two classics to the Lincoln Park stage: the twelfth annual production of The Nutcracker (December 13th to 16th), and for the first time, Miracle on 34th Street (November 30th to December 9th).
Lincoln Park alumnus Zachary Mendola returns to his alma mater, not as an actor, but a composer of an original score for Snow White: The Ballet, running from February 15th to 17th. Artistic Director Justin Fortunato is possibly most excited about this one, saying that “this show could really go worldwide. [Mendola] has something really special here.”
Adapted from the original swashbuckler by Alexandre Dumas, The Three Musketeers will be featuring a brand-new seating arrangement in the Blackbox Theater, which promises to immerse audiences right in the middle of the action. It will run from March 1st to 10th.
The ultimate feel-good production, Singin’ in the Rain will dance its way into Lincoln Park from Mar 29th through April 14th. This one is sure to leave audiences smiling, singing, and dancing.
To close out the season, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights (running from June 14th to 23rd) profiles the life of a Manhattan resident who has just won the lottery. The show combines hip-hop, Latin flair, and pop to tell the classic story of the American dream in a whole new way.
The 2018-2019 subscription series is described by Fortunato as a reflection of his thoughts on the world around him.
“It’s been on my mind a lot how in the world we live in, we don’t ever really have to leave our couch,” Fortunato says. “The idea spurred from us really wanting Lincoln Park to be a home for culture, entertainment, and innovation.
“Live performance art is this centuries-old tradition where everyone gathers in a dark room and we see these characters — we can touch them, see them, hear them — …and you don’t get that from film [or TV].”
As far as the idea of “home,” to Fortunato means much more than where you live. “It can be a person, a place, a thing,” he explains, “and all of [Lincoln Park’s] shows orbit around that idea of home and what it is.”
As far as the shows are concerned, students, actors, and Fortunato alike are thrilled to see each production that was announced: from Sweeney Todd to In the Heights to an alumnus-composed Snow White ballet.
Junior dancer Gregory Buck is “more than excited to be a part of this year.” He says, beaming and almost bouncing as he speaks, “Everyone always talks about how their senior year is the most important year of high school, and I can’t wait to spend it with all of my friends and do the things that I love.”
For tickets to the Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center’s productions visit http://www.lincolnparkarts.org/tickets