It’s not every year a theatre company turns 90 years old and the Footlight Players theatre company, first founded in 1931, is looking pretty spry with a season 90 lineup that is set to welcome back patrons and artists alike with wide variety of productions and special events including some early arrivals ahead of the full season.
Footlight Players (in residence at the historic Queen Street Playhouse) will get right back to it starting Sept. 3 with a plan of bringing laughter back to the forefront for everyone with the campy revenge musical comedy Ruthless! The Musical, directed by longtime collaborator Kyle Barnette (Head Over Heels, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill). The musical about 8 year-old Tina Denmark, who will do anything to get the lead in the new school musical including taking out the competition, has developed into a theatre cult classic since its off-Broadway debut in 1993 (with both Natalie Portman and Britney Spears cast as understudies for the role of Tina!).
The musical features an all-female cast with the exception of the role of Sylvia St. Clair which was written for a female but is traditionally played in high camp drag by a male since the original Sylvia actor, Joel Vig, gave the best audition for the role. A send-up spoof of many female-centric films and theatre works including All About Eve, The Bad Seed and Gypsy, Ruthless! The Musical is also known for its unique cabaret-style musical score which is often performed only with a piano or a very small three piece band with big solo musical numbers that elicit the feel of a brassy piano bar performance setting.
‘After a year and a half of everything we have been through as a society and so much bad news, we felt it was time to bring laughter back to town and Ruthless! does that and them some.’ notes Executive Director Brian Porter. ‘We all need an escape right now and this show is definitely the perfect remedy!’
Ruthless! The Musical opens Sept. 3 and runs through Sept. 19 at the Queen Street Playhouse at 20 Queen St. Tickets are on sale now at footlightplayers.net or by calling 843. 722.4487
FULL SEASON 90 LINEUP BELOW
Ruthless: The Musical (Sept. 3 – 19, 2021)
Kicking off the official 90th season at the Queen Street Playhouse will be the outrageous and hilarious revenge musical spoof Ruthless! The Musical. The long time Off-Broadway cult classic, which boasts an all female character cast, tells the story of 8 year old Tina Denmark who will do anything to win the part in her school musical including taking out anyone who gets in her way on her road to stardom.
Wait Until Dark (Oct. 8 – 24, 2021)
Heading into the fall Footlight will bring the thriller What Until Dark to life, the play which inspired the classic Audrey Hepburn film of the same name. The Frederick Knott penned suspense/thriller features Susy Hendrix, a recently blinded housewife who unknowingly possess a doll filled with illicit drugs. When a group of criminals decide to rob her and steal the doll, they unwittingly enter into clever game of cat and mouse where Susy turns the tables on the robbers using her seeming ‘disability’ to great advantage.
The Rocky Horror Experience (Oct. 30 & 31, 2021)
Footlight will once again partner with fellow QSP resident company What If? Productions for their second annual (following the forced COVID break) interactive Halloween event The Rocky Horror Experience. This special event features all the great elements of a proper Rocky Horror film viewing including props, costume contests and call-outs while adding live actor performances of some of the movies most iconic musical numbers along with a live house band.
Matilda the Musical (Dec. 3 – 19, 2021)
Originally set to close out Footlight’s COVID- cancelled 89th season, the Tony award winning musical Matilda takes on the holidays in this colorful and charming stage adaptation of the beloved book by Roald Dahl. The musical centers on Matilda, a precocious 5-year-old girl with the gift of telekinesis, who loves reading, overcomes obstacles caused by her family and school, and helps her teacher to reclaim her life.
Detroit ’67 (Feb. 4 – 20, 2022)
In 1967 Detroit, Motown music is getting the party started, and Chelle and her brother Lank are making ends meet by turning their basement into an after-hours joint. But when a mysterious woman finds her way into their lives, the siblings clash over much more than the family business. As their pent-up feelings erupt, so does their city, and they find themselves caught in the middle of the ’67 riots. Playwright Dominique
Morisseau’s Detroit ’67 was first presented Off Broadway at the Public Theater in association with Classical Theatre of Harlem and the National Black Theatre in New York City on March 11, 2013.
The Legend of Georgia McBride (Mar. 11 – 27, 2022)
The big-hearted, music-filled fierce drag comedy The Legend of Georgia McBride by Matthew Lopez tells the story of struggling Elvis impersonator Casey who has been running the same tired act in a small-time club in the Florida panhandle. Enter Miss Tracey Mills, a self-proclaimed grand dame of drag, whose show becomes
the talk of the panhandle and helps transform ‘The King’ into an all-out queen with the help of some new friends who become the second family Casey never saw coming.
A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder (Apr. 22 – May 8, 2022)
This Tony Award winning musical comedy from the 2014 Broadway season tells the story of lowly Monty Navarro who finds out he is eighth in line for an earldom in the lofty D’Ysquith family and takes to a more ‘ambitious’ path to making his way further up the line of succession. This murderous romp features a scene stealing role with one actor taking on all eight of the doomed heirs along the family line.
Tickets for all shows and season memberships are available online at footlightplayers.net or by calling the Queen Street Playhouse box office at 843.722.4487. For additional inquiries contact email@example.com
Charleston Weekend Events
There’s ALWAYS something to do in Charleston – especially on the weekend. If you need help finding plans, just consult...