One Show Heads to the Kauffman Center
for the Performing Arts
Five more shows remain for the Starlight Theatre 2012 Broadway season. In the Heights, the 2008 Tony Award-winning best musical, began the first week in June. The Starlight’s summer shows include The Addams Family the first week in July. This musical was on Broadway in 2010 and the U.S. tour started last year with some revamping and revisions with Douglas Sills, who played the lead in The Scarlet Pimpernel, as Gomez and actress Sara Gettelfinger as Morticia. Memphis, which runs July 10-15, is another Tony Award winner from the 2010 award season. These first three shows mark contemporary musicals that are fairly new within the realm of musical theater. “We sure try to make everyone happy with our season,” says Denton Yockey, president and executive producer at Starlight.
Step back 10 years and Elton John’s Aida won the Tony Award. Aida continues to capture the interest in the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, Yockey says. This marks his fourth summer with the organization. “We are producing Aida and staging it at the Kauffman Center,” he says. “There is no secret that there is much attention with the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts and they are in their honeymoon phase right now.”
Initially Yockey and the staff were going to open the summer season at Kauffman Center of the Performing Arts. However, the board and the timing of the tour altered the schedule. This is the first time for Yockey to produce Aida.
“It is a popular title among the survey responders,” he says. “The response to take it to Kauffman has been met with positive accord as well. However, we have already taken the two children’s shows to the Kauffman Center during the late winter and early spring. That worked great. For many folks, this may be their first chance to get into the building.” There will be 12 performances of the show. Yockey says this musical will not be part of the Pick 3 choices. “We are planning on this show being quite popular.” Gymnast Cathy Rigby returns in Peter Pan.
La Cage Aux Folles won three Tony Awards including Best Musical Revival in 2010. Yockey says the musical has been around for 29 years. The story is about a nightclub owner whose partner plays the lovely “leading lady” at the club. The two men are successful and have raised a son together. When the owner’s son brings his fiancée’s conservative parents home to meet the flashy pair, the bonds of this non-traditional family are put to the test.
“While the musical includes a mild parental advisory,” Yockey says, “the musical features nothing that today’s prime time sitcoms or dramas have explored. It is that situational comedy where the in-laws are different,” he says. George Hamilton stars in this traveling musical. Yockey is excited to meet him. “However, subscribers don’t seem to have any problem with the show or its subject matter. About two-thirds are picking all six. Whatever the choices, audiences will find something for everyone, he says.