Millbrook announces 2021 extended season, other events
MILL HALL — The Millbrook Playhouse will be back in action this summer and into the fall.
With a slew of shows — some with a local twist and others classic favorites — along with classes for kids and teens, Brews in the Barn and other special events the 2021 season is shaping up to have something for every theater lover.
Artistic Director David Leidholt said this year’s shows will run from July and end in December, a first for the theater. And, to ensure the health and safety of its patrons, shows will only take place on the Ryan Main Stage.
“We’re coming back, things will be a little different, we’re trying to keep it small. I hope people understand and will still support and come out. The events will be fun and unique,” Leidholt said.
Leidholt said the staff at Millbrook will do what they can to keep the space clean and sanitized throughout the season and ensure the safety of those in attendance.
Shows will begin in June with a children’s performance of “Elephant and Piggy: We’re in a Play” on weekends beginning Saturday, June 19 until June 27.
“We’re going to do that in June for just a couple weekends to get things going. I was initially going to do it in the parking lot but we’re doing that in the court yard,” Leidholt said.
He noted that if the Ryan Main Stage is ready before the performances it could be held there instead.
The next show, “Yours Truly: A Sentimental Journey,” will premiere following the Fourth of July on Friday, July 9.
“It’s a bit of a hometown heroes tribute… a USO Style show,” Leidholt said.
Leidholt said the show will have a local twist. Shannon Agnew — who wrote the review — reached out to the local VFW and Clinton County Veterans Affairs office in search of letters soldiers may have sent to family during their time in the service.
“We’re trying to include this kind of local tribute. And then it’s going to be intersperced with songs from the 40s and 50s,” he said.
“Yours Truly: A Sentimental Journey” will run from July 9 to 18.
Following Yours Truly will be a musical performance by Chris Blisset and Larry Tobias called “American Song Writers,” a tribute to famous musicians like Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan and George Jones.
“It’s going to be truly a concert kind of event,” Leidholt said.
The program will run for only two weekends from July 22 to 24. It will be followed on July 30 by “Grand Legends.”
“Grand Legends” was created by Brandon Fillete, a standout in “Million Dollar Quartet” in 2019’s Millbrook season. It will offer theater goers a trip through a variety of music from pop to show tunes and everything in between.
“There’ll be a few guests in it but, if anybody saw ‘Million Dollar Quartet,’ (Fillete) was a stand out. It’s very music oriented with a very small cast,” Leidholt said.
“Grand Legends” will run until Aug. 7.
Also planned this summer is the usual acting camps for teenagers and elementary/middle school students. Leidholt said the teenagers will put on a production of “Mary Poppins, Jr.” and the kids will perform “Willy Wonka.”
After a short break, Millbrook will be back again in September with four “classic” plays and musicals, Leidholt said.
First will be “Popcorn Falls” by James Hindman. The play will feature a small cast and tell the story about a sleepy American town that has to put together a play in a week.
“Popcorn Falls” will open on Sept. 10 and run to Sept. 18.
The theater’s first musical will take place on Oct. 1 when “Vanities: The Musical” takes the Ryan Main Stage.
The musical follows three Texas teens through their life. From cheerleaders, to housewives and beyond this musical production showcases how, through rapidly changing times, the one thing these girls can rely on is each other.
“Vanities: The Musical” will have a run time of Oct. 1 to 9.
Next up will be “Deathtrap” by Ira Levin. This twisting and turning thriller will take attendants on a journey with Sidney Bruhl, a successful Broadway thrill writer, as he attempts to get out of a dry spell and string of failures on the stage.
“Deathtrap” will hit the stage on Oct. 22 and run until Oct. 30.
The Little Sisters of Hoboken will be back on the main stage on Nov. 12 as “Nunsense II: The Second Coming” sings its way to Millbrook.
Leidholt said the theater previously performed the first of five parts of the series prior to 2021. The musical sees the sisters sing and dance their way across Mount St. Helen’s stage, six weeks after the touch of showbiz has taken over their lives.
“Nunsesen II” will run until Nov. 20.
A few weeks later, Millbrook will showcase its final performance of the 2021 season with “Frozen, Jr.” by the Millbrook Playhouse Youth Ensemble. The show will run from Dec. 16 to 19.
Anyone who would like to purchase tickets for any of the shows. can do so by visit www.millbrookplayhouse.org or call the box office at 570-748-8083.
Leidholt asked people to be patient, however, as he and General Manager David Gritzner continue to prepare ticket packages and upload them to the website.
Leidholt said other events will be taking place in the barn throughout the season, including a kick off event on June 25 in the court yard. He said former board member Jason Brown and his band, Speed Bump Willy will perform.
“This is just going to be a kick off party night, it’s not part of the season,” added.
In September the organization will hold a golf tournament fundraiser. And in October, fan favorite Brews in the Barn will return once again. Also in October will be “Livewire” featuring an AC/DC tribute band at the Clinton County Fairgrounds. More detailed information about these events will be available at a later date.