Many families travel to New York or other large cities to have special theatrical experiences for themselves and their children. But did you know you can stay right here in Wichita and see Broadway-quality productions thanks to Music Theatre Wichita, a summer theatre truly unique for a city of Wichita’s size.
Leading actors at Music Theatre Wichita are typically New York-based professionals on vacation from a Broadway show, or in between professional engagements. They work alongside talented college age students preparing to launch their professional careers. The result is that approximately forty MTWichita alums are performing in Broadway shows this season alone. Other alumni include two of the most luminous leading ladies of their generation: Kristin Chenoweth and Kelli O’Hara.
Here’s the low down on this summer’s shows, with suggestions on whom you should take with you!
Thoroughly Modern Millie. JUNE 14-18. A bright, fun show about young Kansan Millie Dillmount, who makes her way to the Big Apple and takes New York City by storm! There’s romance, capers, and tap dancing stenographers – perfect for a “dinner and a show” night with your significant other.
TAKE YOUR PARENTS:
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. JUNE 28-JULY 2. Taking place the week before the fourth of July, this is an ideal show to share with mom and dad. It’s an all-family appropriate show and parents will probably remember the movie with Jane Powell and Howard Keel. The athletic choreography for this show will be created by Peggy Hickey, the choreographer for the show Anastasia that just opened on Broadway!
MOMS NIGHT OUT:
Hairspray: JULY 12-16 What could be better for a ladies night than this happy show about the 1960s and an irrepressible young woman who transforms from an outsider to a celebrity? In true girl power fashion, she does this while embracing who she truly is, and helps integrate a television dance show at the same time!
OUTING WITH TEENAGERS:
The Hunchback of Notre Dame: JULY 26-30 This is a Les Miserables-style show with great depth, which addresses the fear we have of people different from ourselves, through beautiful songs and innovative scenic design. It’s an uplifting evening, offering wonderful pathways to conversation for parents attending with their teens!
TAKE THE KIDS (AGES 5 AND OLDER)
Disney’s Newsies. AUGUST 11-20. Moms might remember the 1992 movie starring Christian Bale! This smash-hit stage version is ideal for an introduction to musical theatre for your young ones. Boys and girls will love the athletic dancing and acrobatics. The leading man is young Trevor McChristian, a Wichita native who attended Maize public schools and is heading toward a bright future on Broadway!
Music Theatre Wichita’s ticket prices are a fraction of Broadway ticket prices (and you can drive home afterwards!). But if the price range of $30-68 per ticket is out of your family’s budget, there’s another option for you to try.
Budget Tip: Two hours before curtain any remaining tickets in the rear orchestra or balcony are sold at half price. That puts matinee tickets as low as $15 each and evening shows as low as $16 each.
To try this out, you would arrive at the box office of Century II as early as two hours before the show and ask for the ½ price rear orchestra or balcony tickets. Matinees regularly sell out, and the tickets can only be purchased in person, but you can check online to see if there are rear orchestra and balcony seats open before running down to Century II.
IF YOU HAVE A BUDDING STAR…
If your kids take to the theatre and want to give it a go, Wichita has plenty of options! Music Theatre Wichita has summer programs behind the scenes for teens that have finished their freshman year of high school, and opportunities for all ages onstage. Auditions are held in February of each year – information and tips can be found at mtwichita.org in the education section.
There are also many other children’s theatre opportunities, including productions with Music Theatre for Young People or classes at Wichita Children’s Theatre.
And in light of the summer season, MTW is giving away FOUR tickets to Music Theatre Wichita!
Your choice of any show during the 2017 season. Vouchers are for mid or rear orchestra seating ($230 value) and must be exchanged in person at the Century II Box Office (225 W Douglas). Subject to availability for any given performance, so it is recommended that the winner exchange the vouchers several days in advance. Children must be age 5 or up to attend. Check our Facebook Page for Details!
Music Theatre Wichita is a professional theatre company based in Wichita, Kansas, whose mission centers around the uniquely American art form of musical theatre, using its complexity and broad scope to both entertain our patrons and to educate theatrical artists. One of the few remaining regional theatres to exclusively create original productions for local patrons, MTWichita has earned an international reputation for excellence. The organization serves as a boost to the local economy, spending at least 70% of an annual $4.1 million budget in Wichita.