Hearthside Happenings

Renovated Civic Theatre to Host Four Premieres in 2018-19 in Lehigh Valley

Posted: April 11, 2018 by Rebecca Nutt

The Civic Theatre in Allentown has undergone a $5 million renovation and it will re-open with some big hits this season. Popular director William Sanders is planning four premiers to mark the beginning of a new era of the rebranded Civic Theatre.

Billy Elliot, Fun Home, Buyer and Celler, and Constellation are the Broadway hits that will be premiered this season, along with some well-loved plays from the past.

The first and biggest premiere of the 2018-19 seasons will be Billy Elliott (2000). Based on an academy award-nominated film, it is a tale of a boy who is passionate about making a ballet dancing career. His journey begins from a small mining town in northern England and ends on the stage of his dreams.

The story of the struggle Billy Elliot resonates with the journey of the theater itself. And that is why Sanders decided to mark the reopening of the Civic Theatre in October with the premiere of this 10-time Tony Award-winning musical.

Sanders said the story is about realizing a dream and then chasing it to reality, much like the story of the theatre.

Sanders said he wanted to produce this musical for a long time but he was afraid how he would be able to portray it on a smaller scale. The second hurdle was finding a dancer, and he will be holding a dance camp with dance companies this summer to find talent for the play.

The second premiere, scheduled will run from May 3rd through the 19th, will be Fun Home, a more recent Tony award-winning musical. The story is based on Alison Bechdel’s 2006 book; it is adapted by Lisa Kron and JeanineTesori.

The book is about Bechdel’s journey of discovering her sexuality and how she nurtures the relationship with her father, who was gay. And in an attempt at making the relationship better, she gets to know him better.  

Sanders said he wants to experiment and see how the audience will react.

The third premiere is a one-man comedy show by Jonathan Tolins, “Buyer & Cellar,” another Broadway adaptation. It will be performed in the Civic Theatre in March, and it will be directed by Sanders who described it as “hilarious”.

“Constellations,” will be the fourth Civic Theater premiere. It is a romantic journey of a man and a woman who met each other randomly then went on their separate paths. The drama highlights the difference between choice and destiny. It will also be directed by Sanders and will be premiered on June 21st and run through June 30th.

The annual production of “A Christmas Carol” will also be included this season as always. It will be directed by Sanders too.

Read more about the news and latest happenings in the Lehigh Valley!

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