The curtain has gone up on Shea's Performing Arts Center's 25th year of fantastic musical theater. This season is filled with something for everyone, from past Tony Award winners along with new shows.
"Billy Elliot" is a musical based on the 2000 movie about an underprivileged boy in mid-1980s England struggling with his social status and only finding relief through dance. With music by Elton John, "Billy Elliot" won 10 Tony Awards in 2009. The show is playing through Sunday and is sure to be one to remember.
"Jekyll and Hyde" originally opened on Broadway in 1997 and is based on the classic novel about a mad scientist and his split personalities as the result of an experiment gone wrong. Now, Shea's is bringing the pre-Broadway tour of this fantastic musical to Buffalo. "Jekyll and Hyde" hits the Shea's stage from Oct. 30 to Nov. 4. Just in time for Halloween, "Jekyll and Hyde" looks to be a very thrilling show.
"White Christmas" is based on the classic Irving Berlin-inspired 1954 film about two soldiers who, when back from World War II, dive headfirst into show business and try to help their former general from feeling depressed. The show comes to Shea's Dec. 4-9. It will be a wonderful treat for the holidays. However, if you are a movie purist, think twice before seeing "White Christmas," as songs and characters have been added.
"Priscilla, Queen of the Desert" takes place in Australia and is based on the 1994 film of the same name. It follows the lives of two drag queens and a transvestite as they travel across Australia in a van, which they have dubbed, "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert." The friends face hate crimes and other hardships, but they work together to make it to their destination. The show, which won a Tony Award for Best Costume Design, plays Feb. 19-24.
"Sister Act," based on the 1992 film starring Whoopi Goldberg, comes to Shea's March 19-24. This show follows Deloris, a nightclub singer who hides in a convent from her murderous mob member boyfriend. While there, Deloris and the nuns learn how to accept different styles of life and how to deal with change. This musical is sure to keep you singing.
"Book of Mormon," the Tony Award sensation, opens June 11 and is only at Shea's until June 16. The show is a satirical look on the Church of the Latter Day Saints and their mission. "Book of Mormon" tickets in Denver sold out in less than five hours, so it certainly seems it shouldn't be one to miss!
Theatergoers in Western New York are fortunate to have the opportunity to see such dazzling and amazing shows every year. This season is sure to not disappoint. Tickets for all of the shows as well as season passes are on sale at Shea's box office. Visit www.sheas.org for more information.
Emily DeRoo is a senior at Williamsville North High School.