Super Summer Theatre opened its 38th season with special performances of showtunes from Broadway and Hollywood May 17 and 18.
Beginning next week, the popular outdoor theater at Spring Mountain Ranch State Park, off state Route 159 in Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, will be home to four popular shows.
The opening show scheduled to start June 12 is Meredith Wilson’s “The Music Man.”
The show is set in 1912 and had its original run on Broadway in 1957, yet it remains a popular staple with show-stopping tunes, including “Ya Got Trouble,” “Till There Was You” and “Seventy-Six Trombones.”
The show is the first production at Super Summer Theatre for Huntsman Entertainment, headed by Sunrise Manor residents Sandra and Steve Huntsman, who have been involved with local theater productions for many years, working on stage as actors and behind the scenes directing and making costumes and props.
“We’re very excited about this show,” said Sandra Huntsman. “We’ve got a terrific cast, and the show has a great book. It’s a real heartwarming story with classic songs.”
The logistics of theater force production companies to rehearse, block and stage the shows off-site and bring the show together on the stage at Spring Mountain Ranch days before opening. Often while one show is performing, the next is in rehearsals.
The cast of “The Music Man” has been rehearsing in a warehouse in an industrial zone not far from the Strip.
“It’s a big space, and we’ve got a lot of room to work with,” Sandra Huntsman said. “We just mark the edge of the stage with tape and get working.”
Christy Miller, production chairman for Super Summer Theatre, said the process of choosing which shows will be mounted is complex. Production companies propose shows. A committee chooses among the proposals, based on which shows members feel will be most popular while presenting a variety.
“We’re set for shows through 2014,” Miller said. “We’ll get this year’s shows done with before we start looking to 2015.”
The theater has come a long way from its start in 1976, when four plays by Shakespeare were presented. The stage was a small platform that was open to the sky, and the cast did quick changes behind sheets tied to trees.
In 1987, a permanent structure was built, providing productions with curtains, a sound system, a lighting grid and most of the amenities of a traditional theater. There’s even more privacy for quick changes. The latest addition is improved wiring for the sound system. The organizers are contemplating improvements to the parking area, which is a dirt lot at the end of a dirt path.
Another addition in 1987 was a concession stand, but patrons are also invited to bring their own food and beverages.
“It’s actually amazing to see some of the spreads people bring,” Miller said. “There will be full picnic setups and people with their wine and cheese and the cup holders that push into the ground.”
One side of the meadow is dedicated to lawn chairs that Super Summer Theatre rents for $1. The other is reserved for blanket seating, although low-back, legless lawn chairs are permitted.
“As long as the chair’s seat is on the ground, it’s fine,” Miller said. “We want to make sure everyone can see.”
“The Music Man” is set to run from June 12-29. “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” is scheduled from July 10-27. “Legally Blonde The Musical” is set from Aug. 7-24, and the season is set to wind up with “The Producers” from Sept. 5-21.
The 2014 season is set to open with a production of “Monty Python’s Spamalot.”
Parking for shows opens at 5 p.m., and gates open at 6 p.m. Before 5 p.m., there is a $7 entrance fee to the park, but visitors who want to arrive a few hours early can make an afternoon and night of the trip by visiting the historic Spring Mountain Ranch. Performances are set to begin at
8:05 p.m. Tickets are $12 in advance and $20 at the gate, subject to availability.
For more information or tickets, visit supersummertheatre.org or call 702-594-7529.
Contact Sunrise/Whitney View reporter F. Andrew Taylor at email@example.com or 702-380-4532.