Dreamgirls logo

Dreamgirls logo

Mill Mountain Theatre in Roanoke will open its 2020 season with Motown intrigue.

A 1981 musical about a trio of up-and-coming R&B singers from Chicago, “Dreamgirls” won six Tony Awards when it premiered on Broadway, with singer Jennifer Holliday winning a Grammy in addition to her Tony. “American Idol” star Jennifer Hudson won an Oscar for her role in the 2006 film adaptation. Holliday and Hudson both climbed up the Billboard charts with their recordings of the musical’s best known song, “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going.” MMT’s production takes place from March 25, 2020 through April 11, 2020, leading off the programming on their Trinkle Mainstage. The professional theater continues a formula arrived at in 2016, filling an entire year with a mix of big musicals, shows performed for and by children, concerts and smaller, more experimental fare. Here’s what the 2020 schedule looks like.

Trinkle Mainstage Series

March 25, 2020-April 11, 2020: “Dreamgirls”

Sept. 23, 2020-Oct. 4, 2020: “The Diary of Anne Frank,” the Pulitzer Prize-winning drama adopted from the diary of one of the best known Jewish victims of the Holocaust. A young teenager during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands in World War II, Anne and her family went into hiding for three years, but they were betrayed and arrested. Anne died in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. Her father, the family’s only survivor, found her diary after the war and got it published.

Dec. 2-20, 2020: “Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn,” based on the 1942 film starring Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire, features tap dance and an array of songwriter Berlin’s greatest hits, such as “Blue Skies,” “Steppin’ Out with My Baby” and “White Christmas.”

The Fringe series

June 25, 2020-July 5, 2020: “Cabaret,” the risqué Tony Award winning musical about the denizens of a Berlin nightclub at the dawn of the Third Reich, performed on the Trinkle Mainstage.

Nov. 5-8, 2020: “The Cake,” a comedy from “This Is Us” scriptwriter and producer Bekah Brunstetter about a devout Christian baker asked to make a wedding cake for a same-sex marriage, performed in the Waldron Stage black box theater.

Young Audience series

May 2-May 9, 2020: “Treasure Island: A New Musical,” an original adaptation making its world premiere on the Waldron. Admission will be “pay what you can” and free books will be distributed to students.

May 30, 2020-July 3, 2020: “Polkadots: The Cool Kids Musical,” a touring show for children.

July 29, 2020-Aug. 9, 2020: “Cinderella,” the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic performed on the Trinkle mainstage by youth actors.

Oct. 10-18, 2020: “Peter & Wendy,” a new adaptation of J.M. Barrie’s tale of Peter Pan. As with “Treasure Island,” admission will be “pay what you can” with free books given to students.

Music series

May 22-23, 2020: “Golden Age of Broadway,” a sampling from many classic stage musicals — “Anything Goes,” “The Sound of Music,” “The King and I,” “Annie Get Your Gun,” “My Fair Lady,” “Guys and Dolls” and more.

Aug. 21-22, 2020: “Music of the Crooners,” with hits from Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Nat King Cole and more.

Mill Mountain Theatre’s next production, Tennessee Williams’ “The Glass Menagerie,” opens Wednesday.

For more information call 342-5740 or visit millmountain.org.

Mike Allen writes the Arts & Extras column for The Roanoke Times. The beat he covers includes visual art, classical music, opera, theater, dance, literature, museums and other arts and cultural nonprofits, and things even more eclectic.

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