Utilizing three different venues, our 20th Anniversary Season highlights stories of resilience and resolve and includes Tony Award winners, regional premieres, re-imaginings, an original concert production, and the freshly minted RUBY ROOM Series.
No American recording artist personifies resilience more than Stevie Wonder. Blind since shortly after his birth, Stevie is one of the best-selling musicians of all time. A musical pioneer, he reshaped the conventions of R&B and frequently used his platform to raise racial awareness with socially conscious statements and complex compositions. A collaboration with Kansas City’s acclaimed Motown/Funk band 2 Proud 2 Beg, this original concert production celebrates the life, work, and musical contributions of the great Stevie Wonder.
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s rarely produced musical in two acts, one told entirely in “Song” and the other told entirely through “Dance.” The story examines the road to love and the ever-changing obstacles along the way. The two mediums of song and dance offer a startling juxtaposition and highlight how a singular narrative can be interpreted differently, depending on the lens you choose to view from. Due to the vigorous demands placed on the cellist (Webber composed the dance portion for his cellist brother Julian, which is based on the A Minor Caprice No. 24 by Paganini) the rights for this production are closely-guarded and extremely exclusive, making this rarely-produced musical, featuring cello and rock band, a must-see for theater fans everywhere. Regional premiere
More than a hundred years later, the ill-fated story of the RMS Titanic remains one of the most compelling tales of all time. The musical swept the Tony Awards in 1997 and features some of the most majestic and soaring melodies found in the musical theater. In this new adaptation, the orchestrations have been re-imagined to include only the instrumentation found on the actual ship, a grand piano and a string quartet. The gripping stories of the passengers reflect the resilience of the human spirit, even under the most trying of circumstances. Kansas City professional premiere.
Arguably one of the greatest musicals ever written, Kander & Ebb’s masterpiece won eight Tony Awards in 1967. The universal story of identity has made Cabaret one of the most powerful and relatable stories of all time. Though set in a different time, themes of racial profiling, inclusiveness, and fear of the other are more relevant today than ever. Combine that with a red hot score and some of the most memorable tunes in musical theater, and it’s easy to understand why Cabaret has remained prolific for over 50 years.
Inspired by the famed Spanish novel Don Quixote and set during the Spanish Inquisition, Man of La Mancha reflects the struggle to better both yourself and the world, despite being ridiculed by those with different ideologies. The inspirational tale about one’s refusal to give up an impossible dream was the winner of 5 Tony Awards when it debuted on Broadway. In an innovative twist, MTH’s production will feature re-imagined orchestrations in a collaboration with Kansas City’s esteemed performance group, Ensemble Iberica.
The Ruby Room Series is MTH’s original concert series that celebrates Artists who have made a significant impact on American culture. Curated by MTH Associate Producer Linnaia McKenzie, in MTH’s freshly minted Ruby Room, the series strives to both entertain and inform in a sleek and intimate setting, unlike anything else in Kansas City. It’s about martinis, music, and mood.
The Ruby Room Series includes:
For Lovers, February 11-12: Sonny & Cher, Ike & Tina, Captain & Tennille
Jump & Jive, April 22-23: Louis Prima, Billie Holiday, and Duke Ellington
For the Culture, June 3-4: Nina Simone, Sam Cooke, and Otis Redding
Let It Be, July 29-30: John, Paul, George, and Ringo
Beatnik Cafe, September 16-17: Ginsberg, Kerouac, bebop, and cool jazz
Autumn Leaves, November 11-12: Johnny Mercer and Harold Arlen
MTH’s annual Holiday show has become a Kansas City tradition. An original revue featuring Holiday tunes from Musical Theater, innovative arrangements of Holiday classics, and more! A high-energy singing and dancing extravaganza that has proven to be a Yule log-filled, figgy pudding fun-fest for the entire family.