The Spotlight Theater in Moline has announced a 2023 season full of popular music titles.
The approved schedule is:
Season tickets will be available soon, Spotlight announced Wednesday on Facebook. “Come celebrate with us at ‘Tuck Everlasting’ this weekend! It’s going to be a beautiful year 2023!” the post said.
One of the new shows is an old evergreen movie — 1962’s “Oliver,” based on Charles Dickens’ classic “Oliver Twist,” which was originally planned for the 2020 Spotlight season. Brent Tubbs, co-owner of Spotlight, said that while it was filmed entirely That year, it would be remodeled for 2023 production.
Oliver is very familiar, but “we like to take new ideas on classics and things like that, but then we also like to bring in pieces that haven’t been done here before, too,” he said. “I mean, it’s crazy how much is pumped every year.”
In this vein, four-year-old Spotlight (1800 7th Ave., Moline) will be giving the regional premieres of “SpongeBob” (which opened on Broadway in December 2017) and the musical Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “School of Rock” (which premiered on Broadway in December 2017). for the first time in December 2015). Community theater rights for both newer shows only became available last year.
Tubbs are good friends with Greg Hipskind, director of the QC Rock Academy, and it was only natural to get these students to try out the “School of Rock” troupe (based on the 2003 hit movie starring Jack Black). The new musical will be a partnership between the two groups.
“We’ve kept our eyes on this show for a while now just because I love the movie and the music, and the whole children’s story. And I mean, the end of this show is going to be crazy,” Tubbs said. “Kids are actually playing a big part of it, so I had really put this bug in Greg’s ear and it was all for him from the start.”
Both “School of Rock” and “SpongeBob” will premiere in the region, with Spotlight doing local premieres of “The Lightning Thief” and “Tuck Everlasting” (which runs through this weekend).
Focus on family
Spotlight also seems to enjoy focusing on shows that are family-friendly or feature young heroes (such as “Matilda,” “You’re a Good Guy Charlie Brown,” this season’s “Peter and the Star Catcher,” “Lightning Thief,” and “Tuck”).
“I think, subconsciously, we have,” Tubbs said Friday. “Because we have kids and we like kids and I’m always drawn to stories where there are kids, for some reason, I don’t know. Just the idea of ’school of rock’ and the whole ending ends where they eventually shine and be themselves and do the thing they love.
“This really speaks volumes to me as a parent and as an adult,” he added. “I think we kind of gravitate towards the friendly family. I mean, we obviously have a strong relationship with a lot of families who actually have all of our kids’ programming. We have a lot and it’s kind of being around the kids all the time.”
Tubbs said they chose SpongeBob (based on the hugely popular Cartoon Network series), because it’s so much fun.
“We put it in the June slot, the summer period, when the kids are out of school. It’s tropical, it’s fun,” he said. “It’s a very summertime show. We watched it and kind of fell in love with it.
“The music is actually that every song on the show was written by a different band,” Tubbs noted of the varied scores, with songs by David Bowie, Cyndi Lauper, Sarah Bareilles, Stephen Tyler, John Legend, Blaine White T, Lady A, Panic! At the disco they may be giants. “It’s a crazy melting pot of the artists who wrote the music for the show. It’s just so much fun and funny.”
Pairing “All Shook Up” and “Grease”
The Elvis jukebox musical “All Shook Up” (which premiered in 2005 and was presented at the Circa and Music Guild) was strategically placed as the premiere of the year.
“We’re going to be producing our first show in high school, ‘Grease,’ so that it falls around the same time as ‘All Shook Up,'” Tubbs said. “So this was a strategic idea on our part. We’ll be able to use a lot of the same pieces and costumes and things like that, ’cause it’s the same time period.”
Spotlight hadn’t yet taken a full semester of high school, until the fall. They held summer camps in high school.
“These things were going well, so we decided — we’ve had a lot of people ask about a high school class that lasts for several more weeks, like we do in other kids’ classes.
Mel Brooks’ musical “The Producers” (2001) is set to premiere September 30, 2022 on Spotlight, starring Chris Tracy as Max, Max Robinette as Leo, and Kirsten Sendelar as Ola.
This year’s holiday show is “A Christmas Story” (2012), also based on a popular movie, from 1983. “Tuck Everlasting” (based on a popular children’s novel) will be presented at 7 p.m. tonight (Friday) and Saturday, in addition to the hour 2 p.m. on Sunday 12 June. For tickets and information, visit the Spotlight website.