July stage productions around the area
“Les Miserables,” The Ritz Players’ summer musical, 7:30 p.m. July 11, 12, 19 and 2 p.m. July 20, The Ritz Theatre, 30 S. Washington St., Tiffin. Based on the 1862 novel “Les Miserables,” this international hit may be the most popular musical in the world. In 19th century France, Jean Valjean is released from 19 years of unjust imprisonment, but finds nothing in store for him but mistrust and mistreatment. He breaks his parole in hopes of starting a new life, initiating a life-long struggle for redemption as he is relentlessly pursued by police inspector Javert, who refuses to believe Valjean can change his ways. Finally, during the Paris student uprising of 1832, Javert realizes his beliefs are flawed. Call The Ritz at (419) 448-8544 for tickets and information or visit www.ritztheatre.org.
BELLEVUE – “Zombie Prom” Teen Theatre show, 7:30 p.m. July 11 and 12 and 2:30 p.m. July 13 at Bellevue Society for the Arts, 205 Maple St., Bellevue. It is produced by special arrangement with Samuel French Inc. and directed by Jennifer Gilbert of Clyde.
This “Girl-Loves-Ghoul” rock ‘n’ roll off-Broadway musical is set in the atomic 1950s at Enrico Fermi High School, where the law is laid down by a zany, tyrannical principal. Toffee, a senior, has fallen for the class bad boy. Family pressure forces her to end the romance, and he charges off on his motorcycle to the nuclear waste dump. He returns glowing and determined to reclaim Toffee’s heart. He still wants to graduate, but most of all he wants to take Toffee to the prom. The principal orders him to drop dead while a scandal reporter seizes on him as the freak du jour.
A tuneful selection of original songs in the style of ’50s hits keeps the action rocking.
Cast members play multiple roles for this production. Visit www.bellevuearts.net or call (419) 484-2787.
FREMONT – “Shrek the Musical” Teen Theatre (ages 13-19) show, July 17-20, Fremont Community Theatre, 1551 Dickinson St., Fremont. Jason Kramer and Delilah Foos are directing the show with permission from Music Theatre International. The musical comedy has music by Jeanine Tesori, and book and lyrics by David Lindsay-Abaire.
“Shrek the Musical” is based on the 2001 Dreamworks movie “Shrek” and William Steig’s book of the same title. It features the same familiar characters as the movie, including the large green ogre Shrek, his rather annoying sidekick Donkey, the beautiful Princess Fiona, the evil but short Lord Farquaad and a multitude of fairy tale characters, including Pinocchio, The Gingerbread Man, Humpty Dumpty, the Big Bad Wolf, the Three Bears and the Three Little Pigs. Many members of the ensemble play more than one role for this high-energy show. Call (419) 332-0775 or visit fremont
UPPER SANDUSKY – “Fiddler on the Roof,” 7 p.m. July 18,19, 25, 26 and 2 p.m. July 20 and 27, Star Theater, 121 W. Wyandot Ave., Upper Sandusky. Featuring music by Jerry Bock and lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, “Fiddler on the Roof” is set in tsarist Russia in 1905. The main character is Tevye, the father of five children, who is trying to uphold tradition in an ever-changing political and social landscape. The popular musical was the first Broadway show to play for more than 3,000 performances. The original production ran for almost 10 years.
This summer production is to be staged in memory of Martin Reno, the original rabbi in the Star’s 1994 production. Ron Boose is directing the show. Other members of the production team are William Thomas Richard III, music director; Amanda Zucker, choreographer; Marilyn Bohs, costumer; and Jan Stoneburner, producer. For more information, call (419) 294-1411 or visit www.starplayers.net.
BUCYRUS – Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast Jr.” July 25-27, Bucyrus Little Theatre, 130 Songer St., Bucyrus. More than 30 children ages 8-18 tell the familiar story of the cruel, insensitive Prince who is turned into a hideous Beast. To break the spell, the Beast must learn to love another and earn her love in return before the last petal falls from an enchanted rose.
The show introduces youngsters to musical theater using familiar songs and characters. For tickets and information, call the theater at (419) 562-0731 and leave a message.