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Cardinal Stage Company is celebrating their 10 year anniversary! It seems like just yesterday that Cardinal launched with their first play, the celebrated production of Thornton Wilder’s Our Town at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater. Since then, Cardinal has come out with wildly successful plays such as A Year with Frog and Toad, Les Misérables, A Streetcar Named Desire, and Mary Poppins, which would go on to be the longest ever running play at the Buskirk. With such praise from critics and audiences alike, Cardinal has now become the largest performing arts organization in south-central Indiana.
If you are unfamiliar with Cardinal Stage Company, what better time to attend your first show than during their 10th Anniversary Season? This year’s legendary lineup kicks off in September with a Texas-sized bang as Bloomington’s beloved actress Diane Kondrat (Red Hot Patriot, The Grapes of Wrath) returns home to headline Ann, an unruly portrait of Texas Governor Ann Richards who is known for her witty one-liners and progressive stance on feminism.
If spooky and mysterious is more your thing, look no further than Cardinal’s next show, Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery. In this play you will see the true versatility of five main actors as they play dozens of roles in a madcap fashion similar to that of The 39 Steps.
Following Baskerville is the first of three Shakespearean-themed shows this season, The Merchant of Venice. This year is the 400th Anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, and to honor his genius, Cardinal takes on his classic courtroom drama. Cardinal’s Merchant features an all-female cast and is produced in association with the IU College of Arts and Sciences’ 2016 Themester on “Beauty.”
For the annual family holiday show, Cardinal has chosen Oliver! to celebrate 10 years of kids contributing to Cardinal shows. As always, this holiday tradition will be fun for the entire family. In Cardinal’s revival of Oliver!, 75+ kids will be featured in the cast, as well as Cardinal’s own legendary Mike Price as the thieving scalawag Fagin.
Following the holiday extravaganza comes The Legend of Georgia McBride. This highly entertaining play is the story of a broke Elvis impersonator who realizes his true calling when an experienced drag queen comes to town.
Next is King Charles III, a critically acclaimed new play that has won and been nominated for multiple awards, including a 2016 Tony Awards Nomination for Best New Play. This show is a twist on Shakespearean history plays and takes place in an imagined future where Queen Elizabeth has died and the new king’s first act threatens the very existence of the English crown. Watch as Prince William and Kate try to usurp the throne and save the House of Windsor while restless Harry and the ghost of Diana haunt the palace. This witty play is a treat for fans of Shakespeare and pop culture alike.
Cardinal’s 10th Anniversary Season closes with West Side Story, the renowned musical inspired by Romeo and Juliet. This classic piece of musical theatre features one of the greatest scores in musical theatre history and will certainly finish off the season in grand fashion.
And with that, Cardinal Stage Company prepares for what is arguably their most epic season to date, filled with classics, musicals, and new plays. To learn more about Cardinal Stage Company, the 2016-2017 season, and how to become a season subscriber, visit cardinalstage.org.
by Benjamin Beane
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