Second Street Players (SSP) will celebrate its 40th anniversary in 2020 and has selected an exciting and varied season of shows. The main stage season will showcase two classic comedies, a family-friendly musical, a political drama just in time for election season, and a holiday show for everyone. The season also includes three children’s theater shows. Show descriptions and their publishers are listed below.
SSP’s 2020 Main Stage Shows:
• “Moon Over Buffalo”— Jan. 31; Feb. 1, 2, 7, 8, 9. This madcap screwball comedy by Ken Ludwig, about the larger-than-life personalities that inhabit the world of the theatre, was nominated for two Tony Awards when it ran on Broadway. In the play, George and Charlotte Hay, two fading stars of the 1950s, are performing onstage in Buffalo, NY, their marriage on the rocks after George’s dalliance with a young ingenue. Then they learn that famed director Frank Capra is coming to town to see their show and may cast them in his next movie. Unfortunately, everything that can go wrong onstage does go wrong as hilarious misunderstandings and backstage shenanigans pile upon each other. By Ken Ludwig, Samuel French, Publisher. (www.samuelfrench.com)
• “Caught in the Net” — April 17, 18, 19, 24, 25, 26. Ray Cooney’s hilarious, fast-paced sequel to “Run for Your Wife” (Second Street’s Fall 2019 show), finds the bigamist taxi driver John Smith still keeping his two families in different parts of London, both happy and blissfully unaware of each other; however, his teenage children, a girl from one family and a boy from the other, have met on the internet and are anxious to meet in person since they have so much in common. Keeping them apart plunges John into a situation that quickly spirals out of control as the kids’ dad juggles outrageously with the truth. By Ray Cooney, Samuel French, Publisher. (www.samuelfrench.com)
• “Oliver!” — July 17, 18, 19, 24, 25, 26. This Tony-winning musical, based on Charles Dickens’ novel, “Oliver Twist,” is widely hailed as a true theatrical masterpiece. The streets of Victorian England will come to life as Oliver, a malnourished orphan in a workhouse, becomes the neglected apprentice of an undertaker. The boy escapes to London and finds temporary acceptance with a group of petty thieves and pickpockets led by the elderly but sinister Fagin. Oliver! won three Tony
Awards and features such memorable songs as “Consider Yourself,” “As Long As He Needs Me,” and “Food Glorious Food.” Published by MTI (www.mtishows.com).
• “The Best Man” — Sept. 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20. Two presidential front-runners — a principled statesman and a candidate of the people — vie for their party’s nomination at the summer National Convention. Both fight for the support of the popular former president and ultimately resort to vicious mudslinging in a very nasty and public contest. Written in 1960, Gore Vidal’s Tony-winning drama was revived on Broadway in 2000 and again in 2012 and is still just as timely and sharp-witted today. By Gore Vidal, Dramatists Play Service, publisher (www.dramatists.com).
• “It’s A Wonderful Life” — Nov. 27, 28, 29; Dec, 4, 5, 6. Everyone knows this heartwarming holiday story of George Bailey, an everyman from the small town of Bedford Falls, whose dreams of escape and adventure have been quashed by family obligation and civic duty. George’s guardian angel comes on Christmas Eve to save him from despair and to remind him — by showing him what the world would have been like had he never been born — that his has been, after all, a wonderful life. This faithful adaptation by James Rodgers has all of the favorite characters celebrating the faith of the season and reminding us that the love and support of family and community will always be rewarded. By James Rodgers, Dramatic Publishing (www.dramaticpublishing.com).
SSP’s 2020 Children’s Theater Shows:
• “Sally Cotter and the Prisoner of Ala Katraz” — Feb. 28, 29, March 1. Sally Cotter is back, after appearing in this popular parody series on the Riverfront stage in 2019, and she is once again dreaming that she is a student at the bewitching Frogbull Academy of Sorcery. But this time she’s caught up in teenage drama as well as dealing with mysterious escaped convict Taurus Ford and battling her rival, Ursa Malaise, in the Gauntlet of Ire. Will she triumph at the expense of helping her best friends, Dave and Harmonica, with their romantic woes, all while evading Murderdeath and his terrifying Demeaners? By Dean O’Carroll, Playscripts (www.playscripts.com).
• “Bedtime Stories (As Told by Our Dad) (Who Messed Them Up)”— May 15, 16, 17. It’s Dad’s turn to tell his three rambunctious kids their bedtime stories, but when he gets fuzzy on the details, the classics get creative: a prince with a snoring problem spices up “The Princess and The Pea,” The Boy Who Cried Wolf cries dinosaur instead, and Rumpelstiltskin helps turn all that pesky gold into straw. You may think you know your fairy tales, but not the way Dad tells them! By Ed Monk, Playscripts (www.playscripts.com)
• “The Big Bad Musical” — Oct. 9, 10, 11. A courtroom has never been more lively and fun than in this smart and wickedly funny musical where the audience serves as the jury in the biggest trial ever in the fairy-tale world. The notorious Big Bad Wolf is being slapped with a class-action lawsuit by storybooks of quirky characters who want to get even: Little Red Riding Hood, her Grandmother, the Three Little Pigs and the Shepherd in charge of the Boy Who Cried Wolf. With Sydney Grimm as the commentator on live Court TV, the two greatest legal minds in the Enchanted Forest — the Evil Stepmother and the Fairy Godmother — clash in a trial that will be remembered forever after. By Alec Strum, Pioneer Drama (www.pioneerdrama.com).
Second Street Players is a year-round community theater, which produces shows covering practically every genre. Included in the yearly productions are musicals, dramas, comedies, original works, the Children’s Theater, and cooperative productions with other cultural groups and schools.
Riverfront Theater is located at 2 South Walnut Street on the south bank of the Mispillion River in scenic downtown Milford. The theater is handicapped accessible and can accommodate the hearing impaired.
SSP programs are made possible, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency dedicated to nurturing and supporting the arts in Delaware, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. The Division promotes Delaware arts events online at www.DelawareScene.com.
For more information about Second Street Players, visit www.secondstreetplayers.com.