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You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown - December 1989

February/March 2014

Written by Clark Gesner

Music and Lyrics by Clark Gesner

You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown follows in the grand tradition of Annie and Lil’ Abner by bringing ink pen newsprint characters to life. Playhouse audiences took a delightful trip into the comic strip world of their favorite "Peanuts" characters. The play gives new insights into the lives of Linus, Lucy, Schroeder, Patty, Snoopy, and Charlie Brown.

No, No, Nanette - March 1989


Book by Otto Harbach and Frank Mandel

Lyrics by Irving Caesar and  Otto Harbach

Music by
Vincent Youmans

In this play Jimmy Smith, a Bible salesman, befriends three ill-reputed ladies who are more than willing to keep Jimmy from being depressed.

On the Verge - November 1988


by Eric Overmyer

Eric Overmyer’s On the Verge tells the story of three 19th century lady explorers who leave their mundane, Victorian lives behind to embark on a safari in the jungles of Africa. The three women adventurers encounter many bizarre artifacts and characters on the safari that lead them through time and space.

The Mystery of Edwin Drood - March 1988


by Rupert Holmes

The Poplar Pike Playhouse was the first theatre in the Mid-South to present The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Audiences delighted in being able to actually help solve the mystery as they voted each night on "who-done-it". Their solution determined the end of the play. Drood was the 1986 Tony Award Winner for Best Musical, Best Book, Best Score, and Best Orchestration.

And They Dance Real Slow in Jackson - November 1987


 by Jim Leonard, Jr.

And They Dance Real Slow In Jackson is a powerful, haunting memory play by one of the American theater's most impressive writers. The play offers a vivid and deeply affecting account of the agonies inflicted on a young crippled girl growing up in a small Indiana town.

Man of La Mancha - March 1987


Music by Mitch Leigh

Lyrics by Joe Darlon

Book by Dale Wasserman

This classic musical is the charming and gallant reincarnation of the Don Quixote legend. The imaginative storyline creates a highly theatrical experience. "The Impossible Dream" is one of many beautiful tunes that complement the equally poetic script.

The Foreigner - November 1986


by Larry Shue

The Foreigner is the story about Charlie Baker, a pathologically shy young Englishman who is overcome with fear at the thought of making conversation with strangers. He travels with his friend to a fishing lodge in Georgia, U.S.A. Not wishing to converse with the loud southerners, Charlie feigns that he speaks no English.

Celebration '86 - May 1986


Written and Directed by E.F. Bluestein

Celebration '86 is an original show featuring highlights from Poplar Pike Playhouse musicals of 1976-1985. The show features guest appearances by alumni from past PPP productions. Included on the "starlist" are Allison Hall, Jim Coffman, Anne Early, Dan McCleary, Jenny Conley, Jon Koski, and Susan Marshall.

Monday After the Miracle - November 1985


by William Gibson

This stirring drama, written by William Gibson, is the sequel to the critically acclaimed story of Helen Keller’s life, The Miracle Worker. The action of the play takes place in Boston, Massachusetts, seventeen years after the events of The Miracle Worker. The Poplar Pike Playhouse was the first theatre to present Monday after the Miracle in the Memphis area.

On the 20th Century - May 1985


Book and Lyrics by Adolph Green and Betty Comden

Music by Cy Coleman

Whether performed with elaborate scenery or on a simple scale, this brilliantly comic musical appeals to audiences everywhere. In this play, a flamboyant theatre producer, a tempestuous star, and a host of totally outrageous fellow passengers tap dance their way through one wacky situation after another on a chaotic and hilarious train ride from Chicago to New York City.

Greater Tuna - December 1984


by Jason Willims, Joe Sears and Ed Howard

This hilarious small-town comedy stars the citizens of Tuna, Texas. There are twenty wild characters in this show, all played by only two actors! Greater Tuna proves to be a tour-de-force of quick-change artistry, both of costumes and of comic characterizations.

Shenandoah - December 1984


Book by James Lee Barret, Peter Udell and      Phillip Rose

Music by Gary Geld

Lyrics by Peter Udell

This dramatic and powerful saga revolves around a strong-willed Virginia farmer who tries to keep his family neutral during the Civil War. Their story is a heart-warming and heart-rending portrayal of the upheaval that left wounds on the land and people.

The Diviners - October 1983


by Jim Leonard, Jr.

The Diviners is the story of a disturbed young man and his friendship with a disenchanted preacher in southern Indiana in the early 1930's.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat - March 1983


by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, the first collaboration between Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, tells the story of a young man named Joseph living in the land of Canaan. While the rest of his brothers are forced to wear sheepskin, he struts around in a fabulous rainbow-colored coat, a gift from his adoring father.

Star Spangled Girl - December 1982


by Neil Simon

This Neil Simon play is a fast moving, hilarious comedy. It tells the story of two earnest young men struggling to put out a "protest" magazine, and the all-American girl who moves next door and manages to send both of them into a romantic tail-spin.

The Wiz - May 1982


Music and Lyrics by Charlie Smalls

Based on the book by William F. Brown

The Wiz is a musical version of The Wizard of Oz,with music and lyrics by Charlie Smalls. Dorothy's adventures in the Land of Oz have been set to music in a dazzling, lively mixture of rock, gospel, and soul music.

A Day in the Courtroom A Nite in the Lighthouse - March 1982


Libretto by W. S. Gilbert

Music by Sir Arthur Sullivan

A Day in the Courtroom A Nite in the Lighthouse featured two separate one act plays: Trial by Jury and Black Comedy. Trial by Jury is a short and humorous Gilbert and Sullivan operetta.  Black Comedy, written by Peter Shaffer, reverses light and dark so that the actors and audience see different things at different times.

To Kil a Mockingbird - November 1981


Book by Harper Lee

Play by Christopher Sergel

Based on the novel by Harper Lee, this dramatization by Christopher Sergel focuses on Scout, a young girl in a quiet southern town. She ends up experiencing dramatic events which will affect the rest of her life. The play deals with racism and standing up for what one believes is right.

West Side Story - May 1981


Book by Arthur Laurents

Music by Leonard Bernstein

Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim

This modern day version of Romeo and Juliet is played against the stark reality of New York City gang life. The now famous Bernstein-Sondheim score, along with Arthur Laurent’s dramatic script, combines all of the elements of Shakespeare’s classic tragedy, to create one of the most moving and poetic Broadway musicals of all time. An interesting side light to the production at the Playhouse was the inclusion of several Memphis area actors. In order to give an air of reality to the show, all of the adult roles were played by adults.

The Fantasticks - October 1980


Lyrics and Book by Tom Jones

Music by Harvey Schmidt

The Fantasticks is the longest-running musical in the world. The story is very simple, a playful variation of the Romeo and Juliet theme, but the style of the show is quite sophisticated. Melodic, humorous, at times sentimental, it manages to be both simple and complex at the same time.

Hello Dolly! - May 1980


Book by Michael Steward

Music and Lyrics by Jerry Herman

In this beloved Broadway musical Dolly Levi, a New York-based matchmaker and widow has found herself in love with a "half-a-millionaire" Yonkers merchant named Horace Vandergelder. She proceeds to weave a web of romantic complications involving him, his two clerks, a pretty milliner, and her assistant.

Pippin - March 1980


Book by Roger O. Hirson

Music and Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz

Pippin is a musical about a young man who takes the audience on an unpredictable and crazy journey through war, politics, and love as he searches for "complete fulfillment."