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Vote this week for FRP musicals in ’18

VoteMusicals1MuttsRS jpg

Acrobatic “mutts” perform Saturday, and pets can be adopted at FRP.

Mutts perform Saturday, Beatles tribute starts Feb. 16

By Pete Zamplas- Flat Rock Playhouse patrons and others are encouraged to help the official state theater choose musicals for the 2018 season, through an online survey conducted through this week as the new season begins.

The survey closes Friday, Feb. 10 and results will be tabulated to guide next season’s selections as from the first such survey last summer, FRP Marketing-Communications Dir. Dane Whitlock said. The new survey, done via Survey Monkey, reveals plays apt to be best-supported at the box office.

Early frontrunners as of last Friday included Mamma Mia!, Fiddler on the Roof, A Chorus Line, West Side Story and Grease, Whitlock said.

Others among 49 in an all-star lineup include in alphabetical order: Ain’t Misbehavin’, Aladdin, Bonnie and Clyde, Cabaret, Cats, Damn Yankees, Dreamgirls, Footloose, Into the Woods, Jesus Christ Superstar,  Mary Poppins, On the Town, Seussical, Singin’ in the Rain, The King and I, The Pirates of Penzance, The Sound of Music, The Who’s Tommy rock opera, Titanic the Musical and Xanadu. Respondents should each vote once, for up to 10 musicals including a write-in.

The final selection also involves factors in production expenses for “creating with less” in resources, as Artistic Director Lisa Kanoy Bryant has explained to The Tribune. “You can shoot for what you want most. But you have to earn it,” she said. She noted downscaling a production can yield a creatively “new interpretation.”

Survey results last year spanned various types of plays, helping shape the current season that is about to start, as the new survey occurs.

The Clyde and Nina Allen Mainstage in Flat Rock has gone to the dogs — for the well-acclaimed, touring “Mutts Gone Nuts! Canine Cabaret” of canine circus-like tricks. This is Feb. 11 only, at 1 and 5 p.m. Tickets each cost $14-28.

The cabaret promote pet adoption. Thus in conjunction, Blue Ridge Humane Society pets will be displayed for adoption 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the FRP lot.

Playhouse Downtown (PD) opens with Willy Wonka March 24-April 2. Music on the Rock kicks off with Beatles covers Feb. 16-26 in PD at 125 S. Main St.

The mainstage season continues with Classic Nashville Road Show March 8-18, a Neil Diamond tribute April 6-9, a patron favorite in Smokey Joe’s Cafe April 21-May 13, and comic Emo Philips April 28-29 for a different twist.

Next are two FRP musical classics in A Tuna Christmas (Scott Treadway, Preston Dyar) May 19-June 3, and Annie June 9-July 2, Then comes The Dixie Swim Club July 7-22, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat July 28-Aug. 20. Music takes the stage with Andrew Lloyd Webber Broadway music Aug. 25-Sept. 3, and Donny Edwards as Elvis Sept. 6-9.

In between is a casting match in heaven, with zany Nat Zegree (Jerry Lee Lewis stealing the show in Million Dollar Quartet in ’16) as Mozart in Amadeus Sept 15-30.

The season concludes with classics in musical Little Shop of Horrors Oct. 6-22 and dramatic Dial M for Murder Oct. 27-Nov. 11, then FRP’s Christmas Spectacular Nov. 17-Dec. 22.

Studio 52’s Family Series has Wonka then Disney’s The Little Mermaid June 29-July 23, You’re a Good Man, Charley Brown Sept. 7-24, Pinkalicious The Musical Nov. 9-19, then The Best Christmas Pageant Nov. 30-Dec. 17.


Ryan Guerra, at left, and crew will play Beatles songs starting Feb. 16.

Music of the Beatles Feb. 16-26 stars FRP musical star Ryan Guerra and Dustin Brayley. They are joined by Aaron LaVigne, Ryan Dunn, Eric Anthony and Paul Babelay.

They will play ballads “Hey Jude,” “Yesterday,” “Let it Be” and “Blackbird” and early rockers “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” and “Can’t Buy Me Love” among hits of the Fab Four. Tickets are $15-30.

The series continues with music of the Rat Pack, Simon & Garfunkel, Johnny Cash and Roy Orbison, Don Henley and Phil Collins, Motown, Lionel Richie and Diana Ross, and ends with “The Women of Woodstock.”

The Have-a-Seat seat-naming drive varies from $250 to $1000 (for front row).

To access the musicals survey, check: To get tickets or for show info, call the box office at 693-0731 or check

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