CARTHAGE, Mo. —
The next season of shows at Stone's Throw Dinner Theatre includes a non-musical musical, a musical about musicals, a comedy about a radio station and a healthy helping of Neil Simon. The season includes:
"Star Spangled Girl," running June 28-July 7, directed by Shanti Navarre. The Neil Simon comedy mixes love and politics, set in 1960s San Francisco.
Two radicals, who barely get by as they work on their fight-the-system magazine, get mixed up when an all-American Southern girl moves in next door. The play was inspired by a political argument, according to a report in The New York Times.
"They're Playing Our Song," running Aug. 15-25, directed by Bill Welsh. Another Simon play, this one tells the story of a collaboration and romance between a composer and lyricist.
The musical was also inspired by real life -- in this case, the relationship between lyricist Carole Bayer Sager and composer Marvin Hamlisch.
"Oliver Twist," running Oct. 4-13, directed by Tom Brown. No exclamation mark in the title means no music -- this play is adapted directly from Charles Dickens' tale of the beloved orphan.
A Christmas show to be determined, running Dec. 5-15, directed by Mark Sponaugle, Pam White and Betty Bell.
"Up the Down Staircase," Jan. 31-Feb. 9, directed by Tom Brown and Dee Hubbard. The comedy tells the story of a first-time teacher and her rowdy students.
"Greater Tuna," running March 21-30, directed by Kendra and Ray Goepfert. The audition process will be fairly limited -- all that's needed are two actors who can take on about 20 roles.
The play about the third-smallest town in Texas is one of the most produced plays in the nation. Actors Jaston Williams and Joe Sears, who wrote the play and three follow-ups with Ed Howard, portray a myriad characters that explore small-town life.
"My Three Angels," running May 9-18, directed by Karl and Shannon Wendt. This Broadway comedy is set in French Guiana near the turn of the century and covers the antics of three prisoners and a family of French colonists.
Ticket prices for the season are $23; $20 for seniors, youth and students; and $11 for children. Admission for veterans during each opening night is $16. Doors will open at 6 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays; dinner will be served at 6:30 and shows will start at 7:30. On Sundays, doors open at 12:30 p.m., dinner starts at 1 and shows start at 2. Reservations can be made for each show.
Board members and volunteers at the theater are busy constructing a new stage and new lighting system. "We're raising the stage a foot, so the visibility will be better," said board member Betty Bell. "We are redoing the makeup room as well."
Work should be completed this week, in time for the theater's next production -- Neil Simon's "Plaza Suite," directed by Betty Fleischaker. The play runs May 10-19.