Today's high school theater is more professional than ever.
Sophisticated sets, top-notch music and impressive acting give cash-strapped theater lovers budget-friendly options.
And what options!
Local spring theater season is underway.
In the coming weeks "Little Women" and "Guys and Dolls" alike can go "Footloose" down "42nd Street" or "Into the Woods."
Those looking for thespian magic can visit "The Wizard of Oz," "The Music Man" "Thoroughly Modern Millie" or even "The Fiddler on the Roof."
There's enough high school theater going on in "Our Town" and county to satisfy both "Beauty and the Beast" and even "The King and I."
So "Honk!" if you love theater!
(OK, I couldn't figure out how to get "Kiss Me Kate" or "Crazy for You" in the lineup, but they're coming up too!)
So sit back, read on and plan your nights out enjoying the plethora of theatrical entertainment that awaits.
? You don't have to wish you were a rich man to enjoy "Fiddler on the Roof," which is being staged at both Lampeter-Strasburg and Pequea Valley Thursday through Saturday.
This classic musical follows the struggles and joys of a Jewish family in Czarist Russia back in the early 1900s.
Tevye tries to keep his family, culture and religious beliefs intact with the encroachment of an ever-changing world.
Performances are Thursday-Saturday at 7 p.m. at Lampeter-Strasburg High School Performing Arts Center, Book Road, Lampeter.
Tickets are $8 for adults, and $6 for seniors and students. Call 464-3311 or visit www.l-spioneers.org.
? Pequea Valley, 4033 E. Newport Road, Kinzers, is staging its production Thursday through Saturday at 7:30. Tickets are $9 for adults and $7 for students. For tickets or info, call 768-5500.
? "42nd Street" is a grand song-and-dance show and a huge undertaking by a high school theatrical company.
Elizabethtown Area High School, 600 E. High St., has taken on the challenge and will stage the show Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. Tickets are $8 for adults and $6 for students and seniors.
Seventy students, including 40 on stage, are participating in the show. And many took eight weeks of tap dance lessons in preparation.
For tickets or info, call 367-1533 or visit www.etownschools.org.
? A little bit of fairy tale storytelling fills the Donegal High School Auditorium stage with the presentation of "HONK!" Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m and Sunday at 2 p.m.
"HONK!" is a theatrical, energetic retelling of the Hans Christian Anderson story of "The Ugly Duckling."
Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for seniors and students. The school is at 915 Anderson Ferry Road, Mount Joy. Call 653-1871.
Another rollicking and nostalgic show opens this weekend and continues next at Penn Manor High School, 100 East Cottage Ave., Millersville.
? In "Seussical the Musical," that mischievous Cat in the Hat takes the audience on a journey through Dr. Seuss' imagination. Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets are $9 for adults and $7 for students. For ticket info, call 872-9520, ext. 1515 or e-mail melissa.mintzerpennmanor.net.
? The final offering this weekend is "Thoroughly Modern Millie," a Tony Award-winning musical about the Roaring '20s being staged at Hempfield High School Performing Arts Center, 200 Stanley Ave., Landisville.
Featuring a cast of 46 student actors and a pit orchestra of 40 student musicians, the show follows the dreams of Millie Dillmount, who has just arrived in New York City in search of a new life.
Tickets for the show, which runs Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m., are $10 for adults and $5 for students.
Call 618-1016 or 898-5500, or visit www.hempfieldsd.org.
? Follow the yellow brick road to Columbia High School as it stages the classic story of "The Wizard of Oz" at 7 p.m. March 8 and 9, and at 1 and 7 p.m. on March 10. Tickets are $6 for adults and $4 for students.
The school is at 901 Ironville Pike, Columbia. For information, call 684-7500.
? If you miss her this weekend at Hempfield, Millie Dillmount is back next weekend when Manheim Central opens "Thoroughly Modern Millie." Curtain rises Thursday through Saturday (March 8-10) at 7:30 p.m. and on Sunday, March 11, at 2 p.m.
Tickets are $8 for premium and $5 for standard seating. Manheim Central High School is at 400 Adele Ave., Manheim. Call 664-8400 or visit www.manheimcentral.org.
? Cole Porter's music and lyrics give new life to Shakespeare's "Taming of the Shrew" in the Tony Award-winning "Kiss Me Kate" being performed at Solanco High School March 15-17 at 7 p.m. nightly.
Tickets are $9 for adults and $7 for students and senior citizens. For information, call the school, 585 Solanco Road, Quarryville, at 786-2151.
? Cocalico High School will be transplanted from its rural Denver location to the busy streets of New York City when it presents the Tony Award-winning "Guys and Dolls" at 7 p.m. March 16 and 17 and at 2 p.m. March 18.
The musical digs into the psyches of a variety of colorful residents of the Big Apple. Tickets are $5. Cocalico is located at 810 S. 4th St., in Denver. Call 336-1423 for information.
? It's got wonderful heart, a priceless message and all the panache of Disney. It's "Beauty and the Beast" and it is coming to the stage of Warwick High School, 301 W. Orange St., Lititz, at 7:30 p.m. March 16 and 17 and 2 p.m. March 18.
Tickets are $10 and $12 for adults, and $8 and $10 for students and seniors. They should be available an hour before the show, or call the school at 626-3700 for information on other ticket sale times.
? For those who enjoy a dinner theater experience, Lancaster County Christian School will accommodate.
The school is staging Thornton Wilder's classic play "Our Town" on March 15 and 16 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $9 for adults and $7 for seniors and students.
On March 17, dinner will be offered at 6 p.m. before the 7:30 p.m. show. Tickets for this performance are $22.
All shows will be presented at the Leola Campus Auditorium, 2390 New Holland Pike.
For information or to reserve dinner theater tickets, call 556-0711.
? Just one option for theater lovers this weekend: Lancaster Catholic High School, 650 Juliette Ave., also is presenting the Tony Award-winning "Guys and Dolls."
The show will be staged March 22 at 7:30 p.m., March 23 and 24 at 8 p.m. and March 25 at 2 p.m.
Tickets are $14 for reserved seating, $12 for general admission and $7 for students. For information, call 509-0315.
? Remember the days when self-sacrifice and humility were considered virtues? Visit them again when Ephrata High School presents "Little Women: The Musical" on March 30 at 7:30 p.m. and March 31 at 2 and 7:30 p.m.
Tickets for the show, based on Louisa May Alcott's classic 19th century novel, are $10 for adults and $7 for students. For tickets or information, call 721-1592 or visit www.easdpa.org.
? Music, dancing and splashy fun are all part of "Crazy for You," a classic-style Gershwin musical, with book by Ken Ludwig, coming to the stage of Manheim Township High School March 29 to 31 at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students and seniors and will be available beginning March 12 online and at the school, 2929 Lititz Pike. For details, visit www.mtwp.net.
? Belle and her "prince in the rough" are at it again at Octorara High School, 226 Highland Road, Atglen. The popular show "Beauty and the Beast" will be staged March 29-31 at 7 p.m.
Tickets are $8. Call (610) 593-8523.
? Thespians at McCaskey High School will be taking a trip "Into the Woods," taking audience members on a journey through familiar fairy tales intertwined in very unfamiliar ways.
This Stephen Sondheim musical will be presented March 29 and 31 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for students. For more information call 291-6211.
? There may not be 76 trombones leading a parade, but there will be plenty of big music during Conestoga Valley High School's production of "The Music Man" April 13-15.
This Tony Award-winning musical about con man Harold Hill and prim librarian Marian Paroo will be performed at 7 p.m. April 13 and 14 and 2 p.m. April 15.
Advance tickets are $7 for adults, $5 for seniors and $4 for students. At door prices are $1 higher.
The school is at 2110 Horseshoe Road. Call 397-5231.
? To dance or not to dance? That's the question Garden Spot Performing Arts answers during its production of "Footloose" at 7:30 p.m. April 19 and 20; 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. April 21; and 2:30 p.m. April 22.
That's a lot of shows! The cast must be in good shape to tell the story of the town that wouldn't allow dancing and the young man who inspired change.
Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students. For information or to reserve, call 354-1584.
? Finishing up the high school spring musical season is Lancaster Mennonite with "The King and I."
Well-known as a film starring Yul Brynner and Deborah Kerr, "The King and I" was originally a very successful Broadway show. In it, an English schoolteacher and the King of Siam cross cultural boundaries to form a bond of friendship, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera ...
The show will be staged April 26 and 27 at 7:30 p.m. and at 2 p.m. April 28. It also includes a dinner/show production on April 28 (Saturday) beginning at 5 p.m. The show will start at 7:30 p.m.
Ticket prices are $10 for adults and $8 for students ($1 less for the Saturday matinee.)
Dinner/show tickets are $40. For dinner theater ticket information, contact Deborah Sprunger at sprungerdllancastermennonit... or 299-0436, ext. 701.
For show-only tickets, call 299-0436, ext. 340. Visit www.lancastermennonite.org for details.