(HADDON TOWNSHIP, NJ) -- After 15 months of nothing but a ghost light on the stage due to the COVID-19 pandemic, The Ritz Theatre Company is primed and ready to reopen their doors and shine the lights bright once more, announcing a new season of powerful, energetic, and inspiring plays and musicals.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling to finally be back,” says Producing Artistic Director Bruce A. Curless. “While the actual theatre has sat dormant for over a year, the passion, drive, and commitment of our Ritz Family has grown only stronger. We have planned a spectacular new season for all of us that is full of music and great stories celebrating culture and diversity.”
Leading off the 2021-2022 season for The Ritz is Once on This Island, a musical from the Tony Award-winning songwriting team of Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty. With a Caribbean tinged score, the musical follows the story of Ti Moune as she goes on her quest to prove that love is stronger than death. The show runs from September 17, 2021 to October 3, 2021.
Up next in the autumn is Melancholy Play: A Contemporary Farce, a fast-paced, comedic, and action-packed journey of five characters in search of an almond penned by the inimitable, Pulitzer-nominated playwright Sarah Ruhl. Don’t let the title fool you; this piece is a romp that will induce far more laughs than tears. The play runs from October 22, 2021 to November 7, 2021.
For the holiday season, The Ritz is proud to bring to you an original “Panto” production from the creative (mad) minds of Mr. Curless and local music maestro Brian Bacon, titled The Absolute Fantastical Adventures of Cindy Ella and the Once and Future Golden Christmas Goose in the Joyous Years That Followed the Never-Ending Plague: A Short Panto. This one promises to be tons of fun, a fast-moving, fun-filled treat for the whole family from beginning to end. This original piece runs from December 3, 2021 to December 19, 2021.
The Ritz ushers in the New Year with a Black Box production of William Finn and James Lapine’s groundbreaking musical Falsettos, a hilarious and achingly poignant look at the infinite possibilities that make up a modern family, revolving around the life of a charming, intelligent, neurotic gay man named Marvin, his wife, lover, about-to-be-Bar-Mitzvahed son, their psychiatrist, and the lesbians next door. Falsettos runs from January 7, 2022 to January 23, 2022.
Next up, The Ritz will present comedy fans with a new production of the long-running Off-Broadway hit Greater Tuna, a hysterical send-up of small town morals that may best be described as a tour de farce in quick change artistry, in which two actors work in tandem to create the entire population of Tuna, Texas’s third-smallest town. That show runs from February 11, 2021 to February 27, 2022.
To kick off spring, The Ritz is set to stage a dynamite production of Tick, Tick… BOOM! This autobiographical musical by Jonathan Larson, the Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning composer of Rent, is the story of a composer and the sacrifices he makes to achieve his big break. Tick, Tick… Boom runs from March 18, 2022 to April 3, 2022.
As the flowers bloom, The Ritz will treat audiences to Pageant, a unique musical experience in which six contestants compete in several categories in an effort to win the coveted position of Miss Glamouresse. Each night, judges selected from the audience will vote and determine the winner, who, therefore, may be different at each performance. The production runs from May 13, 2022 to May 29, 2022.
The Ritz Black Box returns in June and welcomes in an intimate production of The Marvelous Wonderettes, a must-take musical trip down memory lane where we meet four girls with hopes and dreams as big as their crinoline skirts. As we learn about their lives and loves, the girls serenade us with classic 50s and 60s hits including “Lollipop,” “Dream Lover,” and “Stupid Cupid.” The show runs from June 10, 2022 to June 26, 2022.
Doubling as the season’s “Finale Ultimo” and big “Summer Blockbuster” is Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights, an award-winning, game-changing musical that tells the universal story of a vibrant community in New York’s Washington Heights—a place where the coffee from the corner bodega is light and sweet, the windows are always open, and the breeze carries the rhythm of three generations of music. This final show of the season runs from July 15, 2022 to July 31, 2022.
“We are confident that this is a season with something for everyone,” says Curless. “We look forward to hosting your next visit and we hope you will (re)discover the magic that has kept The Ritz alive for 36 years. Come and enjoy live theatre again!”
The Ritz Theatre Company is located at 915 White Horse Pike in Haddon Township, New Jersey.