In 2014-15, Toledo’s Valentine Theatre will present a multitude of entertainment opportunities for lovers of the performing arts. The historic venue will host opera, ballet, symphony and jazz orchestras, comedy, plays, and much more during its sixteenth season.
According to Matthew Lentz, the Valentine’s director of marketing and public relations, the Valentine offers so much to the community that it is impossible to single out one event as the highlight of the season. “It really depends on a person’s interests,” he commented in a recent interview. “Personally, I am very proud of the Broadway shows we have coming to the Valentine.”
A total of five national Broadway tours will perform at the Valentine during 2014-15. “Jekyll & Hyde: The Musical” will be the first show. Based the Robert Louis Stevenson story, the musical combines romance and madness. Leslie Bricusse and Frank Wildhorn have created songs to bring this tragic tale to life. Nominated for four Tony awards, this show will be presented Nov. 5. Tony award winner “Anything Goes” takes the stage on Nov. 16. Cole Porter’s timeless songs such as the title song, “I Get a Kick Out of You” and “It’s De-lovely” will be featured.
In 2015, another Tony winner “Peter and the Starcatcher” appears on Feb. 5. This Peter Pan prequel won five Tony awards. “Memphis the Musical” comes to Toledo on March 8. This story about roadblocks to bi-racial love took four Tony awards in 2010. The fifth and final Broadway performance, “4 Girls 4” will be presented on May 4. Show tune lovers hit the jackpot with this foursome. Maureen McGovern, Donna McKechnie, Andrea McArdle and Faith Prince are each a leading lady of Broadway shows in her own right.
Two special attractions come to the Valentine in the upcoming season. The first is a one person show and the other a parody.
Emmy award winner Vicki Lawrence, a Toledo favorite, comes to Toledo on Oct 17 with her performance of “Vicki Lawrence & Mama: A Two-Woman Show”. Lentz said, “This is her third visit to the Valentine.” Lawrence is well known for her role as Thelma Harper (or Mama) from the Carol Brunette Show and later in “Mama’s Family”. Ms. Lawrence will take the stage first. "My new show will not be a retrospective," she explains on her website. "We are designing a show that is a mixture of stand-up comedy, music and my observations about real life." Mama will take the stage next. "Where Mama is concerned, expect the unexpected,” Lawrence said.
The second special attraction is “50 Shades the Musical: The Original Parody” which pokes fun at the novel “50 Shades of Grey”. The show is meant for adults only since it examines the sexual situations discussed in the novel. It is currently scheduled to be performed on Sept. 26.
CLASSIC & ART HOUSE FILMS
The Silver Screen Classic series and the Art House Film series will return to the Valentine. Sponsored by one of Toledo’s newspapers, The Blade, these film series present movies at the nominal cost of $5. The movies have become very popular, and Lentz explained why. “The price and the ambience of watching a classic film in a historic venue makes the experience fun.”
The Silver Screen Classic series starts its season with “Young Frankenstein” on Oct. 24 at 7:30, and a total of 11 films will be presented during the season. The Art House Film series begins its season on Nov. 23 with the film “The Rules of the Game” at 2 p.m. Right now, only three films have been scheduled for this series. For a complete list of films for each series, open this link.
EDUCATING WHILE ENTERTAINING
“Part of our mission at the Valentine is to reach out to the community,” Lentz commented. To do this, the Valentine will present a second season of Valentine School Days. This program invites local students to attend professional theater productions and to participate in educational activities. Perfect for field trips, special prices have been arranged for children attending these productions.
MUCH, MUCH MORE
Three Jazz orchestra concerts, three performances of operas, two performances by the Toledo Symphony, three ballets and much more will be presented at the Valentine during 2014-15. A full listing of events can be found at the Valentine’s website. Individual tickets for events will not go on sale until August; however, subscribers to a series of events will be accepted now through July 7. See the order form on the website, or call 419-242-2787 for more information.