The White Theatre at The J Announces Lineup for 20th Season (2024)

The White Theatre at The J Announces Lineup for 20th Season (1)

Season Tickets Go On Sale This Month to Public

The Lewis & Shirley White Theatre at The J officially announced the 2024-2025 season schedule, which includes popular favorites and new works to celebrate its 20th season. The schedule includes a Theatre Series, Concert Series and a record number of Special Engagements. The productions are all presented in the state-of-the-art Lewis & Shirley White Theatre.

Season tickets go on sale early this summer. More information about season tickets and the season lineup can be found at TheWhiteTheatre.org.

The season kicks off with the crowd-pleasing classic musical, “The Music Man,” which, amazingly, has never been produced at The White Theatre. The season will include co-productions of “Hairspray,” and “West Side Story” with the Black Repertory Theatre of Kansas City and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Greater Kansas City, respectively, as well as the Tony-award-winning play “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time,” and performances from Heartland Men’s Chorus and Kinnor Philharmonic. Local playwright Victor Wishna and his writing partner, Jeremy Desmon, will introduce “The Best Hanukkah Show Ever” as part of the theatre’s New Works Initiative, and, fittingly, “Stuff of Dreams” a new musical about community theatre, will make its World Premiere at The White Theatre.

“I’m so excited to be able to present such a wide diversity and abundance of offerings for our 20th season,” said Keith Wiedenkeller, Artistic Director of The White Theatre, and Director of Arts & Culture at The J. “Our team has assembled an amazing season with something for everyone, from tried-and-true iconic titles to groundbreaking original works … and we’re fitting more programs into this season than ever attempted before.”

The 20th season features three main “tracks” – the Theatre Series, Concert Series and Special Engagements.

The Theatre Series includes four locally produced shows with some of the region’s top talent. With matinee and evening performances available for the duration of each run, it includes:

The Music Man (Oct. 26-Nov. 17, 2024) – “The Music Man” follows a fast-talking traveling salesman, as he cons people into buying instruments and uniforms for a community band that he vows to create. His plans to skip town with the cash are foiled when he falls for someone who transforms him into a respectable citizen. A perfect production to open The White Theatre at The J’s 20th Season, this award-winning, critically acclaimed Broadway classic is an all-American institution.

Hairspray (Feb. 1-23, 2025) – Co-produced with The Black Repertory Theatre of Kansas City. The 1950s are out, the 60’s are in, and change is in the air!“Hairspray,” winner of eight TonyAwards, including Best Musical, is a family-friendly musical, piled bouffant-high with laughter, romance, deliriously tuneful songs, and a powerful message of unity.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (March 15-30, 2025) – 15-year-old Christopher has an extraordinary brain: He is exceptional at mathematics but ill-equipped to interpret everyday life. Finding himself under suspicion after the untimely death of his neighbor’s dog, Christopher is determined to solve the murder mystery, and his detective work takes him on a thrilling journey that upturns his world. Directed by Khalia Davis, new Artistic Director of The Coterie Theatre, this show will also offer weekday school matinees.

West Side Story (July 5-27, 2025) - Co-produced in a historic partnership with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Greater Kansas City. Two young, idealistic lovers find themselves caught between warring street gangs, the "American" Jets and the Puerto Rican Sharks, making “West Side Story”one of the most memorable musicals and greatest love stories of all time. Featuring music by Leonard Bernstein and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, this iconic show promises to deliver an awe-inspiring experience.

The White Theatre’s Concert Series includes local favorites Heartland Men’s Chorus Kansas City and Kinnor Philharmonic, and a never-before-seen live performance by nationally recognized Bette Midler and Barba Streisand tribute artists:

Bette & Barbra: Together Again … For The First Time (Nov. 23-24, 2024) – Spencer Brown is Bette Midler, and Steven Brinberg is Simply Barbra as they perform live together on The White Theatre stage. Featuring your favorite Streisand and Midler tunes, Brown and Brinberg are sure to impress as they take the stage together for the first time.

Kinnor Philharmonic (Jan. 1, 2025 & June 1, 2025) – The White Theatre’s artists-in-residence will present two special concerts. On New Year’s Day, this symphonic concert will kick off the New Year with a post-performance champagne reception. Then start your summer in style with Kinnor’s June 1 concert, as it performs incredible music “with a Jewish soul.”

Heartland Men’s Chorus Kansas City (April 5-6, 2025) – Proudly singing out in Kansas City since 1986, Heartland Men’s Chorus brings its “choral theater” format to The White Theatre, which uses music, narration, and multi-media to illustrate social issues.

Finally, The White Theatre’s Special Engagements include:

The Jewish Nutcracker (Dec. 8, 2024) - “The Jewish Nutcracker” returns for its fourth year, following Rebecca and the Nutcracker on their magical journey from Bubbe’s house to the Land of Nosh, encountering every “gelt-y” pleasure, from “Mother Latke” to a giant “Sleigh-del.” Featuring almost 200 of our Encore dance students, this is a must-see holiday tradition for the whole family!

The Dreidel Players Present … Best Hanukkah Show Ever (Dec. 28-29, 2024) – This new work written by Jeremy Desmon and Victor Wishna is about a passionate, not-quite-ready-for-primetime theatre troupe that bands together to create the world’s most ambitious Hanukkah show… in just eight days! (LikeA Christmas Carol,but Jewish-er.) As the clock ticks and the candles burn,The Dreidel Playersscramble to complete their epic, theatrical extravaganza by opening night. Along the way, this motley crew might just discover the true meaning of Hanukkah — even if they can’t figure out quite how to spell it. Join us for a delightful journey filled with holiday spirit, joyfulmishigasand latke-scented hilarity.

Goldas’ Balcony (April 26-27, 2025) – Stage and screen star Iris Bahr shines in this one-woman show about the life of Golda Meir, former prime minister of Israel. This tight-knit story of war and peace opens in 1973, on the eve of the Yom Kippur War, and uses flashbacks to tell the story of the most memorable moments of Golda’s life … and the life of her nation.

Open Stage Dance Showcase (June 15, 2025) – Back after a three-year hiatus, “Open Stage” showcases the talents of more than 10 local choreographers and their dance companies in a fast-paced extravaganza of diverse dance styles, from classical ballet to hip-hop!

Stuff of Dreams (Sept. 13-24, 2025) -- a World Premiere – A struggling Midwest community theatre is chosen to be first in the nation to perform the hottest show on Broadway, “Betsy Ross: Seams of Dreams.” This heartwarming new musical comedy is a stunning show within a show that will have audiences clapping, crying, and rooting for this “chosen family” of humble players to make it to opening night!

Full details and performance times can be found at TheWhiteTheatre.org. Auditions for various musicals and plays produced by The White Theatre will be announced on the website as well as on Facebook.

Tickets for the current 2023-2024 season are on sale now. Guests can enjoy “Disney’s The Little Mermaid” from July 6-28 and “Tree of Life,” A new play by Victor Wishna on Sept. 14-22. For more information, visit thewhitetheatre.org.

About The J

The Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City – The J – opened in 1914 in midtown Kansas City, Missouri and has grown and adapted to serve the changing needs of Greater Kansas City’s Jewish and secular communities. Our mission is to build a strong, vibrant and inclusive community that enhances wellness, meaning, and joy, based on Jewish values, heritage, and culture. We are a welcoming community that embodies Jewish values in a safe and respectful environment. People of all ages and backgrounds learn and grow at our ‘home away from home.’ For more information, visitTheJKC.org.

About The White Theatre

The Lewis & Shirley White Theatre, built in 2005, is a 500 seat, state-of-the-art venue that hosts a wide variety of performances throughout the year. Its annual theatre and concert series continues a 90+ year community theatre tradition, established in 1932, with The Resident Theatre, the region’s first and longest-running community theatre. Ample free parking is available, and the theatre is entirely accessible for those of all abilities. The theatre is available for private rentals for area non-profit groups.

The White Theatre at The J Announces Lineup for 20th Season (2024)

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