Dunes to show ‘Westside Story Concert’

Published 8:00 pm Thursday, April 5, 2012

The cast from “Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” raise their arms during a performance last year at the Dunes Summer Theatre. Submitted photo

The Dunes Summer Theatre is trying something new to start the 2012 season.

It will be taking its show on the road to the New Buffalo Performing Arts Center for a season-opening performance of “West Side Story in Concert” April 14.

The theater’s business manager, Dani Lane, said the troupe is performing “West Side Story in Concert” at the New Buffalo Performing Arts Center, 1112 Clay St. Michigan City, Ind., in an attempt to branch out beyond the Michiana Shores.

“We rarely do things like this,” Lane said. “We want to utilize a wonderful theater and also outreach to the surrounding area more than staying within our insular area. We want to reach out to the Harbor Country region in Michigan, which is probably where our biggest audience should and could be.”

“West Side Story in Concert” is a spin on the well-known musical “West Side Story.” Lane said the show would feature the best music, songs and dance numbers from “West Side Story.”

The cast includes performers from the area as well as local talent from New Buffalo High School.

“Some of the students will be playing in the band, and some of them will be on stage, singing and dancing,” Lane said.

The single-show performance starts at 7:30 p.m. (EST). Tickets are $15 for general seating and $45 for VIP seating, which includes an after party at Steve Rubinkam Studio featuring food and beverages.

From there, the rest of the shows will be held as normal at the Dunes Summer Theatre, 288 Shady Oak Drive, Michigan City, Ind.

The Dunes Summer Theatre, sponsored by the Dunes Arts Foundation, a nonprofit organization organized in 1952, is an indoor, air-conditioned theater with seating for 200. It includes simple concessions, a bar and outdoor patio.

Lane said the Dunes tries to be the first community theater in the area to bring in some of the biggest and best shows.

This year’s lineup is no exception.

The Tony award-winning musical “Avenue Q” is the first show scheduled for the Dunes Summer Theatre. The show features humans and puppets interacting in a story of twenty-somethings learning how to live and love in New York City. It runs June 8-10, 15-17 and 22-24.

“It is Sesame Street with adult themes and issues, and it is very, very funny,” Lane said.

Following “Avenue Q” is the musical “1776” June 29 through July 8. It uses song and dance to tell the story of the country’s forefathers writing the Declaration of Independence.

“The Tempest” runs July 27 to Aug. 5. It is Shakespeare’s classic tale of spirits, sorcery, monsters, maidens and shipwrecked scheming noblemen.

The hit Broadway musical “9 to 5,” written by Dolly Parton, will be at the Dunes Summer Theatre Aug. 10-26.

“It’s a really big song and dance musical and, of course, a comedy,” Lane said.

“The Women,” a comedy/drama set in the glamorous Manhattan apartments of high society women in the 1930s, is scheduled for Aug. 31 to Sept. 16.

The Dunes Summer Theatre season concludes with performances of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” Oct. 5-14.

The theater also holds special events throughout the season. For more information, visit the Dunes Summer Theatre website at dunessummertheatre.com.

The box office phone number is (219) 879-7509. Email the theater at info@dunessummertheatre.com.