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The season to come

Tacoma’s forthcoming year of theater is chock-full of potential hits

Tacoma Little Theatre follows up its nostalgic 100th season with a season of firsts. Photo credit: Wikipedia

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Looking at a list of theatrical productions coming up this season, it's truly awe-inspiring to see the sheer number of shows happening in the South Sound over the course of the year -- seriously, dozens of shows, from an increasing amount of theatre companies, covering nearly every style and demographic in the book.

In Tacoma and Lakewood alone, the 2019-2020 theatrical season will feature nearly 30 shows, featuring a nice mixture of old standbys and newer works that will be making their South Sound debuts. Thirty shows is too many to properly preview, but given that August tends to be a dry spell for live theatre, we thought we'd share some shows that have us most hyped from Tacoma and Lakewood's upcoming season.

After Tacoma Little Theatre celebrated its 100th season with a selection of favorites that been previously been performed on the TLT stage, they've decided to make their 101st season one of firsts. There are some truly out-of-the-box shows, such as Evil Dead: The Musical, a blood-splattered song-and-dance rendition of Sam Raimi's cult classic horror film; the Christmas whodunit Holmes for the Holidays; a world premiere production of 2020 AACT NewPlayFest winner Shattering; and a more modern adaptation of the always-timely The Manchurian Candidate.

(dates and ticket info at

Tacoma Musical Playhouse, Tacoma's best option for pure spectacle, has a few doozies lined up for their upcoming season. The first that catches our eye is Elf: The Musical, adapted from the boundlessly charming Will Ferrell movie, which has become a new holiday classic. A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder was a Broadway smash, racking up 10 Tony nominations and four wins, with a blend of murderous intrigue and comedy. All the way out in July of 2020, TMP will close out their season with Singin' in the Rain, which should be one hell of an extravaganza.

(dates and ticket info at

Lakewood Playhouse, like TLT, is featuring a diverse season full of unexpected selections, and like TLT, one of the shows is a musical adaptation of a cult film classic: Heathers: The Musical will be hitting LP's stage in January. The season kicks off with Biloxi Blues, continuing the trilogy of Neil Simon's autobiographical plays that LP started with last season's Brighton Beach Memoirs. Lakewood Playhouse will also be presenting a more muted show, with The Wolves, a 2017 finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, about high school girls exploring life's big mysteries during soccer warmups.

(dates and ticket info at

Tacoma Arts Live is also throwing their hat in the ring by staging their own runs of locally-produced shows -- among them being Tom Stoppard's Shakespeare in Love and David Mamet's Oleanna. Their other two shows are less well-known, but quite intriguing: Tribes concerns a deaf boy who was raised in a hearing family, with an emphasis on coexisting in a hearing world, and all the complications that arise from that; Cowboy vs. Samurai, meanwhile, is a funny and incisive romantic comedy about Asian-Americans finding love and confronting stereotypes in Wyoming.

(dates and ticket info at

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