It is that time of the year to go into the woods and experience some of the best theater performances one can find.
Timber Lake Playhouse in Mt. Carroll is gearing up for another spectacular season staging plays in a place that is special. It is special because of its location, but also the talent that steps on stage year in and year out. It is the combination of local and national, and topping it off with talent from Chicago’s renown theater community.
After all, traveling from Chicago, west to Mt. Carroll, just could be the perfect getaway for those who want to escape, and for those who love the theater. This summer marks 52 years staging plays. It is the longest-running, professional summer theater in Illinois.
One show this summer, which could not legally be advertised until March 2013 is “Spamlot.” Executive Directer James Beaudry did know about this, of course, and noted, “Sean Cercone, director of professional licensing for Theatrical Rights Worldwide, contacted us and several other theatre companies in April 2012. We had a four-day window to make a decision and secure the rights, or the show would be unavailable because another national tour was going back out,” Beaudry said.
Making it happen needed quick action and Beaudry responded. “So we made it happen. But the only catch was that we couldn’t advertise the show until March 2013. When we announced the rest of season last July, we were as creative as possible about selling the show without saying anything specific about it.”
Here is a look at the upcoming productions for Timber Lake Playhouse in Mt. Carroll.
“A Chorus Line” – June 6-16. This is the first time that Timber Lake Playhouse will stage this crowd-pleaser. On this stage, the powerful musical about trying to make it in life and love, will be recreated by Will Taylor. He played Bobby in the recent Broadway revival.
“Tuesdays With Morie” – June 20-29. Based on the book by Mitch Albom, the story is an autobiographical story of the Albom and Morrie Schwartz, his former college professor. One may discover the meaning of life in this poignant play about a weekly visit with these two, but with a twist. The professor is battling Lou Gehrig’s disease. Chicago mainstay Chuck Smith will direct. This also marks his usual return to the theater in the woods.
“The Music Man” – July 5-14. This musical is well-known and if timing is they key, it starts up with Independence Day fresh on the mind. Another aspect of having this one play in Mt. Carroll, is the setting for the play – River City, Iowa. Timber Lake Playhouse is nestled nicely near the mighty Mississippi River and the Iowa border. James Beaudry directs and choreographs the American classic. With Beaudry behind this one, there will be no real “trouble in River City” – – just pure entertainment.
“The Unnecessary Farce” – July 18-27. It is billed as Two cops. Three crooks. Eight doors. Go. It is a comedy, a farce and often the perfect concoction in the summer. Just put it this way, this one features a “bagpipe-playing Scottish hitman.”
“Spamalot” – August 1-11. King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table are on display, Monty Pyhton style, of course. If one loves and know the work of the troupe, a treat is in store. If not, try it out. There will be cows, killer rabbits, and bevy of beautiful show girls. A play that is not always seen at this level and, because of show’s rights, not easy to obtain. Credit Timber Lake Playhouse and their reputation for this one.
“S’Wonderful” – August 15-25. This is the Midwest premiere of this show. Another reason why the reputation for Timber Lake Playhouse is often unmatched. It features over 42 songs by the George and Ira Gershwin. It takes the theater-goer on a nostalgic trip from he 1920s to present day. It has has been called “a gem for Gershwin lovers, young and old.”
For tickets, head here. Timber Lake Playhouse is located at 8215 Black Oak Road, Mount Carroll, Illinois. Call 815-244-2035.