"Beautiful: A Carole King Musical" recently stopped by Columbia on its North American tour, putting on seven performances of the play, which is based on the real-life story of singer-songwriter Carole King. The show covers her rise to stardom and the problems she faced along the way, dealing with personal loss and skyrocketing to fame in spite of it.
But for local musical theater fans, the inspirational story at the heart of "Beautiful" is just the beginning of Broadway in Columbia's season lineup. The organization recently released a list of shows to look forward to in the 2019-2020 season. The shows for the season include "Wicked," "Cats," "An American in Paris," "The Color Purple," "Bandstand" and two holiday shows.
The season will start in November with some holiday spirit from "Mannheim Steamroller Christmas," a show that features all of the Mannheim Steamroller’s greatest Christmas hits in a live performance complete with theatrical lights. The show is on Nov. 22 and will be followed by "Christmas Wonderland Holiday Spectacular" on Dec. 17 and 18.
After that, Broadway staple "Wicked" will come to town in January 2020. This instant classic follows the story of Oz before Dorothy, and a troubled friendship between two witches.
These are just some of the shows coming to the Koger Center later this year. But if you have an itch to get to the theater before November, other local organizations like the Trustus Theatre and Town Theatre have released their lineups for upcoming shows.
Trustus is showing "F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby" until April 27, so there's plenty of time to catch a show before finals. Based on an American classic novel about the glitz, glamour and greed of the Roaring '20s, "The Great Gatsby" has been adapted for the stage complete with music and choreography.
Another show coming up from Trustus Theatre is "Heathers, the Musical," based on the cult-classic film about high school, cliques and, well, a murder or two. If you missed USC's Off Off Broadway performance of the show, Trustus will be showing it from June 28 through July 27.
The Town Theatre's season is almost over but it still has one more show in 2019 — "Mamma Mia!". Although this rendition of the popular musical probably won't have Meryl Streep in it, "Mamma Mia!" is still a fun, sing-along show about a girl's journey to identify a father who can walk her down the aisle.
These are just a few of the shows Columbia expects to see in the coming year, so local audiences have plenty of opportunities to experience a wide variety of theater without having to travel more than a few blocks. Keep an eye on local theaters and troupes like the Koger Center, Trustus Theatre, Town Theatre, Lab Theatre, Off Off Broadway and more for other new shows and performances throughout the year.