CHEYENNE – The curtain is up on the Cheyenne Little Theatre Players’ 92nd season.
On Saturday, Managing Director Todd Martin stood in the Historic Atlas Theatre lobby and announced (via Facebook Live) that the 2021-22 season, dubbed “Around the World in Seven Plays!,” will feature the following shows:
• “The 65th Old-Fashioned Melodrama: The Vale Of The Venomous Vixen Or A Sidekick and A Step Or The Bowling Bandit Strikes Again!,” July 5-Aug. 8 at the Historic Atlas Theatre, directed (and written) by Rory Mack
• “Mamma Mia,” Sept. 24-Oct. 10 at the Mary Godfrey Playhouse, directed by Audrey Mayfield
• “A Murder is Announced” (An Agatha Christie Murder Mystery), Nov. 12-21 at the Mary Godfrey Playhouse, directed by Brad Goodman
• “You Better Watch Out” (A Christmas Comedy), Dec. 3-19 at the Historic Atlas Theatre, directed by Brenda Lyttle
• “Don’t Dress For Dinner,” Feb. 11-27 at at the Historic Atlas Theatre, directed by Todd Martin
• “The Phantom Tollbooth,” March 11-27 at the Mary Godfrey Playhouse, director TBD
• “Cabaret,” May 6-22 at the Historic Atlas Theatre, directed by Jay Batson
Two of the seven shows were originally on the 91st season lineup announced March 24, 2020 – right at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Mamma Mia” and “The Phantom Tollbooth” were later deemed too difficult to produce under pandemic protocols (along with “Cabaret, which replaced “La Cage Aux Folles” at one point before being replaced again by “The Last Five Years,” which will be staged May 7-23 at Historic Atlas Theatre).
“We’re much more optimistic than we have been for a while,” Martin said of producing shows as COVID-19 case numbers go down. “Our hope is that by the time that we get to July and it’s time to open the melodrama, that we can operate hopefully under pretty normal circumstances as far as capacity.”
Masks, however, Martin guesses, will be here to stay for a while longer. But it all depends on what the case numbers are like as we get into the summer and more people are vaccinated.
Throughout the pandemic, CLTP has produced small-scale shows with both performers and audience members wearing masks and social distancing to prevent community spread of COVID-19. On March 17, after Gov. Mark Gordon lifted the statewide mask mandate, Martin announced CLTP will continue to require patrons to wear a mask when entering the theater and when in the lobby or other common areas.
Masks can be removed when a patron is seated.
The community theater did, however, expand its capacity after the governor lifted most of his health orders, and Martin said it will continue to do so if case numbers continue to trend downward.
He said he’s feeling excited to get back to large-scale shows – hopefully without a need for social distancing measures – especially “Mamma Mia” and “Cabaret,” which are both productions that CLTP has wanted to do (and in the case of “Cabaret,” tried and was unable to do) for several years.
“‘Mamma Mia’ … everyone loves that show, so we really want to bring it to Cheyenne,” Martin said. “We’re really optimistic about our chances.”
He’s also looking forward to the Christmas show, which is a departure from the better-known shows that CLTP has done the last several holiday seasons, such as “A Christmas Story.” The Christmas comedy “You Better Watch Out” will also mark the first of the season’s three dinner theater shows, which is an increase from the usual two dinner theater shows every year.
Another one of the three is “Don’t Dress For Dinner,” which Martin will be directing. The show was written by French playwright Marc Camoletti, best known for the farce “Boeing-Boeing,” which Martin directed for CLTP in 2019 and loved.
“That was a really fun show, and people enjoyed it, so I’m excited to take another crack at this writer,” he added. “I love the crazy door slamming, mistaken identity farces, and I love directing them.”
As for the season as a whole, Martin is happy to offer residents the chance to take a theatrical trip to the countries they’re not allowed to visit right now.
“It’s ‘Around the World in Seven Plays,’ the theme, so we’re starting at home here with the melodrama, then go to Greece and then go a little bit of everywhere and end our journey in Berlin with ‘Cabaret.’”
Season memberships are now on sale. If interested, call the box office at 307-638-6543 between the hours of noon and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.