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Thunder Bay Theatre announces 2012 season

January 16, 2012
By DIANE SPEER - News Lifestyles Editor , The Alpena News

Thunder Bay Theatre is primed to present its 2012 line-up of shows.

TBT Artistic Director J.R. Rodriguez is calling it the "season of blockbusters," and for good reason. Featured among the 11 shows spanning January through December are "Cats," "Rent," "Man of La Mancha," "Driving Miss Daisy" and "Steel Magnolias."

"The season is filled with nothing short of big shows," said Rodriguez. "I'm calling it the season of blockbusters. Not only do we have three debuts, but the shows that have been performed before are masterpieces with incredible messages."

The theatre's board of directors also is enthused about what is in store this year for theatre goers. Board Vice President Peggy Tomaszewski said that in planning the season, Rodriguez and the board tried to select shows with an appeal for all ages.

"Comedies and musicals are very popular with our audiences," Tomaszewski said. "We are offering wonderful award-nominated and award-winning comedies during our spring season."

She also said TBT will be bringing many popular musicals to the stage, including "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown" and "Legally Blonde" as well as "Rent," "Man of La Mancha" and "Cats." Additionally, E.B. White's classic tale, "Charlotte's Web," will be performed in February.

Fact Box

Thunder Bay


2012 Season

  • "The Sunshine Boys" (Jan. 19-Feb. 5)
  • "Charlotte's Web" (Feb. 24-26)
  • "Driving Miss Daisy" (March 8-18)
  • 'You're a Good Man Charlie Brown" (March 30-April 15)
  • "Steel Magnolias" (April 26-May 6)
  • "Cats" (June 13-July 7)
  • "Smokey Joe's Cafe" (July 11-22)
  • "Legally Blonde" (Aug. 1-19)
  • "Man of La Mancha (*tentative Sept. 27-Oct. 7)
  • "Rent" (Oct. 25-Nov. 4)
  • Christmas show to be determined (Nov. 23-Dec. 16)

Shows run Thursdays to Sundays except for summer, which runs Wednesdays to Sundays. For reservations or more information, call the TBT box office at 354-2267 or go to

The year starts off this week with the opening of "The Sunshine Boys." It is the story of two ex-vaudevillians who reunite for a television special in spite of the fact that they can't stand each other. Despite their celebrated reputation, the two old men have not spoken in 12 years and have numerous issues to work out before they return to the public eye.

These two lead roles are being played by two popular local actors, David Usher and Pat Jacques. Zach Clement is taking on his largest role yet at TBT playing Usher's nephew, the young theatrical agent attempting to reunite them.

"This marks the first time the two giants have worked together and wow - how lucky we are to have these two kicking off this dynamite season," said Rodriguez.

"Charlotte's Web" comes next with Alpena High School student Molly Stricker taking the director's chair for this latest installment in TBT's continuing Children's Series. The show, which will feature many local youth, runs for just three days (Feb. 24-26), so audiences are encouraged to make reservations in a timely fashion.

The remainder of the spring playbill includes "Driving Miss Daisy" (March 8-18), "You're a Good Man Charlie Brown" (March 30-April 15) and "Steel Magnolias" (April 26-May 6). The summer will feature "Cats" (June 13-July 7), "Smokey Joe's Cafe" (July 11-22) and "Legally Blonde" (Aug. 1-19).

For the fall, theatre goers can look forward to "Man of La Mancha" (*tentative Sept. 27-Oct.7) and "Rent" (Oct. 25-Nov. 4), plus a Christmas show, which is the only show on the schedule still be determined.

The 2012 season follows on the heals of a successful 2011 season.

"2011 was a great year for TBT thanks to J.R. Rodriguez, our artistic director, our wonderful core company and many other local actors and musicians, and our very hard-working board, who all worked together to give Alpena an exciting theatre experience," Tomaszewski said.

More information about the upcoming season and tickets can be found at TBT's website, Reservations can be made either at the website or by calling the box office at 354-2267.



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