Coterie’s ‘Beat Bugs’ guarantees sell out performances


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People who apply insecticides to their lawns in preparation for summer pests need to re-think their plan after they see The Coterie’s newest production “Beat Bugs: A Musical Adventure” an adaption of the animated Netflix series Beat Bugs.

The new family show centers on the backyard adventures of five insect pals as they unite against their arch enemy to save their strawberry patch. With music by The Beatles, how could any play fail? Trust me: It ain’t gonna happen.

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“Beat Bugs: A Musical Adventure” continues The Coterie’s 40th season of live theatre for families and young audiences with a new musical adaptation that excites and entertins all ages. “Beat Bugs” and The Beatles music teaches the young audience to join together and fight bullies. The show encourages that strength comes in numbers, and that unity defeats an enemy. The lively musical, directed by Jeff Church, with musical direction by Anthony T. Edwards and choreography by Marc Wayne, and will be performed live on The Coterie’s stage, April 16 – May 19, 2019.

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Opening night brought a sold out crowd to The Coterie with a wide range of ages. But, the predominance of youngsters made the show super exciting to watch. As the show progressed, the adults in the room were genuinely engaged with the story and the music of The Beatles. Heads nodded in time; smiles broke out; toes tapped as the music helped tell the story of five friends fighting against an evil entity–Mr. & Mrs. Mustard–both stink bugs with an ample supply of gas to expel when things did not go their way.

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The show features some of the most creative and colorful costumes from designer Georgianna Londre Buchanan, and the choreography of Marc Wayne create a brilliant rainbow of colors and movements guaranteed to keep younger eyes wide open with amazement. For the adults in the room, the music directed by Anthony Edwards equals the collaboration of Buchanan and Wayne. Performances by the cast propel this magical extravaganza to beautiful heights. Set design and a balloon set piece lift the show to sublime heights. Color, flash, dance, music, vocals and a dastardly villain make this show one that will be fondly remembered and repeated.

Jeff Church continues his string of outstanding selections for Coterie audiences. “Beat Bugs” nabs this season’s prize as the most outstanding of the productions. Everyone who is young at heart cannot escape the joy this show brings.

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Some of the songs from the iconic catalogue that appear in the show include “All You Need is Love,” “Come Together,” “Yellow Submarine,” “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” “Strawberry Fields Forever,” “Eleanor Rigby,” and “With a Little Help from My Friends ,” introducing a whole new generation to The Beatles, according to a Coterie spokesman.

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“Beat Bugs: A Musical Adventure” is based on the popular animated Netflix series which won an Emmy in 2016, and is currently in its third season. Fans now get the chance to see their favorite characters live on stage in a musical that, like the series, incorporates songs from the Lennon/McCartney catalogue to tell uplifting stories filled with inspiring melodies. The Beat Bugs are charming, funny, adventurous, and have a knack for getting themselves into mischief and mayhem. They are best friends who band together to explore and learn in an overgrown suburban backyard, which – to them – is their entire universe.”

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Every story needs a villain to stir up some mischief, and in this case, a stink bug and his partner collude to destroy their beloved strawberry field. They are helped by some blackbirds who have an insatiable appetite for ripe strawberries. But, to offset the stinky pair, two other bright spots in the adventure are Mr. Sun and Queen Bee. Oh, yes, there is also an appearance of Sgt. Pepper and his band, along with a guest artist who needs “A Little Help from My Friends.”

Overall, The charming, whimsical musical delights all ages. Face it, The Beatles first appeared on the music scene in 1963. Those who remember that are now approaching retirement age. So, “Beat Bugs” introduces a new generation to the then “radical” music that changed the meaning of “long-hair music” for good. The driving force of the British Invasion and the Mod generation all seemed to stem from one signature group–The Beatles.

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Do not miss your chance to relieve your childhood and introduce your children and grand-children to this delightful adventure. No one will leave disappointed. The cast is fabulous. They all create characters that the audience will love. They use their acting and singing skills to draw the audience to them. The casting could not be stronger and the result more refreshing.

The cast and crew are: Steven Eubank (as Walter), Morgan Lynn Sterrett (as Buzz), Roan Ricker (as Jay), Darrington Clark (as Crick), Catera Combs (as Kumi), Phil Newman (as Mean Mr. Mustard), Mandy Morris (as Prudence, Band Member), Jacob Elliott (as Mr. Sun, Miner Bird, Sgt. Pepper, Flattop), Morgan Walker (as Miner Bird, Band Member, Queen Bee), and Jake Golliher (Miner Bird, Billy Shears, Postman Bee, Joe Cockeroach).

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The artistic and production company includes Jeff Church (director), Anthony T. Edwards (music director), Marc Wayne (choreographer), Danielle Renee (production stage manager), Scott Hobart (technical director/associate set designer), Jordan Janota (set designer), Jarrett Bertoncin (lighting designer), Georgianna Londré Buchanan (costume designer), David Kiehl (sound designer), Lee Barker (properties/set dressing), and Taylor Sullivan (assistant stage manager).

Get tickets now. This show will sell out as word of mouth spreads. Opening night sold out, and that means ticket demand will be strong. Go to The Coterie Theatre’s website for more information.

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“Beat Bugs: A Musical Adventure” plays April 16 – May 19, 2019, in The Coterie Theatre, located on level one of the Crown Center shops in Kansas City, MO. Individual Tickets: Tickets are $13 for youth under 18, students, and seniors age 60 and older; and $17 for adults. Group Pricing: The Coterie offers groups of 20 or more a special preview rate of $5 per person during the first week of each production. After preview week, groups pay only $5 – $8 per person depending on performance date.
Tags: The Coterie, “Beat Bugs–A Musical Adventure”, Kansas City Theatre, Kansas City Performing Arts, Kansas City Arts & Entertainment, Crown Center


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