‘Girlfriend’ makes KC debut with Spinning Tree


Posted by Bob Evans 

Spinning Tree debuts rock musical Girlfriend in Kansas City

Spinning Tree Theatre continues 2019-20 season January 24 – February 9 with rock musical Girlfriend. Kansas City premiere, based on Matthew Sweet’s 1991 hit rock album by the same name, has music/lyrics by Sweet and book by Todd Almond.

Spinning Tree Theatre

Tickets are now on sale through Central Ticket Office by calling 816-235-6222 or by visiting www.spinningtreetheatre.com. Tickets start at $25 each.

Girlfriend is set in 1993 small-town Nebraska during the summer between high school and whatever comes next. College-bound jock Mike and self-assured but aimless Will find themselves drawn to each other. Their rush of first-time love, full of excitement, confusion and passion, is captured by the power-pop precision and frayed guitar emotion of Matthew Sweet’s alternative rock album “Girlfriend.”

Jeremy Ragland plays Mike and Dakotta Hagar plays Will, both making company debuts. Spinning Tree Artistic Director Michael Grayman-Parkhurst directs, with music direction by Pamela Baskin-Watson (Billy Elliot, Once on this Island). The Girlfriend band is Baskin-Watson (keyboard), Kelly Crane (bass), Caitlyn Henson (drums) and Darcie Hingula (guitar).

The creative and design team also includes Conor Mathew Tierney (projections), Eric Palmquist (props), Jeff Eubank (sound), Rachael Carney (lights) and Lydia Krause (stage management).

ASL Shadow Interpreted performances of Girlfriend will be offered January 29 – February 2. Certified interpreters Lisa Lehnen and Juliana Ladd will perform all five performances that week. Shadow interpreting, in which interpreters “shadow” the actors, allows D/deaf and hard-of-hearing patrons the ability to take in both the sign language and the action simultaneously and offers a more seamless experience for the entire audience.

Spinning Tree Theatre

Managing Director Andrew Grayman-Parkhurst: “We’re honored to produce the area premiere of Matthew Sweet and Todd Almond’s Girlfriend, which offers a relatable love story that happens to be between two young men. Hopefully our production will not only rock the house, but also allow our city’s LGBTQ-identifying youth the opportunity to see themselves reflected onstage honestly and tenderly.”

Performance schedule for Girlfriend, a Spinning Tree Theatre production at Johnson County Arts and Heritage Center (8788 Metcalf, Overland Park, KS):

Friday, January 24 at 7:30pm

Saturday, January 25 at 7:30pm       Press/Opening

Sunday, January 26 at 2:00pm

Wednesday, January 29 at 7:30pm

Thursday, January 30 at 7:30pm

Friday, January 31 at 7:30pm

Saturday, February 1 at 7:30pm

Sunday, February 2 at 2:00pm

Wednesday, February 5 at 7:30pm

Thursday, February 6 at 7:30pm

Friday, February 7 at 7:30pm

Saturday, February 8 at 7:30pm

Sunday, February 9 at 2:00pm

Tickets are now on sale through Central Ticket Office by calling 816-235-6222 or by visiting www.spinningtreetheatre.com. Tickets start at $25 each.

Season 9 will conclude April 17 – May 3 with La Cage aux Folles (music/lyrics: Jerry Herman; book: Harvey Fierstein). Jerry Jay Cranford stars as Albin/Zaza.

Follow Spinning Tree Theatre on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @spinningtreekc

Spinning Tree Theatre, founded in 2010, celebrates nine years as a not-for-profit, tax-exempt, professional performing arts organization dedicated to producing works that celebrate and reflect the diversity of Kansas City by exploring a variety of cultures and art forms through theatre, music and dance.

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