The season opens with “Four Little Girls,” a Sunday matinee with just one performance, Sept. 15, and tells of the horrific Birmingham Church bombings.
Something extra special about this show is that about the performance of “Four Little Girls” at The Ritz includes the fact that The Ritz will premiere this new play simultaneously with seven other theatres across Alabama, within just a few hours of exactly 50 years since the Sept. 15, 1963 bombing of Birmingham’s 16th Street Baptist Church, when four little girls died.
“This will be a very important event,” said George Culver, executive director for The Ritz Theatre and Antique Talladega.
“To Kill a Mockingbird,” comes next, with one performance Thursday and another Friday, Sept. 26 and 27.
“I can’t even express how excited I am that The Ritz has been able to book ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,” said George Culver, executive director for The Ritz Theatre and Antique Talladega.
The Thursday night performance is being planned to be interpreted in American Sign Language.
Culver calls the play, based upon the Pulitzer Prize winning novel of the same name by Harper Lee, “one of the most important literary works of the 20th century.”
Starring in the lead role of country lawyer Atticus Finch will be Rodney Clark, a longtime resident company member at Alabama Shakespeare Festival (ASF), who is best known as the creator of the Bear Bryant character in ASF’s hugely successful production of “Bear Country”
several years ago, Culver said.
This production of the play is designed to include local attorneys who will sit in the jury box for the courtroom scene, another interesting element of the production, Culver said.
Then, there will be two performances of “Letter From a Birmingham Jail,” Thursday and Friday, Oct. 17 and 18,” he said.
“This will be a formal staged reading, directed by a professional director, who will cast the play locally,” Culver said. “It should be a powerful experience and a moving tribute to a transformative event in our state’s history. The critically acclaimed ‘Letter From a Birmingham Jail’ is from the Red Mountain Theatre Company, whose past productions of “ The Color Purple” and the “25th Anniversary Putnam County Spelling Bee” were exciting hits for us in recent seasons. The central character of Dr. Martin Luther King is brilliantly played by Cecil Washington, one of Alabama’s most renowned actors.”
“The Johnny Cash Story” comes next, with a complete repertoire of the late great artist’s cache of musical favorites.
There is one performance Thursday, Nov. 7.
The “Heart Behind the Music,” a Songwriters Showcase,” is Thursday, Nov. 21.
It will be much like last fall’s “Heart Behind the Music,” featuring some legendary songwriters up close, and personal, but with a new collection of artists.
This year the show includes Kim Carnes, whose Grammy winning “Bette Davis Eyes” was one of the biggest international hits ever; along country superstars Richie McDonald of Lone Star and Brian White. “We also may add a late surprise artist,” Culver said.
The Fall 2013 Season brochure will go in the mail and posted late this month, and tickets go on sale right after Labor Day, Tuesday, Sept 3. Group travel planners may call to reserve block seating in August at 256-315-0000.
It’s also a good time to renew or start membership in Friends of The Ritz, which helps support Ritz Theatre programs and Antique Talladega.
The extraordinary success of the Historic Ritz Theatre as a regional performing arts center is due largely to the generous support of our FRIENDS of the Ritz. Your tax-deductible contributions help underwrite our world-class performances, help make the theatre available to local charitable groups free of charge, and most important, your donations will help more than 3,300 attend arts education activities at the Ritz this upcoming year.
As a Friend of the Ritz, you'll receive priority seating, recognition in Ritz playbills, and invitations to special events.
The fee for Family Friends is $50; for
Special Friends, $100; Friends Extraordinaire, $200; Ritz Patrons, $500; and for Legacy Benefactors, $1,000.