Villages theater scene booming in January

“Summer: The Donna Summer Musical” will come to The Villages for performances Jan. 28-29.

As the holiday rush dies down, New York City theaters look a little emptier — yet stages in The Villages are coming to life this month. The Sharon L. Morse Performing Arts Center’s annual Broadway series continues with “Jersey Boys” from Friday to Sunday and “Summer: The Donna Summer Musical” on Jan. 28 and 29. The Studio Theatre Tierra Del Sol will perform its next Season 6 production, “Urinetown, The Musical” from Jan. 28 to Feb. 26. And resident shows are in the works, too, including The Villages Theater Company’s “Coming Apart” from Jan. 21 to 24 at Mulberry Grove Regional Recreation Complex. Tickets are available online at thevillagesentertainment.com or at any Villages Box Office location.

“Jersey Boys”

The Tony- and Grammy-award-winning musical embarked on a 15th anniversary national tour in December. It follows Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, their rise to stardom, trials and tribulations, and the hits they created along the way.

That combination made it a favorite the last time it came to The Villages, according to Elizabeth Constant, senior booking manager at The Sharon.

“They love the music of the Four Seasons and getting to see the story of Frankie Valli unfold,” she said. “The show is just hit after hit by the Four Seasons.”

>> 7:30 p.m. Friday; 2 and 7:30 p.m Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday, The Sharon.

>> Tickets: $65 and up, limited view $45.

“Coming Apart”

Fred Carmichael’s romantic comedy begins with four words: “I want a divorce.” Colin, a successful humor columnist, and Frances Kittridge, a successful romance novelist, play the blame game in the midst of a separation while forced to live together for six months. While it’s a battle of the sexes, audience members will connect with both the characters, who speak to them directly.

Director Steve Rubin was a big fan when reading the script and other board members felt the same, according to The Villages Theater Company President Judy Prior.

“We all felt that The Villages audience could relate to the story and identify with the characters,” Prior said.

>> 7 p.m. Jan. 21-24, Mulberry Grove Regional Recreation Complex.

>> Tickets: $20 for Villages residents, $25 for the public.

“Urinetown, The Musical”

A long drought, water shortage, and a government ban on private toilets in a dystopian city means citizens must pay to use public toilets, under the ownership of the corrupt Urine Good Company. If they disobey, they are carted off to the dreaded “Urinetown.” But an emerging hero restores hope. “Urinetown” critiques capitalism, populism and corporate mismanagement through comedy. And the self-aware show also pokes fun at musical theater.

“’Urinetown: The Musical’ is a hilarious satire,” director Nathaniel Niemi said. “This is a kooky, spoofy comedy with tons of energy and fun music. This is one of my favorite pieces – I love the way it spoofs the form of musical theater and social issues in such a fun way.”

>> Preview: Jan. 25-27, running: Jan. 28-Feb. 26, The Studio Theatre Tierra Del Sol.

>> Tickets: $20 for previews, $40 for performances.

“Summer: The Donna Summer Musical”

It all started when at 10 years old, LaDonna Adrian Gaines stepped in for an impromptu performance at her church. Now, Donna Summer, the late five-time Grammy award winner, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee and groundbreaker for black women in music, needs no introduction.

The show tells her story including more than 20 of her hits like “Love To Love You Baby,” “Bad Girls” and “Hot Stuff.”

Constant will be seeing the show for the first time along with others who attend.

“I’m excited to see the disco star, all the glitzy costumes, and hear her story,” she said.

>> 7:30 p.m. Jan. 28; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Jan. 29, The Sharon.

>> Tickets: $67 and up, limited view $50.

Senior Writer Liz Coughlin can be reached at 352-753-1119, ext. 5304, or liz.coughlin@thevillagesmedia.com.