Summer is the time for live theater, outdoors or in
Central Illinois is the place to be for family-friendly summer shows.
New Salem’s Theatre in the Park
The Dixie Swim Club June 3-5, 9-11. A comedy about a reunion of five lifelong female friends who met as young swimmers.
Do Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up? June 24-26, 30, July 1-2. A musical about growing pains through Catholic school and beyond.
Hello Dolly! July 15-17, 21-23. The classic musical about a winsome matchmaker.
Cats Aug. 5-7, 11-13. Andrew Lloyd Weber’s musical about a tribe of singing cats.
My Heart’s Home, Edgar Lee Masters Celebrates the Sangamon Country Aug. 25-28 Based on Masters’ poetry about rural life and featuring fiddle music. 632-5440. Theatreinthepark.net
The Hoogland Center for the Arts
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee May 20-22, May 27-29. A musical about tweens spelling their way through the contest of a lifetime. 523-2787. www.hctfa.org.
Sister Act Performances Wednesday-Sunday June 24- July 17. A disco diva who is witness to a crime hides out in a convent, befriending and empowering the nuns along the way. Based on the Whoopi Goldberg film. 800-838-3006. Atthelegacy.com.
South Pacific June 17-19, 22-26. Rogers and Hammerstein’s classic WWII love story.
Sweeney Todd July 8-10, 13-17. The “demon barber of Fleet Street” gets his revenge.
Nice Work If You Can Get It July 29-31, Aug. 3-7. Hijinks abound in this musical about a bachelor and his fleet-footed fiancée set during Prohibition.
The Little Mermaid Aug. 19-21, 24-28. Based on the Disney film and Hans Christian Andersen story. 793-MUNI (6864). www.themuni.org.
Eastlight Theatre, East Peoria
This Peoria theater will present stage versions of silver screen favorites.
Disney’s Beauty and the Beast June 24-26, 29-30, July 1-2. Based on the movie about Belle and a prince trapped under a spell.
School of Rock July 29-31, Aug. 3-6. Presented by Youthlight, the theater’s youth troupe. Based on the movie and featuring a live kids’ rock band.
Saturday Night Fever Sept. 9-11, 14-17. Based on the 1977 disco film.
Illinois Shakespeare Festival, Bloomington
Bring a picnic to enjoy Will and Peter under the stars.
Hamlet July 7, 9, 15, 21, 24, 27, 30. Aug. 2, 5, 10, 13. A story of a prince with a decision to make. Deborah Staples plays the title role.
Twelfth Night July 5, 8, 12, 14, 17, 20, 23, 26, 29. Aug. 4, 7, 12. Shakespeare’s comedy about a shipwreck, a drunkard, love and, of course, mistaken identity.
Peter and the Starcatcher July 6, 10, 13, 16 19, 22, 28, 31. Aug. 3, 6, 9, 11. The new “imaginative and hilarious” origin story of Peter Pan, a recent Broadway hit. 866-IL-SHAKE, www.Illinoisshakes.com.
The Little Theatre on the Square, Sullivan
Located in tiny Sullivan, southeast of Decatur, this little theater draws professional actors from all over the U.S.
Shrek, the Musical June 1-5, 7-12. Show based on the Dreamworks film about a friendly ogre on a journey.
How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. June 15-26. A musical lampoon of corporate life.
Chicago, June 29- July 10. Kander and Ebb’s jazzy musical about mischief upstate.
All Shook Up July 13-24, a comedy featuring the music of Elvis Presley.
Sister Act, July 27- Aug. 7.
Shear Madness Aug. 10-28. A comedic murder mystery in a hair salon. 728-7375, www.thelittletheater.org
The Muny, St. Louis
Take a trip to St. Louis to see world-class performers in classic shows outdoors.
The Wizard of Oz June 13-22. The Muny’s first production of the classic in 10 years.
42nd Street June 24-30. A tap dancing extravaganza about Broadway itself.
The Music Man July 5-11. Professor Harold Hill and Marian the librarian keep the kids out of trouble, right here in River City.
Young Frankenstein July 13-19. A bawdy musical based on Mel Brooks’ zany film.
Mamma Mia A musical for Abba lovers and dancing queens everywhere. July 21-28.
Fiddler on the Roof July 30- Aug. 5. Ponder life as a rich man with this family favorite based on a Jewish folk tale.
Aida Aug. 8-14 Michelle Williams of Destiny’s Child stars in Elton John and Tim Rice’s musical about the Ethiopian princess. 314-361-1900 x550, www.muny.org.