Take “A Trip Through the Tonys” With Haines City Community Theatre
by James Coulter
Give your regards to Broadway with “A Trip Through TheTonys,” hosted by Haines City Community Theatre this weekend. From “Kiss Me, Kate” to “South Pacific,” this musical celebration will showcase the best of the best of Tony Award-winning hits. If you love Broadway musicals but haven’t seen one since the start of the pandemic, this magical evening is especially for you.
“We have a smattering of everything in this show,” said Chris Walsh, President of the Board of Directors. “We originally looked at all 71 best musicals and pulled out some of the top-rated shows and looked at the popular songs from each of those shows. So, people will see music from their favorite shows.”
“A Trip Through the Tonys” will showcase Haines City Community Theatre’s 40th season. The performance is one of many hosted within the past year to help the theatre make a comeback following the yearlong pandemic.
Walsh became the brand-new president of the board of directors for Haines City Community Theatre as of July 1. He had worked with the Haines City theater for two years. He had prior experience working in various community theaters in Lake, Orange, and Polk County. He was supposed to direct a musical last year around this time, but due to the COVID-19 crisis, the theater was forced to cancel many of their shows that season.
“Now that we are coming back, I was thinking of doing something quickly, and that would be very entertaining,” Walsh said. “So, we put our heads together and came up with a musical revue of Tony Award-winning songs from Tony Award-winning musicals.”
The theater’s last show was hosted in March before shutting down for the pandemic. Since the beginning of the year, it has slowly started to re-open with several mini-shows hosted during the weekend. In February, they hosted a two-person show called “Love Letters” for Valentine’s Day. In March, they hosted another two-person show, ironically enough, called “Hate Mail.”
“Then once we knew that everyone in our theater had been vaccinated, we wanted to do something bigger,” said Walsh. “So, we came up with Trip Through the Tonys.”
Their next major performance will be “Bakersfield Mist” in November. Now that the theater is starting to re-open, and now that they have new members on board, including an entirely new board of directors, they expect to host more shows throughout the year, especially new types of performances, including Friday night shows.
“We typically only do three [shows], [but] we added at least one or two more in a season,” Walsh said. “Haines City Community Theater] has never done Friday night shows. We have done Saturday shows and Sunday matinees. We believe we would be very successful with these Friday night shows.”
“A Trip Through The Tonys” will be hosted on Sat., July 17 at 7:30PM and Sun., July 18 at 2:30 PM. The performance will be hosted at Haines City Community Theatre, located at 303 Ledwith Ave., Haines City, FL 33844. Tickets are $18. For more information, visit their website: http://www.hainescitytheater.com/