It began in the fall of 2001, when a fledgling drama group, The Lakeway Players, decided to stage a courtroom comedy/drama called THE BEST LITTLE COURTHOUSE IN TEXAS.
Following that production, the Players led their audiences on a merry romp through the ELYSIAN FIELDS.
Next, it was time to revisit Cedar Valley, which involved another mystery where the only clues were a monogrammed handkerchief permeated with THE SCENT OF LAVENDER.
Changing gears, the Players next took theatre goers on a bittersweet trip down memory lane in MOMENTS TO REMEMBER, three acts featuring reunions of three different high school classes.
The four plays mentioned above were written by Sue Wright, and now, in a complete change of pace, the Players took on the comedy, WHEN BULLFROGS SING OPERA, by Houston playwright, Carl Williams.
Next, the Players went back to Cedar Valley for the third in the trilogy of Wright’s plays set there, in MAMA LOVES GUMBO, which pitted old timers, against the newcomers.
For the spring 2004 production, the Players chose a Neil Simon classic, THE LAST OF THE RED HOT LOVERS, where inept Barney Cashman’s attempts unsuccessfully to seduce three women in a fast-paced comedy full of innuendo and misunderstandings.
In fall, 2004, the Players produced their first dinner theatre, SOUTHERN FRIED MURDER, where the audience was served Southern fried chicken while they helped the cast to search for clues to the (almost) onstage murders of two of the cast.
The Spring 2005 production is the soon-to-be classic STEEL MAGNOLIAS. Set against the backdrop of a small Louisiana town, the actors bring the characters to life with witty and acerbic dialogue that left audiences crying and laughing simultaneously.
In Fall, 2005, it was back to Neil Simon, when the Players performed PLAZA SUITE, a hilarious comedy in three acts, and Barbara Calderaro entertained theatregoers at a preshow performance with torch songs of a by-gone era.
The classic comedy, ARSENIC AND OLD LACE, claimed center stage in Spring of 2006, as the slightly dotty aunts prepared their special kind of tea which left bodies in the window seat, much to the consternation of “guest stars” Teddy Roosevelt and Boris Karloff.
It was more murder and mayhem with the Fall 2006 production of MURDER ON THE RERUN, an intriguing, edge-of-the-seat mystery with a surprise ending when the murderer was revealed.
For the spring 2007 production, the Players unveiled a thrust stage presentation of THE ODD COUPLE, FEMALE VERSION. Warmly received by the audiences, this version of the Odd Couple proved to be funnier than the original.
For fall, 2007 , the Players chose to reprise their 2001 hit, ELYSIAN FIELDS, the entertaining musical comedy of life and murder (attempts at least!) .
The Players chose another murder/comedy for Spring, 2008, DEAD GIVEAWAY. A bunch of sorority sisters are vying for an inheritance due to the last one left alive, but due to greed and manipulations, the only one left alive by the end of the play is the cat!
An amazing amount of talent was featured in BROADWAY COMES TO LAKEWAY in the Fall of 2008. With nineteen songs from such diversified Broadway hits as Mamma Mia to Phantom of the Opera, this performance showcased the talent of all ages, including a large group of kids from the 620 Dance Centre
I LOVE YOU, YOU’RE PERFECT, NOW CHANGE played to three sold out houses in Spring of 2009. This hilarious comedy was another Players hit, and with a hit like that (Players promise) "We Won't Change"!
RED, HOT AND COLE a biographical look at American icon, Cole Porter, with hit songs from many of his musicals. Directed by Barbara Calderaro, and starring Barb, David Cummings, Lee Dilday, Becky Ames, this hit played to full houses for three nights.
In March 2010, the Players returned to Neil Simon with a production of CALIFORNIA SUITE. Set in the 1990's, Simon's wacky and bittersweet comedy explores the trials and tribulations of five different married couples who separately inhabit the posh Beverly Hills Hotel throughout the year.
In October 2010, the Players produced FUNNY YOU DON’T LOOK LIKE A GRANDMOTHER. This was a musical comedy revue about modern grandparents, based on the #1 New York Times bestseller.
Spring 2011, The Lakeway Players presented the acclaimed comedy, SYLVIA, by A. R. Gurney. This is a hilarious, yet thought provoking show about a man undergoing a midlife crisis who substitutes dog ownership for a possible affair.
In the Fall 2011, WILD DUST: THE MUSICAL, a comedic musical romp through the Old West. Directed by Barbara Calderaro. After the men go off to save the cattle, the women in the town are forced to stay together in the only building strong enough to withstand the pounding sand – the town brothel. So, four ‘ladies of the night’ and three ‘ladies of the…ah…day’ are thrown together along with a mysterious cowboy who rides out of the wind.
Spring 2012, The Lakeway Players presented, PLAY ON, about a community theater attempting to produce a play by a local woman who thinks she can write thus there is a play within a play. Directed by Pat Vanderford, this play had audiences laughing throughout the whole show.
In the fall 2012, the Players took on the very funny musical comedy, 9 to 5 , THE MUSICAL. The show has won awards and captivated audiences all over the USA and the UK as well. Based upon the movie of the same name, Dolly Parton has added an original musical score of country combined with pop.
Some new faces were seen on the stage in April, 2013, when the Players presented Neil Simon's hilarious farce, RUMORS, directed by Barbara Calderaro. The Deputy Mayor of New York City, Charley Brock, has shot himself, though it’s only a flesh wound. Four couples are arriving at the 10th Anniversary Celebration for Charley and his wife Myra and the farce begins as they desperately try to remember who “told what to whom” concerning Charley’s unsuccessful attempted suicide and Myra and the servants’ disappearance.
In the fall of 2013, The Lakeway Players presented the musical revue, SIDE BY SIDE BY SONDHEIM. Music was from shows such as A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Gypsy, Company, Anyone Can Whistle, West Side Story and others from Sondheim's early career. Narration giving specifics about the various shows and interesting facts about them was also part of the show which was very well received.
Lakeway Players presented the hilarious comedy, THE RED VELVET CAKE WAR by Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope, and Jamie Wooten in March 2014. The story spotlights the latest trials and tribulations of the three Verdeen cousins who live in the small fictional town of Sweetgum, Texas. The fun comedy, directed by newcomer Pam Mitchell, was a sellout all three performances.
In the fall of 2014 the Players presented Irving Berlin's WHITE CHRISTMAS. Based upon the beloved, timeless film by Norman Krasna, Norman Panama, and Melvin Frank, this heartwarming musical adaptation featured 17 Irving Berlin songs including 'Blue Skies', 'I Love A Piano', 'How Deep Is the Ocean', 'Count Your Blessings' and the perennial favorite, 'White Christmas'. The show was directed by Cathy Rose, with musical direction by Barbara Calderaro. The cast included some favorite Players' members as well as some newcomers. The show sold out all three nights!
The Lakeway Players chose Rick Abbot's SING ON! for our spring 2015 production. This comedy was a sequel to his earlier play, Play On! The story was about a Community Theatre company trying to put on a musical which takes place in the Elizabethan era. Many familiar faces were seen along with some new cast members. the play was directed by newcomer to the Players, Eamon Hughes.
In early November 2015, the Players' chose the stunning musical revue, THE WORLD GOES ROUND by the award winning team of Kander and Ebb. Filled with humor, romance and non stop melody, the show featured songs from Chicago, Cabaret, New York New York and many others. Barbara Calderaro produced and directed the show and Cathy Rose was musical director and choreographer. The show was very well received with standing ovations all three nights.
In the spring of 2016, the Players presented their first 'dramedy', GHOST OF A CHANCE, directed by Linda Dobbs. This romantic comedy/drama delighted audiences all three nights. It hard them laughing and crying. The cast of 6 including 2 young, newcomers really did a fantastic job. Audiences raved about it all three production nights.
We revived the hilarious musical comedy revue, I LOVE YOU, YOU'RE PERFECT, NOW CHANGE, for the fall of 2016. Once again the cast received a standing ovation all there nights. There were some veteran cast members who were in the original Players' production performed in the spring of 2009 plus the addition of some new young talent which made the show fresh and was received extremely well by our audiences.
For our spring 2017 show, we presented the hilarious comedy MOON OVER BUFFALO by Ken Ludwig. Directed by Linda Dobbs, this show had the audiences laughing the whole night. Both veteran actors as well as some newcomers made up the cast of characters running in and out of doors, mistaking liquor for coffee, having romantic flings, and on and on but with a happy ending.
In November of 2017, we produced our fall musical, INTO THE WOODS, with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. Directed by Cathy Rose with musical direction by Barbara Calderaro, this musical intertwines the plots of several Brothers Grimm and Charles Perrault fairy tales, exploring the consequences of the characters' wishes and quests. The cast was fantastic with a lot of new young talent bringing this story to life. Our audiences loved it!
In the spring of 2018, we performed the very funny comedy, THE FOREIGNER, by Larry Shue. Directed by Linda Dobbs, the story takes place in a rural fishing lodge where two English friends, Froggy and Charlie arrive as guests. Charlie is naturally shy and is depressed due to his wife's illness and does not want to speak to anyone. So, he pretends not to speak any English and with other guests arriving thinking that they are free to discuss private details of their lives in front of Charlie, the comedy ensues. This was one of the audiences favorite comedy.
The team of Barbara Calderaro and Cathy Rose once again got together to produce and direct the musical revue, SHOWTUNE: THE WORDS AND MUSIC OF JERRY HERMAN in the fall of 2018. Some new young performers joined the cast for a very upbeat musical song and dance experience.
In the spring of 2019, the Lakeway Players presented Neil Simon's hilarious romantic comedy, BAREFOOT IN THE PARK. Directed by Linda Dobbs, and with a fabulous cast, including veteran performers as well as some newcomers, this classic play was extremely well received. Audiences were thoroughly entertained throughout the entire performance. There was non stop laughter!
The fall of 2019 brought to the stage the wonderful talents of some local young child actors who, along with some talented adult actors, presented THE BEST CHRISTMAS PAGEANT EVER directed by Kathryn McWilliams. This very funny show was performed to almost sell out audiences at all 4 performances.
Always ... Patsy Cline