Created by Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt, The Fantasticks is a funny and romantic musical about a boy, a girl, and their two fathers who try to keep them apart. The narrator, El Gallo, asks the audience to use their imagination and follow him into a world of moonlight and magic. The boy and the girl fall in love, grow apart, and finally find their way back to each other after realizing the truth in El Gallo's words, that "without a hurt, the heart is hollow."
Audiences last December were delighted with the story of young Gerda’s efforts to rescue her friend Kai from the Snow Queen and her minions. The antics of the Goblin and the Snow Queen's Snowmen Guards were a hit with young and old alike.
The Snow Queen and the Goblin was presented at Parkland College Theatre from December 12 through 21, 2014.
Bah Humbug Productions presented Miracle on 34th Street at Parkland College Theatre in December 2013. This classic Christmas tale, adapted by Mountain Community Theater from the novel by Valentine Davies and based on the movie of the same name, is one of the most loved stories of the season. It illuminates the Christmas spirit through the eyes of young Susan Walker, who believes that Santa Claus really does exist. It tells of Kris Kringle, an old man in a retirement home, who gets a job working as Santa for Macy’s in New York City. Kris unleashes waves of good will with customers by referring parents to other stores to find exactly what their child has asked for. The company vocational counselor sees him as deluded and plots to have him committed to a psychiatric hospital. Kris ends up in a court competency hearing with one little girl’s belief in Santa at stake.
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson was presented by Bah Humbug Productions as its 2012 Holiday Season show at Parkland College Theatre. It is a hilarious Christmas tale about a couple struggling to put on a church Christmas pageant when they are faced with casting probably the most inventively awful kids in history: the Herdman kids. The pandemonium—and the fun—is unbelievable when the Herdman kids collide with the Christmas story head on! Music, mayhem, and miracles all abound!
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever was directed by Angela Schneider and ran for eight performances at Parkland College Theatre in December 2012.
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens as adapted by Nick Schneider, with music by Tim Schirmer and lyrics by Cheri Coons and Seamus Reilly, was presented as part of the Parkland College Theatre season in 2007, 2008, and 2009. It has not been produced elsewhere. It was also adapted for radio and has been broadcast on WILL-AM-FM in 2009, 2010, and 2011. The play received critical acclaim by local reviewers and the authors are at present engaged in publishing the work.
Bleacher Bums is a play conceived from an idea by actor Joe Mantegna and written collaboratively by members of Chicago's Organic Theater Company. It was first produced in 1977. In 1979 it was taped and aired on PBS television, and in 2002 a made-for-TV adaptation was produced.
The play takes place in the bleachers of Chicago's Wrigley Field, where a bunch of Cubbie (Chicago Cubs) fans are watching a game between the Cubs and arch rival, the St. Louis Cardinals, on a summer afternoon. Most of them have been gathering here for some time and know each other; even if they might not necessarily like or tolerate each other. Beer is being drunk, hot dogs and frosties are being eaten, and friendly (not always) wagers start to take on increasing importance.
Bleacher Bums has been presented at Mike ’n Molly’s Beer Garden in downtown Champaign several summers and admission usually includes a beverage, popcorn and pretzels (used to include a hot dog but that eventually required permitting). Future presentations are likely.