Venture Theatre announced its 20th season last week with more shows and ticket options.
Since its humble beginnings with a production of “The Wiz” in a garage on Central Avenue in 1992, Venture Theatre has expanded with more educational opportunities for youths and big-budget musicals like “Avenue Q” and “Sweeney Todd.”
“We are excited to not only gain perspective from the past 20 years, but to raise the bar for the next 20,” said Venture Theatre’s producing artistic director Robert Brian Wood.
The season opens in August with the performance of “Xanadu.” Based on the book by Douglas Carter Beane, with music and lyrics by Jeff Lynne, the show features true love and big laughs. Olivia Newton-John starred in the film version.
“Oliver!” runs in November and December. It follows the dark and twisted world of orphans and thieves in the back alleys of London. Dickens’ search for redemption and hope comes just in time for holidays.
“Evita (Concert Version)” will be performed in January 2012. The Andrew Lloyd Webber musical captures the rise and tragic end of the world’s most beloved first lady.
The irreverent “Avenue Q” will play in March 2012, and “Sweeney Todd” hits the boards in June 2012.
In addition to the musical series is the Producer’s Series, which opens with “Lord of the Flies” in September and October. The show follows a group of boys who find the potential for savagery that lies deep within them.
The satire “Bright Ideas” is set for performances in October and November. “That Face” by the hot young British playwright Polly Stenham, who has been called the contemporary Tennessee Williams, will playsin January 2012.
Other shows include “Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom” in April 2012 and “In the Next Room or The Vibrator Play,” which is the Rankin File Production set for May 2012.
The Youth Series begins in July with the musical “Into The Woods,” which follows fairy tale characters in a dark musical.
Other youth shows include “Happily Ever After” in October, “How to Eat Like a Child” in February 2012, “Inherit the Wind” in March 2012, and “Journey to the Edge of the World” in May 2012.
Special events include “The Guys” in September, “Santaland Diaries” in December, The 24 Hour Wet Ink Festival in October and the One Act Festival in February 2012.
Tickets are available at the Venture Box Office, 2317 Montana Ave. in Billings, by calling 591-9535 or going online to venturetheatre.org.