Stella Kim and Matthew Hydzik in “Titanic.” Courtesy of MSMT

Bouncing back after two years of COVID-19 closures and financial losses, Maine State Music Theatre hopes to rebound with a season with fan favorites, humor and the most technically challenging show in MSMT history.

Artistic Director Curt Dale Clark said it was imperative to find ways to save money after two seasons sans profit and with the cost of lumber, fabric and steel continuing to rise, all while keeping ticket prices affordable for patrons. MSMT co-produced two productions this year with The Fulton Theater in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and saved “a lot,” Clark said.

Before the pandemic, Clark said the theater had 10,000 subscribers and is currently down to 7,000. He said it will take time to rebuild the theater community but that he remains hopeful. Clark said despite the ticket price increase, he’s confident audiences won’t be disappointed.

MSMT Communications Director Dane Whitlock said ticket prices increased around $15 this year, to $74-$125 per seat, compared to last season’s prices of $60-$110 per seat. He said the theater does offer discount rush tickets for students with a valid student ID half an hour before curtain for $10 cash or $15 credit.

The season opens on June 7 with “Titanic,” the Tony Award-winning musical written by Maury Yeston, based on the RMS Titanic that sank in 1912. Clark said turntables, hydraulics, chain motors and video effects on stage will dazzle audiences.

“It’s filled with grandeur, and the last images of the show will stay with you,” Clark said. “There are sections of the show where the stage manager has 100 cues within five minutes; when you have live humans interacting with this technology, everything has to be incredibly precise. If it wasn’t a co-production, we wouldn’t be able to produce it this way. I can’t wait for the first audience to see ‘Titanic.’ ”


The second show of the season “The Buddy Holly Story” is back by popular demand — last playing at MSMT in 2014. The musical, written by Alan James, features 1950s classics like “Peggy Sue” and “That’ll Be the Day,” by American singer-songwriter Buddy Holly.

Clark said he brought the show back to boost morale after everything the community has faced with the pandemic. He said the upbeat and nostalgic show is guaranteed to be a good time.

The third show of the season, “9 to 5,” written by Patricia Resnick and Dolly Parton, is based on the 1980s film about three women looking to get even with their sexist and egotistical boss.

“I’ve wanted that show ever since it opened on Broadway,” Clark said. “Everybody in the world knows the famous ‘9 to 5’ song.”

He said the final show is something audiences won’t anticipate, with gobs of humor and an impressive tap number. The musical “Something Rotten!”, written by John O’Farrell, Karey Kirkpatrick and Wayne Kirkpatrick, is about two down-and-out playwrights competing against Shakespeare during the Renaissance.

“I’ve given them pathos with ‘Titanic,’ amazing band music with ‘Buddy Holly,’ hysterics with ‘9 to 5’ and a classic musical with ‘Something Rotten!’ ” Clark said.

In addition to the four main stage performances, MSMT will present a three-part concert series featuring the music of Dolly Parton, The Beatles and Elvis. For younger audiences, MSMT has three productions: “Rapunzel,” “The 3 Little Pigs” and “Alice in Wonderland.”

“Titanic” will run from June 7-24 at Bowdoin College’s Pickard Theater in Brunswick.

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