Outdoor theater lovers are perfectly positioned to enjoy lots of shows this summer.
The Tri-State area is home to two outdoor theater programs, plus within an easy drive to several others.
Huntington Area Regional Theater Although its appearance is brief, the Huntington Area Regional Theater consistently presents popular musical shows starring experienced actors, musicians and dancers.
This summer’s shows will include “Mamma Mia” and “Disney’s The Little Mermaid” “Mamma Mia” will be presented June 14, 15, 16, 21, 22 and 23 at Ritter Park Amphitheater. Gates will open at 7 p.m. with a community preshow at 7:30 p.m.
The “Mermaid” will be presented July 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, 26, 27 and 28 at Ritter Park Amphitheater. Gates will open at 7, with “Disney’s Frozen Jr” preshow at 7:30 p.m.
For more information or to purchase tickets, call (304) 696-5954.
Jenny Wiley Theater
For more than 45 years, Jenny Wiley Theater has offered a variety of stage shows in Prestonsburg and remains one of the longest-running outdoor theaters in the country and the only professional theater east of Interstate 75 offering year-round performances at Jenny Wiley Amphitheatre at Jenny Wiley State Resort Park and surrounding areas.
Shows at the amphitheater this summer will include “Godspell,” which will run June 6 through 22.
For more information, visit jwtheatre.com or call (606) 886-9274.
The state’s oldest theater, Pioneer Playhouse in Danville, will kick off its season on June 7. Performances are nightly Tuesday through Saturday. If weather doesn’t cooperate, shows will move indoors.
The schedule for the year includes:
“Kong’s Night Out” by Jack Neary, which will run June 7 through 22. The new comedy is G rated.
“Sherlock Holmes and the Ice Palace Murders” by Jeffrey Hatcher is based on the novel by Larry Millett. The show will run June 25 through July 6.
“I Found Elvis!” by Margaret Swim and Robby Henson is a Kentucky Voices Original play. The show will run July 9 through 20.
“Not Now, Darling” by Ray Cooney and John Chapman will run July 23 through Aug. 3.
“Red, White and Tuna” by Ed Howard, Joe Sears and Jaston Williams will be presented Aug. 6 through 17. This is the third of a series of “Tuna” shows, but each stands alone.
A special comedy show with standup Etta May will be Aug. 23 and 24.
The playhouse is at 840 Stanford Road in Danville.
For more information, call (866) KYplays or visit pioneerplayhouse.com.
The life story of Shawnee leader Tecumseh from the late 1700s is the focus of this show, presented at Sugarloaf Mountain Amphitheatre in Chillicothe, Ohio.
In the huge, outdoor theater, the audience is amid the action, surrounded by galloping horses, live military cannons and vibrant battle scenes.
The show will open June 13 and run Monday through Saturday until Sept. 1. Show time is 8 p.m. and tickets are $24.25 for adult and $17.25 for children 10 and younger.
In addition, behind-the-scenes tours are available and there is a terrace buffet Monday through Saturday. Reservations are recommended.
A prehistoric Indian mini-museum showing artifacts from the Scioto Valley is open Monday through Friday from 5 to 7:45 p.m. and the Mountain Gallery Gift Shop in the main pavilion of the theater complex offers jewelry, pottery and other items. Hours are 5 to 7:55 p.m.
The amphitheater is at 968 Marietta Road.
To order tickets, call (866) 775-0700. For more information, visit tecumsehdrama.com.
Theater West Virginia
The shows “Honey in the Rock” and “Hatfields and McCoys” have been entertainment mainstays in West Virginia for decades — five, in fact.
Along with “Honey” and “Hatfields,” the company offers other shows. This year’s schedule is:
June 8, 7:30 p.m. — Phil Dirt and The Dozers.
June 14 through 29 — “Annie.”
July 5 through 14 — “Hatfields and McCoys.”
July 18 through 28 — “Paradise Park: The Musical.”
Because the shows rotate on an uneven basis, theater-goers should refer to a schedule online to plan to see a show.
For more information or tickets, visit theaterwv. com or call Cliffside Amphitheatre at Grandview at (304) 256-6800 or (800) 666-9142.
The Trail of the Lonesome Pine, Big Stone Gap, Va., is home to the outdoor production called “The Trail of the Lonesome Pine.”
The show tells the story of the coal and iron ore boom in southwest Virginia and the changes it entailed for the residents of the area.
Shows are Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings June 29 through Aug. 19. Gates open at 7 p.m. and pre-show entertainment begins at 7:15. The show begins at 8 p.m.
For tickets or more information, call (800) 3620149. The June Tolliver Playhouse is at 518 Clinton Ave. East in Big Stone Gap, Va. Also visit trailofthelonesomepine.com.