By David Markham
A musical about everyone’s favorite talking and squarepants-wearing sea sponge and his friends will close out the Theatre in the Park’s 2022 outdoor season in Shawnee Mission Park in early August.
“The SpongeBob Musical,” Rated PG, will be onstage July 29 through Aug. 6. This show will run approximately 2.5 hours with one 15-minute intermission.
Also during August, five more family-friendly films will be presented as part of the 2022 Movies in the Park program, including a movie which will be part of the third-annual free Evening in the Park event at TIP on Aug. 7 (see related story), and the first of two movies being shown at Meadowbrook Park. Admission to all films in this program are free this year, thanks to the support of The Parks & Recreation Foundation of Johnson County, Arvest Bank, and JE Dunn.
Please note that the Renner Road Bridge on Interstate 435 is being rebuilt and is not available for use at this time. This means patrons will need to access the theater by getting off at I-435’s 87th St. exit, and proceeding west to Renner Road and north to the theater. The other option for is to get off at Midland Drive exit, proceed east to Lackman Road, south to 79th St., and west to Renner.
Adapted from the iconic Nickelodeon series, SpongeBob, Patrick, Sandy, Squidward and all the denizens of Bikini Bottom are featured in “The SpongeBob Musical.” The stakes are higher than ever in this dynamic stage musical, where SpongeBob and company face the total annihilation of their undersea world. Chaos erupts. Lives hang in the balance. And just when all hope seems lost, a most unexpected hero rises up and takes center stage. The power of optimism really can save the world!
Much more information about the theater and this year’s productions is available at the Theatre in the Park’s website, theatreinthepark.org.
For outdoor productions, gates open at 7:30 p.m., and shows begin at 8:30 p.m. General admission is $10 for adults, $6 for youth ages four to ten, plus tax, and free for children three and under, but tickets are still required. Tickets can be purchased at the box office or online. “Anytime tickets” available via either ticket-buying method, are not specific to a certain night or performance, and can be printed out at home and scanned at the gate. A limited number of reserved tickets for outdoor chairs are also available for every performance for $20 each.
The final Thrifty Thursday of 2022, when a 20% discount is offered on Thursday night performances, will take place on Aug. 4. This makes adult tickets $8 and children’s tickets $4.80, plus tax. The discounted tickets must be purchased at the box office for the specific show.
Visitors to TIP this summer will also be able to view a temporary public art installation called “Symbiosis” by Matthew Dehaemers of Shawnee. This installation is located near the south entrance to the theater bowl. Find out more about Dehaemers’ work.
Movies in the Park, through which participants can see popular films on an outdoor screen for free, is also continuing in August. August films at the TIP location are Disney’s “Encanto,” rated PG, on Aug. 2; and Disney’s “The Princess and the Frog” on Sunday, Aug. 7 as part of the free Evening the Park special event; “Clifford the Big Red Dog,” rated PG on Friday, Aug. 12; and “Cars,” rated G on Friday, Aug. 19. In addition, “A Bug’s Life,” rated G, will be the first of two movies to be shown on the Great Lawn at Meadowbrook Park on Friday, Aug. 26. “ZOOTOPIA,” rated PG, will be shown at Meadowbrook on Friday, Sept. 30, and the final Movies in the Park presentation of the season will be “Monsters, Inc.,” on Friday, Oct. 28, near Shelter #1 in Heritage Park. This movie is offered in conjunction with the JamBOOree Halloween event.
Rounding out TIP’s 2022 season are two additional shows which will be presented indoors at The Black Box Theatre, located at the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center. TIP’s fall indoor production will be “Always, Patsy Cline,” which is Rated PG, and will take place Sept. 30 through Oct. 16. The December 2022 production at JCAHC will be “Seussical,” Rated G, indoors at The Black Box Theatre, Dec. 9 through 23.
The Theatre in the Park’s outdoor location is north of the main entrance to Shawnee Mission Park at 7710 Renner Road in Shawnee. Meadowbrook Park is located at 9101 Nall Ave., Prairie Village. Heritage Park is located at 16050 Pflumm Road, Olathe. The Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center is located at 8788 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park.
Sponsorships for specific shows are still available, and you can learn more by calling Tim Bair 913-826-3011 or at [email protected].