Aug. 18-20, 7 p.m., Aug. 20-21, 2 p.m., Aug. 25-27, 7 p.m. and Aug. 27-28, 2 p.m. 2011
Price varies, see website
Rather than build its local reputation with edgy modernist fare, Studio Tenn Theatre Company has focused on achieving impressive results with classic plays and musicals. Now the management team of Jake Speck and Matt Logan take on this great Frank Loesser musical, presented at the historic Franklin Theatre. (It’s the first live theatrical event to hit the Franklin Theatre stage in its 74-year history.) Stephen Kummer handles the musical direction, and New Yorker Micah Shepard — who appeared in the first national tours of 9 to 5 and High School Musical — choreographs. The cast blends Nashville household names like Patrick Waller and Matthew Carlton, plus Carrie Tillis (daughter of country legend Mel Tillis), with Jared Bradshaw and John Hickman, both of whom have appeared on Broadway in Jersey Boys. Talented musician and singer Laura Matula takes on the colorful role of Miss Adelaide. The script, of course, is a wry and well-crafted period piece about wisecracking gamblers and their dames, based on the Prohibition-era short stories of Damon Runyon. And many of the musical numbers are historical Broadway gold: “Fugue for Tinhorns,” “The Oldest Established,” “I’ll Know,” “Adelaide’s Lament,” “If I Were a Bell,” “Luck Be a Lady,” “Sue Me,” “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat” and the famous title tune.