Halifax Repertory Theatre is bringing Broadway to the News-Journal Center.
The theater company's "I HRT Broadway" revue — featuring 32 numbers from 27 musicals including "42nd Street," "Guys & Dolls," "Les Miserables," "Hairspray" and "Mean Girls" — has three shows this weekend. The show will open at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 29, with additional shows at 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 30, and 1 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 1. The cast is made up of 12 adults, 10 teens and five children ages 10 and under.
"We tried to really make it a variety so that it gives you a taste of what's to come," Halifax Repertory Theatre Executive Director Sandra Cook said. "A lot of the shows that we selected songs from are shows that we're looking to potentially do in the future."
Some of her favorite numbers from the show include "Brush up your Shakespeare" from "Kiss Me, Kate!"; "Meet the Plastics" from "Mean Girls" ; "Mama, I'm a Big Girl Now" from "Hairspray" and "One Day More" from "Les Miserables."
Cook started Halifax Repertory Theatre with her husband Jack in 2021. The Ormond Beach couple, both of whom graduated from Seabreeze High School, aimed to rejuvenate the arts in the community at the time, but soon after their first performance, the COVID-19 pandemic's impact forced them to put their company on hold.
The timing now seems right for Halifax Repertory Theatre, Cook said. "I HRT Broadway" will be the first of many shows lined up for the next year. Their goal is to put on four shows a year, both at the News-Journal Center and the Ormond Beach Performing Arts Center once it reopens.
The Cooks are also renovating a space in Ormond Beach where they plan to hold master classes, auditions, workshops, dance classes and private lessons.
"What we'd like to do is bring some elite instruction over to the area of Volusia County," Cook said. "The arts used to be much more prevalent here in the past, and a lot of those different groups and people who were doing classes and performances have disappeared."
In addition, Cook said she and her husband would love to open a murder mystery dinner theater show. When they lived in Orlando, both of them worked as actors at MurderWatch Mystery Theatre, which closed in 2018. The Cooks have purchased the rights to the show to take over the production.
"We want to try to give people an opportunity to say, 'Hey, live entertainment is back and better than ever,'" Cook said.
The cast of "I HRT Broadway" includes: Chelsea Turbin, Jack Tobias Cook, Sandy Cook, Steven Simmons, Kelly Parsons Kwiatek, Jenny Gibbens, Crisi Simmons, Skylar Dowman, Chad Boothman, Jill Kachanouskaya, Mikey Huth, Michael Funaro, Sophie Hodges, Olivia Giaconi, Ysa Boothman, Ziva Boothman, Jordanny Hiciano Rivera, Chase Cook, Bree Johnson, Brooke Johnson, Laura Isabel Ortiz, Miah Haymes, Lorelei Cook, Annabelle Kocher, Olivia Grace Kwiatek, Eva Murphy and Maya Rice.