Royal Theatre

The historic Royal Theatre in Downtown Benton is ready to turn up the lights and provide local residents with a chance to see the many talented youth and adults in the area as organizers plans its reopening strategies.

“This is our grand announcement,” said Susan Dill, past president of the Royal Players, Inc. “Finally Royal Players and Young Players have  2021 dates. During the pandemic, the Royal Theatre has been a ‘sheltered’ venue.  Our volunteers have been working hard to get ready for a reopening, and it will be worth the wait.”

First up on the schedule, The Young Players will present "Disney’s Frozen JR."  July 15 through 18. Sponsored by Everett Buick GMC, the enchanting modern classic from Disney is based on the 2018 Broadway musical, and brings Elsa, Anna and the magical land of Arendelle to life, onstage. The show features all of the memorable songs from the animated film, with music and lyrics by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, plus five new songs written for the Broadway production. Director for the Royal production is Tanner Oglesby.

To finish what would have been the 2020-2021 season, the Royal Players will perform "Lost in Yonkers" August 12-22. Written by America's great comic playwright, Neil Simon, this play is set in Yonkers in 1942. Bella is 35 years old, mentally challenged, and living at home with her mother, the stern Grandma Kurnitz. As the play opens, ne'er-do-well son, Eddie, deposits his two young sons on the old lady's doorstep. As he take to the road as a salesman, the boys are left to contend with Grandma, with Bella and her secret romance, and with Louie, her brother, a small-time hoodlum. This play was the basis for the 1993 movie starring Richard Dreyfuss, Mercedes Ruehl, and Irene Worth. The director is Jeremy Clay.

"Disney’s The Jungle Book Kids"  will play September 17 through 19 and will be the opener of Season 27. Adapted from Disney's animated film and the works of Rudyard Kipling, the “man cub” Mowgli, bounds through the jungle and learns what it means to be human. Specially adapted from the classic Disney animated film, "Disney's The Jungle Book Kids" features a host of colorful characters and your favorite songs from the movie.

“Our 2021-2022 Season will also include the “Haunted Royal Theatre Tour,” in October,” Dill said. “This became an instant favorite when it was created to allow a 'production' in a COVID-19 compliant manner.”

The Royal Christmas show will be "Disney’s Beauty and the Beast" December 2 through 12 and will be sponsored by Everett Buick GMC.  "Be Our Guest" to Broadway's modern classic, which played a remarkable 13-year run on Broadway and has been produced in 37 countries worldwide. Based on the Academy Award-winning animated feature, the stage version includes all of the wonderful songs written by Alan Menken and the late Howard Ashman, along with new songs by Menken and Tim Rice. This show was nominated for nine Tony Awards, including Best Musical. The classic story tells of Belle, a young woman in a quiet, provincial town, and the Beast, who is really a young prince trapped under the spell of an enchantress. If the Beast can learn to love and be loved, the curse will end and he will be transformed into his former self, however, time is running out. If the Beast does not learn his lesson soon, he and his household will be doomed for all eternity.

“Because of our “Covid break,” most of these shows are still in need of a sponsor,” Dill said. To find out sponsorship amounts and benefits, email theroyalplayers@gmail.com.