Festival 56 has full lineup of summer theater presentations

PRINCETON ­– The Festival 56 season opens Thursday, June 16 at 7:30 p.m. with the opening cabaret. Festival ensemble members will share material old and new in a relaxed format. This season, Festival 56 will feature four cabarets June 16, July 15, July 29 and July 31.

Jump straight into the pages of Mo Willems’ hit children’s book series with the opening show, Elephant and Piggie’s “We Are in a Play!”  running from June 24 through July 2. Elephant and Piggie is sure to be a hit with all audiences as our favorite best friends come to life! An elephant named Gerald and a pig named Piggie are the “bestus” of friends. In this “Flippy Floppy Floory” show, Elephant and Piggie sing their way through a day where anything is possible; they wear silly hats, go to a party with the squirrels, learn a new dance, and – best of all – eat some ice cream!

Once again Festival 56 is pleased to present its free Shakespeare in Soldiers and Sailors Park every Sunday and Wednesday in July, starting July 3. Follow Sir John Falstaff in, The Merry Wives of Windsor, as he tries to fix his financial woes by seducing the wives of two wealthy merchants, hoping that their riches will secure his own. This hilarious Shakespearean comedy is sure to add mischief to theater season when the wives discover that Sir John Falstaff has sent them identical love letters, they take their revenge! With the help of their husbands and friends, the merry wives of Windsor get the last laugh and put Falstaff’s mischief to an end.

Matilda is a little girl with astonishing wit, precocious intelligence, and of course, magical powers! With parents who are neglectful and cruel and a headmistress who considers torturing children an artform, Matilda’s life is more than a little challenging. However, with the help of her loving school teacher, Matilda finds the courage to stand up for what is right and change her destiny. From the imaginative genius of Roald Dahl and empowering magic, Matilda is a must see for all ages. Matilda runs from July 8-16.

A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder ventures you to Edwardian England, where the low-born Monty Navarro discovers that he is eighth in line for the substantial D’Ysquith family fortune. Join Festival 56 on July 22-30 to see if Monty can knock off his unsuspecting relatives without being caught and secure his position as the next Earl of Highhurst. This murderous romp is filled with unforgettable music, non-stop laughs, and a singular actor playing all eight of the doomed heirs!

This summer season will also include a New Works Performance on July 30 at 2 p.m.

For more information on all summer season shows and to purchase tickets, please visit www.festival56.com and click on the box office tab. You can also call the box office at 815.879.5656. Box office hours are Monday through Saturday noon – 5 p.m. and one hour before each performance. The Grace Theater is located at 316 S. Main St., Princeton.