Nov. 22-24 will be a weekend of firsts for the Hilliard Arts Council.
For the first time in its 37-year-history, the Hilliard Arts Council will host a dinner theater with a performance of Magic to Do: The Music of Stephen Schwartz at the Makoy Center, 5462 Center St.
Also for the first time in an arts council production, co-founder Robin Brenneman will step from away from her directorial duties to perform a number.
"It's usually not a good idea to perform in your own directions," said Brenneman, who has performed many times in community theater, but not for the arts council.
Brenneman said she decided to perform because of the new dinner theater format and because her song, Just No Time at All, from the musical Pippin, features a grandmother imparting sage advice to her grandson.
"I'm comfortable with my song," she said. "It's a good song for me."
Meanwhile, the dinner theater format is all about timing, Brenneman said.
"Since we've been performing at several different venues in the (recent) past, we thought now would be a good opportunity to try (dinner theater)," Brenneman said.
Arts council officials hope to occupy a new facility by the end of next year and in the interim opted to accept an offer from the Makoy Center, a banquet facility, to host the production.
Stephen Schwartz is a favorite composer of Brenneman and her husband, Ken Brenneman, who is the musical director of Magic to Do.
Best known for the Broadway show, Wicked, Schwartz also is the composer of the musicals Godspell and Pippin and has contributed lyrics to the films Pocahontas, The Prince of Egypt and Enchanted.
"I read (Schwartz's) biography, Defying Gravity, and used it to write my own dialogue to be read between songs," Brenneman said.
Aside from the narrative passages, Magic to Do is all music, performed by a 21-member cast.
"The musical will include solo performances, duets and group numbers," Brenneman said.
Tickets are available for a lunch matinee and dinner shows, and they must be purchased by Monday, Nov. 18, by phone at 614-967-8167 or online at hilliardartscouncil.org.
The dinner shows begin at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 22, and Saturday, Nov. 23. Tickets are $35 and the musical performances begin at 8 p.m. each evening.
The lunch matinee will be at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 24. Tickets are $25. The musical performance begins at 3 p.m.
Tickets for the musical performances only also are available in advance and at the door for $15, or $12 for senior citizens and students.