Candlelight in ’24: ‘Dolly,’ ‘Fantasticks,’ ‘Edwin Drood’

Betsy PriceCulture, Headlines


As Candlelight Theatre’s ‘Sound of Music’ nears its end, the theater has announced its 2024 season. Phoby by Tisa Della-Volpe.

A beloved musical, a show featuring Dolly Parton tunes and a dramedy during which the audience decides the outcome of the story all will be part of the Candlelight Theatre‘s 2024 season.

The season will open with matchmaker classic “Hello, Dolly” Jan. 20-Feb. 25 and be followed by “The Mystery of Edwin Drood” March 16-April 21. “Drood” is based on Charles Dickens’ unfinished novel and asks the audience to pick which character will be the murderer.

It’s followed with “Moon Over Buffalo” May 11-June 16, a farce in which everything that could possibly go wrong for two fading stars doing rep in Buffalo, New York, falls apart.

“The Fantasticks,” which ran off-Broadway for 42 years, will play Candlelight July 13-Aug. 25. That story of love, family, friendship and surviving adversity remains a theater favorite.

The working woman’s anthem “9 to 5, The Musical,” featuring songs by Dolly Parton, will be on stage Sept. 14 to Oct. 20.

The Arden theater isn’t telling what it’s holiday show will be but it will run Nov. 16-Dec. 22.

“We are sworn to secrecy for now but know you’ll love this classic Holiday show at the Inn…at our barn,” the theater’s press release said.

Candlelight shows


Candlelight is a dinner theater in Arden, but does offer tickets to the show only. Photo by Tisa Della-Volpe.


 “Our 2024 schedule offers our audience a season rich in history and tradition, filled with humor, mystery, laughter, and knockout production numbers,” said Bob Kelly, Candlelight’s artistic director.

The shows come with dinner, often served by actors in the productions.

The six-show season will sell for $335, which is 25% less than buying single tickets for each show. Season ticket holders get preferred seating if they reserve before Oct. 15.

Tickets prices will rise by less than 2%.

“We are working to keep the ticket price affordable to our patrons,” said Terry Healy, president of the Board of Directors.  “We anticipate that 2024 season sales of season tickets will surpass our record from last year. We are grateful to all our patrons for their support.”

Tickets are available by calling the box office at (302) 475-2313 or going here.

RELATED STORY: Candlelight’s ‘Sound of Music’ is selling out shows

Here’s more about the productions.

HELLO, DOLLY!: Based on Thornton Wilder’s play, “The Matchmaker,” the musical follows matchmaker Dolly Gallagher-Levi. It recently was a smash hit in New York with Bette Midler at the helm. The show has won 10 Tony Awards and features songs by Jerry Herman.

EDWIN DROOD: This Rupert Holmes show, presented as a show-within-a-show, with Dickens’ novel presented by Victorian actors in British pantomime and music hall traditions. It’s not meant to be a straight retelling of the work.

MOON OVER BUFFALO: The Ken Ludwig comedy focuses on George and Charlotte Hay, who acting in “Private Lives” and “Cyrano de Bergerac” in Buffalo, New York. Their marriage is faltering, and then they hear that Frank Capra is coming to see their matinee with an eye toward casting them in a movie.

THE FANTASTICKS: A 1960 play with book and lyrics by Tom Jones and music by Harvey Schmidt, the show follows neighboring fathers who trick their children, Luisa and Matt, into falling in love by pretending to feud.  It includes the classic song, “Try to Remember.”

9 to 5: Based the 1980 movie, the musical offers music and lyrics by Dolly Parton and a book by Patricia Resnick. It tells the story of three female coworkers who devise a way around their “sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot’” of a boss and create a dream workplace.

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