LA GRANDE — Music is returning to McKenzie Theatre, and the voices of a 40-member choir will be echoed around the world as other groups perform “All Together Now,” the same songs on the same weekend.

It all started last spring, said Kenn Wheeler, associate professor of theater at Eastern Oregon University. That’s when Music Theatre International, one of the major companies that sells the rights to perform musicals, offered a musical free of charge.

Wheeler said it usually costs $3,000 to $6,000 for the rights to a musical.

“They made an offer to any school in the world — they’d give them a musical review for free. Which is unheard of,” Wheeler said.

The goal is to celebrate returning to the stage after months of no performances.

“We have not done any theater since March of 2020. For over 18 months, we haven’t done a show,” Wheeler said. “This will hopefully be an introduction back to the normal world of theater.”

More than 2,500 theaters and high schools around the world will perform “All Together Now” on the weekend of Nov. 12-14.

“It’s really exciting to think there are 5,000 performers performing the same show at the same time,” Wheeler said.

The EOU theater and music departments — the chamber choir, specifically — are combining to present “All Together Now.”

“We share a lot of students,” Wheeler said.

There will be two public performances: Friday, Nov. 12, and Saturday, Nov. 13, both at 7 p.m. in EOU’s newly renovated McKenzie Theatre. A third show for high school students will begin at noon on Monday, Nov. 15.

Tickets for the weekend shows are $15 per seat, or $10 for groups of 10 or more. Admission is free for EOU students. These shows are a fundraiser for the theater and music programs at EOU.

This musical review will have some very familiar tunes, such as “Be Our Guest” from “Beauty and the Beast.” Wheeler said that while they could not change the order of the songs, they did have the freedom to create unique choreography. For instance, the scene for “Be Our Guest” is in a restaurant that is able to reopen after being closed by pandemic restrictions.

“We’re taking the theme of the song and making it contemporary,” he said.

About 300 tickets will be sold for each performance. To purchase in advance, go to www.tix.com/ticket-sales/tix/6521 or call the box office at 541-962-3757. A limited number of tickets may be available at the box office each night of the show.

Wheeler is the director of “All Together Now,” and Peter Wordelman is the musical director. Mike Heather is in charge of scenery and lighting, Heather Tomlinson handles costumes, and the choreographers are Denise Wheeler, Heather Watson and Abigale Raasch. The stage manager is Betsy Rochelle.

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