sparkle tones Show Poster


Performing INDOOR at the
Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center


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 TIP Box Office at the front desk of the Arts and Heritage center opens at 6:30pm on performance evenings and 1:00pm for matinees.

 The house opens 30 minutes before show time.  Seating is assigned at time of ticket purchase.

The Sparkletones runs approximately
2 hours with one 15 minute intermission.

Rated: PG 

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Performing at the Johnson County Arts and Heritage Center

 

 

Sparkletones Show Poster

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The Sparkletones is a heartwarming new musical drama about sisterhood and song, and how love endures no matter the time or distance. The story centers around four dear friends in the late 1960s who find themselves stranded in a rural Kansas diner one winter evening. On this night, their lives veer forever toward both the bitter and the sweet. This poignant show weaves musically through 30 years, and marks the passage of time through an energetic, beautiful, and memorable score. 
 


MEET THE WRITERS

Krista Eyler (Composer, Lyricist, Co-book writer, Actress-"Connie") 

Krista is a vocalist, musician, and composer based in the greater Kansas City Metro area. She has appeared on various stages including New Theatre & Restaurant, Kansas City Actors Theatre, the Chestnut Fine Arts Center, Music Theatre Heritage, Fishtank Theatre at the Black Box, Kansas City Public Theatre, the Arts Asylum, Barn Players, and Shawnee Mission Theatre in the Park. The Sparkletones is Krista's third original musical, and second with co-writer, Barbara Nichols. Krista is the co-book writer, composer and lyricist of Overture the Musical, a 2019 Grand Jury Next Link Selection for the New York Musical Festival (NYMF) and winner of Best of Fest Audience Choice Award-2019 New York Musical Festival. Krista also originated the lead role of Lily and performed it Off-Broadway at the Signature Theatre during Overture's NYMF run. Krista was executive producer for the documentary "Worth Waiting For" which chronicled Overture's three-year journey to New York and debuted on KC PBS stations in 2021. She has created a catalog of music, and has written musicals and performance works for both secular and sacred settings. Krista also established her KC-based business, Funky Mama Music, over a decade ago to promote original, rock n' roll for families, and as "Funky Mama," was invited to sing at the White House for the 2007 Easter Egg Roll. Krista is a proud wife, and mom to two children. 

Barbara Nichols (Co-book writer, Lyrics contributor, Director)

Barbara has worked extensively as a director and actor in the Kansas City area for over 20 years. Barbara is the co-book writer of Overture the Musical, a 2019 Grand Jury Next Link Selection for the New York Musical Festival and winner of Best of Fest Audience Choice Award-2019 New York Musical Festival. Barbara was the director for the production during its Kansas City run, as well as at the New York Musical Festival. As director, shows include Spamalot, Secret Garden, Les Miserables, Company, Chess, The Drowsy Chaperone, Evita, The Full Monty and 1776. She collaborated with Krista on the 2010 original production of Moo Juice: The Musical. As an actor, Barbara's favorite credits include August Osage County and God of Carnage. Barbara is a wife and mother living in the KC area.

The Original Sparkletones!

THE SPARKLETONES

by Krista Eyler & Barbara Nichols
Performance Tracks performed and produced by Krista Eyler with Paul Epp on trumpet and Charlie Eyler on tenor sax
Arrangements by Krista Eyler & Mason Kelso
THE SPARKLETONES Is presented through special arrangement with Sharp Women, LLC. www.sharpwomen.org
 

PRODUCTION TEAM

Director: Barb Nichols
Musical Director: Marsha Canaday
Stage Manager: Matthew Koehler
Asst. Stage Manager: Taylor Zimmerman
Choreographer: Valerie Martin
Costume Designer/Coordinator: Patricia Berning
Props Designer/Coordinator: Frank Gentile
Lighting Designer: Philip Leonard
Sound Designer: Harvest Productions
Hair and Make-up Designer: John Hollan


CAST

Doris - Jennifer Renfrow
Danette - Maryann Traxler
Connie - Krista Eyler
Judy - Leah Swank Miller
Augie - Reed Uthe

 

SYNOPSIS

ACT 1: Waubunsee, County, Kansas 1969
THE SPARKLETONES opens with four women reading aloud letters from their past. As the music swells (SPARKLE and SHINE), the women—Doris, Dani, Connie, Judy— take the stage in a full-out, boppy, 1960s dance number which serves as the group’s signature song. As the song ends, lights go down, and a voiceover is heard announcing the worst storm a rural Kansas county as ever experienced. Lights come up on the Nickerson Farms Diner and Augie, the restaurant owner, is arguing over the phone with a dairy supplier over his current stock. As the comical argument escalates, the women spill into the diner freezing from the cold wearing identical dresses and carrying an enormous bag of props. The storm has forced the women off the road as they headed to a singing competition. They are now stranded at this plain, yet charming, diner. Over the course of one evening, the women entertain Augie and themselves to stave off boredom (NOT FAMOUS YET; IN OLDER DAYS; RIGHT WHERE WE NEED TO BE). As the night wears on, conversations become more intimate between all group members, but most especially between sisters Dani and Doris as their relationship is revealed to be quite strained. Adding to the aggravation of the night, a sudden debate begins about the ongoing Vietnam War and cultural schisms in the country. Doris is a war widow and takes a private moment to remember her late husband (JUST IN THE OTHER ROOM). The tone in the diner becomes quite somber so jokesters Connie and Judy get all to perform the group’s quirky competition number to lighten the mood (TIKI TIME). Dani reluctantly shares a song she wrote (RICHER) which hints at a complicated relationship between Dani and Doris’s late husband. Doris believes the worst about her sister, and their fight becomes cruel, shocking, and involves all members of the group. Dani vows to never be around her sister or the group again and rushes out of the diner into the frigid night.

ACT 2
As the lights come up in the diner, only Augie and Connie are awake in the wee hours of the morning. Connie shares she went after Dani and convinced her to stay in the diner for the night. Connie and Augie begin to bond over a shared love of pie, cooking, and family memories (A LITTLE BIT OF LOVE). As more of the women awake, Augie reluctantly tells he saw Dani sneak away from the diner and hop a bus to St. Louis. Doris refuses to go after her sister though Connie and Judy beg her to try. It is clear the group has broken up. Connie and Augie part ways, but leave hints that their relationship is just beginning. Time moves forward more quickly in a series of vignettes which show Dani’s country music career skyrocketing (TANKED AT BREAKFAST; RICHER REPRISE) with a chart-topping hit, Doris’s life becomes more difficult without her sister, Augie and Connie get married, and Judy keeps the group connected through frequent letters (DROP YOU A LINE). Almost 30 years have passed since the group’s breakup when Connie experiences a tragedy and asks all the women to reunite at the diner. At this reunion, Connie, Doris, and Judy emotionally join together in embraces, but when Dani arrives, Doris remains silent. Dani is desperate to apologize to Doris, and the sisters have a moment of shared regret and heartbreak. They decide to heal their wounds together through forgiveness (NOTHING LEFT UNSAID). The women are caught up in being together and Connie asks for one last song, one last time as The Sparkletones (RIGHT ONE TIME).