Glow Lyric Theatre summer festival opens

2022 season includes performances of Aida, Stinney - An American Execution, Classic Broadway
The co-founders of Glow Lyric Theatre share its mission to spread social justice and awareness through music
Published: Jul. 15, 2022 at 12:52 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 15, 2022 at 3:51 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - For the next three weekends, the music of Elton John, a Furman University graduate and the Golden Age of Broadway will fill the Fred Collins Performing Arts and Worship Center of the Kroc Center.

Glow Lyric Theatre opens its first big, three show summer festival since 2019 on July 15.

A Broadway musical version of the Giuseppe Verdi opera “Aida” will be the first of three shows.

“We’re doing Elton John and Tim Rice’s ‘Aida,’” said Christian Elser, Glow co-founder, told FOX Carolina. “It won four Tony Awards..That’s our big opener.”

The musical is based on the main story line of the Verdi opera, which is a tragic love story between an enslaved Ethiopian princess and an Egyptian army general.

The second show is “Stinney - An American Execution,” which was composed by Frances Pollack, a graduate of Furman University. Glow’s performance marks the show’s Southeastern premiere.

“There’s also a local connection with the story of the opera about George Stinney, Jr., who was executed in Columbia, South Carolina in 1944 at age 14,” Elser said. “He remains the youngest person ever legally executed in the United States. He was later exonerated.”

Glow’s third show is “Classic Broadway,” which features songs by Rodgers and Hammerstein, Lerner and Loewe, Leonard Bernstein from what is considered to be Broadway’s “Golden Age.”

“I think (it) will be a crowd pleaser as well,” Elser said.

Elser and his wife, Jenna Tamisiea, founded Glow in 2009.

“Our mission is not to just to produce and reflect the social and political climate of South Carolina,” Elser said.

The performances run each weekend through July 31 and are either at 2 p.m. or 7 p.m., depending on the show and weekend.