Sandusky State Theatre’s “HATS!” Offers Hilarious Look At Women Reaching For Life's Gusto

Sandusky State Theatre's May 12-14 “HATS! The Musical,” inspired by the Red Hat Society, is a hilarious look at life and embraces silliness as a celebration of life. SST offers 4 lunch/dinner packages, and a "red hat weekend" is being promoted.
The Sandusky State cast of "HATS! The Musical"
The Sandusky State cast of "HATS! The Musical"
April 26, 2011 - PRLog -- From May 12-14, Thursday thru Saturday, the Sandusky State Theatre, 107 Columbus Ave. in downtown Sandusky, will present four performances of “HATS! The Musical.”   The play takes a hilarious look at one woman’s struggle with her impending BIG 5-0 (she's 49.999) and how six women handle the trials and good times that occur in their “journey of life.”  

“HATS! The Musical” is inspired by the experiences, philosophies, and mission of the Red Hat Society, and the musical's characters embrace “silliness” as “the comic relief of life.”  Exploding with fun, "HATS!" is about  friendship and forgetting about things that simply don’t matter anymore,  features original music by a team of Grammy, Golden Globe and Tony winning songwriters, and is a must-see for everyone who is 50, knows anyone who is 50, or plans to be 50.

As many women of a "certain" age know, The Red Hat Society (RHS)  began in 1998 when  founder Sue Ellen Cooper gave her friend, Linda Murphy, the gift of a red hat.   As the Society’s website ( recounts, that gift has unexpectedly  "evolved into a women's movement of sorts - a movement consisting of women committed to supporting each other through fun and friendship allowing each individual the empowering permission to play.”

In fact, RHS now refers to itself as "the world’s premiere social networking community for women,” and as a  “sisterhood” with more than 20,000 chapters in all 50 states in the USA and more than 25 foreign countries. Writes Cooper on the RHS website:  “Underneath the frivolity, we share a bond of affection forged by common life experiences and a genuine enthusiasm for wherever life takes us next,”

Seen this way, what began as just a social club now clearly offers more than colorful hats and purple dresses -- though they are certainly being worn at the sisterhood’s “Hatquarters” in Fullerton, California. (Members under 50 wear pink hats; "Hatters" over 50, red hats.)

The Hatters subscribe to living the "Five F’s":  FUN (celebrating life at every age), FRIENDSHIP (solidifying and expanding the bonds of sisterhood), FREEDOM (discovering and exploring new interests), FULFILLMENT (realizing one's personal potential), and FITNESS (embracing healthy, life-lengthening lifestyles). It is these “5 F’s” that “HATS! The Musical” celebrates, and it is fittingly with a sixth "F" -- the element of  FRIVOLITY.

At Sandusky State, Frivolity is associated with another "F" as well -- "FOUR," as in the number of scheduled  performances.  Each day of the play’s run (Thursday through Saturday, May 12-14) includes a  2 pm matinee.  There is also an evening performance at 7:30 on Friday (May 13).  Depending on seat location, tickets range from $21-$31.  

The Sandusky State also offers two more "F's": a FABULOUS lunch or dinner package in the theatre's State Room, with lunch served  at 12:30 pm and dinner at 6 with a FANTASTIC menu including roast sirloin of beef, chicken pomadore, redskin potatoes, cranberry almond salad, bread twists & rolls, assorted mini-desserts, and a coffee bar.  Package prices, which cover the cost of the meal and a theatre ticket, range from $39-$49.

“When we did the musical in 2008, we had a terrific response,” said Sandusky State Theatre Executive Director Thomas Kazmierczak, III, noting that "HATS!" actually is being produced by the Sandusky State as opposed to the theatre's serving just as a venue for a touring company.

Kazmierczak, who also directed the musical in its 2008 run, now shares directing duties with Tricia Sandberg, a veteran performer and director who has worked with such Hollywood icons as Howard Keel, Ann Corio, Joan Fontaine, and Eve Arden.

“All of us in this production are honored and delighted to have the benefit of Trish Sandberg’s great skill and years of experience,” said Kazmierczak.   “We are also blessed with a very talented and enthusiastic cast and crew, and we are very excited to offer a fun-fillled 'tip of the hat' to our audience."

Sandusky State Theatre  is going beyond its own walls in promoting "HATS!" as a “red hat weekend,” too.  Neighboring Sandusky businesses are being encouraged to get in on the act by providing “hatters discounts” to those wearing red or pink hats while shopping at their establishments.  The entertaining musical should hold appeal to visitors planning  weekend activities to attend Cedar Point's Amusement Park's season opening on May 14 as well.

For more information or to order tickets,  call 419.626-1950 or toll-free 877.626-1950; visit, or go to the box office (open from 10 am-5 pm Monday through Friday).

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Page Updated Last on: Apr 26, 2011

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