The original cast of [title of show] included (from left) Heidi Blickenstaff, Hunter Bell (seated), Jeff Bowen (top),
and Susan Blackwell. [title of show] will be presented as part of the 2010-2011 season at TheatreWorks. Photo by Carol Rosegg
If the new TheatreWorks season only contained[title of show], I would be thrilled. I wanted desperately for this “little musical that could” to have it’s pre-Broadway run in San Francisco, but creators Hunter Bell and Jeff Bowen opted not to go out of town and head directly from off Broadway to on. The show didn’t exactly re-write Broadway history, but the original cast recording preserved a plucky show that, to some of us, is legendary in its wit and ambition.
But now this musical for people who love (and loathe and love to loathe) musicals is going to conclude the newly announced TheatreWorks season in June of 2011.
[title of show] isn’t the only treat in the season. After its run on Broadway this season, the Bay Area will get to sink its teeth into Tracy Letts’ Superior Donuts, his well-received follow-up to the gazillion-award-winning August: Osage County. The play runs Oct. 6 to 31. And another Broadway hit (one that recently stopped in San Francisco on its national tour) takes steps to Mountain View. The 39 Steps, a lovingly comic spoof of the Alfred Hitchcock movie of the same name, opens in January of 2011.
You can usually count on a TheatreWorks season to include a big, juicy musical, and the coming season is no exception. Adam Guettel and Craig Lucas’ A Light in the Piazza, a stunning, sophisticated work of modern musical theater (with a score by Richard Rodgers’ eminently talented grandson, no less), opens Aug. 25.
The season also includes three world premieres, including season-opener Auctioning the Ainsleys by Laura Schellhardt about a family of auctioneers. Schellhardt’s The K of D was seen at the Magic Theatre.
The second world premiere is a holiday offering: a new musical adaptation of Truman Capote’s story A Christmas Memory with lyrics by Carol Hall (The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas), music by Larry Grossman and a book by Duane Poole. The show runs through most of the month of December.
The third world premiere is Rajiv Joseph’s psychological thriller The North Pool. Joseph is probably best known for his play Bengal Tiger in the Baghdad Zoo. His Animals Out of Paper is currently at SF Playhouse.
And finally, David Gutterson’s acclaimed novel Snow Falling on Cedars gets a theatrical adaptation (and a Bay Area premiere) in March 2011. Kevin McKeon of Book-It Repertory Theatre adapted and directed David Guterson’s masterful novel for the stage in Seattle three years ago.
For information about the TheatreWorks season call 650 463-1960 or visit www.theatreworks.org. Subscriptions range from $149 to $441.
Photo at right: Tracy Letts, author of Superior Donuts. Photo courtesy of Steppenwolf Theatre Co.
Robert Kelley keeps putting a great mix of plays and musicals together. I find especially interesting that one can subscribe to one’s own choice of productions, so the audience self sorts.
I loved both Superior Donuts and The 39 Steps. While Superior Donuts is very different from August: Osage County, it has Tracy Letts’ sharp dialogue and memorable characters. And The 39 Steps is so clever and inventive. Hard to believe you can do so much with four actors and a few props and lots of imagination. It’s the essence of theatricality.