Connecticut hasn’t had its first snowfall of the season yet, but two of the state’s foremost regional theaters have already rolled out their schedules for their Summer 2015 seasons—and area theatergoers can look forward to a season full of comedy, dramatic and musical treats.
First out of the gate with their announcement was the Westport Country Playhouse in Westport, CT, which will offer what Artistic Director Mark Lamos characterizes as “a particularly rich and satisfying smorgasbord of plays,” that will include a celebration of playwright Arthur Miller’s centennial, as well as works by Playhouse favorites Alan Ayckbourn and A.R. Gurney, along with an adaptation of a Pierre Corneille comedy and a revival of C.P. Taylor’s look at life in England during World War II.
Shortly thereafter, Connecticut’s Tony-Award winning Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam announced its 2015 summer season which will include the world premiere of a musical based on the legendary CBS television series, “The Honeymooners,” as well as revivals of two classics, “Guys and Dolls” and “La Cage Aux Folles.”
At Westport, Lamos indicates that next year’s Playhouse season was designed to provide “entertainment that ranges from the hilarity of brilliant farce to the striking power of insightful, moving drama. Theater that’s not only worth talking about, but one which engages hearts through laughter, passion and gripping storytelling.”
The season opens with David Ives’ adaptation of Pierre Corneille’s “The Liar,” running from May 5-23. Ives, the author of the “Venus in Fur” and “It’s All in the Timing,” focuses on Dorante, who has a gift for stretching the truth which he takes to even further extremes when he falls in love with Clarice who may not necessarily be who he thinks she is. As the lies threaten to get out of control, a hilarious romantic adventure results.
The theater follows up with “And a Nightingale Sang,” C.P. Taylor’s look at domestic life in northern England as the world teeters on the brink of war as a young woman develops an unexpected relationship with a soldier on leave. The Playhouse’s Associate Artistic Director David Kennedy is set to direct the production which will run from June 9-27.
The world premiere of a new play by A.R. Gurney, in a co-production with New York’s Signature Theatre, follows from July 21 to August 8, directed by Lamos. “Love and Money” deals with a wealthy widow who is determined to donate everything she owns before the end, until a young man, who may be the grandson she never knew she had, comes to collect his inheritance.
The work of the popular British playwright Alan Ayckbourn returns to the Playhouse with a production of “Bedroom Farce,” scheduled for August 25 through September 12 under the direction of John Tillinger. Ayckbourn’s farce about the messiness of adult relationships features four couples in three different bedroom, all on stage at the same time.
In recognition of what would have been long-time Connecticut resident Arthur Miller’s 100th birthday, the Playhouse presents Miller’s “Broken Glass,” a drama about New York Jews impacted by accounts of the atrocities being reported from 1938 Nazi Germany begin to reach America. Lamos will direct this production which will run from October 6-31.
Subscriptions are now on sale for current and new subscribers by calling the Box Office at 203.227.4177 or visiting the theater’s website at www.westportplayhouse.org.
Across the state, the Goodspeed Opera House will offer its first-ever production of Frank Loesser’s “Guys and Dolls,” the colorful tale of the saints and sinners of denizens of Damon Runyon’s Times Square, who include everyone from hardboiled gamblers to the salvation-singers of the Save-A-Soul mission. The musical, which features such hits as “A Bushel and A Peck,” “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat,” and “If I Were A Bell,” will be directed by Don Stpehenson and run from April 10 to June 20.
This will be followed by a revival of the Jerry Herman-Harvey Fierstein musical “La Cage Aux Folles,” under the direction of Rob Ruggerio, who directed the Goodspeed’s acclaimed productions of “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Show Boat” and “Carousel.” The musical tells the story of a family of cabaret performers led by partners George and Albin, the latter who performs as the popular Zaza, and the complications that ensue when their son invites his fiancee’s conservative parents to dinner. “La Cage Aux Folles” will run from June 26 through September 6.
The Opera House season will end with the world premiere of “The Honeymooners,” with a book by Dusty Kay and Bill Nuss, music by Stephen Weiner and lyrics by Peter Mills, under the direction of John Rando. The musical features favorite characters and BFF’s Ralph Kramden and Ed Norton as they enter a jingle contest and, to the chagrin of their wives, actually win and get catapulted into the world of Madison Avenue.
Season tickets for the Goodspeed’s 2015 summer season are now on sale and can be purchased by calling 860.873.8668 or visiting the theater’s website at www.goodspeed.org.