John Doyle to Helm PASSION at Classic Stage Company in 2013

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Classic Stage Company, under the leadership of Artistic Director Brian Kulick, will next season present new production of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's Tony Award-winning musical PASSION, to be directed by John Doyle (the Tony Award-winning revivals of Sondheim's Sweeney Todd and Company). PASSION is slated to begin performances in February, 2013.

"It is a great, great honor to have the opportunity to revisit this extraordinary musical by Sondheim and Lapine. I am particularly excited to have the inimitable John Doyle stage this masterwork of American musical theater in our intimate space," said Brian Kulick.

PASSION opened on Broadway in May of 1994 and received the Tony Award that year for Best Musical. It has been performed throughout the world since then, but this will be the first full New York revival. (A three performance only semi-staged production was mounted at Lincoln Center in the spring of 2005 for the PBS broadcast "Live From Lincoln Center")

Stephen Sondheim wrote the music and lyrics for Saturday Night, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Anyone Can Whistle, Company, Follies, A Little Night Music, The Frogs, Pacific Overtures, Sweeney Todd, Merrily We Roll Along, Sunday in the Park With George, Into the Woods, Assassins, Passion and Road Show as well as lyrics for West Side Story, Gypsy and Do I Hear a Waltz? and additional lyrics for Candide. Anthologies of his work include Side by Side by Sondheim, Marry Me a Little, You're Gonna Love Tomorrow and Putting It Together. For films and television, he composed the scores of Stavisky and Reds and wrote songs for Dick Tracy and "Evening Primrose." He co-authored the film The Last of Sheila and the play Getting Away With Murder. Mr. Sondheim is on the Council of the Dramatists Guild, having served as its president from 1973 to 1981

James Lapine has worked with Stephen Sondheim on Sunday in the Park With George, Into the Woods and Passion. He also directed the first revival of Merrily We Roll Along at La Jolla Playhouse. He also created and directed Sondheim on Sondheim for the Roundabout. With William Finn he has worked on Falsettos, A New Brain, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and the upcoming Little Miss Sunshine. Other Broadway credits: The Diary of Anne Frank, Golden Child and Amour. He has written the plays Table Settings; Twelve Dreams; Luck, Pluck & Virtue; The Moment When; Fran's Bed; and Mrs. Miller Does Her Thing.

John Doyle received Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards as Outstanding Director of a Musical for his Broadway debut, Sweeney Todd. His production of Sondheim's Company won the Tony for Best Musical Revival and earned him a Tony Award nomination as Best Director of A Musical. For The Metropolitan Opera he directed Peter Grimes. Other recent opera includes Mahagonny (L.A. Opera) and Lucia (Scottish Opera). He won UK Best Musical Awards for The Gondoliers (West End), Fiddler on the Roof and Moll Flanders with nominations for four other productions including Mack and Mabel (also West End). John has been artistic director of four prestigious UK regional theatres and has directed numerous new and classic plays, most recently Amadeus (Wilton's Music Hall).

Now in its 45th year Classic Stage Company is the award winning theatre committed to re-imagining the classical repertory for a contemporary American audience. This season CSC has presented the critically-acclaimed production of The Cherry Orchard with John Turturro and Dianne Wiest and will in February present Academy Award winner F. Murray Abraham in Bertolt Brecht's Galileo, and in March Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream with Tony Award-winning actress Bebe Neuwirth and acclaimed actress Christina Ricci. Past seasons have included critically acclaimed productions of Chekhov's Three Sisters with Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jessica Hecht, Juliet Rylance and Peter Sarsgaard, directed by Austin Pendleton (Obie Award); David Ives' The School for Lies with Hamish Linklater (Obie Award), directed by Walter Bobbie; Unnatural Acts, conceived and directed by Tony Speciale; Ostrovsky's The Forest with Dianne Wiest and John Douglas Thompson, directed by Brian Kulick; David Ives' Venus In Fur with Nina Arianda and Wes Bentley, directed by Walter Bobbie; Shakespeare's The Tempest with Mandy Patinkin, directed by Brian Kulick; Chekhov's Uncle Vanya with Denis O'Hare, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard, directed by Austin Pendleton; Anne Carson's An Oresteia (International PENN Award for Poetry); Chekhov's The Seagull with Dianne Wiest and Alan Cumming; David Ives' New Jerusalem with Richard Easton, directed by Walter Bobbie; Hamlet, Richard II, Richard III with Michael Cumpsty (Obie Award as Hamlet), directed by Brian Kulick; and Yasmina Reza's A Spanish Play with Zoe Caldwell, directed by John Turturro.

CSC presents plays from the past that speak directly to the issues of today. As we return to works of the past, we endeavor to keep a clear eye on the future, particularly in terms of the next generation of artists and audiences. Founded in 1967, CSC has received wide recognition for its significant contributions to theatre as an art form through productions of classic plays, translations and adaptations and a long-standing commitment to the identification and nurturing of leading and emerging artists. Classic Stage's artists are the finest established and emerging theater practitioners working in this country. Highly respected and widely regarded as a major force in New York and American theatre, Classic Stage has been cited repeatedly by all the major Off-Broadway theater awards: Obies, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Drama League and the 1999 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Body of Work. For more information on Classic Stage Company visit the theatre's website at www.classicstage.org.

For further information on Classic Stage Company, call (212) 352-3101, visit the theatre in person at 136 East 13th Street, or go to www.classicstage.org.

Photo Credit: Walter McBride/WM Photos

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