KISS ME KATE, BREAKING THE CODE & More Set for Barrington Stage's 20th Anniversary Season
At a press conference held at Barrington Stage Company's Boyd-Quinson Mainstage, Artistic Director Julianne Boyd announced the theater's 20th Anniversary 2014 season of musicals and plays that will take place in downtown Pittsfield in the Boyd-Quinson Mainstage, St. Germain Stage and Youth Theatre venues in 2014.
Barrington Stage Company's Associate Artists Joshua Bergasse, Darren R. Cohen, Mark H. Dold, William Finn, Christopher Innvar, Renee Lutz, and Mark St. Germain all return to be part of the theater's 20th Anniversary Season.
"We want to continue to challenge ourselves and our audiences," said Artistic Director Julianne Boyd in a statement. "The overwhelmingly positive response to productions as diverse as On the Town, The Chosen and Southern Comfort last season shows all of us at BSC that our audiences are willing to respond to a wide range of programming, and we want to build on that for our 20th season. Shows such as Kiss Me, Kate, Breaking the Code, and the world premieres of Dancing Lessons and The Golem of Havana are a strong indication that we will continue to entertain, to enlighten, and to challenge ourselves and our audiences."
BOYD-QUINSON MAINSTAGE SEASON:
Another Openin', Another Show...
Performances for the previously announced Boyd-Quinson Mainstage production season opener Kiss Me, Kate will be from June 11 through July 12. The press opening is Sunday, June 15 at 5pm. Kiss Me, Kate features music and lyrics by Cole Porter and book by Sam and Bella Spewack.
BSC Associate Artists Joshua Bergasse, Darren R. Cohen and Renee Lutz return following last summer's hit On the Town. Bergasse (Emmy winner for SMASH) will choreograph, with Cohen as musical director/conductor and Lutz returns for her 20th season as production stage manager. A director will be announced soon.
Taking its inspiration from Shakespeare, Kiss Me, Kate recounts the backstage and onstage antics of two feuding couples during a touring production ofThe Taming of the Shrew. Sparkling with 18 classic Cole Porter songs, Kiss Me, Kate includes "Another Op'nin', Another Show," "So in Love," "Always True to You in My Fashion," "Too Darn Hot," and "Brush Up Your Shakespeare".
Cole Porter's most successful musical, the original production of Kiss Me, Kate opened on Broadway at the New Century Theatre on December 30, 1948 and ran for 1,077 performances. Starring AlfrEd Drake and Patricia Morrison, Kiss Me, Kate was the first musical to win the Tony Award for Best Musical. M-M-MGM's 1953 movie version, filmed in 3-D, starred Kathryn Grayson, Howard Keel and Ann Miller. The production received its first Broadway revival in 1999 - starring Brian Stokes Mitchell and Marin Mazzie - winning five Tony Awards including Best Musical Revival.
Kiss Me, Kate has a Berkshires connection to composer/lyricist Cole Porter, who in 1940 purchased "Buxton Hill" with his wife Linda in Williamstown.
Kiss Me, Kate is sponsored in part by Cranwell Resort, Spa & Golf Club.
The Man Who Knew Too Much
Breaking the Code, Hugh Whitemore's biographical drama about the true story of WWII mathematician Alan Turing, stars BSC Associate Artist Mark H. Dold, directed by Joe Calarco (Signature Theatre's Gypsy; A Christmas Carol). Performances of Breaking the Code are from July 17 through August 2, with a press opening on Sunday, July 20 at 5pm.
Breaking the Code is the life story of the famed mathematician and computer science pioneer Alan Turing, the primary designer of the Turing Machine, an early computer used to solve the German Enigma code during World War II, a solution many believe was instrumental in the Allied victory. The title refers to both the solution of the Enigma code and Turing's open admission to his homosexuality, which at the time violated not only the codes of polite society but British law.
Breaking the Code starred Derek Jacobi on stage and screen in the role of Alan Turing. Following a London run in 1986, the play had its NY premiere November 15, 1987 at Broadway's Neil Simon Theatre.
On December 23, 2013, Turing was given a posthumous royal pardon by Queen Elizabeth II, addressing his 1952 conviction for gross indecency following which he was given female hormones to suppress his sexual desires. He had been arrested after having an affair with a 19-year-old Manchester man. The conviction meant he lost his security clearance and had to stop the code-cracking work that had proved vital to the Allies in World War II. The pardon was granted under the Royal Prerogative of Mercy after a request by Justice Minister Chris Grayling.
Breaking the Code is sponsored by Rhoda Herrick.
World Premiere Romantic Comedy by Mark St. Germain to Star John Cariani
Barrington Stage will present Mark St. Germain's world premiere comedy, Dancing Lessons, directed by Artistic Director Julianne Boyd, with performances from August 7-24 and a press opening on Wednesday, August 13 at 7pm.
Dancing Lessons stars John Cariani, who made his BSC debut as 'Dogberry' in last summer's Much Ado About Nothing. Cariani is also the playwright of the popular play Almost, Maine and is currently starring in the play's Off-Broadway revival.
Dancing Lessons centers on a young man with high-functioning autism (Asperger's syndrome) as he tries to navigate a relationship with a Broadway dancer, now sidelined with injuries.
Dancing Lessons marks the ninth play by Associate Artist Mark St. Germain that BSC will produce, and the eighth world premiere of his work. Barrington Stage presented a staged reading of Dancing Lessons in September 2013 and will present a Second Staged reading in North Adams at MCLA March 8.
Dancing Lessons was commissioned through the generosity of Judith Goldsmith and is part of BSC's New Works Initiative. Dancing Lessons is sponsored by Sydelle & Lee Blatt and Judith Goldsmith.
Barrington Stage recently received a $10,000 Art Works Grant by the National Endowment for the Arts
(NEA) in support of BSC's world premiere, Dancing Lessons by Mark St. Germain.
During the run of Dancing Lessons, BSC will engage audiences through special discussions on Asperger's and Autism Spectrum conducted in partnership with community organizations such as the College Internship Program, whose main office is in Pittsfield, MA.
Arthur Miller returns to Barrington Stage
The Truth can be Toxic
Artistic Director Julianne Boyd takes on her third Arthur Miller play at Barrington Stage - The Crucible in 2010 and All My Sons in 2012 were acclaimed by critics and audiences alike. An Enemy of the People will run on the Boyd-Quinson Mainstage from October 2-19 with a press opening on Sunday, October 5 at 3pm.
Adapted by master playwright Arthur Miller from Henrik Ibsen's groundbreaking 1882 play, An Enemy of the People is a scathing indictment of a corrupt society and follows the story of one man's brave struggle to do the right thing in the face of extreme social intolerance. This powerful drama explores the impact of polluted waters in a small town and the consequences to one man of uncovering the truth. Arthur Miller wrote his adaptation of Henrik Ibsen's classic play in response to the political climate fostered by McCarthyism in 1950 and is still relevant today.
St. Germain STAGE SEASON:
Even Brilliant Minds Change
Barrington Stage opens the 2014 St. Germain Stage season with the Berkshire premiere of Sharr White's The Other Place, directed by BSC Associate Artist Christopher Innvar. The Other Place will be presented from May 21 - June 14 at the St. Germain Stage, with a press opening on Sunday, May 25 at 3pm.
In The Other Place, Juliana Smithton is a successful neurologist whose life seems to be coming unhinged. Her husband has filed for divorce, her daughter has eloped with a much older man, and her own health is in jeopardy. But in this brilliantly crafted work, nothing is as it seems. Piece by piece, a mystery unfolds as fact blurs with fiction, past collides with present, and the elusive truth about Juliana boils to the surface.
White's The Other Place received its world premiere Off-Broadway with MCC Theatre, featuring Laurie Metcalf (Lucille Lortel and Obie Awards) and directed by Joe Mantello (Lucille Lortel nom.). The Other Place subsequently received its Broadway premiere at Manhattan Theatre Club with Joe Mantello again directing Laurie Metcalf (Tony nom.).
Director Christopher Innvar recently performed in Sharr White's new play The Snow Geese at Manhattan Theatre Club opposite Mary Louise Parker.
The Other Place is sponsored by The Claudia and Steven Perles Family Foundation.
A New England Premiere
Barrington Stage will present from June 18 to July 6 (with a press opening Sunday, June 22 at 3pm) a daring theatrical experience that takes Ettore Scola's Academy Award nominated 1977 Italian film A Special Day and recreates the love story between a mysterious man and an overworked housewife in the heyday of Italian fascism. Presented by Barrington Stage, Working on A Special Day is a production of The Play Company and Mexico City-based Por Piedad Teatro, and features Ana Graham and Antonio Vega, who also direct.
Based on "Una Giornata Particolare" by Ettore Scola, Ruggero Maccari and adapted by Gigliola Fantoni; Translated by Danya Taymor, Ana Graham and Antonio Vega.
Working on A Special Day is a new play about a life-changing encounter between an overworked housewife and a mysterious bachelor on May 8, 1938 - the day Rome celebrates Hitler's visit to Mussolini's Italy. A bittersweet drama unfolds within the charged political landscape of rising fascism in Rome.
Working on A Special Day was presented Off-Broadway at 59E59 Theaters in January/February 2013 with Ana Graham and Antonio Vega. The Flea Theater presented the U.S. debut of Working on A Special Day in January/February 2012.
From the Musical Theatre Lab...10th World Premiere Musical and William Finn to revisit musical
Barrington Stage Company's Musical Theatre Lab, under the leadership of William Finn, Artistic Producer, and Julianne Boyd, Artistic Director, kicks off its ninth season with its 10th world premiere musical, The Golem of Havana from July 17 through August 9 (press opening: Wednesday, July 23 at 7:30pm). The Golem of Havana features music by Salomon Lerner, lyrics by Len Schiff, with book and direction by Michel Hausmann.
The Golem of Havana tells the story of a Hungarian-Jewish family living in Batista's Havana on the brink of the Cuban Revolution. When their maid's son, a guerrilla fighter, is injured, they must choose between protecting him and guarding their fragile prosperity since immigrating to Cuba after World War II. The Golem of Havana weaves together the music and traditions of two worlds, asking questions about family, community, religion, and politics.
William Finn to Revisit Musical
Tony winners William Finn and Rachel Sheinkin (who penned the award-winning The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee which was developed, workshopped and premiered at Barrington Stage) plan to revisit Finn's 1989 musical Romance in Hard Times, with a new book by Sheinkin. The workshop production will be presented from August 14-31 at the St. Germain Stage, directed by Joe Calarco.
Romance in Hard Times is set in a soup kitchen in the Depression. A pregnant woman refuses to give birth until she sees more hope in the world. Former socialites, unemployed actors, capitalists down on their luck, and Eleanor Roosevelt try to get through the Depression with some dignity intact. William Finn revisits his celebrated score, and along with his Spelling Bee collaborator, Rachel Sheinkin, reimagines the book for new hard times.
Following two readings and a fully stage production at Playwrights Horizons under the title America Kicks Up Its Heels, the retitled Romance in Hard Times went onto life at The Public Theater, first as part of Joseph Papp's "musical laboratories" presented in June 1989. A full production, directed by David Warren and musical direction by Ted Sperling, received a run at The Public Theater's Newman Theater space from November-December 1989. The cast included Alix Korey, Cleavant Derricks, and Lillias White, who won an Obie Award for her performance.
BSC YOUTH THEATRE PRODUCTION
You Can't Stop the Beat!
Barrington Stage Company's Youth Theatre summer 2014 production will be the Tony Award-winning musical Hairspray JR., to be presented July 23 through August 10 at Berkshire Museum (39 South Street) in Pittsfield, MA. Christine O'Grady returns to direct and choreograph, along with music director Sarah Brett England.
Hairspray JR., based on the John Waters film and Tony Award-winning stage musical of the same name, features the popular songs "You Can't Stop the Beat" and "Good Morning Baltimore." Filled with energetic dance numbers and unique characters, Hairspray JR. is a show that celebrates diversity and will bring audiences to their feet with its positive message and off-beat sense of humor.
CELEBRATING 20 SEASONS PARTY
Save the Date - July 7, 2014 for a 20 Seasons Anniversary Celebration. A VIP cocktail party will be followed by a once-in-a-lifetime concert featuring songs from some of BSC's most successful musical theatre productions. Guests will enjoy dinner & dancing under the tent outside the theatre. BSC's 20 Seasons Celebration is sponsored by Esta and Kenneth Freidman.
All shows, casting and schedule subject to change. A full season of Mr. Finn's Cabaret, staged readings, concerts, and other exciting 2014 events will be announced soon.
2014 Season Passes Now on Sale
For the 2014 Season, Barrington Stage is introducing an 8-Show Combo Pass - see the entire 8-show season for the price of just 6 shows - a savings of up to 31% or more off the 2014 single ticket prices. The 8-Show Combo passes include front orchestra section A seating at all three summer plus the fall Boyd-Quinson Mainstage productions (Kiss Me, Kate; Breaking the Code, Dancing Lessons, An Enemy of the People), plus tickets to all four St. Germain Stage productions (The Other Place, Working on A Special Day; The Golem of Havana, Romance in Hard Times).
Flexible 7-Show Combo passes, Mainstage passes, and St. Germain Stage passes are also available and start at just $60. Patrons who order a 2014 pass will get access to the best seats beginning February 17, 2014, and the $5 per pass handling fee will be waived.
Single tickets will go on sale Monday, March 3, 2014 at 10am. Reservations for groups of 15 or more are now being taken and may be arranged by contacting Janie LaBrasca in Group Sales at 413-997-6118. For information on shows, passes and tickets call 413-236-8888 or visit www.barringtonstageco.org.