ART, MURDER FOR TWO and More Coming to Cape Playhouse in 2017
Michael Rader, Artistic Director of The Cape Playhouse, today announced the 2017 summer line-up for the historic Playhouse's 91st season. The six-play schedule will feature three plays and three musicals-including four Playhouse premieres-in a season of Tony, Olivier, and Drama Desk Award-winning shows.
"We are all so very excited about the stellar 2017 season coming to The Playhouse. From side-splitting comedies to exceptional musicals and dramas, the season is packed full of award-winning shows that are regarded as some of the finest pieces of theatre."said Michael Rader, in revealing his first season of Playhouse programming. Mr. Rader's appointment as Artistic Director was announced in July 2016.
Kicking off the 2017 season will be Yasmine Reza's Art, the critically acclaimed comedy, in its Playhouse premiere. Winner of the Tony Award for Best Play, Olivier Award for Best Comedy, and Drama Desk Award for Outstanding New Play, Art focuses on the meaning of art (in the form of a solid white painting) and the meaning of friendship to the man who bought the painting and the two friends who come to see it. Playing June 12-24, 2017, Art has won rave reviews and laughter of audiences around the world.
Second on the roster will be the rollicking and heart-warming comedy brimming with misunderstanding and mischief, The Foreigner . Larry Shue's play demonstrates what can happen when a group of devious characters must deal with a stranger who (they think) knows no English. Winner of two Obie Awards and two Outer Critics Circle Awards as Best New American Play and Best Off-Broadway Production it may be one of the funniest American plays ever written. The Foreigner plays June 27-July 8, 2107.
The first musical of The Playhouse season was hailed by the New York Times as being "Remarkably ingenious!". Six spellers enter; one speller leaves victorious! In The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, an eclectic group of six adolescents, all played by adults, vie for the spelling championship of a lifetime. While candidly disclosing hilarious and touching stories from their home lives, the tweens spell their way through a series of (potentially made-up) words, hoping never to hear the soul-crushing, pout-inducing, life un-affirming "ding" of the bell that signals a spelling mistake. With music and lyrics by William Finn and book by Rachel Sheinkin, and winner of two Tony Awards and three Drama Desk awards including Best Musical, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is one of the funniest musicals ever written. A Playhouse premiere, it plays July 11-22, 2017.
Winner of a staggering six Tony Awards, including Best Play, and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play, John Logan's sizzling drama Red is one of the most intellectually riveting shows to recently hit Broadway. At the pinnacle of his career, famed abstract expressionist painter Mark Rothko struggles with a series of grand-scale paintings for the biggest commission in the history of modern art. He and his new assistant work feverishly in Rothko's New York studio, until his assistant's challenges to Rothko's artistic integrity force the artist to confront his personal demons. A Playhouse premiere, Red plays July 25-August 5, 2017.
Regarded as one of the greatest musicals ever created, Gypsy is the ultimate tale of an ambitious stage mother fighting for her daughters' success... while secretly yearning for her own. Set in America in the 1920s, when vaudeville was dying and burlesque was born, Arthur Laurents' landmark show explores the world of two-bit show business with artful humor, heart, and sophistication. The celebrated score, by Jule Styne and Stephen Sondheim, boasts one glorious hit after another, including: "Let Me Entertain You," "You Gotta Get A Gimmick," and "Everything's Coming Up Roses." Winner of six Tony Awards, four Olivier Awards, and seven Drama Desk Awards, Gypsy plays August 8-19, 2017.
Murder for Two, the perfect comedic blend of music, mayhem, and murder, comes to The Playhouse following a smash-hit off-Broadway run, in its Cape Playhouse and Cape Cod premiere. In this hilarious show, two performers play thirteen roles-not to mention the piano-in a witty and winking homage to old-fashioned murder mysteries. With book and music by Joe Kinosian, book and lyrics by Kellen Blair, this killer musical comedy wraps up the season, playing August 22-September 2, 2017.
Michael Rader brings broad expertise as an arts executive, director, and educator to the position of Artistic Director of The Cape Playhouse. In additional to serving as the Artistic Director he is also currently the Resident Director for the National tour of the Broadway musical, A Christmas Story. Additionally, he has served as Artistic Director for Cirque du Soleil on its international tour of Varekai,.and the Director of Entertainment for the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp. As Artistic Director, Michael Rader brings his artistic vision and leadership to conceive and develop the range and quality of productions for which The Cape Playhouse is known. In addition to the regular, six-play season, he will develop the children's season, and special events. Mr. Rader's other theatrical highlights include productions with Sacramento Music Circus, The Actors Studio, several national tours, The Jerry Lewis Telethon, The Human Race Theatre, The York Theatre Company, The Forestburgh Playhouse, The Huron Playhouse, Joe's Pub, The Dramatist Guild, the Off-Broadway benefit production of William Finn's Elegies: A Song Cycle, You Are Not Alone with Betty Buckley, a reconceived adaptation of The Testament of Mary currently in development in NYC, and the Off-Broadway production of Stalking The Bogeyman (Outer Circle Critics nomination). As a Broadway Liaison with the New York State Department of Education, he consulted on arts integration and curriculum development while assisting in the development of sustainable theater programing within New York City schools.
The non-profit Cape Playhouse was founded in 1927 by Californian Raymond Moore, who spent several summers in Provincetown painting scenery, writing plays, and acting in local theatre. His vision, however, was to have a theatre of his own-a smart, sophisticated summer theatre that would bring Broadway to Cape Cod. He purchased a 19th-century former Unitarian Meeting House for $200, had it moved to 3½ acres of pasture land fronting the Old Kings Highway in Dennis, and converted it into a professional theatre. The Cape Playhouse has been kept true to its original structure-even the original pews still serve as seats. The opening performance on July 4, 1927 was The Guardsman, starring Basil Rathbone. Over the years, many big- name stars from Broadway and the silver screen have acted there, including Bette Davis (who first worked as an usher), Gregory Peck, Gertrude Lawrence, Lana Turner, Ginger Rogers, Humphrey Bogart, Tallulah Bankhead, Helen Hayes, Julie Harris, and Paulette Goddard. It's no wonder the Cape Playhouse is known as "The Birthplace of the Stars." Many young, aspiring performers have spent their summers here. In 1956, a young student was given a small part in The Male Animal, starring Henry Fonda (his daughter, Jane)! Today, most of the stars still come from Broadway, but it seems that almost every well-known star of stage, screen, and TV has walked the stage of the Cape Playhouse.