World Premiere of REVERBERATION, ETHER DOME, KISS ME KATE and More Set for Hartford Stage's 2014-2015 Season
Hartford Stage will launch its second half-century this fall with a shimmering lineup - equal parts classics and premieres - including a nod to one of Hartford's most influential moments in world history and the awe-inspiring tale of a young girl, who survives the Nazis to become a world-class pianist.
And on the heels of the current Broadway smash A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder and the critically-acclaimed production of Macbeth, Darko Tresnjak puts his own spin on one of Broadway's most dazzling classic musicals, Cole Porter's Kiss Me Kate, and on Shakespeare's masterpiece, Hamlet.
Tresnjak said, "I am as passionate about each one of these projects individually as I am about the range of the upcoming season - from three masterworks to three new works; from pop culture to high art; from provocation to inspiration."
Popular artists returning include former Artistic Director Michael Wilson, whose film version of A Trip to Bountiful debuted on Lifetime TV this month; Matthew Lopez, author of The Whipping Man and next month's East Coast Premiere of Somewhere here at Hartford Stage; and Hershey Felder, creator/performer of George Gershwin Alone.
Announced today by Artistic Director Darko Tresnjak and Managing Director Michael Stotts, the 2014-15 season will kick-off with the East Coast Premiere of Ether Dome by Elizabeth Egloff (The Swan), directed by Wilson (The Orphans' Home Cycle), September 11-October 5, 2014, in a co-production with La Jolla Playhouse and Huntington Theatre Company. This psychological thriller is based on the true story of the discovery of ether as an anesthetic in 1846 by Hartford's own Dr. Horace Wells.
Stotts said, "We open our 51st season with a new play about one of Hartford's most influential personalities, Dr. Horace Wells. Commissioned by Hartford Stage, Ether Dome is about important scientific discoveries made almost two centuries ago that have shaped our world - and our own city. The production coincides with Hartford's Envisionfest, and our intention is that the play will spark a conversation in our community about medical innovations that influence our lives every day."
The season continues with Hamlet by William Shakespeare, directed by Tresnjak (Macbeth, Twelfth Night), October 16-November 9, 2014; the annual production of A Christmas Carol, A Ghost Story of Christmas, adapted by Wilson, directed by Maxwell Williams (Boeing, Boeing, 39 Steps), November 28-December 28, 2014; and Private Lives by Noel Coward, directed by Tresnjak, January 8-February 1, 2015.
Late winter brings the World Premiere of Reverberation by Lopez, directed by Williams, February 19-March 15, 2015, a suspenseful tale of two strangers, who build a friendship born of their mutual loneliness and fear of the outside world, and the East Coast Premiere of The Pianist of Willesden Lane, adapted and directed by Felder, March 26-April 19, 2015. In 'The Pianist,' the young heroine's actual daughter, Mona Golabek, a piano virtuoso herself, tells - and plays - her mother's riveting story of survival.
Finally, Tresnjak brings his two great passions - Shakespeare and musical comedy - together for Kiss Me Kate, music and lyrics by Cole Porter, book by Ella and Samuel Spewack, partly based on The Taming of the Shrew, May 14-June 7, 2015.
The six-show MainStage Season (Ether Dome, Hamlet, Private Lives, Reverberation, The Pianist on Willesden Lane, and Kiss Me Kate) is on sale now, and subscriptions start at $125, a substantial savings over the cost of individual tickets.
Tickets to A Christmas Carol are also on sale but to subscribers only. Single tickets for all shows will go on sale to the general public in July. However, group seats are available now for all shows via www.hartfordstage.org/group-sales or Theresa MacNaughton at (860) 520-7114.
For season updates and information, visit www.hartfordstage.org or call the Box Office at 860-527-5151.
HARTFORD STAGE 2014-15 SEASON:
ETHER DOME (East Coast Premiere)
By Elizabeth Egloff
Directed by Michael Wilson
September 11 - October 5, 2014
A co-production with La Jolla Playhouse and Huntington Theatre Company
Terror, murder, betrayal, and ruthless ambition. When a new treatment promises to eradicate pain, a doctor and his student play out an epic battle between altruism and financial gain. Based on the true story of the discovery of ether as an anesthetic in 1846 by Hartford's own Dr. Horace Wells, Ether Dome is a psychological thriller that explores the pain that afflicts humankind, our attempts to find relief, and the beginning of healthcare as big business.
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Darko Tresnjak
October 16 - November 9, 2014
Following his critically-acclaimed productions of The Tempest, Twelfth Night and Macbeth, Darko Tresnjak takes on Shakespeare's masterpiece, Hamlet. A Danish prince returns home to find his father killed, and his mother marrying the murderer. When his father's ghost rises to demand retribution, Hamlet is put in an impossible situation. In this opulent, Elizabethan staging, Hamlet's tragic tale of revenge gets the full-on, terrifying - and bloody - treatment.
By Noel Coward
Directed by Darko Tresnjak
January 8 - February 1, 2015
Amanda: vivacious, sexy, sophisticated. And Elyot: virile, charming, seductive. The epitome of a 1930's cosmopolitan couple. Until the divorce. Five years later, they are horrified - yet intrigued - to bump into each other while honeymooning in a French hotel with their new spouses. With its stinging barbs and clever wit, Private Lives is Noel Coward's finest and funniest comedy.
REVERBERATION (World Premiere)
By Matthew Lopez
Directed by Maxwell Williams
February 19 - March 15, 2015
>From the author of The Whipping Man and Somewhere. After a personal tragedy, Jonathan has withdrawn from the world, with little social life beyond the men he meets online. When charming, flighty Claire moves into the apartment upstairs, she tries to coax him out of his shell. They forge a tenuous connection, but the past reverberates into the present, threatening what happiness they've found. (Adult themes, language, violence.)
THE PIANIST OF WILLESDEN LANE (East Coast Premiere)
Based on the Book The Children of Willesden Lane by Mona Golabek and Lee Cohen
Adapted and Directed by Hershey Felder
March 26 - April 19, 2015
An expression of hope and the life-affirming power of music, The Pianist of Willesden Lane tells the true story of a young Jewish musician, who was sent from Nazi-ruled Vienna to the relative safety of London during the Blitzkrieg. In this inspirational show, piano virtuoso Mona Golabek performs some of the world's most beautiful music as she shares her own mother's riveting story of survival.
KISS ME KATE
Music and Lyrics by Cole Porter
Book by Bella and Samuel Spewack
Directed by Darko Tresnjak
May 14 - June 7, 2015
A renowned director of Shakespeare and musical comedy, Darko Tresnjak brings his two passions together in this new revival of Kiss Me Kate. Director of our current Broadway smash, A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder, Darko promises a Kiss Me Kate like none before.
Cole Porter's joyful and high-spirited musical comedy follows the backstage antics of a touring company performing The Taming of the Shrew, featuring two feuding couples, a few gun-toting gangsters, and some of the best numbers ever written: "Another Op'nin,' Another Show," "Too Darn Hot," "Wunderbar," "So in Love," and "Brush Up Your Shakespeare."
ABOUT HARTFORD STAGE: Now its 50th Anniversary season, Hartford Stage is one of the nation's leading resident theatres, known internationally for producing classics, provocative new plays and musicals, and neglected works from the past, as well as a distinguished education program that reaches 21,000 students annually. Currently under the leadership of Artistic Director Darko Tresnjak and Managing Director Michael Stotts, Hartford Stage has earned many of the nation's most distinguished awards, including a Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre, the Margo Jones Award for Development of New Works, OBIE awards, two New York Critics Circle Awards, a Dramatists Guild/CBS Award and an Elliot Norton Award, and has produced nationally renowned titles, including the Broadway productions of Enchanted April and Our Country's Good and the Off-Broadway productions of The Orphans' Home Cycle and The Carpetbaggers Children.
The 2012 Hartford Stage production of A Gentlemen's Guide to Love and Murder is now playing to rave reviews on Broadway at the Walter Kerr Theatre (www.agentlemansguidebroadway.com), and the 2013 production of Man in a Case is currently on national tour.
The leading provider of theatre education programs in Connecticut, Hartford Stage's offerings include student matinees, in-school theatre residencies, teen performance opportunities, theatre classes for students (ages 3-18) and adults, afterschool programs and professional development courses.