BWW Previews: Louisville Theatre Warms Up With January Productions
New Year? Not in the theatre world. An advance in the calendar only marks the halfway point for most Louisville theatre seasons. Many local companies are just getting heated up for the remainder of their 2013-2014 schedules.
Here's a look at a couple of productions raising the curtain on 2014.
Broadway Across America Brings "Sister Act" to The Kentucky Center
With a trend in recent seasons of booking plays adapted from other media ("Wicked," "Rock of Ages," "Ghost: The Musical") and New York smash hits ("The Book of Mormon"), PNC's Broadway Across America has been successfully bringing audiences of all ages to the theatre.
The trend continues with "Sister Act," the stage musical adaptation of the 1992 hit film starring Whoopi Goldberg. The story of a wannabe star who witnesses a crime and must hide out in a convent only to discover her voice and help the sisters find theirs features music by eight-time Oscar winner Alan Menken. You may know his work from "Beauty and the Beast," "The Little Mermaid" and "Little Shop of Horrors."
"Sister Act" plays Jan. 7-12 at The Kentucky Center for the Arts. For tickets, call 800.294.1849 or go to louisville.broadway.com/shows/sister-act-baa/.
Find Sex Again at Vault1031
The new year isn't just a time for tried and true favorites. Local rehearsal and performance space Vault1031 in Old Louisville will host the premiere production of "Sex Again," a new play from Louisville native Heidi Saunders.
In this comedy for the mature set, a wife confronts her husband after decades of marriage with an ultimatum: they need to start making love again. But when the romance novels she is addicted to take on a life of their own, their marriage is tested as never before. "Sex Again" is directed by Louisville-based comedIan Keith McGill, who is making quite a name for himself on the national standup circuit.
"Sex Again" plays at Vault1031, 1031 S. Sixth St., Jan. 10-11 and 16-18 at 7:30 p.m. and Jan. 12 at 2:30 p.m. Admission is $20 cash at the door. Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling 502.267.6915 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll learn more about "Sex Again" and the process of writing and producing a new work next week in this column.
The Hypocrites Bring "The Pirates of Penzance" While Waters Helms "Our Town" At Actors Theatre
Between old favorites and all-new, there is room for re-imagining classics. Actors Theatre has that on the schedule as it presents Gilbert and Sullivan's classic comic opera "The Pirates of Penzance," reinterpreted by Chicago theatre "rebels" The Hypocrites.
"Penzance" tells the tale of Frederic, a young man released from an apprenticeship on his 21st birthday to a band of pirates. He swiftly falls in love with the aforementioned Major-General's daughter, but complications arise when he discovers he was born on February 29. When you only have a birthday every leap year, a commitment until your 21st becomes quite complicated.
On top of Gilbert and Sullivan's own fancifulness comes the efforts of The Hypocrites, a theatrical troupe from Chicago who will take on the massive musical accompanied by guitars, banjos, kiddie pools and beach balls. Even if you know "Penzance," it's sure to be a night of comedy unlike anything you've seen before.
Later in January, Actors Theatre presents an absolute classic of American theatre, Thornton Wilder's "Our Town" directed by Obie Award winner and Actors Theatre Artistic Director Les Waters. The charming and affirming tale of life in Grovers Corners continues Actors' season-long celebration of theatre and community.
"The Pirates of Penzance" runs Jan. 7-Feb. 4 and "Our Town" runs Jan. 23-Feb. 9 at Actors Theatre, 321 W. Main St. For tickets and complete performance schedules, call 502.584.1205 or go to www.actorstheatre.org.
Pandora Productions Presents "This Is My Heart For You"
Another Kentucky playwright is brought to the Louisville stage as Pandora Productions presents Silas House's "This Is My Heart For You."
House, a Laurel County native and author, crafted a stage drama that faces complex topics such as racism, homophobia and discrimination in the Appalachian region. The play received its world premiere at Berea College in February 2012. Its Louisville premiere is presented by Pandora Productions, a local Production Company dedicated to producing works that speak to issues facing the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning community.