DEATHTRAP, STRICTLY PLATONIC and More Set for Hedgerow Theatre's 2012-13 Season
Hedgerow Theatre's 89th season offers a range of genres, including mystery, comedy, music, and classics. The mainstage productions are Deathtrap, Ira Levin's comic thriller (August 23 to September 23); The Crucifer of Blood, a Sherlock Holmes mystery by Paul Giovanni (October 4 to November 25); Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, adapted by Nagle Jackson (December 6-24); the Nunsense sequel Meshuggah-Nuns! by Dan Goggins (December 27 to January 27); the world premiere of Strictly Platonic, a comedy by local playwright Larry McKenna (February 7 to March 3); the classic French farce A Flea in Her Ear by Georges Feydeau (March 14 to April 28) and an original adaptation of Jane Austen's masterpiece Pride and Prejudice (May 9 to June 16).
"We're really excited about our season for a variety of reasons," explained Associated Artistic Director Jared Reed, "but there are really two primary ones. First, we're focusing on stories--new and old, spooky and funny, thought-provoking and laugh-out-loud. Second, we're continuing our growth as a resident company, picking projects that excite us and our audience, and stretch us artistically so that we can continue our goal of being a resident company that can play anything well."
Deathtrap, Ira Levin's Tony-nominated play that ran for four years on Broadway, combines fiendishly clever plot twists with an equal mix of suspense and dark humor.. The plot involves Sidney Bruhl, played by Mum Puppettheatre founder Robert Smythe, a once successful playwright who's desperate for a hit after a series of flops. When a student in his a playwriting class comes up with the perfect script, Sidney and his wife devise a scheme to publish it under his name, and he's willing to do just about anything to pull it off.
The crime-solving skills of a young Sherlock Holmes are tested when he learns of The Crucifer of Blood, a blood oath of secrecy sworn by three British soldiers stationed in imperial India in 1857 never to reveal their part in the theft of a maharajah's treasure. In London 30 years later, one of the men disappears after receiving a strange message, and his beautiful daughter hires the master sleuth to investigate. He and his associate, Dr. Watson, uncover a thrilling mystery involving a bizarre deadly curse, greed, deceit, betrayal and murder. Paul Giovanni's Tony Award-winning play is adapted from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's "The Sign of the Four."
The holiday tradition returns in December with the 20th annual presentation of A Christmas Carol, the classic Dickens tale about the transformation of Ebenezer Scrooge from miser to man who honors Christmas in his heart. The adaptation by internationally known playwright Nagle Jackson is true to the original, and the 1840s grist mill theatre is a perfect setting for the story that takes place in the same time period.
Nunsense hits the high seas in Dan Goggins' Meshuggah-Nuns! as the Little Sisters of Hoboken go on a "Faith of All Nations" cruise. The captain enlists their aid when seasickness strikes everyone in the cast of Fiddler on the Roof except the actor playing Tevye. The nuns come to the rescue and join him to put on the show, adding their own hilarious, ecumenical touches to the classic musical in songs like "Contrition," "Say It in Yiddish," and "If I Were a Catholic."
February brings the world premiere of Strictly Platonic, a new comedy of relationships by local actor/playwright/director Larry McKenna (Burt & Me). The main character is Tim Matthews, a thirtysomething ex-jock who's a typical male chauvinist. When the reluctant playboy is blindsided by love, he's forced to reevaluate his idea of the perfect woman.
Georges Feydeau's A Flea in Her Ear is one of the best-known French farces, filled misunderstandings, mistaken identities and madcap chases. The mayhem begins when a beautiful woman named suspects her husband, may be unfaithful because the romance has gone out of their marriage. She and a friend devise a plan to catch him in the act, setting off a chain of hilarious events involving a cast of characters that includes a lusty bachelor, the household cook, the hotel's owner, a maid, and an alcoholic hotel porter--who happens to look exactly like the husband in question.
The theatre marks its 90th birthday with a fast-moving original adaptation of Jane Austen's 1813 classic, Pride and Prejudice, that captures all of the wit and romance in the brilliant comic novelist's masterpiece. The five Bennet sisters have an overzealous matchmaking mother determined to find good husbands for her daughters, especially the two oldest, Jane and Elizabeth. A wealthy new neighbor, Mr. Bingley, and his aristocratic friend, Mr. Darcy, seem like perfect prospects, but there are societal pressures and negative first impressions to be overcome before any lasting relationship can develop.
For reservations or more information on any of the productions, call 610-565-4211, or visit www.hedgerowtheatre.org. Hedgerow Theatre, America's First Repertory Theatre, is at 64 Rose Valley Road, in Rose Valley (near Media).