GOLDEN AGE, HUMOR ABUSE & More Set For PTC 2009-2010 Mainstage Season
Philadelphia Theatre Company announces its 2009-2010 mainstage season, highlighted by a world premiere by Terrence McNally, a Tony Award-winning musical and a pre-Broadway production. Expanding to a five-play series, the season features the world premiere of Terrence McNally's Golden Age, the six-time Tony Award-winning Broadway musical The Light in the Piazza by Craig Lucas and Adam Guettel, Lorenzo Pisoni's multi-award winner Humor Abuse, August Wilson's first major play Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, the dark comedy thriller Mauritius by Theresa Rebeck, and a special summer comedy revue, City of Nutterly Love: Funny as Bell!, co-produced with Chicago's The Second City.
"I am very excited about our new season which is bursting at the seams with new plays, exciting partnerships, gorgeous music, high comedy and writing of the highest order," said Producing Artistic Director Sara Garonzik.
"One of our objectives in building our own theater space was to be able to expand our season options. This upcoming season, our theater will be continuously busy, beginning this summer with our partnership with The Second City and continuing year-long with five mainstage productions," said Managing Director Diane Claussen.
Expect hot fun in the summertime when PTC collaborates with legendary The Second City comedy theatre to create City of Nutterly Love: Funny as Bell!, a world premiere revue running July 8 through July 26, 2009. The improv troupe's lauded wit, irreverence and audience interaction will be showcased in a hilarious spoof of all things "Philadelphia." Birthplace of comedy superstars Steve Carell, Bill Murray, Mike Myers and Tina Fey, the Chicago-based masters of sketch and improv comedy will partner with Philadelphia's funniest actors in a show reflecting Philadelphia in all its diversity, complexity and hilarity. The revue will feature Philadelphia-centric sketch comedy, songs, and improvisation.
The fall kicks off on September 25 - October 25 with Humor Abuse, written and performed by Lorenzo Pisoni. Coming to Philadelphia following a sold-out run at Manhattan Theatre Club, Humor Abuse swept awards season, winning the four 2009 awards for Best Solo Show - OBIE, Drama Desk Award, Lucille Lortel Award and Outer Critics Circle Award. Based on his vagabond life as the youngest member of his father's famed Pickle Family Circus from San Franciso, Humor Abuse is one man's funny and candid exploration of the father/son relationship and the hopes, dreams, and disappointments that lurk behind that red rubber nose. Pisoni, through extraordinary clowning and riveting storytelling, reveals that running away with the circus isn't always fun and games.
The holiday season will be filled with the sound of music as PTC presents the hit Broadway musical The Light in the Piazza with book by Craig Lucas and music and lyrics by Adam Guettel on November 13 - December 13. Directed by Joe Calarco, this six-time Tony Award-winner combines the romance of Italy with a passionate love story. Margaret Johnson, a woman escaping her crumbling marriage, is traveling in Tuscany with her daughter Clara. When a handsome young Florentine captures Clara's heart, Margaret must decide if she'll risk revealing truths that could threaten her daughter's happiness.
The new year rings in a new play with the world premiere of Terrence McNally's Golden Age directed by Austin Pendleton on January 22 - February 21. Exploring the exquisite and passionate world of opera, Golden Age is set backstage at the 1835 Paris premiere of Vincenzo Bellini's final opera, I Puritani. PTC has partnered with McNally for the world premieres of Master Class, Some Men and this season's Unusual Acts of Devotion. Following its run in Philadelphia, the PTC production will move to the Kennedy Center as part of its "Terrence McNally's Nights at the Opera" Festival. Golden Age is supported by a $50,000 development grant from the Kennedy Center's Fund for New American Plays.
Theresa Rebeck's dark comedy thriller, Mauritius, comes to PTC on March 19 - April 18. Acclaimed theatre, TV, and film writer, Theresa Rebeck has crafted a caper filled with scams, con-artists and double-crosses, as two half-sisters vie for the rights to a recently inheriTed Stamp collection that may include the crown jewel of the stamp-collecting world. Mauritius is a gripping blend of sharp comedy and heart-pounding drama that simmers with surprise.
The season concludes on May 21 - June 20 with Ma Rainey's Black Bottom by August Wilson, winner of the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play. Set in a 1920s Chicago recording studio where real-life blues legend Ma Rainey and her band have assembled along with Rainey's white agent and producer, Ma Rainey explores the historic exploitation of black recording artists, delving deeply into the heart of racism. The production features the return of Barrymore Award winner E. Faye Butler (PTC's Dinah Was) in the title role. Ma Rainey's Black Bottom is produced in association with CENTERSTAGE in Baltimore.
PTC continues to augment the theater experience with a series of lifestyle-based audience add-on events during the run of each show including: Meet the Artists, an in-depth, behind-the-scenes discussion following each play; Wine Tasting night with opportunities to sample top wines selected by noted sommelier, Luca Mazzotti; NightOUT, a LGBTQ-friendly pre-show reception; and NEXT, for The Young Patrons of PTC between the ages of 26 and 40 with a passion for theater.
Subscriptions for the 2009-2010 Season are currently available starting at only $165 for a five-play series by calling Philadelphia Theatre Company at 215-985-0420 or 866-985-0420, or visiting online at PhiladelphiaTheatreCompany.org. For patrons looking to choose their own series, special Flex subscriptions are also available beginning at $175.
Philadelphia Theatre Company is Philadelphia's only not-for-profit professional theater dedicated exclusively to producing world and regional premieres of works by contemporary American Playwrights. Sara Garonzik has been the company's Producing Artistic Director since 1982, and in October 2007, Diane Claussen became its Managing Director. Philadelphia Theatre Company continues to experience ever-increasing national impact, having produced 34 world premieres of new American plays and musicals in its 33 seasons. Recent world premiere productions include: Unusual Acts of Devotion by Terrence McNally (currently in rehearsal at La Jolla Playhouse); The Happiness Lecture by Bill Irwin; Nerds://A Musical Software Satire by Jordan Allen-Dutton, Erik Weiner, and HAl Goldberg; Some Men by Terrence McNally (later produced at the Second Stage); Adrift in Macao, a musical by Christopher Durang and Peter Melnick (produced at Primary Stages); Bruce Graham's According to Goldman; Jeffrey Hatcher's A Picasso (later produced at Manhattan Theatre Club); Daniel Stern's comedy Barbra's Wedding (moved to the Westside Arts Theatre in 2003); John Henry Redwood's No Niggers, No Jews, No Dogs (later produced at Primary Stages); J.T. Rogers' White People; David Ives' Lives of the Saints; three-time Tony Award-winning Master Class by Terrence McNally, starring Zoe Caldwell; Bunny Bunny by Alan Zweibel (Lucille Lortel Award, 1997); and the American premiere of Birdy by Naomi Wallace, among others.
Philadelphia Theatre Company has received numerous "Best Theater Company" citations from media sources such as the Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Magazine, Philadelphia Weekly, Philadelphia Style Magazine, and Philadelphia City Paper. Since 1995, Philadelphia Theatre Company has received 134 nominations and 36 awards from Philadelphia's Barrymore Awards.
PTC is in its second season in its new home, the Suzanne Roberts Theatre, designed by the award-winning firm of KieranTimberlake Associates LLP. This new state-of-the-art venue on Philadelphia's famed Avenue of the Arts was built as the result of an innovative partnership with Philadelphia developer Carl Dranoff. The project promotes the city's leading arts district both regionally and nationally and represents a model for civic development that capitalizes on the ability of the arts to reinvigorate urban districts for residential and commercial revival.