SWEENEY TODD, PETER AND THE STARCATCHER & More Set for TheatreWorks' 45th Season


SWEENEY TODD, PETER AND THE STARCATCHER & More Set for TheatreWorks' 45th Season

An audience of theatre enthusiasts waited in anticipation at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts tonight, when Founding Artistic Director Robert Kelley and Managing Director Phil Santora of TheatreWorks, the nationally acclaimed theatre of Silicon Valley, unveiled the thrilling line-up for its 2014-2015 season. Opening with a groundbreaking World Premiere developed at last season's New Works Festival, the line-up will also give Bay Area audiences their first look at the 2012 Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, the West Coast premiere of the newest work by Rajiv Joseph (The North Pool), a chilling Sondheim revival, a rollicking bluegrass musical, and an elegant Noël Coward confection. Also announced is the company's holiday production, a five-time Tony Award-winning recent Broadway hit.

TheatreWorks' 45th season will boast the West Coast Premiere of THE LAKE EFFECT, the newest play from Pulitzer Prize nominee Rajiv Joseph (The North Pool, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo). This razor-sharp family drama received the 2013 Joseph Jefferson Award for Best New Play for its world premiere in Chicago last year.

The season launches in July 2014 with the favorite of last season's New Works Festival, THE GREAT PRETENDER, David West Read's tale of a cherished children's TV host and the lives behind the painted sets and colored lights of the small screen. A touching comedy about friendship, love, and learning to let go, the World Premiere of THE GREAT PRETENDER will kick off the 2014 New Works Festival, at which leading playwrights and composers from across the country present new works to audiences who can participate in discussions, view works-in-progress, and attend book-in-hand readings and sing-throughs of new musicals.

Another season highlight is the Regional Premiere of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize-winning drama WATER BY THE SPOONFUL by Quiara Alegría Hudes (In the Heights). In this captivating tale, the real world and virtual world are woven together in a chat room for troubled souls, where a sensitive webmaster offers support and moderation while her offline relationships crumble.

The company will also regale audiences with works from two masters. The demon barber of Fleet Street returns to TheatreWorks in Stephen Sondheim's chilling and hilarious SWEENEY TODD, just in time for a Halloween production. Noël Coward's effervescent comedy FALLEN ANGELS will close the 45th season. In this sparkling and witty 1920s hit, two friends learn that a past lover is back in town and eager for a reunion. With their husbands out of the house and plenty of champagne to calm their nerves, commiseration turns into suspicion and competition, with hilarious results.

Music takes center stage in 2015 with the virtuosic coming-of-age play 2 PIANOS 4 HANDS by Canadian playwrights and pianists Ted Dykstra and Richard Greenblatt. Skipping from Bach to Beethoven, Scott Joplin to Jerry Lee Lewis, this riotous tale tracks two young musicians from childhood to maturity as they strive for concert pianist stardom, facing hours of practice, stage fright, the agony of competitions, and the dream of greatness. Also featured is the Regional Premiere of FIRE ON THE MOUNTAIN, a foot-stomping bluegrass musical from the creators of It Ain't Nothin' But the Blues. Told through projected images, live music, and a cast of singer/actors, the mining families of Appalachia come to life in this passionate revue.

For the 2014 holidays, TheatreWorks announces the five-time Tony winner PETER AND THE STARCATCHER. A madcap, whimsical romp through Neverland, this Broadway hit, called "enthralling" by The New York Times, is a swashbuckling adventure that has been embraced by both the young and the young at heart.

Five productions will be mounted at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts and three will be staged at Palo Alto's Lucie Stern Theatre. In chronological order, the TheatreWorks 2014-2015 season is as follows:

A Bittersweet Comedy
The Great Pretender

By David West Read
World Premiere

The passing of his cherished wife and fellow puppeteer consumes a children's TV host in this
comic tale of friendship, love, and letting go. A runaway hit last summer during TheatreWorks' 2013 New Works Festival, The Great Pretender channels the unforgettable shows of the small screen, going behind the painted sets and colored lights to discover that people, as well
as puppets, sometimes need a helping hand.
July 9 - August 3, 2014 (Press opening July 12)
Lucie Stern Theatre, Palo Alto

A Groundbreaking Drama
Water by the Spoonful
By Quiara Alegría Hudes

2012 Pulitzer Prize for Drama
Regional Premiere

In this healing, Pulitzer Prize-winning drama from the Tony Award-winning playwright
of In the Heights, strangers share secrets in a chat room for troubled souls - a safe haven for
lives in recovery. A sensitive webmaster moderates this community, but offline her
relationships crumble. As living and virtual worlds weave together, the true meaning of
family becomes apparent, proving that no one is above reproach - or beyond redemption.
August 20 - September 14, 2014 (Press opening August 23)
Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts

A Musical Masterpiece
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Book by Hugh Wheeler
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim

Based on an adaptation by Christopher Bond
Winner of eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical

Sondheim's soaring, heart-pounding musical masterpiece tells the tale of a
19th century barber seeking justice from the corrupt London judge who exiled him.
Partnered with delicious pie shop proprietress Mrs. Lovett, Sweeney exacts a
fearsome revenge as Mrs. Lovett concocts an alarming new recipe.
October 8 - November 2, 2014 (Press opening October 11)
Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts

A Music-filled Holiday Adventure
Peter and the Starcatcher
Book by Rick Elice
Based on the novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson

Music by Wayne Barker
Winner of five Tony Awards

A hilarious romp thorough Neverland, this Tony Award-winning prequel to Peter Pan has inspired audiences' imaginations to take flight since its Broadway premiere in 2012. In a madcap, music-filled adventure, a joyful troupe of actors brings dozens of memorable characters to swashbuckling life, creating a whimsical, endlessly inventive celebration of the boy who never grew up, and the girl he'll never forget.
December 3 - 28, 2014 (press opening December 6)
Lucie Stern Theatre, Palo Alto

A Virtuosic Comedy
2 Pianos 4 Hands
By Ted Dykstra and Richard Greenblatt

In a comic coming-of-age journey featuring music from Bach and Beethoven to Joplin and Jerry Lee Lewis, two endearing piano students reach the edge of genius only to fall an octave short of stardom. With two grand pianos, two grand actors, and a delightful gallery of pushy parents and eccentric teachers, this acclaimed international hit captures the agony and ecstasy of anyone who's ever struggled to be the best.
January 14 - February 8, 2015 (press opening Jan 17)
Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts

A Bold New Drama
The Lake Effect

By Rajiv Joseph
Joseph Jefferson Award, Chicago - Best New Play 2013
West Coast Premiere

In the newest drama from acclaimed playwright Rajiv Joseph (The North Pool, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo), pungent memories of tandoors and tikka masala linger in a shuttered Indian restaurant, where the owner's grown-up children ponder the legacy of their family business, their father's mysterious bookie, and their suddenly entangled lives. Winner of the Joseph Jefferson Award for Best New Play, The Lake Effect offers a spicy menu of family secrets, sibling rivalry, and surprising reconciliation.
March 4 - 29, 2015 (press opening March 7)
Lucie Stern Theatre, Palo Alto

A Passionate Bluegrass Musical
Fire on the Mountain

By Randal Myler and Dan Wheetman
Regional Premiere

From the creators of It Ain't Nothin' But the Blues comes a poignant, passionate musical revue about the lives of mining families in the heart of Appalachia. Alternately exuberant and melancholy, joyous and gripping, this musical tribute to the working families of America's heartland receives its regional premiere at TheatreWorks. Told in the unique rhythms of Appalachian bluegrass, this is a foot-stomping celebration of the culture, hardships, and heroics of life on the Blue Ridge.
April 1 - 26, 2015 (press opening April 4)
Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts

An Effervescent Comedy Classic
Fallen Angels
By Noël Coward

TheatreWorks closes its season with the sparkling Noël Coward gem Fallen Angels. In this champagne cocktail of elegant wit, effervescent charm, and endless laughter, fabulous friends Jane and Julia learn that the dashing French flame they shared years ago is back in town and eager for a reunion. With their husbands on holiday and plenty of bubbly to banish reserve, conspiracy gives way to competition in this scandalous 1920s hit.
June 3 - 28, 2015 (press opening June 6)
Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts

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