AVENUE Q, HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH, et al. Set for Balagan Theatre 2012-13 Season
Balagan Theatre has announced their 2012-2013 season, which includes Avenue Q, winner of the Tony® Award "Triple Crown"; Hedwig and the Angry Inch, featuring rising musical theatre star Jerick Hoffer (also known as drag cabaret chanteuse Jinkx Monsoon); August: Osage County, recipient of the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Drama; and a musical to be announced at the Season Preview Party, Saturday, June 23, at 8 p.m.
The Season Preview Party will feature music performances, staged readings, and the announcement of the third musical. Cocktail hour begins at 8 p.m. with performances from 9-10 p.m. and a catered after-party. Subscriptions and ticket packages will be available for purchase. The event is free, but reservations are strongly recommended. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
With all the well-established artistic holiday fare in Seattle, Balagan Theatre is going against the grain this holiday season with the regional premiere of Avenue Q, winner of the Tony® Award "Triple Crown" for Best Musical, Best Score and Best Book. Avenue Q is a laugh-out-loud musical that uses Sesame Street®-style puppets and human actors to tell the coming-of-age parable of Princeton, a recent college grad who moves into a shabby New York City apartment and meets a host of colorful types who help him discover his purpose in life, including Kate (the girl next door), Rod (the Republican), Trekkie (the internet "sexpert"), and more.
Avenue Q is produced by the same creative team that brought Seattle the critically acclaimed and incredibly successful musicals Dr. Horrible's Sing-a-long Blog (2010) and Spring Awakening (2012): Eric Ankrim (Director), Jake Groshong (Executive Director), and Shawn Belyea (Artistic Director).
"We are so excited to bring back Eric Ankrim to the place he calls his 'directing home,'" says Groshong. "Eric is one of the biggest names in musical theatre in Seattle; and, after his previous directing successes with Balagan, we know he'll bring in some incredible talent to present a fantastic piece… again!" Avenue Q is presented in arrangement with Music Theatre International.
Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Jerick Hoffer will star in Balagan's production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, a musical about a fictional rock-and-roll band fronted by an East German transgender singer. While Hoffer has built a strong acting resume in Seattle – Red Ranger Came Calling (Book-it Repertory), Spring Awakening (Balagan), RENT (5th Avenue) – he is also one of the city's best-known drag queens, Jinkx Monsoon, host of the weekly celebrity impersonation show "An Evening at Le Faux" at Julia's on Broadway.
With music and lyrics by Stephen Trask and book by John Cameron Mitchell, Hedwig draws on Mitchell's life as the gay son of a U.S. Army Major General stationed in occupied West Berlin. The music is steeped in the androgynous 1970s glam rock era of David Bowie and influenced by John Lennon and early punk godfathers Lou Reed and Iggy Pop. The original production won a 1998 Village Voice Obie Award and Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off-Broadway Musical. Hedwig is presented in arrangement with Dramatist's Play Service.
Musical #3 (Title TBA)
Balagan Theatre will partner with the Gregory Award-nominated musical theatre company Contemporary Classics (Zanna, Don't!, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, New Voices) to co-produce the regional premiere of another Broadway musical to be announced at the Season Preview Party on June 23.
This production will be directed by one of Seattle's hottest young directors, Contemporary Classics Artistic Director Brandon Ivie, whose Broadway credits include Catch Me If You Can (dramaturg/script consultant) and next to normal (assistant to Brian Yorkey and Tom Kitt). Ivie was the 2010 Gregory Award recipient for Person to Watch; and he recently directed the Footlight Award-winning Cinderella at The 5th Avenue Theatre, where he spent four seasons as casting associate and artistic projects manager.
August: Osage County
Balagan's season will conclude with another regional premiere: August: Osage County, the darkly comedic Pulitzer Prize-winning drama by Tracy Letts. The play premiered at Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago, enjoyed a successful Broadway run and national tour, and earned numerous awards, including the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Tony® Award for Best Play, and Drama Desk Award for Best New Play.
In 2009, Entertainment Weekly put August: Osage County on its end-of-the-decade, best-of list, saying, "Tracy Letts' 2007 drama of Southern-fried familial dysfunction went by in one lightning-fast jolt of pure theatrical electricity." The play centers on the Weston family, who all return to their home in rural Oklahoma to resolve the mysterious disappearance of their patriarch and confront the drug-addled diatribes of their matriarch.
Balagan's production will be directed by Artistic Director Shawn Belyea, also known throughout Seattle as Executive Producer of 14/48: The World's Quickest Theater Festival and founder of Theatre Anonymous. August: Osage County is presented in agreement with Dramatist's Play Service.