A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, GOOD PEOPLE, IT ONLY TAKES A MOMENT and More Set for Asolo Rep's 2014-15 Season
On Tuesday, March 18, 2014, Asolo Repertory Theatre announced its 2014-2015 season and the third season of its ambitious five-year American Character Project, an in-depth exploration of the soul of this country's people, past and present. Producing Artistic Director Michael Donald Edwards and FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training Director/Asolo Rep Associate Artistic Director Rep Greg Leaming presented both season line-ups to more than 350 patrons in Asolo Rep's Mertz Theatre.
With eight main stage productions, the 2014-15 Asolo Rep season schedule will follow the same successful format as the 13-14 season, with four plays in rotating rep book-ended by a fall and spring musical. Rodgers and Hammerstein's timeless musical South Pacific will open the season and run through the holidays. Asolo Rep's never-before-seen production will be directed by Rob Ruggiero, director of Asolo Rep's 2013 smash hit, Show Boat. The Pulitzer Prize Winner for Drama and multi-Tony Award winner features some of the most unforgettable music of all time, including "Bali Ha'i," "Some Enchanted Evening," and "There is Nothin' Like a Dame."
Asolo Rep will launch its rep season in January with Thornton Wilder's beloved comedy The Matchmaker, which was adapted into the hit musical Hello, Dolly! The season will continue with David Lindsay-Abaire's 2011 Tony Award nominee for best play, Good People, a humor-filled drama set in an impoverished neighborhood in South Boston. The fourth play of the season will be Maxwell Anderson's Pulitzer Prize-winning political satire Both Your Houses, directed by Tony Award-winner Frank Galati.
The 2014-15 season will continue to thrill audiences in March with W. Somerset Maugham's provocative Downton Abbey-esque play about beautiful, young American women immersing themselves in London society, Our Betters, directed by Michael Donald Edwards. In April, Asolo Rep will celebrate the momentous music of living legend Jerry Herman (Hello, Dolly!, Mame, La Cage aux Folles) in the world premiere of It Only Takes a Moment, an all-new, fully staged revue of his heartwarming songs. The season will also feature a play in the Historic Asolo Theater, title to be announced. The summer musical will also be announced at a later date.
"Next season we will crack open and re-explore some of the most iconic pieces of American theatre, but we are also thrilled to introduce our patrons to exciting contemporary pieces. From a brand new musical revue of the great Jerry Herman's songs to a reimagined production of the enchantingly exquisite South Pacific, we are immensely excited for the 2014-15 season and the third season of our American Character Project," said Michael Donald Edwards, Producing Artistic Director of Asolo Rep.
In October and November 2014, Asolo Rep and the FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training will once again present the New Stages Tour, which features third-year Conservatory students. The New Stages Tour brings condensed, new adaptations of classic literature to schools and community venues throughout the state of Florida. This season's production will be Shakespeare's magical romantic comedy, A Midsummer Night's Dream. The 2014-15 season will also feature Asolo Rep's sixth annual Unplugged new play festival in the spring.
Season subscriptions for the 2014-15 season are on sale now and available by visiting the Asolo Rep Box Office, located in the lobby of the theatre, 5555 N. Tamiami Trail in Sarasota, by calling 941.351.8000 or 800.361.8388 or online at www.asolorep.org. Single tickets will go on sale in September 2014.
14-15 Asolo Repertory Theatre Season:
A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM
By William Shakespeare
Adapted by Lauryn E. Sasso
October and November 2014
Presented by Asolo Rep and the FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training, the New Stages Tour, which features a cast of third-year Conservatory students, brings exciting 45-minute adaptations of classic literature to schools and community venues throughout the state of Florida. One of the most beloved comedies in Shakespeare's canon, A Midsummer Night's Dream is Shakespeare's hilarious collision of young runaway lovers, amateur actors, and fairy magic.
Music by Richard Rodgers
Book by Oscar Hammerstein II and Joshua Logan
Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
Directed by Rob Ruggiero
November 14 - December 28
Previews November 11, 12, 13
From the hauntingly beautiful first three notes of "Bali Ha'i" to the exquisite "Some Enchanted Evening," this Rodgers and Hammerstein classic contains some of the most glorious music ever written. The winner of 10 Tony Awards and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, South Pacific tells the sweeping romantic story of two couples - US Navy nurse Nellie Forbush and French plantation owner Emile de Becque, and Navy Airman Joe Cable and young local girl Liat - and how their happiness is threatened by the realities of war and their own prejudices. Helmed by the same director as Show Boat, we're ecstatic to bring you the grandeur and intimacy of South Pacific in a fresh new production featuring all-new orchestrations arranged especially for Asolo Rep.
By Thornton Wilder
Directed by Peter Amster
January 9 - April 11
Previews January 6, 7, 8
With his eye firmly fixed on the bottom line, wealthy hat merchant Horace Vendergelder can't see the value of love, even as he searches for a wife. But he gets more than he bargains for when he employs the services of matchmaker Mrs. Dolly Levi. Mistaken identities, near misses and a wild romp through 19th Century New York City flow through this madcap comic adventure like vintage champagne. The uproarious comedy that inspired the Broadway musical, Hello, Dolly!, Thornton Wilder's The Matchmaker proves that sometimes money can buy happiness.
By David Lindsay-Abaire
Directed by Greg Leaming
January 16 - February 26
Previews January 14 & 15
Welcome to Southie, a Boston neighborhood where this month's paycheck barely covers last month's bills, bingo is a night on the town, and sharp-tongued single-mom Margie Walsh has just been let go from yet another job. Faced with the reality that her neighborhood is providing her with the same opportunities it always has - none - Margie concocts a plan to solve all her financial problems - and it might just be crazy enough to work. This humor-filled, Tony-nominated hit from Pulitzer Prize-winner David Lindsay-Abaire takes a look at the "haves" and the "have-nots" as it questions the American dream and how to achieve it - hard work, skill, or luck?
BOTH YOUR HOUSES
By Maxwell Anderson
Directed by Frank Galati
January 23 - April 12
Previews January 21 & 22
Imagine a divided Congress. Imagine lawmakers more interested in lining their own pockets than serving the national interest. Imagine an idealistic young Congressman determined to expose the corruption by introducing a bill so stuffed with pork it is sure to oink itself to death. Will his fight cost him the support of his peers, his constituents, and the woman he loves - who just happens to be the daughter of the Appropriations Committee chairman? A comic masterpiece that could have been pulled straight from today's headlines, this marvelous political satire is as relevant today as when it won the Pulitzer Prize in 1933. Colorful characters, sharp wit and glorious wisecracks reminiscent of 1930s screwball comedies add to the fun and fury.
By W. Somerset Maugham
Directed by Michael Donald Edwards
March 13-April 18
Previews March 11 & 12
If this play were a personal ad, it might read: Rich American women seeking financially strapped British men with titles. A hot topic (i.e. Downton Abbey) on both sides of the pond when this delightfully cheeky play was written in 1915, the exchange of a "milady" for a large financial sum was all the rage. Bessie Saunders, 22, pretty and the heiress to several million dollars, has come from America to stay with her sister Pearl, aka Lady Grayston. Pearl's friends include a cougar Duchess, a widowed Princess and two fellows both besotted with Bessie. But once Bessie witnesses the scandalous habits of this less-than-virtuous society, the emotional cost of social climbing is revealed in this sexy, stylish and wildly witty look at Europe's posh set and the Americans who crashed the party.
IT ONLY TAKES A MOMENT
Featuring the Music of Jerry Herman
Directed by Gordon Greenberg
Previews April 28, 29, 30
His music and lyrics have kept audiences tapping their feet, humming along, and wiping their eyes with tears of joy for generations. The creator of Hello, Dolly!, Mame, La Cage aux Folles and so much more, Jerry Herman almost single-handedly personifies the all-American tradition of unstoppable show tunes and the Golden Age of Broadway. His music is unabashedly uplifting and his title tunes are the melodies that stay with you for life. A resident of Miami, Jerry Herman has graciously granted Asolo Rep permission to produce the first-ever production of a new, fully staged revue of his vast canon of songs. Join us when some of Broadway's finest talents converge in Sarasota next spring to celebrate a living legend.
ADDITIONAL 2014-2015 PRODUCTIONS:
NEW WORK in the HISTORIC ASOLO THEATER
April 2 - 26
Previews March 31 & April 1
In the spirit of Red, Venus in Fur and 4000 Miles, Asolo Rep will present an exciting new production in the Historic Asolo Theater next spring. Please stay tuned for details.
May 30 - June 21
Preview May 29
To be announced soon: a fabulous musical presented by some of the top artists in the country today.
14-15 FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training Season:
THE WATER ENGINE
By David Mamet
Directed by Greg Leaming
NOVEMBER 5 - 23; PREVIEW NOVEMBER 4
Against the background of the Century of Progress Chicago World's Fair in 1934, an industrious inventor creates an engine that runs on water, and finds himself the victim of nightmarish persecution by mysterious figures from the oil industry. A dark drama by one of this century's most important and thrilling playwrights.
AS YOU LIKE IT
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Jonathan Epstein
DECEMBER 31 - JANUARY 18; PREVIEW DECEMBER 30
Shakespeare's most beloved and charming comedy. In the forest of Arden, two cousins find refuge from the dangers of city life, and discover true passion, love and freedom, as a well as a group of unforgettable characters! This brilliant comedy will be performed by the entire company of second-year Conservatory students.
TITLE OF SHOW
Music and lyrics by Jeff Bowen
Book by Hunter Bell
Directed by Amanda Friou
FEBRUARY 18 - MARCH 8; PREVIEW FEBRUARY 17
A musical sensation both off and on Broadway, where it won three Obie Awards and a Tony nomination for best book. This hilarious and often bittersweet play focuses on two struggling young artists and their two friends who race to write a successful piece in just three weeks, resulting in the very musical the audience is seeing!
THE CHERRY ORCHARD
By Anton Chekhov
Directed by Andrei Malaev-Babel
APRIL 8 - 26; PREVIEW APRIL 7
Chekhov's brilliant portrait of a society poised on the verge of the 20th century. The gorgeous and charming Madame Ranevskaya along with her entire family and retinue return to their family home in order to save it from being auctioned off, and over the course of a long weekend, find themselves incapable of saving their estate from falling into the hands of a young and ambitious son of a former serf. A very funny and very moving look at a country slowly and inexorably moving into the modern age.