La Jolla Playhouse Announces 2020 Season, Including WHAT THE CONSTITUTION MEANS TO ME, LEMPICKA and More

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La Jolla Playhouse Announces 2020 Season, Including WHAT THE CONSTITUTION MEANS TO ME, LEMPICKA and More

La Jolla Playhouse just announced four of six productions for its 2020/2021 season, including the world premieres of Bhangin' It, book by Mike Lew (Tiger Style!) and Rehana Lew Mirza (DNA New Work Series' Child of Colonialism), music and lyrics by Sam Willmott, directed by Amy Anders Corcoran, co-produced with McCarter Theatre Center; and Mother Russia, by UC San Diego MFA alumna Lauren Yee (Cambodian Rock Band), directed by Tyne Rafaeli (The Coast Starlight); along with What the Constitution Means to Me, the acclaimed work by Pulitzer Prize finalist Heidi Schreck, directed by Oliver Butler; and the previously-announced, Broadway-bound musical Lempicka, book and lyrics by Carson Kreitzer, music by Matt Gould, directed by 2019 Tony Award winner Rachel Chavkin (Broadway's Hadestown).

The season will also include a new show directed by Christopher Ashley, the Rich Family Artistic Director of La Jolla Playhouse, and a sixth production to be announced shortly. Tickets for the Playhouse's 2020/2021 season are currently available only by subscription at or by calling (858) 550-1010.

"I couldn't be more proud of this exceptional season, featuring two vibrant new musicals and a pair of plays by two of the most decorated playwrights working today," said Ashley. "Bhangin' It explores the competitive world of intercollegiate Bhangra dance in a charming and infectious musical comedy, while Lempicka is a riveting new piece about one of the 20th century's most compelling artists. We're also delighted to welcome back UC San Diego graduate Lauren Yee with her latest work, a comedy about dealing with new-found freedoms in 1990s Russia, and to share with audiences Heidi Schreck's celebrated Broadway hit - a deeply personal and incredibly moving play about the defining document of our country."

About the 2020/2021 Season

Bhangin' It

Book by Mike Lew and Rehana Lew Mirza

Music and Lyrics by Sam Willmott

Directed by Amy Anders Corcoran

Co-Production with McCarter Theatre Center

Winner of the 2019 Richard Rodgers Award, Bhangin' It is an exhilarating new musical set in the high stakes world of intercollegiate competitive Bhangra: a traditional Punjabi folk dance morphed into a good ol' American dance-off. Mary, a biracial college student, thinks she's got all the right moves on the Bengal Tigers Bhangra team - but to teammate Preeti, she is just not "Indian enough." When Mary is abruptly booted off the Tigers, she and her roommate Sunita put together a team whose only criteria for joining is a desire to dance. With Nationals coming up, can Mary whip this eclectic, ragtag group into shape to take on the competition? Brash, intoxicating and joyous, Bhangin' It is a celebration of the traditions we inherit from yesterday and those we create for tomorrow.

Mother Russia

By Lauren Yee

Directed by Tyne Rafaeli

Welcome to St. Petersburg in the 1990s - the Berlin Wall has fallen, the Soviet Union has dissolved and opportunity abounds. But barely-competent government surveillance workers Euvgeny and Dmitri find themselves lost in their strange new world of glasnost, perestroika and McDonald's. When they're assigned to track Katya, a fallen pop-star with international allure, a love triangle, mistaken identities and some really shoddy espionage tactics are set in motion. It's possible they might just make it out of this mess and find happiness - if only they could make a decision. A world-premiere comedy about the curse of freedom and having to choose between the Filet-o-Fish and the Big Mac.

What the Constitution Means to Me

By Heidi Schreck

Directed by Oliver Butler

Direct from Broadway, the 2019 Tony-nominated Best Play and Pulitzer Prize finalist What the Constitution Means to Me, by famed writer Heidi Schreck, arrives at La Jolla Playhouse for a strictly limited engagement. This boundary-breaking play breathes new life into our Constitution and imagines how it will shape the next generation of Americans. Fifteen-year-olda??Heidi earned her college tuition by winning Constitutional debate competitions across the United States. In this hilarious, hopeful and achingly-human new play, she resurrects her teenage self in order to trace the profound relationship between four generations of women and the founding document that shaped their lives. Schreck's timely and galvanizing play, directed bya??Oliver Butler, became a sensation off-Broadway last fall before transferring to Broadway, where it received two Tony Awarda??nominations among countless other accolades. See the playa??The New York Timesa??hails as "not just the best play on Broadway, but also the most important."


Book and Lyrics by Carson Kreitzer

Music by Matt Gould

Directed by Rachel Chavkin

Amid the violence of the Russian Revolution, a young painter named Tamara de Lempicka and her aristocrat husband are forced to abandon their luxurious lifestyle and flee to the dubious safety of Paris. Relying on raw talent and relentless ambition, Tamara claws her way from penniless refugee to in-demand portraitist, earning a place among Parisian high society. Her world is upended once again when she meets Rafaela, a free spirit from the city slums, who introduces Tamara to a new world of decadence and passion. Torn between her new muse and her husband and fighting to leave her mark on an ever-changing world, Tamara must discover the depths of her own strength to survive. Spanning decades of political turmoil and told through a thrilling, pop-infused score, Lempicka boldly explores the contradictions of a world in crisis, a woman ahead of her era, and an artist whose time has finally come. The world premiere of Lempicka was originally produced in July 2018 by the Williamstown Theatre Festival; Mandy Greenfield, Artistic Director.

Photo Credit: Walter McBride / WM Photos

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