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Musical SENSE AND SENSIBILITY, LIZARD BOY, and More Announced for Theatreworks 51st Season

Theatreworks 51st mainstage season has been postponed to October 2021, with eight plays to be presented through August 2022.

Musical SENSE AND SENSIBILITY, LIZARD BOY, and More Announced for Theatreworks 51st Season

TheatreWorks Silicon Valley has postponed the opening of its 51st mainstage season to October 2021, with eight plays to be presented through August 2022.

The season launches in fall 2021 with new indie folk-rock musical Lizard Boy, running October 6-31, 2021. A cast of three actors plays myriad musical instruments from cello to ukulele to kazoo to tell this fresh comic book-infused tale of identity, acceptance, and saving the world.

The musical follows the title character, sweet and insecure Trevor, as he embarks on a first date turned stunning mythological journey. Lizard Boy was commissioned by Seattle Repertory Theatre, where it debuted in 2015 to sold-out houses and swept the Seattle's awards season. It has continued to develop through productions at San Diego's Diversionary Theatre, staged readings at Playwrights Horizons, and was a recent favorite at the 2020 National Alliance for Musical Theatre Festival.

Featuring book, music, and lyrics by Justin Huertas and direction by Brandon Ivie, Huertas stars as Trevor with original cast members Kirsten "Kiki" deLohr Helland and William A. Williams.

TheatreWorks will present the regional premiere of the musical Sense and Sensibility from March 2-27, 2022. This sensational work features book, music, and lyrics by Paul Gordon, whose musicals include the World Premiere Pride and Prejudice, which broke TheatreWorks box office records in 2019, was streamed by 160,000 viewers in 14 countries worldwide on its April 2020 virtual debut, and is now available to watch on Amazon Prime Video. Gordon also penned TheatreWorks favorites Jane Austen's EMMA and Daddy Long Legs, and the Tony-nominated Broadway musical Jane Eyre.

Based on the Jane Austen novel, Sense and Sensibility follows sisters Elinor and Marianne Dashwood through their change in fortune after their father's untimely death and ensuing romantic trials, events that test and affirm the bonds of sisterhood. While Elinor is prudent in matters of life and love, not revealing her heart's true desire, Marianne is wildly impulsive, falling head-over-heels for a dashing but unscrupulous suitor.

The season continues with Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner August Wilson's Gem of the Ocean (April 5 - May 1, 2022). This seminal classic will be directed by Artistic Director Tim Bond, a close friend of the late playwright and a leading interpreter of his work, who makes his TheatreWorks directorial debut with this play.

The ninth work written in Wilson's acclaimed American Century Cycle exploring the African American experience of the 20th Century, Gem of the Ocean is set in 1904 in the Pittsburgh Hill District against the tempestuous backdrop of police violence and rioting. This lyrical epic takes place in the home of 285-year-old Aunt Ester, the community's spiritual advisor and keeper of collective memory. Visited by a young Black man who wishes to atone for his sins and seek redemption, Aunt Ester takes him on a supernatural voyage aboard a slave ship called the Gem of the Ocean toward a mythical City of Bones, where he learns the truth of his ancestors' history.

TheatreWorks will then present Queen (dates in May 2022 and location to be announced). Written by San Jose-born emerging playwright Madhuri Shekar, whose House of Joy dazzled Bay Area audiences, this high-stakes environmental drama follows female PhD candidates Sanam from India and Ariel from the United States, who are on the brink of publishing groundbreaking research about the rapid global honeybee demise.

When Sanam discovers that their numbers don't quite add up, she grapples with a moral dilemma: publish the paper and face humiliation if the truth is discovered, or stand by her scientific principles, ceding ground to an ecological disaster and jeopardizing her career and friendship. An Edgerton Foundation New Play Award Winner, Queen received its World Premiere at Chicago's Victory Gardens Theater, where it was nominated for a Joseph Jefferson Award for Best New Play. It will be directed by Jeffrey Lo, who helmed TheatreWorks Silicon Valley's hits The Language Archive and The Santaland Diaries.

The season continues with the return of the hit musical Ragtime (June 1-26, 2022). Featuring a Tony Award-winning book by Pulitzer Prize finalist Terrence McNally (Master Class, Kiss of the Spider Woman, The Rink) and a Tony Award-winning score by Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens (Once on This Island, Anastasia, Seussical The Musical), this musical is based on E. L. Doctorow's best-selling novel.

This sweeping and stirring musical masterpiece paints a portrait of America at the dawn of the twentieth century, interweaving the lives of three families-White American, African American, and Jewish immigrant from Latvia-finding their places and pursuing the American Dream in a rapidly changing world.

TheatreWorks Artistic Associate and Director of New Works Giovanna Sardelli will close the season with the World Premiere of Jessica Dickey's Nan and the Lower Body (July 13 - August 7, 2022), an audience favorite at TheatreWorks's 2019 New Works Festival.

When Pap smear inventor Dr. George Papanicolaou takes on a brilliant new assistant, Nan Day, he senses that she is hiding a secret. As Dr. Pap discovers the truth, he learns that he may hold the key to solving her greatest mystery. This frank and funny play explores the mysteries of the heart and provides a personal perspective to the revolutionary technology that has saved the lives of millions but caused moral dilemmas along the way.

For the 2021 holiday season, TheatreWorks will present It's A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play, December 1 - 26, 2021. This heartwarming holiday production, adapted by Joe Landry from the screenplay by Frances Goodrich, Albert Hackett, Frank Capra, and Jo Swerling, offers the beloved 1946 film as a 1940s era radio play, complete with live foley-style sound effects.

Presented in the style of TheatreWorks favorites The 39 Steps and The Hound of the Baskervilles, five nimble actors take on dozens of roles, immersing audiences in the iconic story of George Bailey as he considers suicide on Christmas Eve, but discovers the enormous impact of his quiet life.

TheatreWorks will ring in 2022 with TheatreWorks favorite Hershey Felder in the hit musical masterpiece Hershey Felder as Monsieur Chopin, January 19 - February 13, 2022, directed by Joel Zwick. Felder returns to the TheatreWorks stage as brilliant Polish composer Fryderyk Chopin, illuminating an exclusive piano lesson with this musical master.

In this stunning solo show, the "Poet of the Piano" tells his romantic story while sharing dazzling performances of his compositions. Hershey Felder as Monsieur Chopin has delighted audiences across the country in critically acclaimed sold-out runs.

Until the fall, TheatreWorks will continue to offer a wide roster of virtual performances, talks, classes, and more, including three World Premieres by Hershey Felder presented via livestream in February, March, and May 2021.

More information and streaming tickets are available at TheatreWorks.org.


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