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RAGTIME, HARVEY and More Set for ZACH's Premiere Season in New Topfer Theatre, 2012

RAGTIME, HARVEY and More Set for ZACH's Premiere Season in New Topfer Theatre, 2012

The most exciting moment in ZACH's Theatre's history will happen this fall with the opening of the new Topfer Theatre. The once-in-a-lifetime first season will include a world premiere, an American musical with a full orchestra for the first time at ZACH, a beloved classic made new, an international concert guest star, and the biggest, snowiest holiday favorite of all time, all taking full advantage of the technological capabilities of the extraordinary new theatre.

"I'm thrilled to bring Austin so many firsts, filled with unforgettable moments, in our first spectacular season in the Topfer Theatre," says Producing Artistic Director Dave Steakley. "From Ragtime-the largest and most extraordinary musical ZACH has ever produced, to the world premiere of a new play written especially for us by Steven Dietz, the most-produced playwright in America and an Austinite; from the dazzling holiday favorite White Christmas brimming with effervescent Irving Berlin hits, to a riveting drama starring Anton Nel, one of the greatest concert pianists in the world; and from a brand new Broadway-bound musical to a fresh revisioning of the beloved classic comedy Harvey, starring Martin Burke, the funniest man in Austin. For an artist like myself with a 20-plus year commitment to this city, it's a dream come true. There will be so many delicious moments for all of us who love this city to savor and inspire and celebrate!"

The spectacular lineup of productions will feature Austin's finest professional actors, musicians, designers and technicians, and extraordinary guests artists from around the county.



Book by Terrence McNally, Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, and Music by Stephen Flaherty • Based on the novel by E. L. Doctorow.

Directed by Dave Steakley, Musical Direction by Allen Robertson

October 17-November 18, 2012

ZACH welcomes in a new era with the grand opening of the Topfer Theatre, and no production is better suited to showcase the deep and inspired talents of our full company and new performance space than the uplifting Tony-winning musical RAGTIME. Over 40 of Austin's finest actors, supported by a glorious orchestra, tell the story of how we forged a nation that all people could call home. Bold anthems, Harlem ragtime, and delicate waltzes lift our aspirations for all that we can and will be. RAGTIME will set a new standard for musicals in our city, so intimate and immediate, that our discerning patrons will rejoice at the power of the experience.


Based upon the Paramount Pictures film written for the screen by Norman Krasna, Norman Panama and Melvin Frank • Music and Lyrics by Irving Berlin Book by David Ives and Paul Blake.

December 5-December 30, 2012

What do Austinites dream of every December but never experience? A WHITE CHRISTMAS, of course, and this holiday your dreams come true when the beloved movie musical turns ZACH into a winter wonderland. In this delightful new stage adaptation former Army buddies turned famous song and dance men find love with two singing sisters in a snowy Vermont Inn, singing Irving Berlin classics like "Happy Holidays", "Count Your Blessings", "Blue Skies" and "I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm." A must-see on your family's holiday wish list!


By Moises Kaufman

Directed by Dave Steakley

January 23-February 17, 2013

In a major coup for ZACH, Anton Nel, one of the world's greatest concert pianists, brings Beethoven's Diabelli Variations to brilliant life in this regional premiere. A mother, music scholar Katherine Brandt, is coming to terms with her daughter. Beethoven is coming to terms with his genius. And even though separated by 200 years, these two people share an obsession that makes time stand still in this extraordinary Broadway play about passion, ferocious tenacity and moments of beauty that transform our lives.


Written and Directed by Steven Dietz (Becky's New Car, Shooting Star)

Co-Commissioned by the UT Department of Theatre and Dance

April 3-April 28, 2013

Steven Dietz, the most-produced playwright in America who also calls Austin home, is creating this World Premiere specifically for ZACH's first season in the Topfer. In the late 40's and early 50's, Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassady famously went "on the road." But what about Danny Fergus and Rich Rayburn -- the young guys in the car right behind Jack and Neal, the guys whose history never ended up in books? What were these kids searching for in those "mad days" of "gone kids" trying so hard to be hip? With live jazz and exuberant theatricality, this valentine to American wanderlust chronicles our rich and elusive dreams.


By Mary Chase

Directed by Dave Steakley

May 15 – June 16, 2013

In this Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy "Austin's favorite actor" (Austin Chronicle), Martin Burke stars as Elwood P. Dowd, a happy-go-lucky chap with a kind word for everyone he meets, especially his invisible best friend, a six-foot tall rabbit named "Harvey." When Elwood's social-climbing sister decides to have him committed, this delightful play embarks on a madcap discovery that is by turns hilarious and endearing. Maybe our dreams are more important than we ever imagined.


Created, Written and Directed by Randy Johnson

Janis Joplin, the greatest female rocker of all-time, comes home to the Armadillo when she returns to ZACH in this brand new Broadway bound, psychadelic concert. Janis' amazing talent is showcased alongside her greatest musical influences, from Bessie Smith and Ella Fitzgerald to Etta James and Aretha Franklin - all brought to life by a kick-ass, soul-struttin' diva known as The Blues Singer. Janis' greatest hits are performed with the timeless classics of these African American pioneers who inspired her ascent to superstardom. An all star Austin band brings you back to the Summer of Love, and Janis takes a little piece of your heart in one of the greatest theatrical concert plays ever conceived.



By Jay Presson Allen

Directed by Larry Randolph

January 9 – March 10, 2013

Greater Tuna star Jaston Williams inhabits Truman Capote in a virtuoso performance of the charming, acerbic, fragile and enigmatic writer. In this one-man tour de force, Williams' astonishing portrayal of the In Cold Blood and Breakfast at Tiffany's author is by turns hilarious, vulnerable and confessional. The audience becomes confidants to Tru's trademark wit and honesty. Packed houses, standing ovations and waves of laughter characterized this show in its initial run 12 years ago when it became the hottest ticket in town. This production promises to be even more fun!


By David Sedaris • Adapted for the stage by Joe Mantello

Directed by Dave Steakley

November 23 – December 23, 2012

Austin's favorite irreverent elf returns in the 15th edition of Sedaris' hysterical tale elfin' woe. Enjoy his the real-life story of Sedaris' tour of duty as the elf Crumpet, and what it takes to juggle tots and tottering Santas during a painfully festive time of the year. A laugh 'til you cry evening of merrily subversive entertainment to delight adult audiences!


(Theatre for Youth production)

Adapted from the book MARGARET WISE BROWN and CLEMENT HURD • Book, music, and lyrics by Chad Henry

January 31 - March 22, 2013

Step into the Great Green Room as one of the most iconic children's books of all time is brought to life. In this lively musical, Bunny's room magically comes alive with stunning puppetry, tap dancing bears, and even a trip through the night sky with a constellation light show. For ages 3 and up.

Plays on ZACH's Kleberg Stage


ZACH Theatre is Austin's leading professional producing theatre. Founded in 1933, ZACH is the longest running theatre company in Texas, serving more than 170,000 adults and youth annually. ZACH creates its own nationally recognized dramatic, musical and comedic productions that elevate, motivate and stimulate the human spirit under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director Dave Steakley and Managing Director Elisbeth Challener. Now in its 78th season, ZACH continues to expand and engage with Austin, adding a third theatre to its Central Austin performance campus. The 420-seat, 32,000-square-foot Topfer Theatre will nearly double ZACH's capacity while retaining its hallmark intimate theatre-going experience upon its completion in the fall of 2012 following a $22 million campaign. Visit www.zachtheatre.org for more information.

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