Barrington Stage Company Adds 'Streetcar' and 'Carousel' to Lineup

Barrington Stage Company, under the artistic leadership of Julianne Boyd, is proud to announce two American classics on the roster for Barrington Stage's 2009 Mainstage season.

Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel, chosen "Best Musical of the Twentieth Century" by Time Magazine, will open BSC's 15th Anniversary season on June 17 and run through July 11, 2009. Directed by BSC's Artistic Director Julianne Boyd, Carousel reunites her with choreographer Joshua Bergasse and musical director Darren R. Cohen. This same creative team helmed the theatre's sold-out production of West Side Story in 2007.

Adapted from Ferenc Molnar's Liliom, Carousel tells the bittersweet love story between the carnival barker roustabout Billy Bigelow and the naïve mill worker Julie Jordan. The glorious score includes "June is Bustin' Out All Over," "If I Loved You" and "You'll Never Walk Alone." Richard Rodgers wrote in his autobiography, "Oscar never wrote more moving lyrics and to me, my score is more satisfying than anything I have ever written."

After long and distinguished careers with other collaborators, Richard Rodgers (1902-1979) and Oscar Hammerstein (1895-1960) joined forces to create one of the most successful partnerships in American musical theatre history. Oklahoma! (1943) was their first collaboration and it changed the way musicals were written with a completely integrated book, music and dance sequences. Carousel, written in 1945, was their second collaboration, followed by South Pacific, The King and I, The Sound of Music and more than more than thirty-five other shows and film scores.

A Streetcar Named Desire, Tennessee Williams' explosive, sexually charged drama will play on the Mainstage from August 6 through August 23, 2009. A Streetcar Named Desire, considered by many to be Williams' greatest play, opened on Broadway in December 1947, played for 855 performances, and won the 1948 Pulitzer Prize and the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award. Jessica Tandy won a Tony for Best Actress for her portrayal of Blanche DuBois, the faded southern belle driven to moral and mental deterioration. It also skyrocketed Marlon Brando to fame as the brutish working class Stanley Kowalski. A Streetcar Named Desire was made into a film in 1951, earning Academy Awards for Vivien Leigh, Karl Malden and Kim Hunter in addition to 8 nominations.

Thomas Lanier Williams (1911-1983), one of the greatest and most prolific American playwrights, was born in Columbus Mississippi, moved to St. Louis, Missouri as a child and later to New Orleans in 1939. He acquired the nickname of "Tennessee" in college, in honor of his Southern accent and his father's home state. Williams had a traumatic childhood and young adulthood. His father was a heavy drinker and abusive to his family; his mother was a genteel soul, the daughter of a clergyman, and prone to hysterical attacks. Williams grew into a shy, withdrawn young man, given to bouts of depression. After several years working menial jobs, including three years in a shoe factory in St. Louis, he moved to New York City. In 1944 he wrote his first major play The Glass Menagerie, which catapulTed Williams to fame. A Streetcar Named Desire, written in 1947, cemented his reputation as one of the premier new theatrical voices in American theatre. His relationship with Frank Merlo from 1947 to Merlo's death in 1961 gave stability to his life; it was during this period that Williams wrote his greatest plays, including Summer and Smoke, The Rose Tattoo, Cat On a Hot Tin Roof, Sweet Bird of Youth and The Night of the Iguana.

BSC's second Mainstage production, which will run from July 16 through August 1, and its Stage 2 season, including the celebrated Musical Theatre Lab, under the artistic mentorship of William Finn, will be announced in early 2009.

Flex Pass Subscriptions can be purchased at 2008 prices through December 31. For Flex Passes and Group Sales, please call (413) 236-8888. Single tickets will go on sale in March 2009.


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