Barrington Stage Company Announces 2009 15th Anniversary Season
Barrington Stage Company, under the leadership of Julianne Boyd, Artistic Director, and Richard M. Parison, Jr., Producing Director, announce the theatre's 15th Anniversary Season. Opening on the Mainstage will be Rodgers and Hammerstein's musical masterpiece Carousel from June 17 through July 11. BSC will present its first thriller, the Tony Award-winning play Sleuth by Anthony Shaffer, from July 16 through August 1. Tennessee Williams' landmark play A Streetcar Named Desire will conclude the Mainstage summer season from August 6 through 29. The Mainstage fall show will be announced at a later date.On Stage 2, receiving its world premiere is Mark St. Germain's Freud's Last Session from June 10 through 28. Glen Berger's hit Off-Broadway play Underneath the Lintel will play on Stage 2 from July 8 though 26.
BSC's Musical Theatre Lab (MTL), under the direction of Tony Award-winning Composer/Lyricist William Finn, kicks off its fourth season May 23 and 24 with a staged reading of a new musical in development Poolside at the Hotel Bel Air by Janet Allard and Nikos Tsakalakos. The MTL will also feature a production of I'll Be Damned, a new musical by Rob Broadhurst and Brent Black, running from August 13 through August 29.Back for its 4th Edition is the wildly popular Songs by Ridiculously Talented Composers and Lyricists You Probably Don't Know, But Should, hosted by William Finn for three performances on Labor Day weekend - Friday, September 4 and Saturday, September 5 at 8pm and Sunday, September 6 at 3pm.Barrington Stage Company's Youth Theatre will present Disney's High School Musical 2 from July 15 through August 16. Directed and choreographed by Christine O'Grady, who directed BSC's sold out High School Musical in 2007, the musical will be performed at the First Congregational Church, East Street , Pittsfield . "2009 will be a new adventure for all of us in the non-profits. Due to the uncertain financial times, we're consolidating our season and making sure we're being as prudent as possible while offering the most exciting, compelling plays as possible," said Artistic Director Julianne Boyd.BSC MAINSTAGE SEASON
Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel, chosen "Best Musical of the Twentieth Century" by Time Magazine, will open BSC's 15th Anniversary season from June 17 to July 11, 2009 (Press Opening, Sunday, June 21 at 5pm). 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 (composer, 1902-1979) and Oscar Hammerstein II (librettist/lyricist, 1895-1960) joined forces in 1943 to create the most successful partnership in the American musical theatre. Oklahoma!, the first Rodgers & Hammerstein musical, was also the first of a new genre, the musical play, blending Rodgers' sophisticated style of musical comedy with Hammerstein's innovations in operetta. "Oklahoma!" was followed by Carousel in 1945, then Allegro, South Pacific, The King and I, Me and Juliet, Pipe Dream, Flower Drum Song, and The Sound of MusiC. Rodgers & Hammerstein wrote one musical specifically for the big screen, State Fair, and one for television, Cinderella.BSC will celebrate its 15th Anniversary with its Annual Summer Gala, to be held on Saturday, June 27, 2009, featuring a performance of Rodgers' & Hammerstein's Carousel followed by a spectacular party with dinner and dancing. BSC's Board of Directors (Mary Ann Quinson, President) have announced that this year's Gala will honor founding Artistic Director Julianne Boyd.
Anthony Shaffer's Tony Award-winning Sleuth (July 16 - August 1, with a press opening on Sunday, July 19 at 5pm), is a fiendishly clever comedy thriller set in an English country house owned by a famous mystery writer and ingenious gamester. When a young man, who is the wife's lover, arrives for drinks, the two men play a wily cat and mouse game of bluff and double bluff. Suspense reigns supreme in Sleuth, which is perhaps best known for its long, successful Broadway run and the film version which starred Laurence Olivier and Michael Caine. Shaffer said the play was partially inspired by one of his friends, composer/lyricist Stephen Sondheim, whose intense interest in games is mirrored by one of the play's characters.A Streetcar Named Desire, Tennessee Williams' explosive, sexually charged drama, will play on the Mainstage from August 6 - 29, 2009, with a Press Opening Sunday, August 9 at 5pm. A Streetcar Named Desire, considered by many to be Williams' greatest play, opened on Broadway in December 1947 and won the 1948 Pulitzer Prize and the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award.
The story centers around the emotionally fragile Blanche DuBois and her arrival in New Orleans to stay with her sister Stella. She is confronted by Stella's brutish, working class husband Stanley Kowalski. A psychological and sexual showdown ensues, interrupting the delicate balance in Stella and Stanley's marriage and sending Blanche's life out of control. Julianne Boyd will direct.A Streetcar Named Desire, originally starred Marlon Brando, Jessica Tandy, Kim Hunter and Karl Malden. Brooks Atkinson wrote in The New York Times, "Out of poetic imagination and ordinary compassion, he has spun a poignant and luminous story." He went on to call the play "the most imaginative and perceptive play (Williams) has written." A Streetcar Named Desire was made into a film in 1951, earning Academy Awards for Vivien Leigh, Malden and Hunter, in addition to 8 nominations. One of the greatest playwrights in American drama, Tennessee Williams (1911-1983), is best known for such noted classics as The Glass Menagerie, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The Rose Tattoo, Sweet Bird of Youth, The Night of the Iguana, and Suddenly Last Summer.Complete Mainstage casting, designers and directors will be announced in April. BSC Musical Theatre Lab
BSC's acclaimed Musical Theatre Lab will kick off with a staged reading of Poolside at the Hotel Bel Air by Janet Allard and Nikos Tsakalakos on May 23 and 24.Poolside at the Hotel Bel Air tells the story of a pool boy's summer and how it is turned upside down when he's seduced by LA glitz and glam and a sexy older woman. Love and chaos ensue in a rocking new musical about a pool boy's hopes and dreams.Janet Allard is a Fulbright Fellow, holds an MFA in Playwriting from the Yale School of Drama and has attended the NYU Musical Theatre Writing Program as a bookwriter/lyricist. Her work has been seen at The Guthrie Lab, The Kennedy Center, Mixed Blood, Playwrights Horizons, Yale Rep, The Yale Cabaret, NYMF, Joe's Pub, and with P73. Nikos Tsakalakos is a singer-songwriter from New Brunswick , New Jersey . In the summer of ‘07, he inaugurated the late night cabaret series at Barrington Stage Company. Several of his songs were featured in an evening hosted by William Finn at Joe's Pub in New York . He recently graduated with an MFA from the Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. He also worked poolside at the Hotel Bel-Air. I'll Be Damned will run from August 13 through 29 (press opening Sunday, August 20 at 7:30pm). Written by Rob Broadhurst and Brent Black, I'll Be Damned is an original musical that centers on a 19-year-old home-schooled comic book dork named Louis Foster who sells his soul to Satan in exchange for a friend. Rob Broadhurst (Composer, Co-librettist) and Brent Black (Lyricist and Co-librettist) recently graduated form NYU's Tisch's Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program where they took a master class with William Finn."The musical writers we're presenting this year are extraordinary, inventive and always surprising. I am pleased to introduce these new voices, first to Pittsfield and then to the world," said William Finn. Back for its 4th Edition is the wildly popular Songs by Ridiculously Talented Composers and Lyricists You Probably Don't Know, But Should, hosted by William Finn for three performances on Labor Day weekend - Friday, September 4 at 8pm, Saturday, Saturday, September 5 at 8pm and Sunday, September 6 at 3pm.The full slate of Musical Theatre Lab cabarets and readings will be announced in April.BSC STAGE 2
Presented last summer as a staged reading, Mark St. Germain's Freud's Last Session will receive it world premiere from June 10 -28, press opening June 14 at 7:30pm. After escaping the Nazis in Vienna , legendary psychiatrist Dr. Sigmund Freud invites a young, little known professor, C.S. Lewis to his home in London . Lewis expects to be called on the carpet for satirizing Freud in a recent book, but the dying Freud has a much more significant agenda. On the day England entered World War Two, Freud and Lewis clash on the existence of God, love, sex and the meaning of life - only two weeks before Freud chose to take his own. Inspired by Dr. Armand M. Nicolai Jr.'s book "The Question of God", Freud's Last Session is a provocative and moving confrontation between two giants in their quest to discover the truth about each other and themselves. BSC has had a long-standing relationship with playwright Mark St. Germain - whose plays Ears on A Beatle, The God Committee and The Collyer Brothers at Home, played on the Mainstage and Stage 2, the first two having premiered at BSC.One of the most popular Off-Broadway plays from the last decade, Glen Berger's Underneath the Lintel (July 8 - 26, press opening Sunday, July 12 at 7:30pm) is the tale of a Dutch librarian who, upon finding a 113-year overdue book, goes on a search to find the culprit, and winds up on a life-changing quest. One clue builds upon another as this once-staid librarian embarks on a journey that spans the globe - the result of which carries mystical and spiritual implications."All my plays are first inspired by music, and Underneath the Lintel was inspired particularly by certain Klezmer/Yiddish music from the 1920s (and earlier)" says playwright Glen Berger in the play's Afterword. "The 'jaunty melancholy,' the ‘dancing-despite-it-all' quality it contained, the defiance even - a certain ‘finding-joy-despite-all-the-evidence-to-the-contrary' quality in the music - compelled me to try to express it as a play." Underneath the Lintel originally opened in New York in September 2001 and has been described by the Los Angeles Times as "A satisfying mix of intelligent writing and quirky humor" and by Seattle Weekly as "one of a handful of great plays written in the last five years... an astonishingly beautiful piece of writing."BSC YOUTH THEATRE
The East High Wildcats are back in an all-new adventure as Barrington Stage Company's Youth Theatre presents the Berkshire premiere of Disney's High School Musical 2, with performances from July 15 through August 16, at the First Congregational Church, 27 East Street , Pittsfield . Auditions for local youth ages 13-19 will be held in MarchAFFORDABLE THEATRE FOR ALL CONTINUES IN 2009
BSC will once again offer the popular Pay What You Can Performances for each Mainstage and Stage 2 show. Low priced previews continue at $15 and $20 for the first 2 performances on the Mainstage and $15 for Stage 2. For the Mainstage, $35 tickets will also continue for Senior matinees orchestra tickets (a $42 value) and Wednesday, community night (a $48 value), for all Berkshire County , Litchfield and Columbia County residents. New this year: to celebrate our 15th Anniversary, BSC will offer for every Mainstage and Stage 2 performance 15 tickets at $15 each. Tickets can be purchased ahead of time, in person, on the phone or online. There will also be a $15 ticket for youth 21 years and younger (previously youth 13 and younger got in free and youth 14 and older paid ½ price, up to $28) for all performances except Saturday evening. Tickets for the general public, priced from $15-$56, go on sale March 1. Flex Pass subscriptions are currently available for the summer 2009 Mainstage season - with no handling fees through February 27. Groups of 15 or more should contact Monica Bliss at 413 499-5446, x200. For information on shows, Flex Passes and tickets call 413-236-8888.Barrington Stage Company, a professional award-winning Equity theatre, located in the heart of the Berkshires, in Pittsfield , MA , was co-founded in 1995 by artistic director Julianne Boyd. BSC's mission is three-fold: to present top-notch, compelling work; to develop new plays and musicals; and to find fresh, bold ways to bringing new audiences into the theatre. BSC garnered national attention with William Finn and Rachel Sheinkin's Tony Award-winning musical hit "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee," which began as a workshop at BSC in February, 2004, was produced in its world premiere to critical acclaim that summer season, prior to taking New York by storm at Second Stage Theatre and later transferring to Broadway's Circle-in-the-Square Theatre where it has played over 1000 performances. For more information, log on to www.barringtonstageco.org.