Citadel Theatre Announces 2019-20 Season Featuring PETER AND THE STARCATCHER, THE FANTASTICKS and More
Citadel Theatre Company, an Equity-affiliated professional company performing in Lake Forest, IL, has announced its 17th season. The four-show subscription season will open in September with the Tony Award-winning adventure-comedy PETER AND THE STARCATCHER a "pre-quel" to the story of Peter Pan - the boy who, separated from his parents, refuses to grow up and forms a family among a group of lost boys. It will be followed for the holidays by the ever-popular family favorite ANNIE - the story of Little Orphan Annie and her new home with the uber-rich Daddy Warbucks. The season will continue in the new year with THE FANTASTICKS. The world's longest running musical, THE FANTASTICKS tells the story of Matt and Luisa, young next-door neighbors who fall in love precisely because their scheming fathers, knowing the kids will do exactly what they're told NOT to do, have been keeping them apart. The season will conclude with Neil Simon's heartfelt BRIGHTON BEACH MEMOIRS, a semi-autobiographical comedy inspired by Simon's life at age 14 and his loving, but quirky family.
PETER AND THE STARCATCHER, opening on September 20 and running through October 20 is a pre-quel to PETER PAN, written by Rick Elice (author of the Broadway musicals JERSEY BOYS, THE ADDAMS FAMILY and THE CHER SHOW), based on the novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson. On Broadway, It was nominated for nine Tony Awards, winning five. PETER AND THE STARCATCHER is an action-packed and humorous take on the Peter Pan characters in which 13 actors will play more than 100 roles.
PETER AND THE STARCATCHER will be directed by Jeremy Aluma, who recently directed THE ELABORATE ENTRANCE OF CHAD DEITY for Red Theater. The production was remounted at Theater on the Lake, named a Top 10 Show of 2017 by the CHICAGO TRIBUNE, and won a Jeff Award for Best Fight Choreography. Aluma is also the founder of the internationally touring clown troupe, Four Clowns.
ANNIE, which the CHICAGO TRIBUNE once called "one of the best family musicals ever penned," will be Citadel's holiday show. This musical comedy based on the long-running comic strip LITTLE ORPHAN ANNIE ran for nearly six years in its initial Broadway production and has twice been revived on Broadway. It was also adapted as a popular feature film and network television special.
Frequent Citadel director Robert D. Estrin, who helmed last year's JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT and the Jeff Award-winning THE EXPLORERS CLUB, will direct a cast of professional musical theater performers alongside an ensemble of local children as the orphans. ANNIE will open on November 22 and run through December 22, 2019.
THE FANTASTICKS originally opened off -Broadway in New York City's Greenwich Village in 1960 where it played until 2002. In 2006 it was remounted in a new theater in Times Square where it ran another 11 years, easily making its combined 53-year run the longest of any musical. It includes the song "Try to Remember," which entreats audiences to remember a sweeter, gentler time.
Writers Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt adapted their story from a play by Edmund Rostand (CYRANO DE BERGERAC) in which two neighbors plot to make their children fall in love and marry each other by forbidding them to ever see each other, knowing that children will most want to do what they are told not to do. The boy and girl find a way to meet despite the fence that separates them, but they learn some hard lessons about romance and adventure vs. real life before the musical ends. Longtime Citadel collaborator Pat Murphy, who most recently directed LIGHT UP THE SKY for Citadel, will direct the production, opening on February 7 and running through March 8, 2020.
The season closer will be BRIGHTON BEACH MEMOIRS, one of Neil Simon's best-loved plays among his many hits. The first of an autobiographical trilogy that includes BILOXI BLUES and BROADWAY BOUND, BRIGHTON BEACH MEMOIRS is a portrait of the writer as a young teen in 1937 living with his family in a crowded, lower middle-class Brooklyn walk-up.
Eugene Jerome, standing in for the author, is the narrator and central character. Dreaming of baseball and girls, Eugene must cope with the mundane existence of his family life in Brooklyn: his formidable mother, overworked father, and worldly older brother Stanley; as well as extended family members that include his widowed Aunt Blanche and her two young (but rapidly aging) daughters. The warm and funny BRIGHTON BEACH MEMOIRS will open on Friday, April 24 and run through Sunday, May 24, 2020. Citadel Founding Artistic Director Scott Phelps will direct.
Season subscriptions are available for the full four-show season at $120.00 or as flex passes that can be used for the patron's choice of three shows for $100.00 or two shows for $70.00. Subscriptions and single tickets are now on sale at www.citadeltheatre.org.