MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG, DEAD ACCOUNTS, et al. Set for Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park Season


Today Producing Artistic Director Edward Stern announced his 20th - and final - season at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. The Playhouse' s 52nd season includes two world premieres and three regional premiere productions, as well as the return of one of the most popular musicals in its history.

Some of the highlights of the 2011-2012 season include:

Tony Award-winning British director John Doyle (COMPANY) directs an exciting new revival of Stephen Sondheim's beautiful MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG with his distinctive style of actor/musicianship.

THUNDER KNOCKI NG ON THE DOOR, The Playhouse' s most successful musical hit of the last 20 years, returns with its magic, mystery and great blues.

Commissioned by The Playhouse, DEAD ACCOUNTS by Theresa Rebeck, one of the nation' s finest playwrights, receives its world premiere.

Famed comedy company The Second City returns to the Queen City with an all-new show written just for us about all things Cincinnati.

Life, love and renewal in the intimate Shelterhouse with Shakespeare's AS YOU LIKE IT.

According to Playhouse Producing Artistic Director Edward Stern, " For my 20th - and final - year as producing artistic director, I wanted an absolutely memorable season to celebrate, captivate, entertain, enthrall and enchant. This unforgettable new season will remind you why you fell in love with live theatre and The Playhouse."The Robert S. M arx Theatre Season (sponsored by The Otto M . Budig Family Foundation)

The Marx Theatre season starts with the winner of the 2009 Tony Award for Best Play, GOD OF CARNAGE (September 3 - October 1, 2011; opening night: September 8) by Yasmina Reza ("Art") and translated by Christopher Hampton. It has been described by Variety as "Elegant, acerbic and entertainingly fueled on pure bile" and The New York Times hailed it as "First class!" When two sets of parents meet for a civilized discussion about their sons' playground fight, the evening quickly deteriorates into a laugh-out-loud train wreck of finger-pointing, name-calling, tantrums and tears. And that' s before they break out the rum! Producing Artistic Director Edward Stern will helm the production.

The season continues with RED (October 15 - November 12, 2011, opening night: October 20) by John Logan. Winner of the 2010 Tony Award for Best Play, RED took Broadway by storm with its provocative and searing portrait of an artist's ambition and vulnerability. Having just landed the biggest commission in modern art history, abstract expressionist painter Mark Rothko works feverishly in his studio with his young assistant, Ken. As Rothko nears completion of what he hopes will be his crowning achievement, he faces the possibility that it could also become his undoing. The New Yorker called RED "Smart, exciting and scintillating." Artistic Director Steven Woolf from The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis will direct.

For the holidays, The Playhouse will celebrate the 21st anniversary of its favorite seasonal tradition with Charles Dickens' A CHRISTMAS CAROL (December 1 - December 30, 2011; opening night: December 2). The Playhouse's production features a lovingly faithful adaptation by Howard Dallin, complete with a cast of nearly 30 actors and elaborate costumes and special effects. A CHRISTMAS CAROL is not part of any subscription package, although subscribers do receive discounts and early buying opportunities. Associate Artistic Director Michael Evan Haney directs for his 19th year.

Commissioned by The Playhouse, DEAD ACCOUNTS (January 14 - February 11, 2012; opening night: January 19) by Theresa Rebeck (Bad Dates and The Understudy), one of the nation's finest playwrights, receives its world premiere. At first, prodigal son Jack's unexpected visit to Cincinnati from New York City appears to be an exercise in the mass consumption of comfort foods from his youth - Graeter's, Skyline and LaRosa's. However, his family soon wonders if he's coming home or running away. And where did he get all the money?DEAD ACCOUNTS painfully and hilariously portrays Midwestern values and family dynamics to reveal why home remains important no matter where you live. Tony Award-winning Director John Doyle (Company) will return to The Playhouse to direct an exciting new revival of MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG (March 3 - 31, 2012; opening night: March 8) by Stephen Sondheim and George Furth. This remarkable Broadway fable of friendship and the high price of success opens in the present and moves backward in time. The triumphs and failures of a jaded composer and his two closest friends are traced from their estranged ending to their idealistic beginning. The performers will play all of the instruments as they act and sing one of Sondheim's most melodic scores.

Finally, the Marx Season concludes with The Playhouse's biggest musical hit of the last 20 years, THUNDER KNOCKING ON THE DOOR (April 21 - May 20, 2012; opening night: April 26) by Keith Glover with music and lyrics by Keb' Mo', Keith Glover and Anderson Edwards. Once upon a time, a mysterious, blues-playing stranger named Marvell Thunder arrives at the door of the Dupree family with a unique challenge - a "cutting contest," in which twin guitars are the weapons of choice. If he has his way, the epic musical showdown will change everyone's life forever. A mystical, magical celebration of love, family and the exhilarating power of music to free your soul. As he did in 1999, Keith Glover directs.

The Thompson Shelterhouse Season (sponsored by Heidelberg Distributing Co.) The Thompson Shelterhouse season begins with William Shakespeare' s AS YOU LI KE I T (October 1 - November 6, 2011; opening night: October 6). In this glorious romantic comedy, the extraordinary Rosalind flees to the Forest of Arden when banished from court by her villainous uncle. Disguised as a boy, Rosalind finds herself instructing the man she loves on how to woo a woman - her! Mistaken identities and misguided affections untangle to reveal life, love, joy and the truth that, ultimately, " all the world' s a stage." Producing Artistic Director Edward Stern and Associate Artistic Director Michael Evan Haney will co-direct.

The heartfelt, toe-tapping tribute to musical legend Patsy Cline returns to The Playhouse for the holidays. Based on a true story, ALWAYS ... PATSY CLINE (November 19, 2011 - January 22, 2012; opening night: November 23) recounts the real-life friendship between Cline and star-struck divorcée Louise Seger.Written and originally directed by Ted Swindley, it features nearly two dozen favorite songs, including Patsy Cline's signature hits "Crazy," "Walkin' After Midnight," "Sweet Dreams" and "I Fall to Pieces." It was a sold-out hit off-Broadway, around the country and at The Playhouse during the 2003-2004 season and the 1999-2000 summer season.

The New York Times calls Andrew Bovell's SPEAKING IN TONGUES (February 4 - March 4, 2012; opening night: February 9) "Clever, provocative and resonant." Love, sex and deceit create the emotional labyrinth in this stylish noir thriller. This theatrical jigsaw puzzle of parallel stories explores the betrayals of two married couples and the unexpected links among five isolated strangers, including a missing woman and a long-lost love. Each coincidental encounter and random confrontation exposes hidden connections in this fascinating psychological drama. Michael Evan Haney will direct.

The Shelterhouse season continues with the recent off-Broadway hit TIGERS BE STILL (March 17 - April 15, 2012; opening night: March 22) by Kim Rosenstock. "This is the story of how I stopped being a total disaster," announces the heroine of this darkly funny and moving new comedy. Having recently earned her master's degree, Sherry Wickman finds herself still living at home with a mother who won't come downstairs and a depressed but smart-alecky sister. Follow Sherry's quirky misadventures as she lands her first job and tackles her two biggest challenges ... getting her mother out of bed and her sister off the couch.

THE SECOND CITY 2: LESS PRIDE ... MORE PORK (April 29 - July 1, 2012; opening night: May 3) is back with an all new show! The world's premier comedy company will again set its razor-sharp sights on Cincinnati. What's left to skewer? The Second City was in town long enough to know they haven't come close to exhausting material. Not to mention that between now and opening night, entire sports seasons will come and go, politicians will star on reality shows and streetcars may (or may not) be on track. The future holds nothing but promise for comedy at our expense. If the recent sold-out, record-breaking run was any indication, you gotta goetta your tickets now!

The popular preview performances in the Marx and Shelterhouse are still just $25 for selected seating.

Subscriptions to the 2011-12 Playhouse season are available now in a variety of packages. Subscribe by May 21 for the lowest prices of the season. Prices range from $125 to $333 for the five-show Robert S. Marx Season, $125 to $348 for the five Thompson Shelterhouse shows and $250 to $617.50 for the full 10-show combination series package. The popular " Build Your Own" subscription package allows patrons to create their own season of four to nine shows in either theatre, with prices ranging from $144 to $556.

The Playhouse is continuing to offer three-, six- and nine-month payment options for subscribers. Some restrictions apply. The Corner Club is also available for all regular Marx performances and starts at $142 and Shelterhouse Side B at $140. The discounted educator subscription is available for all Marx and Shelterhouse Theatre performances. Subscription prices increase May 22.

A student " Build Your Own" package allows full-time students to pick as few as four shows and as many as nine from either theatre for as little as $22 per show. The Enjoy the Arts Member Series (under 35 years of age) is available for all Marx performances. Members can get the same half-price discount for a subscription as they would on an individual ticket basis. Some restrictions The Baby Sitter Rebate Series allows a couple purchasing two full subscriptions in the Marx Theatre to attend any performance and receive $100 at the end of the season to help cover the cost of baby sitters. Some restrictions apply.

Costs for most packages depend on the day of week and seat location desired. Some sections are sold out. Single tickets for all shows will go on sale to the general public August 15. To purchase subscriptions or for more information about the 2011-2012 season at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, call 513/421-3888 or toll-free throughout Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana at 800/582-3208. For Telecommunications Device for the Deaf access, call 513/345-2248. Subscription information is also available online at




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