Cincinnati Playhouse Offers THE FANTASTICKS & More In '09-10

Four world premieres, a new version of a classic from one of the country's brightest young playwrights, two major Tony Award-winning directors, a line-up ofextraordinary designers and three major musical revivals are part of the 50 th anniversary season at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park.

Included in this remarkable 50 th season: One of America's most acclaimed and brightest young playwrights, Sarah Ruhl (THE CLEAN HOUSE), and Tony Award-winning British director John Doyle ( COMPANY ) come together for a new version of Chekhov's masterpiece THREE SISTERS, commissioned by the Playhouse.

This is the first non-musical that John Doyle will direct in the United States. The artistic team includes Set Designer Scott Pask (URINETOWN and THE COAST OFUTOPIA) , Costume Designer Ann Hould-Ward ( COMPANY ) and Lighting Designer JaneCox ( ROAD SHOW ). Best-selling author Walter Mosley's first-ever play, THE FALL OF HEAVEN, will receive its world premiere. The charming and lighthearted new musical comedy DADDY-LONG-LEGS features music by Paul Gordon ( EMMA ) and book and direction by Tony Award-winner John Caird, co-director of LES MISERABLES. Acclaimed designer David Farley (recent Broadwayrevival of SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE ) will design the set.

Fast-moving and suspenseful VICTORIA MUSICA by Michele Lowe ( SMELL OF THEKILL ), commissioned by the Playhouse. One of the country's best storytellers and popular National Public Radio humorist Kevin Kling tells his remarkable tale HOW? HOW? WHY? WHY? WHY?

The longest running musical in history and most revived show at the Playhouse, THE FANTASTICKS, returns.According to Playhouse Producing Artistic Director Edward Stern, "I'm proud to announcethe single most extraordinary season in our 50 years. While we will revive some of our popularshows, this 50 th anniversary is as much a celebration of the Playhouse's future as it is its past.

Significant new works will be produced with some of the finest artists in the English-speakingtheatre - right here in Cincinnati."The Robert S. Marx Theatre Season (sponsored by The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation)The Marx Theatre season starts with one of the greatest stage thrillers of all time. SLEUTH (September 5 - October 3, 2009; opening night: September 10) by Anthony Shaffer won the TonyAward for Best Play and inspired two film versions.

When an aging mystery writer lures his wife's lover to his manor house, the younger man becomes unwittingly drawn into a tangled web of intrigue and gamesmanship, where nothing is quite what it seems. This edge-of-your-seat mysteryfull of cunning plot twists is not only an exciting "whodunit" but a fascinating "whodunwhat."

THE TIMES in London described is as the "most fiendishly clever thriller ever written for the stage."Playhouse Associate Artistic Director Michael Evan Haney directs.The season continues with a new version of Anton Chekhov's THREE SISTERS (October 24- November 21; opening night: October 29) by Sarah Ruhl, one of America's most acclaimed young playwrights ( THE CLEAN HOUSE) and Tony Award-winning director of COMPANY , John Doyle. Love lies deep and untapped for schoolmistress Olga, married Masha and idealistic Irina in Chekhov's poignant tale of love and dreams.

Stuck in a backwater town, the sisters long to get to Moscow where they imagine their lives will betransformed and fulfilled. It is a story of desire, denial and the never-ending pursuit of happiness.For the holidays, the Playhouse will celebrate the 19 th anniversary of its favorite seasonal tradition with Charles Dickens' A CHRISTMAS CAROL presented by KeyBank (December 3 - 30; opening night: December 4).

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.

Michael Evan Haney directs for his 17 th year. A hip and inventive new world premiere play, THE FALL OF HEAVEN, (January 23 -February 20, 2010; opening night: January 28) by Walter Mosley, best-selling author of more than 25 books and widely known for his popular Easy Rawlins mysteries, including Devil in a BlueDress, takes the Marx stage. Based on his novel The Tempest Tales, Tempest Landry, a street-wise young man living in Harlem, unexpectedly finds himself at the Pearly Gates.

When Saint Peterorders him to hell, the quick-witted Tempest refuses to go. A technical loophole forces heaven to send Tempest back to Earth with an angel in tow to keep him out of trouble. The resulting battle ofwills takes an intriguing look at good versus evil and what it means to be human. DADDY-LONG-LEGS, (March 13 - April 10, 2010; opening night: March 18) a newlighthearted and charming musical from Paul Gordon, the creator of last season's EMMA , and John Caird, the Tony Award-winning co-director of LES MISERABLES, is about falling in love with life.

When an orphanage trustee offers a college education to an 18-year-old girl, his only request is that she must never know who he is and that she write to him monthly, though he will never respond. Her letters paint a moving portrait of her life in the orphanage and her exhilaration as she blossoms into a young woman, causing him to fall in love with her. Finally, the Marx Season concludes with AIN'T MISBEHAVIN' (May 1 - May 29, 2010; opening night: May 6) a supercharged sizzle of song and dance that rocked the Playhouse in 1993 at the end of Producing Artistic Director Edward Stern's first season. The joint will be jumping forthis fun-filled, joyous revue showcasing the irresistible music of jazz great Fats Waller.

From the comedy of "Your Feet's Too Big" to "Honeysuckle Rose" and "Keepin' Out of Mischief Now," this Tony Award-winning Broadway favorite, conceived and originally directed byRichard Maltby, Jr., features more than 30 toe-tapping songs and promises an evening of high energy, crowd-pleasing entertainment.The Thompson Shelterhouse Season (sponsored by Heidelberg Distributing Co.)The Thompson Shelterhouse season begins with the world premiere of VICTORIA MUSICA (September 26 - October 25, 2009; opening night: October 1), commissioned by the Playhouse.Michele Lowe's ( THE SMELL OF THE KILL) fast-moving story of suspense begins when aworld-famous cellist dies, and a music critic begins to suspect that her legacy of extraordinaryrecordings are all frauds.

Sacrificing his own career to find the truth, he uncovers the cellist's past as a young, struggling artist and discovers how her music and marriage fit into the puzzle. This is a mysterious journey into the heart of an artist and the nature of fame. Producing Artistic Director Edward Stern will direct.

The Sanders family is back! One of the Playhouse's most popular and beloved comedies, SANDERS FAMILY CHRISTMAS: MORE SMOKE ON THE MOUNTAIN, written by Connie Ray and conceived by Alan Bailey, (November 7 - December 31, 2009; opening night: November 12)returns after 10 years to make the holidays truly memorable. This heavenly evening of laughter, tears and music features 28 standard Christmas carols and gospel songs. Vera, Burl, Stanley, June, Dennis and Denise will make audiences feel right at home, again, with their brand of faith, familyand old-fashioned fun. Co-creator Alan Bailey will direct.Humorist and popular National Public Radio contributor Kevin Kling performs his play HOW? HOW? WHY? WHY? WHY?, (February 13 - March 14, 2010; opening night: February 18) exploring the difference between the trip you plan and the trip you take in life. He says trauma can'tbe cured, but it can be healed; and Kling's method of healing is laughter. In recounting the events following a debilitating motorcycle accident, Kling uses his great skill for riveting and hilarious storytelling to examine how tragedy can positively define a person's life. This touching and transcendent event beautifully weaves humor, heart and the human spirit.

THE HISTORY OF INVUNLNERABILITY (April 3 - May 2, 2010; opening night: April 8) byDavid Bar Katz is a remarkable new play about fantasy, reality and living in the 20 th century. Superman - the man of steel - is invulnerable. Jerry Siegel - the creator of Superman - was far morevulnerable. Siegel was one of a number of Jews who created the cartoon superheroes of the 1930s and 40s in response to the rise of Nazi Germany. Siegel's own tumultuous story intertwines with the tragic events of a world on the edge, a place where even Superman has his limits. Michael Evan Haney directs.The Shelterhouse season closes with THE FANTASTICKS , (May 15 - June 20, 2010; openingnight: May 20) the longest-running musical in history and the most revived show at Playhouse in the Park.

This enchanting and funny show, with book and lyrics by Tom Jones and music by Harvey Schmidt, tells the story of a young man and the girl next door whose parents have built a wall to keep them apart. Nevertheless, the youngsters conspire to meet and fall in love. Their parents, meanwhile, congratulate themselves, for they erected the wall and staged a feud as part of a schemeto achieve a marriage between their willfully disobedient children.

Filled with moonlight and romance, THE FANTASTICKS is the perfect way to spend an early summer evening. Edward Stern will direct.For the 2009-10 season, two more preview performances have been added to each Marxshow and tickets in B, C and D sections are just $25 per show.Subscriptions to the 2009-10 Playhouse season are available now in a variety of packages.

Prices range from $125 to $323 for the five-show Robert S. Marx Season, $209.50 to $338 for the five Thompson Shelterhouse shows and $302 to $599.50 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 $178 to $522. New this year, the Playhouse is offering 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 $132. The discounted educator subscription has been expanded to all Marx Theatre performances.

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 just $20 per show. The Enjoy the Arts Member Series (under 35 years of age) has been expanded to include all Marx and Shelterhouse performances.Members can get the same half-price discount as a subscription as they would on an individual ticket basis.

Some restrictions apply.

The Baby Sitter Rebate Series allows a couple purchasing two subscriptions in the MarxTheatre 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 17. To purchase subscriptions or for more information about the 2009-2010 season at the CincinnatiPlayhouse 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 www.cincyplay.com

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