Costa Mesa Playhouse Announces Its 54th Season

The Costa Mesa Playhouse announces its 54th season, which include two Pulitzer Prize winners, two Tony Award winners, an Orange County premiere, and a world premiere. The Costa Mesa Playhouse has been staging quality, affordable theater in Orange County for 54 years, located for the first twenty years on the Orange County Fairgrounds, and for the past 34 years at its present location.

The Playhouse launches the season with the Orange County premiere of acclaimed author Lucas Hnath's drama "The Christians," June 22-July 15, 2018, directed by CMP Artistic Director Michael Serna. About faith in America, the play explores the aftermath when the pastor of a popular megachurch delivers a sermon that shakes the foundation of the church's belief. The play stars Peter Hilton, Silvana Gargione, Jeff Rolle, Jr., Mark Tillman and Cindy Cisneros.

Playing August 17-September 16, 2018 is "Next to Normal," the Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical by Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey. An unflinching look at a suburban family struggling with the effects of mental illness; "Next to Normal" will be directed by Jason Holland, with musical direction by Stephen Hulsey.

Running October 19-November 11, 2018, Costa Mesa Playhouse features a Halloween treat, the world premiere of "Vampire Queen of Mars," a new play by CMP Board President Michael Dale Brown, who will also direct. Like his previous play "Earthlings Beware," produced twice at CMP, "Vampire Queen of Mars" is a campy spoof of low-budget, 1950s sci-fi films like "Queen of Outer Space," "Cat-Women of the Moon," and "Rocketship X-M," in which mankind's first expedition to the planet Mars encounters a race of Amazon vampires with a thirst for human blood.

Beth Henley's warm-hearted, irreverent, zany and brilliantly imaginative dark comedy "Crimes of the Heart," plays January 25-February 17, 2019. In this 1983 Pulitzer Prize winner for Best Drama, three eccentric, disaster-prone Southern sisters come together after one shoots her husband. Each sister is forced to face the consequences of the "crimes of the heart" she has committed.

The season concludes with the Tony-Award-winning, puppet-filled musical "Avenue Q," by Jeff Marx, Robert Lopez and Jeff Whitty, playing March 22-April 28, 2019. Enacted by humans and puppets, "Avenue Q" is an irreverent, raunchy comedy about finding purpose in big-city life.

Individual ticket prices range from $20 to $25. Season passes range from $82 to $92. Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, Sundays at 2pm.

Reservations: www.costamesaplayhouse.com or 949-650-5269. The playhouse is at 661 Hamilton St. in Costa Mesa.

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