Penobscot Theatre Company Announces SHEAR MADNESS, BRIGHT STAR and More in 2020/2021 Season
Penobscot Theatre Company announced its 47th Season, an assortment of plays and musicals professionally produced and staged at the company's historic home. After the unexpected curtailment of the current season, Penobscot Theatre Company looks forward more than ever to lighting-up the marquee and welcoming patrons to the historic Bangor Opera House for the 20/21 Season. Performances are set to begin just after Labor Day and extend into early July.
"We have great confidence in the future of Penobscot Theatre Company and we're eager to share an extraordinary line-up," says Producing Artistic Director Bari Newport. "By subscribing, you're committing to Penobscot Theatre Company - to our institution, to the artists you've grown to love and to the value of theatre in our community. Of course the health and safety of our artists and audience are our highest priority, and we'll remain closely attuned to public health guidelines in the coming months. Improvisation is at the heart of our craft and if we must adjust our plans, we will; but at this time, based on all the information at our disposal, we're proceeding cautiously but optimistically."
Subscription packages go on sale to the general public on May 11th and include:
MAYTAG VIRGIN by Audrey Cefaly (September 10-27, 2020) is an award-winning, character-driven play, peopled with quirky yet recognizable characters. When Jack moves into a house next to Lizzy they find that they have as many things in common as they do differences, and a relationship that begins as a neighborly friendship becomes an unexpected journey of self-discovery and healing. Maytag Virgin is a radiant gem of light, full of delightful humor and evocative language. Bari Newport will direct and Rachel Burttram Powers (Ugly Lies the Bone) and Brendan Powers (August: Osage County, Our Town, Annie) will star.
Agatha Christie's MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS (October 15 - November 8, 2020) has been adapted for the stage by Ken Ludwig. Just after midnight, the exotic Orient Express is hurtling down the tracks - to a murder! An American tycoon lies dead in his compartment, his door locked from the inside. With a train full of suspects and an alibi for each one, it's the perfect mystery for the dapper detective Hercule Poirot, n'est-ce pas? Glamorous, romantic and hilarious, this new adaptation of Agatha Christie's masterpiece by two-time Tony®-nominated playwright and farce master Ken Ludwig takes you on a suspenseful, highly entertaining thrill ride. Book your passage today! Directed and designed by Tricia A. Hobbs.
SHEAR MADNESS by Paul Pörtner (January 21 - February 14, 2021) is back by popular demand! The longest-running play in the history of American theatre returns to the Penobscot Theatre Company stage after 2018's sold-out run. Shear Madness combines madcap improvisation with a spine-tingling mystery that you help solve. The story unfolds at a hairstyling salon where, between a shampoo and a style, a murder is committed. You spot the clues, question the subjects and solve the funniest mystery in the annals of fake crime. The outcome is never the same, which is why many audience members return again and again for more madness! Starring Dominick Varney, Amy Roeder, Brad LaBree, Alek Sayers, Jen Shepard and Tony Larkin. Directed by Scott Levy.
BECOMING Dr. Ruth (March 11-28, 2021) is a compelling and humorous look at the incredible journey of pioneering radio and television sex therapist, Dr. Ruth Westheimer. Playwright Mark St. Germain deftly illuminates the remarkable untold story and life-affirming spirit of Karola Ruth Siegel, the girl who became "Dr. Ruth." Starring Jen Shepard.
BRIGHT STAR (April 22 - May 16, 2021) features the Tony®-nominated score by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell. Inspired by a true story, it is a sweeping tale of love and redemption set against the rich backdrop of the American South in the 1920s and '40s. When literary editor Alice Murphy meets a young soldier just home from the war, he awakens her longing for the child she once lost. Haunted by their unique connection, Alice sets out on a journey to understand her past, and what she finds has the power to transform both their lives. With beautiful melodies and powerfully moving characters, the story unfolds as a rich tapestry of deep emotion. An uplifting theatrical journey that holds you tightly in its grasp, Bright Star is as refreshingly genuine as it is daringly hopeful. A Maine premiere, directed and choreographed by Dominick Varney.
Among the most prized benefits of subscription are discounted tickets to Penobscot Theatre Company's special holiday production. This year's offering, running December 3-27, is the Maine professional premiere of Miracle on 34th Street: A Live Musical Radio Play, based on the 1947 Lux Radio Hour Broadcast. The run will include four matinees especially for students/school groups and extra matinees for general audiences.
The 1:00 pm performance on December 12th, while open to the general public, will be a "relaxed performance," designed to offer a warm welcome to those who find it difficult to follow the usual conventions of audience behavior, including people with learning disabilities, movement disorders, autistic spectrum disorder, other neurological conditions, and those with young children or babies.
Miracle on 34th Street: A Live Musical Radio Play will run at the Opera House while a popular "adults only" offering plays at 51 Main Street. Who's Holiday! follows a now 40-year-old Cindy Lou Who as she prepares for her Christmas Eve dinner party and recounts all that happened since that fateful night when she met the Grinch. This wild parody of the popular Seuss classic has a limited capacity of 45 seats and will sell out. Only subscribers can reserve their tickets now. Who's Holiday! will run from December 10-27.
Subscribers also receive discounted tickets to the company's "surprise summer show," though the finale to Penobscot Theatre Company's 47th Season is of no true surprise. With 9 to 5 the Musical originally set to close the 46th season but cancelled, the company has already alerted current subscribers and ticket-holders it's bumping it forward to June 10- July 11, 2021. With music and lyrics by Dolly Parton and a book by Patricia Resnick, this hilarious story of friendship and revenge in the Rolodex era is outrageous, thought-provoking, and even a little romantic!
A variety of flexible and affordable subscription packages are available, including three-show subscriptions for those who live elsewhere for a portion of the year; and FlexPasses, four-, five- or six-packs of tickets patrons may use to see what they like when they like. Subscriptions begin at $120.
"The most important thing you can do to ensure the future of Penobscot Theatre Company is to renew and/or subscribe to next season," says Bari Newport. "I look forward to seeing you once again at the theatre!"
For more information about the 20/21 season, please call the box office at (207) 942-3333 or visit the company's website at www.penobscottheatre.org. Single tickets will be available on August 3.