New Capital Rep Season to Include RED, ELLA, PRIDE @PREJUDICE


Albany's Capital Repertory Theatre announces its 2012 - 2013 season -- and a new play development collaborative effort with Proctors, the Schenectady-based arts and entertainment complex.

Ticket buyers can expect such shows as: ELLA, the story of Ella Fitzgerald, a brand new adaptation with bonus features of Jane Austen's PRIDE @ PREJUDICE (the theatre's Classics on Stageproduction), David Mamet's searing drama, RACE, the premiere of six Tony Award® winning RED, a portrait of expressionistic artist, Mark Rothko an as yet-to-be-named musical. The new season also offers a special holiday engagement ofTHIS WONDERFUL LIFE!, an adaptation of the Frank Capra film, It's A Wonderful Life, in a tour de forceperformance by one actor. And, the Next Act! New Play Summit.

According to Maggie Mancinelli-Cahill, Capital Rep's Producing Artistic Director, the new season reflects months of deliberation and negotiations, all in an effort to further raise the bar of excellence that has become the hallmark of production at the theatre.

"I am wild about the 2012-13 season," she said at a recent programming meeting. "We've waited a long time to bring Ella to our audiences and it thrills me to have Tina Fabrique on our stage as Ella Fitzgerald at long last! She is a marvel in this role.

"My special love is literature on stage and the new version of Pride @ Prejudice brings both a respect for Jane Austen and a delightfully modern perspective to the material.

"And, I'm not sure it gets better than having two compelling and highly engaging works such as David Mamet's Race, which uses language to reveal our complex responses to racial issues in America and Josh Logan's Red, which confronts the values of the arts and entertainment culture --in one season!"

In addition, Mancinelli-Cahill said that Capital Rep will be announcing a musical for next spring "from among several new musical projects we're currently working on, while exploring some rarely-produced musicals for possible production as well. Whatever we choose will be delivered in a signature way just for our space and our patrons."

"Our holiday show, This Wonderful Life, makes me smile because I love the Capra film and this American morality tale about how a good man recognizes that his life – with all its hardships – has been worth it. Goodness is worth it – and that is a tale worth telling! "

Capital Rep has teamed with managing partner Proctors to launch a new initiative, NEXT ACT: NEW PLAY SUMMIT. The three-day event will feature three play readings and special events focusing on the development of new plays and musicals. NEXT ACT! will take place at Capital Rep and the GE Theatre at Proctors as both organizations combine their resources to give Capital Region residents a first peek at new work being considered for future production.

Proctors CEO Philip Morris, who also serves as Capital Rep's Chief Administrative Officer, is an unabashed champion of regional professional theatre and the development of new work, "Support and sponsorship for regional theatre is critical to the vitality of the extended State Capital region and the neighboring communities that comprise it," he said.

Morris said that he appreciates "the balance between crowd pleasing theatre with an array of shows for every taste and affordability, which makes theatre accessible to the widest possible audience in the region. Just as important is the fact that with the top-tier roster of new shows in its new season, Capital Rep has been able to build on recent successes to create an exciting new season -- without any increase in costs to subscriptions." He readily compliments Ms. Mancinelli-Cahill.

"Maggie is to be commended," he said, "And I know that all patrons of the theatre respect her efforts on our behalf and on behalf of the future and vitality of theatre in the region."

The season begins on July 20 with Ella, the story of Ella Fitzgerald. This show features a performance by Broadway veteran Tina Fabrique as Ella Fitzgerald. The evening weaves the story of the singer's rise to fame with many of her famous song renditions, including, A Tisket, A Tasket, That Old Black Magic, How High the Moon and They Can't Take That Away from Me, to name only a few of 14 signature songs in the musical. Tina Fabrique has toured this show throughout the United States.

The 2012 – 2013 season continues in the fall with Daniel Elihu's adaptation of Jane Austen's Pride @ Prejudice. This show is being produced in association with Chester Theatre Company, which premiered the work in summer 2010.

"I am so happy to be working with my friend and colleague, Byam Stevens, the Artistic Director of Chester Theatre Company and our wonderful playwright, Daniel, in this updated draft of the play," said Mancinelli-Cahill. "I loved the show at Chester and have had a great time refining the script for our fall production here at Capital Rep."

Capital Rep and Proctors will join forces to produce a three-day exploration of new work, Next Act,to take place November 2-4, 2012. Over the course of three days, Capital Rep and Proctors will harness their resources to produce staged readings of two plays and a staged reading of a musical. These works will be under consideration for further development and production at either theatre. The festivities also will feature several opportunities to meet the playwrights and composers and get an insider's view of the play/musical development process. Tickets are limited and available first to Capital Rep subscribers.

Next in the line up is the special holiday engagement of This Wonderful Life, which features one actor telling the story of George Bailey and all of the characters in Frank Capra's film, It's A Wonderful Life.

"Part of the joy of live theatre is experiencing the skill and perseverance of a solo performer assailing a role that is difficult and inspiring," says Mancinelli-Cahill, "and this is certainly the case ofThis Wonderful Life. We will experience the wonderful story and the incredible energy and talent of one actor delivering it all for us in 80 minutes!"

David Mamet's Race follows in January in a production directed by Mancinelli-Cahill, who "likes the play because the characters dare to say what we only think. They are not politically-correct and Mamet's language brew creates a tension that asks all of us to consider who we are underneath our prejudice."

The stakes in this behind-the-scenes courtroom drama begin when a rich, white executive accused of raping a black woman retains the services of two lawyers – one white, one African American and their African American legal assistant. The ensuing gamesmanship catapults the law, sexual and racial politics to spin out of control, as all of The Players reveal their values and deepest fears against the backdrop of American Justice.

Spring 2013 will bring a production of a musical, the title of which is yet-to-be announced. Under consideration are a variety of new musical projects currently being worked on with Capital Rep, as well as explorations of rarely produced musicals that could be produced in innovative ways.

"We have found that our audiences enjoy our reinventions of musicals such as My Fair Lady, The Dead and Man of La Mancha,"says Mancinelli-Cahill. "Bringing new life to works that are rarely produced is certainly a part of our mission – as well as producing new work. Either way, our patrons are going to get a refreshing experience that cannot be found anywhere else."

In April, Capital Rep will bring to audiences the regional premiere of the six Tony-Award winning play by Josh Logan, Red¸ a portrait of expressionistic artist, Mark Rothko and his anguished attempt to deliver a series of murals to the Four Seasons Restaurants. This remarkable play chronicles the relationship of Rothko and his new assistant as they evolve creating canvases on stage before our eyes that eventually will either define or destroy the master painter. Mancinelli-Cahill elaborates: "This is a play about the conflict between being true to oneself or being commercially successful as an artist. It is a universal struggle of anyone who has ever had to make a choice between his/her own beliefs and compromising for a greater good. Neither side is completely right or wrong – and that makes for great drama!"

Single tickets for Ella will be available in May. For information about shows, subscriptions or tickets, call Tickets by Proctors at (518) 445-SHOW.

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