Contra Costa Civic Theatre Announces Its 2019-20 Season

Contra Costa Civic Theatre (CCCT) today announced its 60th Main Stage season, including the East Bay premiere of a foot-stomping bluegrass musical, a beloved holiday tale as a radio show, a fresh-from- Broadway comedy/drama about one family's coming to terms with aging, the Bay Area premiere of the rest of the LBJ story, and a joyous gospel musical.

"Our 60th anniversary season is an invitation to celebrate the ineffable wonder of storytelling," says Artistic Director Marilyn Langbehn. "My hope is that whenever audiences and artists come together around the telling of a tale, we leave the experience a little more aware of our common humanity and a little better prepared to understand the world we live in."

From Grammy, Emmy, and Academy Award-winning Steve Martin and Grammy Award-winning Edie Brickell comes Bright Star, directed by Marilyn Langbehn, with music direction by Sheela Ramesh, and choreography by Allison Paraiso-Silicani. This five-time Tony-nominated musical tells a sweeping tale of love and redemption, inspired by a real event, and set against the rich backdrop of the American South in the '20s and '40s. Featuring an energetic and unique bluegrass score and propelled by an ensemble of onstage musicians and dancers, the story unfolds as a rich tapestry of deep emotion, beautiful melodies, and powerfully moving performances. Bright Star plays October 4-27, 2019.

For the holidays, CCCT presents It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play, adapted by Joe Landry and directed by David Bogdonoff, from November 29 through December 15. This beloved American holiday classic comes to captivating life as a live radio broadcast. With the help of an ensemble that brings a few dozen characters to the stage, the story of idealistic George Bailey unfolds as he considers ending his life one fateful Christmas Eve

Next up is Kenneth Lonergan's Pulitzer Prize finalist The Waverly Gallery, directed by Mike Reynolds, from March 13-29. Gladys, the elderly matriarch of the Green family, has run an art gallery in a small Greenwich Village hotel for many years. The management wants to replace her less-than-thriving gallery with a coffee shop. Always irascible but now increasingly erratic, Gladys is a cause of concern to her daughter, her son-in-law, and her grandson, from whose point of view this poignant memory play is told. A hilarious and heartrending look at the effect of old age on a family, The Waverly Gallery was recently revived to great acclaim on Broadway in a production starring Elaine May.

Playing May 1-17 is the conclusion to Robert Schenkkan's epic story of LBJ's tumultuous presidency, The Great Society, directed by Marilyn Langbehn, with John Hale returning in the role of the 36th president. While LBJ fights a "war on poverty" at home, his war in Vietnam begins to spiral out of control. Besieged by political enemies, Johnson desperately fights to pass civil rights legislation and some of the most important social programs in American history, even as the country turns against him and descends into chaos. Filled with a cast of legendary characters-from Martin Luther King, Jr. to Bobby Kennedy and Richard Nixon-The Great Society is an exhilarating examination of power, morality, and change.

Closing out the season is Crowns by Regina Taylor, adapted from the book by Michael Cunningham and Craig Marberry, directed by Kimberly Ridgeway from July 10-August 9. Hats (aka Crowns) are everywhere, in exquisite variety. There is a hat for every occasion, from flirting to churchgoing to funerals to baptisms. When Brooklyn-born Yolanda goes down South after the death of her brother, she finds strength in the tales of the wise women who surround her-and the powerful rituals connected to their dazzling hats. This jubilant musical fuses Gospel music, hip-hop, and rich storytelling with abundant "hattitude" in this rousing coming-of-age tale.

Season subscriptions for CCCT's 2019-20 5-play season will be available online beginning June 1, 2019 at www.ccct.org or by phone at 510.524.9012; single tickets will go on sale September 1. All performances take place at CCCT's intimate and fully accessible theatre in the Flynn building located at 951 Pomona Avenue in El Cerrito. Free parking is provided in the adjoining lot. For more information, visit www.ccct.org.

ABOUT CONTRA COSTA CIVIC THEATRE

Celebrating its 60th season in 2019-20, Contra Costa Civic Theatre (CCCT) embraces the notion that theatre is a vital part of a healthy community and serves its citizens best when it provides a welcoming home for all people who value the power of storytelling. Established in 1959 by Louis and Bettianne Flynn and a group of dedicated volunteers and now under the artistic direction of Marilyn Langbehn, CCCT is proud to provide entertainment and education to the El Cerrito and East Bay communities that help it to thrive.



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