Palo Alto Players Announces ALLEGIANCE, SWING! and More for 90th Anniversary Season

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Palo Alto Players, the Peninsula's first theatre company, announces its 90th Anniversary season. The 2020-21 line-up, beginning September 2020, was unveiled Sunday, January 26 by Artistic Director Patrick Klein at the company's annual Season Announcement Party and includes ALLEGIANCE, SWING!, MEN ON BOATS, TWELFTH NIGHT, and a family musical to be announced in December 2020. All performances are held at the Lucie Stern Theater located at 1305 Middlefield Road in Palo Alto. Subscriptions are on sale now at or by phone at 650.329.0891. Individual tickets for the September show go on sale in August and for the remaining season beginning in October.

Palo Alto Players' 90th season kicks off in September 2020 with the Peninsula premiere of the new musical ALLEGIANCE, a story inspired by the personal experiences of television star George Takei (Star Trek), followed in November with SWING!, a high energy musical celebrating the dance and music of the Swing era of jazz. In January 2021, pack your gear for a 21st-century telling of a 19th-century American explorer, when the company presents MEN ON BOATS. The cast isn't quite what it seems in Jaclyn Backhaus' play set in the 1869 American West. Due to licensing restrictions the company's annual family musical will be announced in December 2020. Opening in April 2021, this modern Broadway classic is certain to enchant audiences of all ages. Closing the season in June 2021, is William Shakespeare's romantic comedy TWELFTH NIGHT.

"What better way to celebrate a monumental birthday than to bring exciting, new stories to our audience to perfectly pair with some nearly as old as time," said Artistic Director Patrick Klein. "Our five-show, 90th anniversary season has been carefully curated to pay tribute to both our cherished community and our legacy, as we continue to redefine what excellent community theatre can be."

In chronological order, Palo Alto Players' 2020-21 season is as follows:


September 19 - October 4, 2020 (preview September 18)

Book by Mark Acito, Jay Kuo & Lorenzo Thione

Music and Lyrics by Jay Kuo

Inspired by the true childhood experience of TV/film actor and social media icon George Takei (Mr. Sulu on Star Trek), ALLEGIANCE tells the story of the Kimura family, whose lives are upended when they are forced to leave their Salinas, California home following the events at Pearl Harbor, and join 120,000 other Japanese-Americans in internment camps dotted around America. Sam Kimura seeks to prove his patriotism by fighting for his country in the war, but sister Kei fiercely protests the government's treatment of her people. An uplifting testament to the power of the human spirit, ALLEGIANCE follows the Kimuras as they fight between duty and defiance, custom and change, family bonds and forbidden loves.


November 7- 22, 2020 (preview November 6)

Original Concept by Paul Kelly

Original Direction and Choreography by Lynn Taylor-Corbett

"Two thirds rhythm and one third soul." That's how Fats Waller defined the uniquely American form of popular music and dance known as 'swing.' Requiring only joyful enthusiasm and a ready partner, swing exploded out of pre-war Harlem's hotbed of youth culture and swept the world. SWING! celebrates this remarkable diversity to the beat of the most exhilarating songs of the period, as well as the high flying acrobatics that define the style. But as this enthralling song-and-dance show makes abundantly clear, swing was never a time or place -- it has always been a state of mind!


January 16 -31, 2021 (preview January 15)

by Jaclyn Backhaus

MEN ON BOATS is the tale of ten men, four boats, and two great rivers, told on stage entirely without boats, rivers ... or men! Pack your gear for this 21st-century telling of 19th-century American explorer and one-armed Civil War veteran John Wesley Powell, who assembles a brawny band of soldiers, trappers, and adventurers to explore the waterways of the American West. Inspired by Powell's actual travel log from 1869, Jaclyn Backhaus's nimble and ingenious script is provocative, laugh-out-loud theater, performed by a cast of women who infuse America's legends of male conquest with a sly blast of subtext.


April 24 - May 9, 2021 (preview April 23)

Due to licensing restrictions, we cannot unveil the title of the Spring 2021 family musical until December 2020, but we are certain you will be enchanted by this modern classic created by the most trusted group of theatremakers on Broadway. Based on a beloved Academy-Award winning feature, this Tony-nominated show ran for over a decade on Broadway and has since delighted audiences of all ages around the globe. This eye-popping spectacle is chock-full of heart, and will surely delight patrons of all ages!


June 12 - 27, 2021 (preview June 11)

By William Shakespeare

Orsino loves Olivia (who won't give him the time of day). Olivia loves Viola (whom she thinks is a boy). Viola loves Orsino (who doesn't know she's a girl). Malvolio loves being in love; and Sir Andrew, Toby Belch, and Maria love life to its fullest. It's all rollicking confusion, but these hilarious characters do, at last, find love where they least expect it. Palo Alto Players is thrilled to welcome back our friends from the Gunn community to present one of Shakespeare's most loved comedies!

For more information or to purchase season subscriptions, visit the company online at, by phone at 650.329.0891, or in person at the Box Office at the Lucie Stern Theater located at 1305 Middlefield Road in Palo Alto, Tuesday-Friday 11am - 4pm PT. Early bird subscriptions prices (starting at just $150 for all five productions) are available through April 25, 2020. Prices increase after April 25. Special discounts for seniors, educators, military and patrons under 30 are also available. Some restrictions may apply. In addition to significant savings, subscribers receive other benefits such as priority seating, free ticket exchanges, discounts on the purchase of additional single tickets, and invitations to special events.

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