Fall 2017 (Oct 13 – 28)
Music by Alan Menken
Lyrics by Glenn Slater
Book by Bill and Cheri Steinkellner
Directed by Ivan Davila
Music Directed by Jay Holcomb Frost
Sister Act is the feel-good musical comedy based on the hit 1992 film of the same name. It’s 1978 in Philadelphia, and when disco diva Deloris Van Cartier witnesses a murder, she is put in protective custody in the one place the cops are sure she won’t be a found: a convent! Disguised as a nun, she finds herself at odds with both the rigid lifestyle and uptight Mother Superior. Using her unique disco moves and singing talent to inspire the choir, Deloris breathes new life into the church and community but, in doing so, blows her cover. Soon, the gang is giving chase, only to find them up against Deloris and the power of her newly found sisterhood.
Winter 2018 (January 12 – 27)
by Tony Kushner
Directed by Seth Rose
The play is set in Germany in 1932 and 1933 and concerns a group of friends caught up in the events of the fall of the Weimar Republic and the rise to power of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party. The plot is centered on a woman named Agnes Eggling, a middle-aged actress, and all of the action takes place in her apartment. The action is occasionally interrupted by scenes featuring Zillah, a young woman in the 1980s living in Long Island who believes that President Reagan is becoming too much like Hitler. In the version performed by the New York Shakespeare Festival, Zillah has moved to Berlin. Zillah has fled to Germany out of frustration and anger at the growing power of the Republican Party in America during the 1980s. The play was based on Bertolt Brecht’s work The Private Life of the Master Race.
Spring 2018 (May 4-19)
Music by Richard Rodgers
Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
Book by Oscar Hammerstein II and Joshua Logan
Directed by Terry Spann
Set in an island paradise during World War II, two parallel love stories are threatened by the dangers of prejudice and war. Nellie, a spunky nurse from Arkansas, falls in love with a mature French planter, Emile. Nellie learns that the mother of his children was an island native and, unable to turn her back on the prejudices with which she was raised, refuses Emile’s proposal of marriage. Meanwhile, the strapping Lt. Joe Cable denies himself the fulfillment of a future with an innocent Tonkinese girl with whom he’s fallen in love out of the same fears that haunt Nellie. When Emile is recruited to accompany Joe on a dangerous mission that claims Joe’s life, Nellie realizes that life is too short not to seize her own chance for happiness, thus confronting and conquering her prejudices.
Fall 2018 (October)
Winter 2019 (Jan 11 – 26)
By David Auburn
Directed by Ryan Mays
The play concerns Catherine, the daughter of Robert, a recently deceased mathematical genius in his fifties and professor at the University of Chicago, and her struggle with mathematical genius and mental illness. Catherine had cared for her father through a lengthy mental illness. Upon Robert’s death, his ex-graduate student Hal discovers a paradigm-shifting proof about prime numbers in Robert’s office. The title refers both to that proof and to the play’s central question: Can Catherine prove the proof’s authorship? Along with demonstrating the proof’s authenticity, the daughter also finds herself in a relationship with 28-year-old Hal. Throughout, the play explores Catherine’s fear of following in her father’s footsteps, both mathematically and mentally and her desperate attempts to stay in control.
Spring 2019 (May 3-18)
Music by Jules Syne
Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by Arthur Laurens
Directed by Katie Ganem
Gypsy is a 1959 musical with music by Jule Syne, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, and a book by Arthur Laurens. Gypsy is loosely based on the 197 memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee, the famous striptease artist, and focuses on her mother, Rose, whose name has become synonymous with “the ultimate show business mother.” It follows the dreams and efforts of Rose to raise two daughters to perform onstage and casts an affectionate eye on the hardships of the show business life. The character of Louise is based on Lee, and the character of June is based on Lee’s sister, the actress June Havoc.
The musical contains many songs that became popular standards, including “Everything’s Coming up Roses,” “Together (Wherever we Go),” “Small World,” “You Gotta Get a Gimmick,” “Let me Entertain You,” “All I Need is the Girl,” and “Rose’s Turn.” It is frequently considered one of the crowning achievements of the mid-20th century’s conventional musical theater art form, often called the “book musical.”
Gypsy has been referred to as the greatest American musical by numerous critics and writers, among them Ben Brantley (“what may be the greatest of all American musicals…”) and Frank Rich wrote that “Gypsy is nothing if not Broadway’s own brassy, unlikely answer to King Lear.” Theater critic Clive Barnes wrote that “Gypsy is one of the best musicals…” and described Rose as “one of the few truly complex characters in the American musical.”