Rita Rudner, new musicals highlight Laguna Playhouse 2012-13 season
The Laguna Playhouse 2012-13 season, announced today, includes the return of some familiar theatrical franchises and faces, including the Wonderettes, four men in plaid, Rita Rudner, and a hectoring but well-meaning nun.
Former playhouse artistic director Andrew Barnicle will come back to helm a production, as he has twice before; this season it will be Neil Simon's "Chapter Two."
The Marvelous Wonderettes, four high school pals who sing close-harmony versions of 1950s pop classics, return to the playhouse as well with the world premiere of "Marvelous Wonderettes: Caps & Gowns." The show is created by Wonderettes mastermind Roger Bean, who will also direct.
Local producer David Elzer will team with the playhouse to stage a musical, "Having It All," about five women trapped in a boarding area at JFK airport. "Having It All" premiered in Los Angeles last year. Its appearance in Laguna will be its second production.
A recent touring hit, "The 39 Steps," comes to the playhouse this fall. It recreates Alfred Hitchcock's famous film with a minimum of actors and set-pieces.
After a long absence, a quartet of ghostly plaid-wearing crooners will re-haunt Laguna this Christmas in "Plaid Tidings," a special holiday edition of the popular "Forever Plaid" series.
Karen Wood, the playhouse's executive director, said she is pleased that her theater will be producing two musicals, one of them a world premiÃ¨re.
"They almost bookend the season," Wood said. "That's a pretty exciting thing for a company of our size to be tackling."
The upcoming season has benefitted from ongoing creative partnerships that Wood and playhouse artistic director Anne E. Wareham have been developing.
"We have collaborative partners; Roger Bean is one of them," Wood said. "We're always in a dialogue with Roger and David Elzer. They're very inventive and creative men."
Wood and Wareham are also talking with Hershey Felder, whose music-themed one-man shows have been seen frequently at the playhouse. Wood predicts Felder will return two seasons down the road.
"Hershey has been developing a show with his own music. It's about his life in Paris," Wareham said. "I don't know what direction it's going to go, but it looks to be fascinating."
The playhouse has also developed a relationship with comedian Rita Rudner, whose new play, "Tickled Pink," makes its debut there later this month.
Next season Rudner will bring her puckish comedy routine to the playhouse for the third time. Her show, "Act 3," is one of three short-running special engagements. They include two other returning acts, "Late Nite Catechism Las Vegas: Sister Rolls the Dice!" and "The Lonesome Travelers in Concert."
"Rita is a huge favorite with our audiences," Wareham said. "We will also have an opening act for her, a talented singer named Sasha Evans, who will do cabaret."
Ticket prices will remain almost the same as this season, although musicals will be priced slightly higher than spoken-word plays because they cost more to produce, Wood said.
The number of shows presented and the length of each run (four weeks for regular-season productions) won't change next season, a reflection that the playhouse, after some painful reductions in size and scope, has stabilized.
"I think we've found our groove," Wood said. "We're feeling pretty great about it."
Laguna Playhouse 2012-13 season:
"Marvelous Wonderettes: Caps & Gowns" (world premiere) July 3-29
"The 39 Steps" Sept. 25-Oct. 21
"Plaid Tidings – A Special Holiday Edition of Forever Plaid" Nov. 27-Dec. 23
"Chapter Two" Jan. 8-Feb. 3
"Having It All" March 5-31
"Steel Magnolias" April 30-May 26, 2013
Rita Rudner in "Act 3" Aug. 24-26
"The Lonesome Travelers in Concert" Aug. 28-Sept. 2
"Late Nite Catechism Las Vegas: Sister Rolls the Dice!" June 4-23
For tickets or subscription information, call 949-497-2787 or visit lagunaplayhouse.com
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