IMMEDIATE RELEASE & BROADCAST Press
contact only: Dawn Flood firstname.lastname@example.org Please see release for all appropriate public
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE & BROADCAST
Press contact only: Dawn Flood
Please see release for all appropriate public information.
The Western Stage 2007: Theatre with a Social Conscience
The Western Stage announces its 2007 season, and it promises to deliver some new twists to its tried and true format. On the Mainstage – Kiss Me Kate, I Love You You’re Perfect Now Change, and South Pacific, in the Studio Theater Bus Stop, Nickel and Dimed, The Hostage and The Threepenny Opera. Call the box office at 755-6816 for more information, or visit the website at westernstage.com. Season subscription packages are now available online! (74 word PSA)
Of course, TWS will continue its fourth decade with its usual dynamic season of captivating drama, laugh out loud comedy, and rollicking music. Yet, when one looks over the selection of plays being offered for the coming year, one cannot help but notice a common thread running throughout the season. From Brendan Brehan’s The Hostage, which explores the plight of a British soldier taken hostage by the IRA, to Rodger and Hammerstein’s South Pacific, which tackles interracial relationships during World War II, The Western Stage is definitely gearing up for a season with a social conscience.
Yet, Artistic Director Jon Patrick Selover warns making a political or social point is not his primary consideration when choosing a season. “I need to balance out commercial accessibility while selecting plays that challenge our company,” he said. That each play in TWS’ 2007 lineup has a strong point to make about issues affecting contemporary society is just indicative of his tastes in literature, said Selover. “Even with musicals, I like conflict beyond the mundane.”
however, were clearly chosen to speak to issues presently affecting the
Even William Inge’s classic Bus Stop, which will open The Western Stage’s 2007 Season in June, has more to it than meet the eye. “It’s certainly no piece of fluff,” said Selover. Although the play deals with the romantic entanglements of eight Midwestern eccentrics stranded at a roadside diner, its exploration of the many forms love can take can touch some uncomfortable nerves, especially the relationship between a rowdy cowboy who kidnaps a nightclub singer with the intention of dragging her back to his ranch and making her his wife. “It’s funny,” says Selover. “But if you take a step back, it’s not funny.”
In addition to a season of socially relevant plays, The Western Stage’s 2007 lineup has two productions entering uncharted territory for the company.
The first is TWS’ production of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill’s classic The Three Penny Opera. “Brecht and Weill are really important artists in the development of 20th Century theatre,” said Selover, who studied both groundbreaking artists extensively in college. “And this will be the first time we touched them.” Through the adventures of the nefarious criminal Mack the Knife and his underworld colleagues, Brecht and Veil tried to highlight how the values of the criminal world reflect those of Capitalist society. Selover adds that The Threepenny Opera will also be the first musical the company has produced in the Studio Theater since its production of Honk! in 2000.
At around the
same time Mack the Knife will be crooning for Studio audiences next summer, TWS
will also be entering new territory with its Mainstage
production of I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change. Not only will it
be the first main stage musical the company will take on its now annual journey
Finally, in a similar vein, TWS will also be opening its Mainstage season with what many consider Cole Porter’s greatest musical, Kiss Me Kate. Based on William Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, this battle royale of the sexes features such standards as “Brush Up Your Shakespeare”, “Wunderbar”, and the bawdy “Tom, Dick, and Harry”.
Priority season reservations are now being accepted only through the Friends of The Western Stage donation program that has received a boost through the recently established Western Stage Endowment. Call 831-755-6980 for more information. Season tickets are still the best bargain, saving subscribers up to 42% off of the door price. Season ticket packages are now available. Call 831-375-2111 for more information or for a season brochure mailing in late winter. Single tickets will go on sale in April. Groups interested in purchasing a block of tickets should take advantage of TWS’ special group rate by calling Ron Cacas, TWS’ Marketing and Public Relations Manager, at (831) 759-6012.
For further information on TWS’ upcoming season, read the show descriptions below.
By William Inge
When a snowstorm closes the road to
Kiss Me Kate
Music and lyrics by Cole Porter
Book by Bella and Samuel Spewack
It’s a knock-down, drag-‘em-out, battle royale of the sexes—all to the music of Cole Porter. Recently divorced musical actors Fred Graham and Lili Vanessi are performing together again in a Broadway-bound revival of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew when life begins to imitate art in this lively and romantic play-within-a-play. When a wedding bouquet from Graham to another actress in the production is accidentally delivered to Lili, she finds her feelings for her ex-husband re-awakened. When she discovers that the flowers weren’t meant for her, she threatens to walk off the show. Lili and Fred begin feisty romance that mirrors their onstage performances as Katharine and Petruchio. Considered a comeback musical for Cole Porter after a car accident several years before left him in intolerable pain, Kiss Me Kate proved to be the most successful musical of his career, running over a thousand performances and earning five Tony Awards in 1949. The show features eighteen Porter classics including “Wunderbar”, “Too Darn Hot”, “Brush-Up Your Shakespeare”, “I Hate Men”, and the bawdy “Tom, Dick, and Harry”.
The Threepenny Opera
After John Gay’s The Beggar’s Opera
Book by Bertolt Brecht
Music by Kurt Weill
The play that changed
the course of Western Theatre. Set in an underworld of beggars, bandits, and prostitutes in
I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change
Book and lyrics by Joe DiPietro
Music by Jimmy Roberts
“Its Seinfeld set to music,” hailed the
Sun Ledger. Currently in its eleventh off-Broadway season, this hurly-burly
tour of modern day suburban romance is now the longest running musical review
& Dimed (Or Not Getting By in
Adapted by Joan Holden from the book Nickel and Dimed (or Not Getting by in
Her journey began with a slip of the
tongue. Tired of writing the same old articles for Harpers and the The Atlantic Monthly, journalist and activist
Barbara Ehrenrich suggested to her editor that she go
undercover and do a story about the working poor in
By Brendan Behan
It sounds like a plot ripped from the front page of today’s New York Times. A young British soldier is captured and held hostage until the British government agrees to release an Irish Republican Army soldier who is slated to be hung to the following morning. If his neck touches the noose, so too will the neck of the young British soldier. Drawing on an eclectic mix of theatrical styles from vaudevillian slap-stick to rollicking song and dance, Behan creates a tragic-comic farce that tackles the still burningly relevant issues of terrorism, warfare, and colonialism. Originally written in Irish Gaelic under the title of An Gial, Behan drew on his own experience as a soldier for the IRA who was twice sentenced to prison for attempted acts of terrorism. Many consider The Hostage the capstone to his tragically short and turbulent career.
Music by Richard Rodgers
Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
Book by Oscar Hammerstein and Joshua Logan
Adapted from the Pulitzer Prize winning novel Tales of the South Pacific by James Michener
One of the Great American Musicals. Set on a South Pacific island against the backdrop of World War II, Emile de Becque, a middle-aged French plantation owner, and Ensign Nellie Forbush, a Navy nurse, fall in love only to have their impending marriage derailed when Nellie discovers that her fiancée has had two Eurasian children with a Polynesian girl. Unable to reconcile her discomfort with the mixed race children, she threatens to call the marriage off. Meanwhile, in a parallel plot, a Marine Lieutenant named Cable comes to the island to ask Emile to help him on a mission to set up a coast watch on a nearby Japanese held island. While visiting Emile, Cable falls in love with the daughter of Bloody Mary, a Tankanese souvenir dealer. However, when Mary tries to persuade Cable to marry her daughter, Cable refuses because of her race. In the meantime, Emile, perceiving that he lost everything by losing Nellie, decides to help Lieutenant Cable on his dangerous mission. Considered one of Rodger and Hammerstein’s greatest and most controversial musicals, this Pulitzer Prize winning drama about love overcoming racial prejudice features such timeless standards as “Some Enchanted Evening”, “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair”, “Younger than Springtime” and “There is Nothing Like a Dame”.