THE BROADWAY MUSICAL KISS ME, KATE COMPLETES
THE PASADENA PLAYHOUSE 2014–2015 SEASON
PASADENA, CA (April 10, 2014) – The Pasadena Playhouse (Artistic Director Sheldon Epps and Executive Director Elizabeth Doran) announced that the Cole Porter Broadway musical KISS ME, KATE, directed by Epps, will open the 2014–2015 Season and run from September 16– October 12, 2014.
KISS ME, KATE represents the iconic composer-lyricist Cole Porter at his very best and includes some of musical theatre’s most famous songs: “So in Love,” “Another Op’nin’ Another Show,” “Too Darn Hot,” and “Brush Up Your Shakespeare.” It is without a doubt one of the great classics of the American musical theatre, celebrating Shakespeare (it describes a production of The Taming of the Shrew) and the joys, madness, and the rewards of working in the theatre – both onstage and off. The book is by Bella and Samuel Spewack.
The Pasadena Playhouse production will view the work through a new lens, using the wonderful material of this celebrated production to showcase the trailblazing African-American touring troupes of the early 20th century. Those groups of traveling players brought the work of the Bard not just to New York, but to theatres all over the country.
“I am thrilled to be adding Cole Porter’s great masterpiece, one of the true classics of the American musical theatre canon, to our upcoming season.” Said Epps. “There are so many things about this brilliant show that speak to the very heart of our theatre – love of the classics, great storytelling, and the genuine celebration of the joys of a life in the theatre. As the director, I am looking forward to bringing a fresh eye to this great material and to conceiving our production in a way which will make this fantastic musical completely at home on the stage of The Playhouse.”
Many of the most famous actors of our time owe much to those pioneers, who included Hattie McDaniel, Paul Robeson, Earle Hyman, Jane White, and Dorothy Van Engle. Those brave actors brought literal “color” to great classical roles, opened doors for others, and represent the high style and theatricality that have always been embodied in Porter’s masterpiece.
The season also includes the critically acclaimed STOP KISS (November 4–30, 2014) by Diana Son, William Gibson’s rarely produced TWO FOR THE SEESAW (January 27–February 22, 2015), a new production of George Bernard Shaw’s PYGMALION (March 17–April 12, 2015); and an Artistic Director’s Choice to be announced at a later date.
Panto at The Playhouse returns with Lythgoe Family Productions’ special musical twist on the classic tale SLEEPING BEAUTY (December 10, 2014–January 4, 2015), which will be the third production of the 2014–2015 Season.
Subscriptions for the 2014–2015 Season are now available for purchase. All renewing subscribers will receive priority access to their current seat locations and new subscribers will receive the best available seats within requested sections.
The Pasadena Playhouse is located at 39 South El Molino Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91101. To purchase subscriptions and to request information about subscriptions, current productions, and The Pasadena Playhouse, please visit www.PasadenaPlayhouse.org, call the Box Office at 626-356-7529, or visit the Box Office. The Box Office phone lines are open Monday-Friday from 12:00 noon-6:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. on non-performance dates. For Box Office visits on non-performance dates, the Box Office windows are open Tuesday-Sunday from 1:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. For Box Office visits on performance dates, the Box Office windows are open Tuesday-Saturday from 1:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m., and Sunday from 1:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. Group subscriptions are also available.
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The Pasadena Playhouse 2014–2015 Season features:
KISS ME, KATE (Production #1)
Music and Lyrics by Cole Porter
Book by Bella and Samuel Spewack
Directed by Sheldon Epps
September 16 – October 12, 2014
KISS ME, KATE represents the legendary Cole Porter at his very best. It is without a doubt one of the great classics of the American musical theatre, celebrating Shakespeare and the joys, madness, and the rewards of working in the theatre— – both onstage and off. The Pasadena Playhouse production will view the work through a new lens, – using the wonderful material of this celebrated production to showcase the trailblazing African- American touring troupes of the early 20th century. Those “groups of traveling players” that brought the work of the Bard not just to New York City, but to theatres all over the country. Many of the most famous actors of our time owe much to those pioneers, who included such as Hattie McDaniel, Paul Robeson, Earle Hyman, Jane White, and Dorothy Van Eangle. Those brave actors such as those brought literal “color” to great classical roles, opened doors for others, and represent the high style and theatricality that have always been embodied in Porter’s masterpiece.
STOP KISS (Production #2)
By Diana Son
Directed by Seema Sueko
November 4 – 30, 2014
STOP KISS features The Pasadena Playhouse’s Associate Artistic Director Seema Sueko as she makes her directorial debut at The Playhouse. Originally produced Off-Broadway at The Public Theater, with a cast including Sandra Oh and Jessica Hecht, this critically acclaimed play received the GLAAD Media Award for Best New York Production. In this drama, Sara and Callie take a walk through New York City’s West Village late at night when they share their first kiss. The two women are then viciously attacked and Sara is seriously injured. In a groundbreaking illustration of human emotion and compassion, Diana Son thoughtfully examines how we explore, form, and even end relationships.
SLEEPING BEAUTY (Production #3)
Panto at The Playhouse
By Kris Lythgoe
Directed by Bonnie Lythgoe
Produced in association with Lythgoe Family Productions
December 10, 2014 – January 4, 2015
In the style of the traditional British family Panto, Lythgoe Family Productions presents an updated holiday version of the well-known tale of SLEEPING BEAUTY, featuring family-friendly magic, a comedic twist, and contemporary music. A Panto’s interactive style and humor successfully appeal to fairytale fans of all ages. The Los Angeles Times says, “Those who have never been to a panto will have a glorious introduction to the forum.”
TWO FOR THE SEESAW (Production #4)
By William Gibson
Directed by Sheldon Epps
January 27 – February 22, 2015
Rarely produced, this celebrated American romantic comedy by William Gibson (The Miracle Worker, Golda’s Balcony) is bound for London in association with Nigel Lythgoe, Kris Lythgoe, and Becky Lythgoe. TWO FOR THE SEESAW was Gibson’s first foray onto Broadway, and the original critically acclaimed production starred Henry Fonda and Anne Bancroft, who made her Broadway debut. In this unforgettable play, newly separated lawyer Jerry Ryan moves from Nebraska to New York and meets Gittel Mosca, a struggling dancer. As Jerry and Gittel begin to fall in love, they experience hardship as their differences in background and attitudes create challenges.
PYGMALION (Production #5)
By George Bernard Shaw
March 17 – April 12, 2015
In this fresh interpretation of PYGMALION, first presented on stage in 1912, phonetics professor Henry Higgins bets that after he finishes transforming Cockney flower girl Eliza Doolittle, her flawless speech and delicate façade will allow her to pass for a duchess at an ambassador’s garden party. This classic favorite perfectly skewers the rigid British class system and continues to serve as an insightful commentary on women’s independence.
ARTISTIC DIRECTOR’S CHOICE (Production #6)
To Be Announced
Last season’s presentation of the controversial production of Twelve Angry Men, cast with six black men and six white men, created heated debates amongst Playhouse theatregoers and the media. Artistic Director Sheldon Epps, who directed Twelve Angry Men, takes the opportunity to find the last production to add to his season’s mix. As demonstrated by previous ARTISTIC DIRECTOR’S CHOICE selections, such as One Night with Janis Joplin or Baby It’s You!, audiences are delighted by new and engaging theatrical experiences.
Please note: Production #6 of the Season will play June 2-28, 2015.
Full casting and creative teams for each production will be announced at later dates.
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