Tuesday, February 14, 2006
Finally! Some confirmed, secured 2006/07 season information!
For the fist time since 2002 we're actally starting the season in the summer, with the season opener, LI'L ABNER, Johnny Mercer and Gene de Paul's 1956 adaptation of Al Capp's classic comic strip (book by Melvin Frank and Norman Panama.)
Greg's description of Li'l Abner:
Once a staple of high schools and community theatres, Li'l Abner has fallen by the wayside in the last couple of decades in favor of more recent hits. The show, a zany concoction about the clash between Dogpatch USA and Washington, DC actually includes some political satire that is still quite potent, as well as a terrific score that includes the showstopper "Jubilation T. Cornpone," as well as "Namely You," "If I Had My Druthers," "The Country's in the Very Best of Hands," "I'm Past My Prime," and the Sadie Hawkins Day Ballet (remember that Sadie Hawkins Day is the Dogpatch holiday when the women chase the men, and any fellow who gets caught gets hitched!) Encores had a popular concert production of it in 1998 and, coincidentally, the Goodspeed Opera House will be reviving it as their season opener this year as well. Oh, and there may be a casting surprise or two or three in the Li'l Abner company! The run dates are July 20th - August 6th.
At the other end of the season, the closing show returns to George and Ira Gershwin for the first time since Funny Face in 2000, with the 1933 farce PARDON MY ENGLISH.
Greg's description of Pardon My English:
The show was a 46-performance flop from 1933 that nevertheless had an outstanding score that features "Isn't It a Pity?" (My own personal favorite Gershwin ballad!), "The Lorelei," "My Cousin in Milwaukee," and "I've Got To Be There." In a coup of sorts for us, we've been able to secure the rights to the adaptation that was done for Encores! in 2004 by playwright David Ives. With only a sketchy rehearsal draft of the original script still in existence, Encores! hired Ives to create a new book from the extant bits and pieces. Ben Brantley in the New York Times asked "Should pure silliness be allowed to sound this ravishing?" and compared the tonic effect of the show's devil-may-care wackiness to "mainlining Prozac," a temporary cure for the anxiety of life in the 21st Century. Our dates for this fizzy frolic are April 12 - 29th, 2007.
And here are Greg's hints for the rest of the season:
The rest of our season should be ready to announce within a couple of weeks at the latest, with brochures going out soon after that. But I can give you a hint that it's likely to include a very intimate show by one of the theatre's greatest composer-lyricist teams (whom we have not had the pleasure of bringing to our stage so far!), the return of one of our most popular shows by a Golden Age great, and a classic movie story in a musical adaptation that has not been seen on San Francisco stages in over twenty years. Those hints, of course, are all with the caveat that they are accurate pending some last minute surprise move, which does happen sometimes!
Hmmmm. I don't think 42nd St. Moon has done a Kander & Ebb yet, but I can't think of an "intimate" show of theirs. And movie into musical adaptation? Well, believe it or not I'm not a huge movie musical fan, so I'm not going to be good at guessing on that one.
Anybody out there have some guesses?