A premiere of an original musical comedy, two classics performed in repertory, a reunion of the theater's five artistic directors, and a "rejuvenated" Dickens' favorite are highlights of Hartford Stage's 50th anniversary season beginning in September.
The season kicks off with two shows performed in repertory, staged by artistic director Darko Tresnjak: William Shakespeare's "Macbeth" with Kate Forbes ("The Crucible," "The Cover of Life") as Lady Macbeth and Marivaux' 1744 French comedy "La Dispute."
The same cast will perform in both productions: "La Dispute" runs Sept. 12 to Nov. 10 and "Macbeth" from Sept. 14 to Nov. 10. "La Dispute" is adapted by Tresnjak and Elizabeth Williamson, senior dramaturg/director of new play development who also did the translation.
Also on tap is the 15th season of "Brand:NEW" play reading series which will run Oct,. 24 to 27.
On Nov. 3, all five of the theater's artistic directors — founder Jacques Cartier, Paul Weidner, Mark Lamos, Michael Wilson and Tresnjak — will reunite for a panel discussion at the theater. On Nov. 4, former artists, staff, board members and members of the community will gather for a special benefit performance and party celebrating the theater's milestone.
Running Nov. 29 to Dec. 28 will be the 16th go-round of the off-subscription show, "A Christmas Carol — A Ghost Story of Christmas." Michael Wilson, the show's adapter and original director, returns to refresh the show with improvements in its set, costumes and special effects, in collaboration with the production's current director Maxwell Williams, the theater's associate artistic.
Steve Martin's comedy, "The Underpants," adapted from the German farce by Carl Sternheim, a co-production with New Haven's Long Wharf Theatre, staged by its artistic director Gordon Edelstein, runs Jan. 9 to Feb. 2. The show has a run at Long Wharf in New Haven late fall this year.
The two theaters previously collaborated inn 2005's "A Moon for the Misbegotten," 2008's "The Bluest Eye," and 2012's "Bell, Book and Candle." Edelstein also directed "The Crucible" two years ago at Hartford Stage.
Hartford Stage, collaborating with Hartford Symphony Orchestra, will present Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream,' with music by Mendelssohn, with HSO music director Carolyn Kuan conducting, Jan. 9 to 12.. The event will be at Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts as part of HSO's Masterworks Series.
Former artistic director Mark Lamos returns to stage Noel Coward's bittersweet comedy "A Song at Twilight," Feb. 20 to March 16, which will also be a co-production with Westport Country Playhouse, where Lamos is artistic director. Lamos' last Hartford Stage show was 2002's "Much Ado About Nothing."
It will be followed April 3 to 27, 2014 by the East Coast premiere of "Somewhere," by Matthew Lopez, current Aetna New Voices Fellow. The production will star Priscilla Lopez, original cast of Broadway's "A Chorus Line," and Tony Award-winner for "A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine," who is also Lopez' aunt. The dance-filled family saga will be directed by Giovanna Sardelli. Lopez' "The Whipping Man" was presented at the theater last year.
The season will conclude May 22 to June 15 with the musical comedy, "Love and Other Fables," a re-imagining of the life of Aesop. The show has a book by Jay Jeffries and John McMahon and lyrics by Jeffries (Broadway's "Stardust") and music by McMahon ("Satan's School for Girls"). John Rando (Broadway's "Urinetown") directs. The show had a workshop production in New York in 2011.
The anniversary season is made possible by a $250,000 "Legacy Sponsorship" from Travelers.
The National Corporate Theatre Fund will honor Hartford Stage — and four other regional theaters celebrating their 50th anniversaries — at a gala in New York on April 29.
Subscriptions for the anniversary season and single tickets to "A Christmas Carol" are now on sale.
Information: 860-527-5151 and www.hartfordstage.org.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun