The 2014-15 season at Mad Cow Theatre will feature big musicals, award-winning drama, romantic comedy and new works. The Orlando Cabaret Festival will return for a 13th year, April 23-May 10, 2015, and a second Science Play Festival will run Feb. 27-March 1, 2015.
Nine of the 10 theatrical offerings have been chosen. Here's what's in store:
•The Who's Tommy, Oct. 3-Nov. 2: Pete Townshend of seminal British rock band The Who created the show with director Des McAnuff ("Jersey Boys"). A rock opera, it tells the story of a teen pinball champion who gets caught up in fame. Based on The Who's 1969 double album, "Tommy" won the 1993 Tony Award for best original score.
•James Joyce's The Dead, Dec. 5-Jan. 4, 2015: Inspired by Joyce's short story, "The Dead" takes a nostalgic Christmas visit to an Irish home full of memories and lively music. For his work on the story, writer Richard Nelson won the 2000 Tony Award for best book of a musical.
•The Explorers Club, Jan. 23-Feb. 22, 2015: This new comedy details a crisis in 1879 when the gentlemen of the prestigious Explorers Club feel threatened by a potential new member — a woman. Nell Benjamin, a Tony nominee for writing the music and lyrics for "Legally Blonde," wrote the play, which debuted off-Broadway in 2013.
•Photograph 51, Feb. 20-March 15, 2015: Anna Zieglar's new drama tells the story of Dr. Rosalind Franklin, who in 1953 captured the world's first image of the DNA double helix. Yet, her success has been overlooked by history in the male-dominated world of science. The show was read at Mad Cow's first Science Play Festival in January.
•The Philadelphia Story, March 20-April 19, 2015: Philip Barry's 1939 romantic comedy centers on socialite Tracy Lord. Her wedding plans are complicated by the arrival of her ex-husband and an attractive tabloid journalist. The play starred Katharine Hepburn, who teamed with Cary Grant and Jimmy Stewart for the 1940 movie version. It was also adapted as a musical for film and stage with the title "High Society."
•Ain't Misbehavin', June 5-July 5, 2015: The popular revue of music by Thomas "Fats" Waller won the 1978 Tony for best musical. In this tribute to black musicians of the 1920s and '30s, singers perform a selection of songs, including "The Joint is Jumpin'" and the title tune, that reflect the era of the Harlem Renaissance.
•Dinner with Friends, June 19-July 19, 2015: Donald Margulies' 2000 Pulitzer prize-winning play is a tale of how the passing of time and the ebb and flow of passion affect us. With comic and dramatic moments, "Dinner with Friends" offers insight into the changing nature of friendship and romance.
•Clybourne Park, Aug. 7-Sept. 6, 2015: Inspired by Lorraine Hansberry's "A Raisin in the Sun," Bruce Norris uses comedy to explore the issues of race and community. Mad Cow's production of the 2012 Tony winner for best play will be only the second in Central Florida.
•Tribes, Aug. 21-Sept. 20, 2015: This modern play by British writer-director Nina Raine tells an inspiring story as the deaf child of an eccentric English family finds confidence and love. For its off-Broadway production in 2012, "Tribes" won the Drama Desk Award for outstanding play.
Mad Cow Theatre is at 54 W. Church St., Orlando. For more information, call 407-297-8788.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun