David Hyde Pierce will direct Oscar Wilde's "The Importance of Being Earnest," which opens the main stage at Williamstown Theatre Festival June 26 to July 14. It marks the 58th season of WTF, located in the Massachusetts Berkshires, and the second under Jenny Gersten.
"Earnest" will be followed by "the preview production" (translation: no New York or national critics) of the new musical "Far From Heaven," which will run July 19 to 29. Directed by Michael Greif (Broadway's "Rent," "Next to Normal"), the book is by Richard Greenberg (Broadway's "Take Me Out"); with music by Scott Frankel and lyrics by Michael Korie (Broadway's "Grey Gardens"). Kelli O'Hara (Broadway's "Pajama Game") heads the cast.
Musical is based on the 2002 Todd Haynes film and is described" "Cathy Whitaker seems to be the picture-perfect wife and mother in 1957 suburban Connecticut. But roiling beneath the surface, secret longings and forbidden desires cause her world to unravel – with incendiary consequences. With a lush score that is both jazz-inflected and hauntingly lyrical [the show] is a powerful story of romance, betrayal, intolerance, and a woman grappling with her own identity in a society on the verge of great upheaval.
The final main stage show is Ivan Turgenev's "A Month in the Country," with a new translation by Richard Nelson, Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky. Directed by Nelson ,the show runs Aug. 1 to 19.
It will mark the return of WTF mainstay Danner who has not performed at the theater in years.
The new play will run June 27 to July 8. The play is described: "Though only in her twenties, Lila Miller is stuck, while her mother, Grace, is perpetually in motion. When Lila returns home to her family's exquisite Hamptons house and garden with only a plastic bag and a broken heart, there's no nurturing to be found, except as pertains to horticulture. The same painful history that threatens to drive mother and daughter permanently apart ultimately evolves into the one realm where reconnection might be possible. [The play] is an achingly honest and funny play about loss, growing up, and the benefits of aquaerobics."
Following will be a revival of Neil Simon's "Last of the Red Hot Lovers," directed by Jessica Stone, and running July 11 to 22.An additional Nikos Stage show, which will run from July 25 – August 4, will be announced at a later date.
The Nikos season will end with the world premiete of "Whaddabloodclot!!!" which runs Aug. 8 to 19. The show by Katori Hall ("the Mountaintop") is co-production wuitjh Signnature Theatre.
The show is decribed" "One-percenter Eden Higgenbotham lives a cushy Upper-East-Side life surrounded by equally affluent, vain, and snobbish friends. When a sudden stroke causes her to contract the very rare Foreign Accent Syndrome, which makes her speak uncontrollably with a Jamaican accent, she’s forced to embrace a dramatically altered identity. Irreverent and hilarious, [the show] is a searing satire of race and class."
The free show in Poker Flats Field will be "The Valley of Fear," based on the final novel by Arthur Conan Doyle -- and featuring Sherlock Holmes -- and adapted by Steve Lawson. The show will run July 18 to 27.Information: www.wtfestival.org. Single tickets will be available in April through the WTF website