Spiro Veloudos of Boston’s Lyric Stage has announced six of its seven productions for its 2012-13 season, as well as an extension of the run for its runaway hit, Avenue Q through August, 2012. Of particular interest to Berkshire theatre-goers is The Chosen, a follow up to My Name is Asher Lev which was such a popular work, introducing the tales of Chaim Potok to New England audiences. A director has not been announced yet. Scott Edmiston received raves for his Lyric Stage production, as did Aaron Posner, who adapted the play and directed the Barrington Stage production in summer, 2011.
Also guaranteed to be both high art and populist camp is The Mikado by Gilbert and Sullivan, all to rarely done these days. I for one can hardly wait for this classic tale of love between Yum-Yum and Nanki-Poo. Everyone in the audience will be on the edge of their seats waiting to find out if the Lord High Executioner chops off Nanni-Poos head, or if they live happily ever after.
Giving the technical crew at Lyric Stage a real workout will be David Henry Hwang’s Chinglish which is performed in both English and Mandarin (with English subtitles). It is downright hilarious. It played its final Broadway performance on January 29, 2012. Also pushing the envelope is 33 Variations from Moisés Kaufman who also wrote the highly imaginative Laramie Project.
The latest work of Lynn Nottage, By the Way, Meet Vera Stark confronts racial stereotypes with humor. Nottage won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for her play Ruined. She began writing for the theatre after being inspired by school productions of The Wiz and Annie.
Closing out the season is On the Town, the joyous adventure of three American sailors on liberty in the Big Apple. It will put a smile on everyone’s face.
And with one more show yet to be announced, it looks like another spectacular season for Lyric Stage. For more information, go to lyricstage.com If more than a few of these plays interest you, you should consider a subscription, not only to save a few dollars, but since Lyric has one of the largest subscriber followings in New England and their prime seats and dates go their most loyal supporters.
Music by Arthur Sullivan
Libretto by W.S. Gilbert
September 9 – October 15. 2012
Three little maids from school, a wandering minstrel, a pompous government official, and the Lord High Executioner . . . just some of the hilariously absurd characters in Gilbert & Sullivan’s most beloved operetta, The Mikado. Set in the fictional town of Titipu, The Mikado is a tale of the beautiful school girl Yum-Yum who is engaged to be married to Ko-Ko despite her love for the romantic wandering minstrel, Nanki-Poo. Will these two young lovers find their happily-ever-after . . . or will heads roll? This DELICIOUSLY WITTY MUSICAL SATIRE of social mores and politics is sure to delight audiences of all ages!
“As a piece of stage show, The Mikado is, perhaps, the best of all!” – Times of London, 1885
Adapted by Aaron Posner and Chaim Potok
From the novel by Chaim Potok
October 19 – November 19, 2012
This captivating and emotionally moving coming-of-age story by the authors of My Name Is Asher Lev follows two boys from different cultural groups as their relationships with each other, their families, and their own spirituality evolve in 1940s Brooklyn. Called “a jewel” by the Wall Street Journal, it is A PROFOUND STORY OF ACCEPTANCE AND UNDERSTANDING.
“An engrossing and intelligent adaptation. A rich, satisfying, and thought provoking entertainment.” – Talkin’ Broadway
by David Henry Hwang
November 30 – December 31, 2012
Named one of TIME magazine’s 10 best plays of 2011, Chinglish follows an American businessman in a bustling Chinese province looking to cash in on the area’s growth potential. He engages a British consultant to navigate the linguistic and cultural clash his venture unwittingly sparks and gets more than he bargained for. A HILARIOUS COMEDY OF MISTRANSLATION AND MANNERS by Tony® and Obie Award-winning playwright David Henry Hwang (M Butterfly).
“Perceptive, intelligent, and very, very funny!” – Backstage.com
By Moisés Kaufman
January 4 – February 4, 2013
A mother coming to terms with her daughter. A composer coming to terms with his gift. Separated by 200 years, these two people share an obsession that transcends the boundaries of time. Moisés Kaufman (The Laramie Project, Gross Indecency) has written AN EXTRAORDINARY PLAY ABOUT THE CREATIVE PROCESS, parenthood, the genius of Beethoven, and the moments of beauty that can transform life.
Featuring Paula Plum and James Andreassi.
“An utterly absorbing new play!” – TheatreMania
By the Way, Meet Vera Stark
by Lynn Nottage
March 29 – April 29, 2013
In a new screwball comedy, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lynn Nottage takes AFUNNY AND IRREVERENT LOOK AT RACIAL STEREOTYPES IN HOLLYWOOD. By the Way, Meet Vera Stark is a seventy-year journey through the life of Vera Stark, a headstrong African-American maid and budding actress, and her tangled relationship with her boss, a white Hollywood star desperately grasping to hold on to her career. When circumstances collide and both women land roles in the same Southern epic, the story behind the cameras leaves Vera with a surprising and controversial legacy scholars will debate for years to come.
“A brilliantly realized satire about racial stereotypes.” – TheatreMania
On The Town
Book & Lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green
Music by Leonard Bernstein
Based on an idea of Jerome Robbins
May 10 – June 10, 2013
Meet Chip, Ozzie, and Gabey – three American sailors with one day in New York City to see the sights, meet a girl, and have the time of their lives. The energetic and humorous score of Leonard Bernstein (Candide, West Side Story) melds perfectly with the sharp and witty book by Betty Comden and Adolph Green (Singin’ in the Rain, The Will Rogers Follies) to create AN UPLIFTING AND EXUBERANT MUSICAL EXPERIENCE, including such memorable songs as “New York, New York” and “I Can Cook, Too.”
“Gloriously bright, witty, and off-the-wall!” – New York Times, 1998
… plus one more production to be announced soon!