Vermont’s award-winning Weston Playhouse Theatre Company announces a blockbuster line-up for its 81st summer season in 2017, continuing its tradition of “celebrating the classics and nurturing the new.” Highlights include a 4-play MainStage season of Tony Award winners, 3 prestigious Vermont Premieres, and the long-awaited opening of its new second stage.
“We have pulled out all the stops to continue to celebrate our eight decades of professional theatre,” notes Producing Artistic Director Steve Stettler. “Weston favorites will join newcomers of national standing as we bring to life some of the greatest plays and musicals both old and new.” The season will be capped by the opening of Weston’s new second stage, an intimate and flexible space that will enable the company to expand its future seasons and offer year-round programs.
Opening the company’s MainStage season at the Weston Playhouse is the Vermont Premiere of the 2012 Tony Award-winning musical, ONCE. Featuring a multi-talented ensemble of actor/singer/musicians, ONCE is set in Dublin and chronicles the chance meeting of an Irish street musician and a young Czech woman. Based on the Oscar-winning film of the same name and including the Academy Award-winning song “Falling Softly,” ONCE is a soaring modern musical tale about finding love in unexpected places, pursuing your dreams, and the power of music to connect us all. Performances run June 27 to July 15, 2017.
Next on the MainStage is Neil Simon’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play LOST IN YONKERS. After the death of his wife, ne’er-do-well Eddie deposits his two young sons on his mother’s doorstep to contend with their stern Grandma, flighty aunt Bella and her secret romance, and their uncle Louie, a small-time hooligan. Set in 1942, LOST IN YONKERS is a heartfelt coming-of-age story by one of America’s greatest comic playwrights. Performances run July 20 to July 29, 2017.
Then, for three packed weeks, the Playhouse will echo with “Seventy-Six Trombones” as Meredith Willson’s Tony Award-winning THE MUSIC MAN returns to the Weston MainStage. The beloved musical follows fast-talking traveling salesman Harold Hill as he cons the townspeople of River City, Iowa into paying for a boys’ band that he has no idea or intention how to organize. But when he falls for Marian, the librarian, his plans to skip town with the cash are foiled and a town is transformed. With a score of favorites such as “Till There Was You” and “Lida Rose,” this Grammy-winning classic continues to delight audiences of all ages. Performances run August 3 to 19, 2017.
Closing out the MainStage Season is Weston’s third annual American Masters production: Eugene O’Neill’s masterwork, LONG DAY’S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT. Following an ordinary summer’s day with extraordinary consequences, this Pulitzer Prize-winning drama draws heavily from O’Neill’s personal life, so much so that it was only produced after his death. Recently revived on Broadway, the story of the Tyrone family and their battle to uncover—and bury—a lifetime of secrets continues to prove itself as one of the most profound and powerful plays ever brought to the stage. Performances run August 24 to September 3, 2017, followed by a week of special school matinees.
Opening the company’s popular OtherStages series at the Weston Rod and Gun Club, Weston’s talented Young Company of musical theatre undergrads performs REALLY ROSIE, based on Maurice Sendak’s timeless children’s books with a score by Carole King (Broadway’s BEAUTIFUL). In this up-beat and imaginative musical, Rosie, the self-proclaimed sassiest kid on the block, entertains her friends by producing an imaginary movie based on the exciting, dramatic, funny (and slightly exaggerated) story of her life. A one-hour show performed at family-friendly times and prices, REALLY ROSIE plays from June 22 to July 9, 2017.
Next on Weston’s OtherStages is the Vermont Premiere of TENDERLY. Beloved actress/singer Rosemary Clooney delighted America for nearly five decades. Her story comes to life in TENDERLY, an inspiring new musical that begins with her simple Maysville, Kentucky childhood and follows her rise to Hollywood stardom, her struggles with depression and addiction, and her triumphant resurgence. Featuring signature songs such as “Come On-A My House,” “Botcha-Me,” and “Mambo Italiano,” TENDERLY shows us the star we knew, and the woman we didn’t. Performances run July 13 to August 5, 2017.
The OtherStages season closes with the Vermont Premiere of BUYER AND CELLAR which the New York Times dubbed “the most talked-about new comedy of the season.” The Off Broadway hit is the fictional account of struggling L.A. actor Alex More, who takes a day job as the lone sales clerk for Barbra Streisand. Working in the superstar’s personal mall in the basement of her Malibu mansion, Alex gains insight into the cost of fame, the price of things, and the oddest of odd jobs. A one-man tour de force, BUYER AND CELLAR is quickly becoming a favorite of regional theaters nationwide. Performances run August 10 to September 3, 2017.
Throughout the summer, audiences can enjoy pre-show dinner in the theatre’s popular restaurant, the West Town Eatery, under the continued management of Rogan and Abby Lechthaler of the acclaimed Downtown Grocery in nearby Ludlow. And they can round off the evening with Weston’s legendary Cabaret, dubbed “best spot for a nightcap” by Yankee magazine. The zany hour-long music and comedy revue is performed in the theatre’s licensed lounge nightly through late August.
The season will conclude with the opening of the company’s new second stage on the Walker Farm property in Weston, a project ten years in the making. “We’re planning a series of events in late September and October to celebrate this exciting achievement,” promises Stettler. “Watch our web site for details of a ribbon-cutting, tours of the facility, and a special inaugural performance.”
Gift certificates for the Weston 2017 season can be purchased online 24/7 at westonplayhouse.org. Subscription sales will be available online starting spring 2017, and subscription and single ticket sales will be available by calling the Weston box office at 802-824-5288 beginning May 1, 2017.
The Weston Playhouse Theatre Company is a non-profit organization supported in part by funds from the Vermont Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Arts and an ever growing family of individuals who believe in the impact that the performing arts can have on its community.