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THEATRE NEWS FOR THE SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA +SACRAMENTO NEWS

 

THEATRE NEWS FOR THE SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA

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Tickets for Disney’s ALADDIN at the SHN Orpheum Theatre ON SALE Friday, June 16

Limited Engagement Begins November 1, 2017Through January 7, 2018

Disney Theatrical Productions and SHN announced today that tickets for the long-awaited engagement of Disney’s ALADDIN will go on sale to the public on Friday, June 16.  The hit Broadway musical will begin performances on November 1, 2017 for a limited engagement of 10 weeks through January 7, 2018.

 

Beginning Friday, June 16, tickets will be available online at shnsf.com starting 6am PT, by calling SHN Audience Services at 888-746-1799 starting 10am PT, or at the SHN Orpheum Theatre Box Office starting 12pm PT.  Orders for groups of fifteen (15) or more may be placed by calling 888-746-1799, option 3. VIP Ticket Packages, which include the best seats in the theatre, a commemorative souvenir program, and an exclusive Disney’s ALADDIN VIP tote bag, are also available.

 

Ticket buyers are reminded that SHN and Vivid Seats are the only official retail ticket outlets for all performances at the SHN Orpheum Theatre. Ticket buyers who purchase tickets from a ticket broker or any third party should be aware that the SHN Orpheum Theatre is unable to reprint or replace lost or stolen tickets and is unable to contact patrons with information regarding time changes or other pertinent updates regarding the performance.

 

About ALADDIN

Aladdin opened on Broadway at the New Amsterdam Theatre to critical acclaim on March 20, 2014 and quickly established itself as one of the biggest new blockbusters in recent years, breaking 12 New Amsterdam Theatre house records and welcoming over four million people worldwide. Its global footprint has expanded to include productions in Tokyo, Hamburg, London and Melbourne, in addition to the two U.S. productions.

 

Produced by Disney Theatrical Productions, the showfeatures music by Tony Award and eight-time Oscar® winner Alan Menken (Beauty and the Beast, Newsies, Sister Act), lyrics by two-time Oscar winner Howard Ashman (Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid), three-time Tony Award and three-time Oscar winner Tim Rice (Evita, Aida) and four-time Tony Award nominee Chad Beguelin (The Wedding Singer), with a book by Beguelin, and is directed and choreographed by Tony Award winner Casey Nicholaw (The Book of Mormon, Something Rotten!).

 

Aladdin, adapted from the Disney film and centuries-old folktales including “One Thousand and One Nights,” is brought to fresh theatrical life in this bold new musical.  Aladdin’s journey sweeps audiences into an exotic world of daring adventure, classic comedy and timeless romance.  This new production features a full score, including the five cherished songs from the Academy Award-winning soundtrack and more written especially for the stage.

 

The animated film Aladdin was released by Disney in 1992 and was a critical and box office smash, grossing over $500 million worldwide (not adjusted for inflation) and becoming the highest-grossing film of the year.

 

The film won the Oscar for Best Original Score and introduced the hit song “A Whole New World,” which won the second of the film’s two Academy Awards as Best Original Song.  The Peabo Bryson/Regina Belle recording of the tune soared to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

 

Aladdin is designed by seven-time Tony-winning scenic designer Bob Crowley, six-time Tony-winning lighting designer Natasha Katz, two-time Tony-winning costume designer Gregg Barnes and sound designer Ken Travis.

 

The production team also includes illusion designer Jim Steinmeyer, hair designer Josh Marquette and makeup designer Milagros Medina-Cerdeira.  The music team is headed by music supervisor and music director Michael Kosarin, who also created the vocal and incidental music arrangements, joined by orchestrator Danny Troob and dance music arranger Glen Kelly.

 

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BERKELEY REP’S ARTISTIC DIRECTOR TONY TACCONE RESPONDS TO RECENT CONTROVERSY AT THE PUBLIC THEATER

Something wicked this way comes……”

 

Over the past week, a controversy has emerged surrounding The Public Theater’s  production of Julius Caesar now playing in New York’s Central Park As staged by director Oskar Eustis, the actor portraying Caesar is dressed to appear like Donald Trump. The famous assassination that occurs in the middle of the play has incensed political pundits from Breitbart and Fox News, provoking them to express their scorn and moral outrage and claiming that the artists involved are endorsing the murder of our president. Their reaction, in turn, spurred other citizens (the vast majority of whom had not seen the production first-hand) to pressure corporate sponsors Delta Airlines and Bank of America to withdraw their support of the production – which they did with breathtaking speed.  Mr. Trump’s own son added his fury to the fray by questioning the role of any corporation providing philanthropic support for the show, which he mockingly referred to as “art.”

These reactions are deeply troubling for two reasons.

 

Concluding that any production of Julius Caesar endorses assassination is, at the very least, misguided. Shakespeare spends the entire latter half of the play criticizing both the effectiveness of murder as a political strategy and analyzing the psychological and moral consequences of such a deed. Tyranny is never eliminated when the means of removing the tyrant are the same methods he used to seize power. The play, one could argue, is a condemnation of such actions. Any criticism of The Public’s production needs to include the full narrative of the story in order to understand the intentions of the artists. To do less is to foster ignorance.  And to manipulate the argument so as to defund or close the show is pernicious.

 

Secondly: Regardless of the debate over the content of the show, freedom of speech is the great gift of our Constitution. It guarantees that all of us have the right to voice our opinions. This tenet is critical to democracy, and to any society that aspires to engage its citizenry. It is especially important to artists, who not only have the right but the responsibility to describe their experience of the world. It is their job to not only entertain us, but to make us think about our society. To catalyze our imagination and to jolt us into action. To test our boundaries, sometimes uncomfortably. That is the job of the artist.

 

Those supporting the arts are keenly aware of this. Or should be. Philanthropy is a risk, because art is a risky endeavor. But when philanthropists withdraw their support of any project without a deeper recognition of both artistic intent and our fundamental rights, they abdicate their role as leaders in the community. They become reduced to frightened players in the marketplace, as opposed to enlightened guardians of culture. And that’s not fake news. That’s just bad news for all of us.

 

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THEATREWORKS SILICON VALLEY GATHERS PLAYWRIGHTS AND COMPOSERS FOR 16TH ANNUAL NEW WORKS FESTIVAL August 11 – 20, 2017 Lucie Stern Theatre, Palo Alto

 

– Continuing its commitment to developing new works, TheatreWorks Silicon Valley will gather playwrights and composers from across the nation for its 2017 New Works Festival at Palo Alto’s Lucie Stern Theatre, where the public can attend performances, participate in a panel discussion with the artists, and share in the journey of developing new works for the American theatre. TheatreWorks Silicon Valley’s Director of New Works Giovanna Sardelli has announced a stellar line-up which includes staged readings of two musicals, three plays, and other special events. Among the musical highlights for 2017: the Tony Award-nominated Come From Away composers are coming to Palo Alto to rework their Fringe hit musical,  and local audiences will get a sneak peek of a penetrating new work about the original bad girl group The Shangri-Las. Plays include outside/inside looks at Hollywood, an airline disaster, and a modern Faust.  The popular festival runs August 11 – 20, 2017 at the Lucie Stern Theatre, 1305 Middlefield Rd., Palo Alto. Festival passes ($65 general/$49 season subscribers) and single event tickets ($20) can be purchased online at theatreworks.org or by calling (650) 463-1960.

 

 

TheatreWorks’ 16th Annual New Works Festival once again offers audiences an extraordinary opportunity to experience new musicals and plays in their early stages of development. Presented this year are two musicals: My Mother’s Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding, a comic love story about a mother and the woman who changed her life by recent Tony-nominees (Come From Away) Irene Sankoff and David Hein; and Past, Present, Future: The Shangri-Las by David Stenn, a musical journey of the ground-breaking 1960s tough girl group and their mysterious end.  Audiences will also see three play including: 3 Farids by Ramiz Monsef, a rollicking Hollywood comedy that rockets from casting calls to movie shoots to gala openings as three Arab-American actors combat the type-casting of Tinseltown; Tiny Homes by Stephanie Zadravec, a dramatic look at the deeply personal impacts of the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH-17; and Deal with the Dragon, a darkly camp comedy with a Faustian twist by actor/author Kevin Rolston. Other events include a keynote address from famed clown and Cirque du Soleil star Jeff Raz, a bold late-night sketch event inspired by real-life internet interactions, and an open rehearsal of a new play in progress. For two busy weeks in August, patrons can applaud, debate, and help shape new works, and interact directly with the writers at a Meet the Artists Panel.

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TOWN HALL THEATRE ANNOUNCES SEASON 2017-2018: GENERATIONS

 

Town Hall Theatre Company (THT) is excited to announce four dynamic plays in the lineup for its 2017-2018 Season: Generations. Town Hall’s Season opens with the musical The Song of the Nightingale by local playwright/composer Min Kahng; continues with the local premiere of A Civil War Christmas: An American Musical Celebration by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paula Vogel, followed by Alan Ayckbourn’s dark comedy Woman in Mind; and closes with Kate Hamill’s sparkling new adaptation of Jane Austen’s Sense & Sensibility. Subscription package sales are now available.

 

The remarkable plays in the 2017-2018 Town Hall Theatre Season are all stories about Generations. Artistic Director Evans says: “Each of our plays next season are about the relationships between the old and the young, past and present, whether it’s a Chinese Emperor gaining wisdom from a young kitchen maid, a mother and daughter fleeing to freedom at the end of the Civil War, a suburban English housewife ping-ponging between two families, or Jane Austen’s romping story of a family’s fall from fortune and two sisters’ love affairs – these are all stories linking one human history to another, and about the connections and bonds between us.”

 

SEASON 2017-2018

 

Town Hall Theatre Season 2017-2018 kicks off in September with the local premiere of The Song of the Nightingale – A Musical Fairy Tale with book, music and lyrics by award-winning Bay Area playwright Min Kahng. This enchanting new pop musical for the whole family had its world premiere at Altarena Playhouse in 2013, and is newly revised by the playwright for the Town Hall Theatre stage. Based upon a Hans Christian Andersen fairy-tale, The Song of the Nightingale is a magical, musical romp that reminds us that true beauty and worth is always found within. Directed by Michael Mohammed; Music Direction by Margaret Halbig. Starts in September 2017.

 

 

THT’s 2017 holiday offering is A Civil War Christmas: An American Musical Celebration by Pulitzer Prize-winner Paula Vogel, with music by Daryl Waters. Set on Christmas Eve, 1864, in Washington, D.C., and featuring hymns and carols of the period, this warm and deeply moving musical play masterfully interweaves stories of lives from both sides of the Civil War. Directed by Dawn Monique Williams, 2016 Princess Grace Award Winner and current OSF Resident Artist, with music direction by Margaret Halbig. Starts November 30, 2017.

 

Woman in Mind, by “the comic poet of middle class life” Alan Ayckbourn, arrives at Town Hall in March 2018.  The Telegraph called this dark comedy “perhaps the most daring and poignant” of all the British playwright’s works. The play follows the tribulations of a humdrum English housewife who accidentally conks herself unconscious, then finds herself suddenly surrounded by the ideal fantasy family. When her real and imaginary worlds collide, those fantasies take on a comical and nightmarish life of their own.  Directed by Dennis Markam. Starts March 2018.

 

Rounding out the season is the rollicking new adaptation of Sense and Sensibility by Kate Hamill, based on the novel by Jane Austen. Called “perhaps the greatest stage adaptation of this novel in history” and “an unconditional delight” by the critics, Hamill’s adaptation is full of humor and inventive theatricality, while staying remarkably faithful to the beloved classic tale of the Dashwood sisters – sensitive Elinor and hypersensitive Marianne – in gossipy late 18th century England. Directed by Susan E. Evans. Starts May 2018.

 

Town Hall Education continues to provide the kind of exceptional training that the Lamorinda community has come to expect over the last 50+ years. This Season THE’s shows also feature stories about Generations. New this year: Performance classes in a new location, Orinda Square.

 

At Town Hall’s Music & Comedy events, audiences enjoy the musical power of an arena with the intimacy of a private concert.  This year will see the return of some of hottest music and comedy in the East Bay, including the hilarious political satirist Will Durst and bands Petty Theft and Dream Posse.

 

For the 2017-18 season, THT recognizes the generosity of our community and foundation donors, including The Dean & Margaret Lesher Foundation, The Pure Dana Fund, The Downes Family Foundation, the Bill Graham Memorial Foundation, the Lafayette Community Foundation, and a myriad of others.

 

Subscribers to Town Hall Theatre get substantial savings, and enjoy free ticket exchange privileges as well as priority seating. New this Season: subscribers may exchange tickets by text messaging our box office. THT’s 4-play Full Season package guarantees tickets for the full slate of shows with prices ranging from $72 to $100; 3-show Main Season packages range from $54 to $75; and 2-show packages range from $36 to $55. Additional subscription discounts are available for senior citizens and youth.

New for 2017-18: Under 35 Package! Patrons 18 – 35 receive 26-36% percent off 2-Show and 3-show subscription packages.

Town Hall Theatre Company, 3535 School Street, in Lafayette, CA 94549.  The Box Office is open Tuesday through Friday, 4:00 to 6:00PM and Saturday 2:00-4:00 pm and can be reached at 925.283.1557. Information is also available at www.TownHallTheatre.com.

 

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Directors, Dramaturgs Named To Team With Festival Artists:

Directors: Desdemona Chiang, Susannah Martin, Evren Odcikin,

Ken Savage, Tracy Ward, and Becca Wolff.

Dramaturgs: Anthony Clarvoe, Nakissa Etemad, Sonia Fernandez, Regina Fields, Allie Moss, and Karen Piemme

27 actors to join the festival acting company including Dan Hiatt, Adrian Roberts, Amin El Gamal, Sarita Ocon, Keiko Shimisato & Liam Vincent

Playwrights Foundation, the West Coast’s premiere launchpad for exceptional emerging playwrights has named the artistic teams and daily schedule for the 40th Anniversary Bay Area Playwrights Festival (BAPF).  The 40th Anniversary Bay Area Playwrights Festival runs July 13 – 23, 2017 at Custom Made Theatre, 533 Sutter Street in the heart of San Francisco’s Theater District.  In addition to twelve staged readings, the Festival will offer a Theater Professionals weekend 7/21-23, special events, and an anniversary celebration 7/13.  Tickets at bayareaplaywrightsfestival.org.

 

This 40th anniversary BAPF incubates and showcases six newly written, unfinished works by an extraordinary group of culturally diverse, rising American playwrights who were selected from nearly 500 submissions. Playwrights Clarence Coo, Lauren Gunderson, Mona Mansour, Nilan Johnson, Hilary Bettis and Bennett Fisher will each develop new works, to be performed twice over the two week festival, and are paired with special events to be announced.  Each weekend’s daily schedule follows at end.

 

Confirmed directors for the festival are Desdemona Chiang, Susannah Martin, Evren Odcikin, Ken Savage, Tracy Ward, and Becca Wolff. Anthony Clarvoe, Nakissa Etemad, Sonia Fernandez, Regina Fields, Allie Moss, and Karen Piemme will serve as dramaturgs. Each are seasoned, acclaimed theater artists, deeply connected within the Bay Area community.   Ms. Chiang most recently directed As You Like It at Cal Shakes, Evren Odickin of Golden Thread Productions recently directed Autobiography of a Terrorist and HeLa, Susannah Martin recently directed The Events at Shotgun Players,and Becca Wolff directed BAPF alumnae Jen Silverman’s The Roommate at the Playhouse. Ken Savage is the lead new play producer at A.C.T.’s Strand Theatre, recently launching its New Strands Festival,  and Sonia Fernandez is the Magic Theater’s Associate Artistic Director.

 

Special Event:

The Festival kick-offs with an Anniversary Celebration Thursday, July 13th at 6:30PM on the exclusive Rooftop Terrace at 343 Sansome St, San Francisco.  The event, a benefit for Playwrights Foundation, features a sneak peek at the festival, special guests, including Obie Award-winning local playwright Chris Chen, this year’s playwrights, and alumni; cocktails; music; and lively conversation.  Tickets are $20 – 100 and are available at bayareaplaywrightsfestival.org.  Mechanics Bank is the event sponsor and host.

 

Artistic Teams and Schedule:

Clarence Coo: The Birds of Empathy              Friday July 14 at 8PM and Sunday, July 23 at 1:30PM

Director: Ken Savage  Dramaturg: Allie Moss

Audubon’s Birds America becomes a gay man’s guide to relationships and casual sex, opens and closes the Festival.

 

Lauren Gunderson: The Fatales              Saturday 7/15 at 12PM and Saturday 7/22 at 8PM

Director: Tracy Ward  Dramaturg Karen Piemme

An epic feminist pop crusade for a knowing justice, via musical defiance.

 

Nilan Johnson: Endangered Species        Saturday 7/15 at 4PM and Saturday 7/22 at 4PM

Director Desdemona Chiang      Dramaturg Regina Fields

An afro-surrealist futuristic legend in which blackness ceases to exist.

 

Hilary Bettis: Magic City                  Saturday 7/15 at 8PM and Saturday 7/22 at 12PM

Director: Susannah Martin Dramaturg: Anthony Clarvoe

An explosive elixir of power, class, and immigration status in a Spanish infused adaptation of Strindberg’s Miss Julie.

 

Bennett Fisher: Damascus               Sunday, 7/16 at 1:30PM and Friday, 7/21 at 4PM

Director: Becca Wolff         Dramaturg: Nakissa Etemad

A high-stakes, road-rage thriller that delves full-force into the misguided politics of terrorism.

 

Mona Mansour: We Swim, We Talk, We Go To War Sunday, 7/16 at 5:30PM and Friday, 7/21 at 8PM

Director:  Evren Odcikin            Dramaturg: Sonia Fernandez

An Arab-American woman and her nephew dip into treacherous waters, presented in partnership with Golden Thread Productions.

 

Single ticket prices for the Festival range from $15 – $25. Also available  the VIP Pass, an all-access ticket to all 12 readings and 3-play Flex Passes.  Early Bird Pricing is in effect until June 20.  For additional information on ticket offerings, please visit bayareaplaywrightsfestival.org.

 

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BERKELEY REPERTORY THEATRE EXTENDS MONSOON WEDDING FOR THIRD AND FINAL WEEK

By popular demand, seven additional performances added – must close Sunday, July 16

– Following a continued overwhelmingly positive response from audiences and critics alike, Berkeley Rep has announced that the world premiere musical of Mira Nair’s Monsoon Wedding will extend for a third and final week. The new musical will now run through Sunday, July 16.

Starting today, tickets for the added seven performances can be purchased online at berkeleyrep.org and, starting Tuesday, by phone at 510 647-2949.

 

Monsoon Wedding is the perfect storm that starts brewing when family members from around the world descend on Delhi for a nonstop four-day celebration of an arranged marriage between a modern uppermiddle-class Indian family’s only daughter and an Indian-American guy she’s never met. But the bride is having an affair, her father’s financial troubles deepen, and dark family secrets surface. The forecast calls for drama, love, hope, laughs, and a whole lot of rain.

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Capital Stage Presents Sacramento Premiere BAD JEWS by Joshua Harmon Directed by Amy Resnick Sacramento, CA ‐    Amy Resnick, last seen at Capital Stage in August: Osage County and   Blackberry Winter     will direct this Sacramento Premiere. Bad Jews , and will run from June 21‐ July 23, 2017 with aPress Opening on Saturday, June 24, 2017 at 8pm.

 

THE PLAY The night after their grandfather’s funeral, three cousins engage in a battle royale over a family heirloom. In one corner is the unstoppable and self‐assured force of “Super Jew”Daphna, and in the other, the immovable and entitled object of her secular cousin Liam. And in the middle is Liam’s brother Jonah, trying to stay out of the fray. A fierce, biting comedy about family, faith and what you choose to believe, when you’re chosen.

 

.THE PRODUCTIONBad Jews   will be directed by Amy Resnick will feature Jeremy Kahn ( Capital Stage debut), Chloe King (   Capital Stage debut  ), Tara Sissom (Capital Stage debut), and Noah Thompson (Capital Stage debut). The productiondesign  team  will  include  Timothy  McNamara  (Lighting  design),  Rebecca Redmond (Costume design), Eric Broadwater (Scenic design), Emi Teixeira (Properties design) and Ed Lee (Sound design).

 

Performances for  Bad Jews   will begin with 3 previews on Wednesday, June 21 & Thursday,June 22 at 7pm, and Friday, June 23 at 8pm. The production will open Saturday, June 24 at 8pm.  Performances  will  continue  through  Sunday,  July  23,  2017.  Showtimes  will  beWednesdays & Thursdays at 7pm, Fridays at 8pm, Saturdays at 2pm & 8pm, and Sundays at2pm.

 

Regular ticket prices range from $28‐45. Discount tickets are available as follows:Student Rush tickets are half priced with valid student ID within 1 hour of performance;

Senior tickets are $5 off regular priced tickets; Military personnel tickets are $10 off regular priced tickets with valid ID; and Group Rate tickets are $5 off each for parties of 12 or more.

Tickets are currently available at the Capital Stage Box Office, by phone at 916‐995‐5464, or online at  capstage.org

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