(CINCINNATI) – Artistic Director Blake Robison announced the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park’s 2014-15 season today. The Playhouse’s 55th season — which is Robison’s third as artistic director — boasts a homegrown world premiere, two Tony Award-winning plays, recent New York hits and musical tributes to Johnny Cash and Tri-State native Rosemary Clooney.
The 2014-15 season includes:
- A world premiere by up-and-coming playwright and Cincinnati native Keith Josef Adkins, SAFE HOUSE, inspired by his Kentucky ancestors.
- The latest Tony Award-winning best play, Christopher Durang’s smash hit VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE.
- PETER AND THE STARCATCHER, the magical, family-friendly Peter Pan prequel that hooked five Tony Awards.
- Inspiring tributes to two musical legends: RING OF FIRE: THE MUSIC OF JOHNNY CASH, directed by and featuring Broadway’s Jason Edwards; and TENDERLY: THE ROSEMARY CLOONEY MUSICAL, which traces America’s favorite girl singer from her Cincinnati childhood and Hollywood stardom to triumphant comeback.
- Jeffrey Hatcher’s electrifying new whodunit featuring the world’s favorite detective, SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE ADVENTURE OF THE SUICIDE CLUB.
- The charmingly comic off-Broadway hit CIRCLE MIRROR TRANSFORMATION, winner of the Obie Award for best new American play.
- The second U.S. production of a new, offbeat love story, CHAPATTI, and a tasty new comedy of misadventures in love, I LOVED, I LOST, I MADE SPAGHETTI, adapted from Giulia Melucci’s hilarious memoir.
- A compelling, darkly funny new play by Tracey Scott Wilson, BUZZER.
“The new season features the variety of world class plays and musicals that is the Playhouse’s hallmark,” says Robison. “I’m thrilled that we can feature recent Broadway hits as well as new works by an exciting slate of contemporary playwrights. We want to be at the forefront of the city’s cultural conversation, and this season puts us there.
“I’m especially excited that the season celebrates our city’s heritage with a world premiere by Cincinnati-born Keith Josef Adkins and a new production of TENDERLY: THE ROSEMARY CLOONEY MUSICAL. These are Cincinnati stories, and they belong at the Playhouse.”
The Robert S. Marx Theatre Season
Presented by The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation
Season Sponsor of New Work: The Lois and Richard Rosenthal Foundation
Marx Season Design Sponsor: Macy’s
The Marx Theatre season opens with Jeffrey Hatcher’s electrifying new whodunit, SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE ADVENTURE OF THE SUICIDE CLUB (Sept. 6 – Oct. 4, 2014; opening night: Sept. 11), based on characters created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and “The Suicide Club” by Robert Louis Stevenson. Sherlock Holmes has never shied away from danger, but as members of London’s Suicide Club play a harrowing game of Russian roulette, the brilliant sleuth’s life hangs in the balance — and it’s not clear whether he wants to be saved. The Arizona Daily Star called the show “a thrilling comic mystery … complete with a wow-I-didn’t see-that-coming ending.” Playhouse Associate Artist KJ Sanchez will direct this intricately woven thriller. SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE ADVENTURE OF THE SUICIDE CLUB is sponsored by The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation.
The world premiere of Keith Joseph Adkins’ SAFE HOUSE (Oct. 18 – Nov. 15, 2014; opening night: Oct. 23) is the compelling second production of the Marx Theatre season. The Pedigrews are free people of color, a unique position in antebellum Kentucky. While one brother strives to open a business and support his family, the other risks it all to help slaves escape, a pursuit that tests their freedom, loyalty and dreams for the future. SAFE HOUSE, one family’s fascinating story within the history of our region’s role in the Underground Railroad, will be directed by Playhouse Associate Artist Timothy Douglas and is sponsored by Tony Alper.
Cincinnati’s beloved holiday tradition, Charles Dickens’ A CHRISTMAS CAROL, presented by U.S. Bank, returns for its 24th season (Nov. 26 – Dec. 28; opening night Nov. 28). Cincinnati favorite Bruce Cromer will once again play the curmudgeonly Ebenezer Scrooge in the Playhouse production, which will be directed by Associate Artist Michael Evan Haney for his 22nd year. The lovingly faithful adaptation by Howard Dallin features a cast of nearly 30 actors, elaborate period costumes and thrilling special effects. A CHRISTMAS CAROL is not part of any subscription package, although subscribers do receive discounts and early buying opportunities.
RING OF FIRE: THE MUSIC OF JOHNNY CASH (Jan. 17 – Feb. 15, 2015; opening night: Jan. 22) will feature and be directed by Jason Edwards, who starred in the show on Broadway. The rousing portrait of home and family, love and loss, redemption and faith will include nearly three dozen of Cash’s classic songs, including “I Walk the Line,” “Jackson” and “Folsom Prison Blues.” RING OF FIRE: THE MUSIC OF JOHNNY CASH, created by Richard Maltby Jr. and conceived by William Meade, was adapted from the Broadway production by Richard Maltby Jr. and Jason Edwards.
Tony Award-winning smash hit PETER AND THE STARCATCHER (March 7 – April 4, 2015; opening night: March 12) by Rick Elice from the novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, follows starcatcher-in-training Molly and an orphan boy on the adventure of a lifetime. A daring sea mission, not-so-swashbuckling pirates and singing mermaids combine in this imaginative Peter Pan prequel. New York Magazine said, “Spectacle, wit and joy spill out of it like treasure.” Playhouse Artistic Director Blake Robison will direct.
The Marx Theatre season finale is Christopher Durang’s VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE (April 25 – May 23, 2015; opening night: April 30), winner of the 2013 Tony Award for best play. Hailed as “hugely entertaining” (USA Today) and “deliriously funny” (The New York Times), the show features siblings Vanya and Sonia, who live uneventfully in the farmhouse of their youth until their movie star sister Masha shows up unannounced with her 20-something boy toy Spike, sparking a madcap weekend of rivalry and raucousness. Playhouse Associate Artist Michael Evan Haney will direct.
The Thompson Shelterhouse Season
Presented by Heidelberg Distributing Company
Season Sponsor of New Work: The Lois and Richard Rosenthal Foundation
Shelterhouse Season Design Sponsor: Humana
The Thompson Shelterhouse season opens with the delectable I LOVED, I LOST, I MADE SPAGHETTI (Sept. 27 – Oct. 26, 2014; opening night: Oct. 2), adapted by Jacques Lamarre from Giulia Melucci’s popular foodie memoir. For Giulia, a new date is the perfect opportunity to show off her Italian home cooking. While preparing a three-course dinner from scratch, she recounts stories of good food and bad boyfriends. This mouth-watering new comedy, sponsored by Digi and Mike Schueler, will be directed by Rob Ruggiero (High, Last Train to Nibroc, Ella).
America’s favorite girl singer comes home in TENDERLY: THE ROSEMARY CLOONEY MUSICAL (Nov. 15 – Dec. 28, 2014; opening night: Nov. 20). Directed by Blake Robison, this exhilarating and inspiring musical biography by Janet Yates Vogt and Mark Friedman offers a remarkably personal and poignant picture of the woman whose unparalleled talent and unbridled personality made her a legend. Through it all — from her Cincinnati childhood and rise to Hollywood stardom to her battles with depression and triumphant comeback — she topped the charts for nearly five decades with signature songs.
Two senior citizens bond over their shared affection for animals in CHAPATTI (Feb. 7 – March 8, 2015; opening night: Feb. 12), a warm and offbeat Irish love story by Christian O’Reilly. Betty spends most of her time alone, when she’s not acting as a caregiver to her friend or her 19 cats. Dan, still grieving for the love of his life, finds his most faithful friend is his dog, Chapatti. When Betty and Dan cross paths unexpectedly, they rediscover the joy that comes with human companionship. CHAPATTI will be directed by Playhouse Associate Artist KJ Sanchez.
When Jackson, a young black lawyer, moves back to the rapidly gentrifying neighborhood of his youth in BUZZER (March 21 – April 19, 2015; opening night: March 26), he struggles with the opposition between what he used to be and what he’s become, and with the racial and sexual tensions simmering inside and outside the apartment he shares with his girlfriend and troubled best friend, both of whom are white. Playhouse Associate Artist Timothy Douglas will direct this compelling, darkly funny new play by Tracey Scott Wilson.
The charmingly comic off-Broadway hit, CIRCLE MIRROR TRANSFORMATION (May 9 – June 7, 2015; opening night: May 14) will wrap up the Shelterhouse season. Annie Baker’s play explores unanticipated revelations among five people enrolled in a community center acting class. Secrets are disclosed, relationships begin and end and real-life drama supplements the make-believe in this Obie Award-winning play. CIRCLE MIRROR TRANSFORMATION will be directed by Wendy C. Goldberg (Leveling Up, Durango, Doubt).
Subscriptions to the 2014-15 Playhouse season are available now in a variety of packages. Prices range from $150 for the popular preview performances to $388 for the five-show Robert S. Marx Season or the five Thompson Shelterhouse shows and $300 to $696 for the full 10-show combination series package.
The popular Build Your Own subscription allows patrons to create their own season of four to nine shows in either theatre. Once again this season, all price levels will be available in the lower level of the Marx Theatre. The Playhouse offers two-, three-, six- and nine-month payment options for subscribers. Some restrictions apply.
A student Build Your Own package allows full-time students to pick as few as four shows and as many as 10 from either theatre for as little as $15 per show. The Baby Sitter Rebate Series allows a couple purchasing two full subscriptions in the Marx Theatre to attend any performance and receive $100 at the end of the season to help cover the cost of baby sitters.
The Playhouse is supported, in part, by the generosity of the tens of thousands of individuals and businesses that give to ArtsWave.
The Ohio Arts Council helps fund the Playhouse with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans.
The Playhouse also receives funding from the Shubert Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.