LAGUNA BEACH, CA -- The U.S. premiere of a play from Ireland's renowned Abbey Theatre, a California premiere, two southern California premieres, an Orange County premiere and a revival of a classic American drama comprise the Laguna Playhouse's 1999-2000 season.
The Playhouse has been in business for 79 years; it's latest season will kick off Sept. 16 with a production of Violet, the Jeanine Tesori/Brian Crawley musical which won the New York Drama Critics Award for Best Musical of 1997. It's about a young woman's pilgrimage across America in search of an evangelist she believes can heal her physical and spiritual afflictions.
Steve Martin's comedy, Picasso at the Lapin Agile, will be launched Nov. 4. It won the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Play of 1996.
Communicating Doors, by England's most prolific playwright Alan Ayckbourn, will receive its southern California premiere Feb. 24. It deals with a London call-girl who arrives at a London hotel and becomes enmeshed in a murder plot. Mary Louise Parker starred in a well-received Off-Broadway mounting this past season. The U.S. premiere of Kevin's Bed, fresh from The Abbey Theatre in Ireland is next (April 20). Playwright Bernard Farrell has had eleven plays produced by the Abbey.
The final play on the Playhouse's schedule, May 25, 2000, is Gun Shy by Richard Dresser, which was a big success at Actors Theatre of Louisville's Humana Festival of New Plays in 1997.
The Playhouse is making its "own contribution to 'millennium fever' next season, with every play exploring some aspect of time, change and human history," said executive director Richard Stein.
The Playhouse is located at 606 Laguna Canyon Rd. Call (949) 497 ARTS.
-- By Willard Manus
Southern California Correspondent