Bring on the '80's musicals! TheatreWorks of Palo Alto, CA will get one of the few musicals to explore the decade of greed (Bright Lights, Big City was another): Henry Krieger and Bill Russell's Kept, making its world premiere April 10-May 5, 2002 at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts.
This original tale of torrid lifestyles in the get rich-spend quick decade of Ronald Reagan features a twisted love triangle between a handsome med student, a mysterious Studio 54 party girl, and the ruthless millionaire who "keeps" her. As the romances disintegrate, the lives of the protagonists mirror that of the decade, bent on self-destruction.
Krieger and Russell have already had tremendous success in collaboration with TheatreWorks - the company launched the duo's touring comedy based on the "Ugly Duckling" story, Everything's Ducky. This musical look at supposed "duck" Serena's transforming journey from lonely girl on the farm to beautiful fashion model in the city made a hit in its initial Jan. 19-Feb. 13 at the Mountain View Center. Since then, the production has toured the U.S. with New York hopes for the future.
Kept, the final entry in the 2001-2002 season, is only one of the premieres up for TheatreWorks. The company will also host the West Coast premiere of Summer of '42, the American premiere of Frank McGuinness' Dolly West's Kitchen, and the West Coast premiere of Wendy Wasserstein's Old Money.
Summer of '42, based on the 1971 film, "Summer of '42" and the novel that preceded it, had a hit production at Connecticut's Goodspeed at-Chester in 2000 and has been eyeing a Fall 2001 Broadway run. The coming-of-age love story, set between a teenaged boy and a young war bride, runs at the Mountain View Center June 20-July 15, 2001. Dolly West's Kitchen, the latest from Someone Who'll Watch Over Me's McGuinness, is another World War II story, although this time set in Ireland. Dolly West is an Irish matriarch faced with a unique challenge - while Ireland stayed neutral in the second Great War, two American GIs stationed in British-run Northern Ireland invade her home while on leave. Tony Winner and Abbey Theatre director Patrick Mason will helm the production, running Oct. 10-Nov. 4, 2001.
The final West Coast premiere is Wasserstein's Old Money, playing Jan. 16-Feb. 10, 2002. The time-traveling comedy, which pits old money against new money and finds the same social aspirations, premiered Dec. 9, 2000 at Lincoln Center Theatre's Mitzi E. Newhouse Theatre.
The TheatreWorks 2001-2002 season also includes the Northern California premiere of Joe DiPietro's Over the River and Through the Woods (July 18-Aug. 19, 2001), Stephen Sondheim's rarely-revived Pacific Overtures (Aug. 29-Sept. 23, 2001), the holiday production of Charley's Aunt (Nov. 28-Dec. 30) and the Northern California premiere of Regina Taylor's jazz era drama Oo-Bla-Dee (March 6 April 7, 2002).
The Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts is located at Castro and Mercy Streets in Mountain View. For subscription information, call (650) 903-6000. TheatreWorks is on the web at http://www.theatreworks.org.
— By Christine Ehren