Pasadena Playhouse's artistic director Sheldon Epps must be feeling blue. David Hare's The Blue Room and Charles Randolph Wright's Blue are both set for the 2002 schedule, running in March and September, respectively. Epps directed the world premiere and New York stagings of Blue.
But first the new season kicks off with a world premiere, Richard Matheson's Now You See It, playing Jan. 4-Feb. 17, 2002. A suspenseful thriller, Now You See It delves into the world of stage magic, where Maximillian Delacorte has been the reigning illusionist for decades, following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather. In the privacy of his own trickery-laden den, he weaves a tapestry of plot and counterplot around his beautiful young wife, his agent and the county sheriff. Among Matheson's science fiction and fantasy films are "The Incredible Shrinking Man," "Somewhere in Time," "What Dreams May Come" and several well-known episodes of "The Twilight Zone," including the one in which William Shatner observes a gremlin destroying the wing of the plane he's riding in.
Hare's Blue Room follows March 8-April 21. The sexy adaption of Schnitzler's La Ronde starred Nicole Kidman in its successful Broadway run.
Kenneth Lonergan's The Waverly Gallery looks at aging and Alzheimer's disease through the eyes of independent gallery owner Gladys Green. As she loses her memory, she learns to depend on her family for support in this dark comedy by the author of Lobby Hero and "You Can Count on Me." The Waverly Gallery will play May 3-June 16.
For the theatre's fourth slot, Pasadena is mulling two musicals - Truman Capote's and Harold Arlen's House of Flowers as adapted by Charles Busch (The Tale of the Allergist's Wife) and Kenneth Elliott, or the 2001 Tony-nominated Ed Kleban bio-musical A Class Act. The musical entry would fill the summer slot July 5-Aug. 18. Completing the season will be the West Coast premiere of Blue. This comedy set in a small South Carolina town is the story of a young man's coming-of-age amidst his middle-class family, who runs the area's very successful funeral parlor. Through the piece runs the music of fictional singer Blue Williams with whom the boy's mother is obsessed.
The final production, Nov. 1-Dec. 15 will be a holiday presentation, as yet unannounced.
Subscriptions are $90.45-$114.75. The Pasadena Playhouse is located at 39 South El Molino Avenue. For reservations, call (800) 233-3123. The Pasadena Playhouse is on the web at http://www.pasadenaplayhouse.org.
— By Christine Ehren