Cleveland Play House's 1999-2000 season has three world premieres set: two new musicals, Parcel from America and Touch the Names as well as The Emancipation of Valet du Chambre, an adaptation of Mark Twain's "Pudd'nhead Wilson." Also planned are revivals of Edward Albee, August Wilson and August Strindberg.
Leading the 1999-2000 season will be Alfred Uhry's Tony Award-winning best play about Southern Jewish life, The Last Night of Ballyhoo, running Sept. 21-Oct. 24 in the Bolton Theatre.
Parcel follows in the Bolton from Nov. 30-Jan. 2, 2000. This musical, with music and lyrics by Matty Selman, centers around an elderly woman in an Irish village in the 1950's who waits in anticipation for a special package from her sons in America. As Christmas Eve comes to a close and it looks like the woman won't receive her parcel, the town gathers together to make her Christmas special without it.
Two Trains Running, August Wilson's look at progress and urban renewal as a Pittsburgh diner is threatened in the 1960's, runs from Feb. 8-March 12, 2000, in the Bolton.
The Bolton's final show will be Valet du Chambre (April 11-May 14, 2000). A satire and a mystery, this comedy examines how Americans view themselves and their place in society. Peter Hackett directs this adaptation of Twain by Murphy Guyer, the author of A Russian Romance. The Drury Theatre's season begins with a revival of Albee's Pulitzer Prize winner, Seascape, Nov. 2-28. Hackett directs this comedy which puts two empty-nesters on vacation with two giant lizards, who have a very different outlook on life than their human counterparts.
Strindberg's A Dream Play, an inspiration for German expressionism, surrealism and theatre of the absurd, will run on the Drury stage Jan. 11-Feb. 6, 2000.
Alan Ayckbourn's dark farce, A Small Family Business, plays March 14-April 9, 2000. When shopkeeper Jack McCraken idealistically begins his dream of owning his own business, he quickly discovers that all the other shop owners are on the take.
The Drury's season closes with the world premiere of Touch the Names: Letters to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, May 9-June 4, 2000. Conceived by Randal Myler and Chic Street Man with original music by Man, Names is based on the letters and artifacts left at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC. Myler's other pieces have included It Ain't Nothin' But the Blues and Love, Janis.
Single tickets are $39-$26. For more information, contact the Cleveland Play House at (216) 795-7000 or on the web at http://www.cleveplayhouse.org.
-- By Christine Ehren