Folger Theatre Hopes to Hear a Lone Star Tune in 2007; DeShields Is Lear

News   Folger Theatre Hopes to Hear a Lone Star Tune in 2007; DeShields Is Lear Folger Theatre — the resident theatre of the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC — announced its 2006-07 season, to include The Tempest and an engagement of the Broadway-aimed Merry Wives of Windsor musical, Lone Star Love.

Folger Theatre artistic producer Janet Alexander Griffin announced the slate. The company's mandate is Shakespeare and classics, and the new season celebrates the 75th anniversary of the Folger Shakespeare Library (which is in 2007).

The season will also include A Midsummer Night's Dream (directed by Joe Banno, Oct. 19-Nov. 26) and a King Lear co-produced with The Classical Theatre of Harlem and starring Broadway's Andre De Shields (directed by Alfred Preisser, Jan. 11-Feb. 18, 2007).

Aaron Posner directs Shakespeare's The Tempest, to play May 17-June 24, 2007. An earlier Tempest musical was announced but will not materialize in the coming year.

Lone Star Love or The Merry Wives of Windsor, Texas, conceived and adapted by John L. Haber with music and lyrics by Jack Herrick and developed by the Tony Award-winning Red Clay Ramblers, will play 20 performances only, unless a Broadway run scuttles the DC appearance.

An earlier Off-Broadway run of the musical spawned a cast album, earned some solid reviews and prompted plans for a Broadway production. No Broadway schedule has been announced. If Lone Star plays the Folger, it will mark the regional premiere of the show, and will feature the Red Clay Ramblers.

Representing the work's regional premiere. Lone Star will play Folger March 24-April 8, 2007. The director will be announced.

"In the wild frontier of 1860s Texas, 'Colonel' Falstaff charms his way into the graces of the wives of two wealthy cattle ranchers in this musical version of Shakespeare's The Merry Wives of Windsor," according to production notes.

The musical garnered 2005 Outer Critics Circle (Outstanding New Musical Off-Broadway) and Lucille Lortel nominations (Outstanding New Musical and Outstanding Choreography).

Home to the world's largest Shakespeare collection, the Folger Shakespeare Library is a major center for scholarly research and a venue for exhibitions, cultural programs, and the performing arts. It annually serves more than four million teachers and students in K-12 through its student festivals, workshops, publications and website.

A gift to the American people from Henry Clay Folger and his wife Emily Jordan Folger, the Folger opened in April 1932 and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Subscriptions to Folger Theatre's 2006-07 season are now available. For information, call (202) 544-7077 or visit www.folger.edu.