Laguna Playhouse executive director Richard Stein and artistic director Andrew Barnicle have announced the 80th anniversary season of the West Coast's oldest continually operating theatre company. To commemorate that milestone the Playhouse will present a season that includes the Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt musical The Show Goes On; Julie Harris in her one-woman show about Emily Dickinson, The Belle of Amherst; Enter the Guardsman, a musical romance based on Ferenc Molnar's The Guardsman; Arthur Miller's The Price; the world premiere of Sherwood Kiraly's Who's Hot, Who's Not; and American Buffalo by David Mamet. An additional play is to be announced later.
The Playhouse has also expanded its performance schedule, adding a fifth week to the run of each subscription play, has increased the number of previews to five (including a Thursday matinee) and has moved its opening night performances to Saturdays. Among the special events marking this milestone year, the Playhouse will hold an 80th Anniversary Bash with Toni Tennille serving as honorary chair of the event.
The new season's summer event (July 8-30, 2000) is Jones and Schmidt's The Show Goes On. Directed by Drew Scott Harris, the revue (a West Coast premiere) features the two songwriters, joined by JoAnn Cunningham, Emma Lampert and Mark McGrath, in a showcase of their work from such hit shows as The Fantasticks, 110 in the Shade and I Do! I Do!.
Julie Harris will bring William Luce's The Belle of Amherst to the Playhouse's mainstage Sept. 9-Oct. 8, 2000. Charles Nelson Reilly is the director. Harris won an unprecedented fifth Tony Award for her portrayal of the famed poet Dickinson.
Enter the Guardsman has a book by Scott Wentworth, music by Craig Bohmler and lyrics by Marion Adler, the team that created Gunmetal Blues. With Wentworth directing, the show will run Nov. 4-Dec. 3, 2000.Miller's classic drama The Price is scheduled for Jan. 6-Feb. 4, 2001, with Stein directing.
Kiraly, a local playwright, will have the world premiere of his new comedy, Who's Hot, Who's Not, Feb. 24- March 25. The play, which is based on his recent novel of the same name, deals with a celebrity gossip magazine publisher who kidnaps a homeless woman on a lark and ends up ruing the day. Barnicle will direct.
With the April 21-May 20 slot to be filled later, the final show of the season will be Mamet's American Buffalo. Also directed by Barnicle, it will run June 2-July 1.
Laguna Playhouse is located at 606 Laguna Canyon Rd. For tickets and information call (949) 497-2787 or visit www.lagunaplayhouse.com
-- By Willard Manus
Southern California Correspondent