LAGUNA BEACH, CA -- Laguna Playhouse kicked off its new season with the West Coast premiere of The Last Session, an Off-Broadway musical hit of last season. The show, about a musician with AIDS who books studio time to record a last batch of songs dedicated to his boyfriend, has music and lyrics by Steve Schalchlin and a book by Jim Brochu.
A 1998 nominee for Best Musical by both the Outer Critics Circle and the Drama League, The Last Session is directed by Brochu, who also staged the original New York production.
Two New York cast members are featured in the Laguna Playhouse cast: Bob Stillman and Amy Coleman. They are joined by Joel Traywick, Michelle Mais and P.M. Howard. The show runs through Oct. 11.
Other upcoming mainstage productions include Sylvia by A.R. Gurney; Old Wicked Songs by Jon Marans; A Moon for the Misbegotten by Eugene O'Neill; Gunmetal Blues, music & lyrics by Craig Bohmler & Marion Adler; and a play to be announced.
The Playhouse, which recorded record attendance for its 1997-98 season, also announced it has signed a "LORT" (League of Resident Theatres) contract with Actors' Equity Association, placing it in the company of such established theatre companies in the region as the Mark Taper Forum, South Coast Repertory and Old Globe Theatre, among others. Additionally, the Playhouse announced its new Youth Theatre season, which kicks off Oct. 16 with Wind in the Willows, followed by The Best Christmas Pageant Ever; Beauty and the Beast; and How to Eat Like a Child.
For tickets and information call (949) 497-ARTS.
-- By Willard Manus
Southern California Correspondent