The organization's 25th anniversary season plays at the Alex Kaufman Theatre in Rio Grande Park in Aspen. New York-based artists Lisa Datz, Janet Metz, Sally Mae Dunn, Jamie LaVerdiere, Gordon Stanley, director Michael Unger and more are in Colorado for a portion of the summer.
Here's the season at a glance:
Little Shop of Horrors (book and lyrics by Howard Ashman and music by Alan Menken) will be directed and choreographed by Mark Martino and star Broadway actors Jamie LaVerdiere (Producers, The Pirate Queen) as Seymour, Gordon Stanley (Cabaret, Ragtime, Beauty and the Beast, Meet Me in St. Louis) as Mushnik and Kate Fahrner (Wicked) as Audrey. Local singing star Bobby Mason stars as the Voice of Audrey II. Musical director is Bob Finnie.
Famed television director Jay Sandrich ("Mary Tyler Moore Show," "The Cosby Show," "Soap") helms Richard Dresser's Little League baseball comedy Rounding Third, which stars Kevin Stapleton (Salome, "One Life to Live") and recent Yale School of Drama graduate Richard Gallagher. Sandrich makes his theatrical directing debut here.
The Lynn Ahrens-Stephen Flaherty musical Seussical, directed by Marisa Post, Theatre Aspen's director of education, will feature many local favorites and graduates of the school program. Traditionally offered Friday and Saturday mornings, three evening performances will be added as "Theatre Aspen Family Night" presentations. The show stars Crystal Palace favorites Tom Erickson, Nina Gabianelli and Jennetta Meitler-Howell. Alumni Peggy Mundinger and Natalie Dulaney are also featured. Musical director is Bob Finnie.
Crimes of the Heart, the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Beth Henley, is directed by Michael Unger (Signature Theatre's recent revival of The Happy Time) and stars Broadway veterans Janet Metz (Fiddler on the Roof, Once Upon a Mattress, Marie Christine, On the Town), Lisa Datz (The Full Monty) and Sally Mae Dunn (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Follies, Will Rogers Follies, Never Gonna Dance), with Sandy Rustin (I Love You, You're Perfect…) as Babe. Rounding Third's Gallagher and Stapleton will also appear in the play. "The acting and design talent we've gathered for our productions will amaze this summer's visitors to Theatre Aspen," stated Theatre Aspen's new artistic director Paige Price (Broadway's Smokey Joe's Café, Saturday Night Fever, Beauty and the Beast). "Both Broadway and local actors combine the best of all worlds in a sparkling variety of shows. We're truly turning over a new leaf for our 25th anniversary."
The season's designers are Markas Henry (sets), Kevin Brainerd (costumes), Loren Wilder (lighting), David Thomas (sound) and Tom Wardaszka (video design). Productions will be stage managed by Seymour and Rebecca C. Monroe.
Jeffry George is Theatre Aspen's new managing director. George, formerly managing director of Aspen Film, held the same position at Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theatre as well as prior stints with The Caldwell Theatre Company, Kansas City Starlight and Paper Mill Playhouse.
Tickets and season subscriptions are available at (970) 920-5770 or through aspenshowtickets.com. For further information visit theatreaspen.org or call (970) 925-9313.
Theatre Aspen's mission "is to create first-class professional theatre and first class theatre education programs in Aspen and the Roaring Fork Valley. We believe theatre provides a unique opportunity for audiences and artists to share experiences that can be enjoyable, uplifting, thought provoking, and life changing. It is the goal of Theatre Aspen to produce the highest level of professional theatre for the enjoyment and inspiration of our audience."