Pittsburgh Public Will Premiere Harry's Friendly Service; Season Announced

News   Pittsburgh Public Will Premiere Harry's Friendly Service; Season Announced Pittsburgh Public Theater's 2008-09 season will include the world-premiere comedy Harry's Friendly Service by Rob Zellers; plus a water-logged staging of the theatrical sensation Metamorphoses; an O'Neill classic; an Ann Landers bio; and the return of August Wilson.
August Wilson
August Wilson

The Kander and Ebb revue, The World Goes 'Round is also part of the mix.

The comedy by Zellers, scheduled for May-June 2009, will conclude PPT's 34th season. The play was developed through the theatre's Public Exposure reading series.

Producing artistic director Ted Pappas announced details of the coming season on Feb. 12.

The season will launch with the final chapter of August Wilson's ten-part cycle dramatizing the lives of African-Americans: the Pittsburgh premiere of Radio Golf. PPT staged the world premiere of King Hedley II and the premiere of the "definitive" Jitney, which included rewrites by Wilson. This fall, PPT will be the third theatre in the world to have produced all of the ten plays in the late Wilson's cycle.

The play "paints a vivid portrait of Pittsburgh's Hill District at a crossroads, as an ambitious African-American entrepreneur makes a historic bid to become mayor." Performances will play Oct. 2-Nov. 2. The 2008-09 PPT season includes:

  • Helena Ruoti starring in David Rambo's "behind-the-scenes look at the life of that famous American woman of letters: Ann Landers," The Lady With All the Answers, a solo-actress play. Nov. 13-Dec. 14.
  • The Broadway and regional sensation, Metamorphoses, written by Mary Zimmerman from David Slavitt's translation of Ovid. Transforming the O'Reilly Theater into a swimming pool performance space, director Ted Pappas will take audiences "into the beautiful mythic world of Aphrodite, Narcissus, Cupid, and King Midas — where gods and men live and love, and the fortunes of kings and paupers alike are as fickle as the wind on the water." Jan. 15-Feb. 15, 2009.
  • Eugene O'Neill's A Moon for the Misbegotten, inspired by "the same familial fires that ignited his immortal Long Day's Journey Into Night, O'Neill weaves a poetic and powerful story of dissolution, hope, and unrequited love." March 5-April 5, 2009.
  • John Kander and Fred Ebb's The World Goes 'Round, the hit revue of the songwriting team's most sensational numbers, including songs from The Rink, Cabaret, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Woman of the Year, Chicago, films and TV specials. April 16-May 17, 2009.
  • From Rob Zellers, the co-author of the most popular play in Pittsburgh Public Theater history (The Chief) comes Harry's Friendly Service, set in Youngstown, OH, in 1977. "The regulars at Harry's Friendly Service Station meet each day to squabble, play cards, and solve the problems of their world. Outside Harry's, the city is in turmoil, with politics, organized crime, and labor disputes making headlines and jockeying for center stage." Papas will direct. May 28-June 29, 2009. The PPT non-subscription bonus shows in 2008-09 will be:

  • The return of The Chief, bringing Pittsburgh leading man, Tom Atkins, back to the O'Reilly stage as Art Rooney — who rose from North Side roughneck, to owner of one of the most important sports franchises in history, The Pittsburgh Steelers. Pappas directs. Sept. 16-21.
  • The Second City's PratFall of Civilization, "a boisterous evening of improv and sketch comedy, featuring the funniest routines ever created by this legendary ensemble." Dec. 18-20. For more information call (412) 316-1600 or visit ppt.org.

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