The world premiere of Kenneth Jones' Alabama Story, which will run Jan. 9-24, 2015, is presented in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, which was enacted July 2, 1964. Jones was former managing editor of Playbill.com.
PTC artistic director Karen Azenberg said in a statement, "In recognition of the 50th Anniversary of the enactment of the Civil Rights Act, I am thrilled that PTC is producing the world premiere of this wonderful play that so beautifully blends fictional characters and real life events."
The work, set in 1959 Alabama and inspired by real events, tells the story of a fearless librarian who refuses to ban a controversial children's book from the library. Alabama Story was part of PTC's Play-By-Play readings series earlier this month.
Of the new concert series, launching Oct. 24-25 with Rocky Horror, Azenberg added, "There are many musicals that I would love to do but, for a variety of reasons, they aren't feasible — maybe the story is dated, maybe it isn't particularly family-friendly. But the beauty of the concert series is that we can do these shows. A similar series, called 'Encores!' is regularly one of the hottest tickets in New York City, and it's always one of my favorite experiences when I visit. By doing only three performances, with a full onstage orchestra, limited costumes and scripts-in-hand, you get to experience some of these undiscovered gems, or your new favorite, with the stellar performances you've have come to love at PTC."
The season also includes The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, The Music Man, Peter and the Starcatcher, The Crucible, I Hate Hamlet and the company's Play-By-Play series (Feb. 20-21, March 6-7 and March 27-28). Here's the season at a glance:
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Music and lyrics by William Finn, book by Rachel Sheinkin
Conceived by Rebecca Feldman
Additional material by Jay Reiss
"A hilarious tale of high school-aged overachievers, their hopes, their dreams, and their angst as they compete for a slot in the National Spelling Bee. Overseen by adults still stuck in adolescence themselves, they sing their stories, utilize unique spelling techniques, and learn that losing doesn't necessarily make you a loser."
The Rocky Horror Show
Book, music and lyrics by Richard O'Brien
"A fun-loving tribute to horror and science fiction B-movies of years ago, The Rocky Horror Show tells the wacky tale of innocent couple Brad and Janet. Newly engaged, their car breaks down in the woods on the proverbial dark-and-stormy night. They soon meet Dr. Frank N. Furter, the 'Sweet Transvestite' mad scientist about to reveal his latest Frankenstein-esque creation. With a little help from drive-in usherettes, creepy sidekicks, and, of course, the 'Time Warp,' Brad and Janet usher in the Halloween season."
One Man, Two Guvnors
By Richard Bean
Based on The Servant of Two Masters by Carlo Goldoni
With songs by Grant Olding
Oct. 31-Nov. 15
"One Man, Two Guvnors is a knockabout comedy set in swingin' 1963 London, as one man tries to serve, and hoodwink, two employers at the same time. Throw in a sweet and beautiful but dimwitted young woman, a vain actor-is there any other kind?-a woman disguised as her murdered twin brother, a crooked lawyer, and a couple of low-level hoodlums, and it's almost more than one man can govern."
Peter and the Starcatcher
By Rick Elice
Based on the book by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson
"Ever wonder how Peter Pan ended up in Neverland? How Captain Hook became Peter's arch enemy? Peter and the Starcatcher explains all this and more. Based on the bestselling novel by humorist Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, this highly theatrical and wonderfully inventive new play was a sensation when it took Broadway by storm in 2012. A holiday offering that's perfectly magical, and magically perfect, for audiences of all ages."
By Kenneth Jones
Jan. 9-24, 2015
"Recognizing the 50th Anniversary of the enactment of the Civil Rights Act, Alabama Story tells the tale of state librarian Emily Wheelock Reed, who orders a seemingly innocuous children's book called The Rabbits' Wedding and ignites a state senator's segregationist ire in 1959 Montgomery, Alabama. A finalist for the 2014 National Playwrights' Conference, Alabama Story is a gentle, fact-based drama that unfolds at a pivotal time in American history."
By Arthur Miller
Feb. 13-28, 2015
"In 1692, a group of young girls suddenly manifest signs of 'demonic possession.' Before the hysteria ends twenty Salem townspeople are dead-executed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for the crime of witchcraft. The Crucible is a landmark work of the American theatre, at once a powerful cautionary tale and a mesmerizing psychological drama."
I Hate Hamlet
By Paul Rudnick
March 30-April 4, 2015
"Andrew Rally is on the top of the world. He's a big TV star, and has just moved into a ritzy apartment in Manhattan so he can start rehearsals for his New York debut as Hamlet. There's only one problem-he hates Hamlet-and when the ghost of John Barrymore shows up to help him prepare for the role, he's in for the ride of his life."
The Music Man
Book, music and lyrics by Meredith Willson
Story by Meredith Willson and Franklin Lacey
May 1-16, 2015
"Fast-talking Harold Hill sweeps into a sleepy Iowa town, and soon there's trouble, right here in River City. Harold is selling marching bands, despite the fact that he doesn't know the difference between a treble clef and trumpet. Taking the townspeople for a ride, with rousing numbers like 'Seventy-Six Trombones,' 'Goodnight Ladies' and 'The Wells Fargo Wagon,' Harold plans on skipping town with their cash before anyone's the wiser-but he didn't count on falling for Marian, the town's librarian."
Pioneer Theatre Company performs at the Roy W. and Elizabeth E. Simmons Pioneer Memorial Theatre located on the University of Utah campus at 300 South and 1400 East in Salt Lake City, UT. For more information and tickets, call (801) 581-6961 or visit PioneerTheatre.org.