By Kenneth Jones
14 Jun 2011
Susan Stroman's original Tony-nominated direction and choreography for the satiric, fact-based musical — by songwriters John Kander and Fred Ebb and bookwriter David Thompson — will be recreated by Jeff Whiting. The musical explores the case of nine African-American boys wrongly convicted of a crime that never occurred in Depression-era Alabama.
The Philly production (separate from a West Coast run overseen by Stroman in spring 2012) will play PTC's Suzanne Roberts Theatre on Center City Philadelphia's Avenue of the Arts Jan. 20-Feb. 19, 2012. The musical tells its story using highly theatrical convention of the minstrel show.
The PTC season opens with John Logan's Tony Award-winning play Red, a character study of the artist Mark Rothko, Oct. 14-Nov. 6. Anders Cato directs the two-actor drama.
Philadelphian Bruce Graham's newest play The Outgoing Tide, directed by James J. Christy, will make its local debut March 23-April 15, 2012. It had its world premiere recently at Northlight Theatre in Skokie, IL. "In a summer cottage on Chesapeake Bay, Gunner has hatched an unorthodox plan to secure his family's future but meets with resistance from his wife and grown son, who have plans of their own," according to PTC. "As winter approaches, the three must quickly find some common ground and come to an understanding-before the tide goes out. This new drama by Barrymore Award winner Graham hums with dark humor and profound emotion."
The season concludes May 25-June 17 with Neil LaBute's dark comedy about male-female relationships, reasons to be pretty. It's the playwright's final installment (following The Shape of Things and Fat Pig) in a trilogy focusing on America's modern-day obsession with physical appearance.
PTC will continue its PTC@PLAY new works festival "featuring panel discussions and staged readings of new plays and musicals by award-winning playwrights as well as the creation of a new mentorship and commissioning program that will pair an established playwright with an emerging playwright of similar sensibilities." It runs Feb. 27-March 11.
A summer 2012 production is also planned.
For information, visit PhiladelphiaTheatreCompany.org.