Clybourne Park, A Christmas Carol: The Musical and Return of Les Miz Planned for UT Pioneer Theatre

By Adam Hetrick
01 May 2012

Pioneer Theatre Company will present Les Misérables, a previous ten-week hit for the Salt Lake City company, as the capper in its coming 2012-13 season, the first under new artistic director Karen Azenberg. A seven-title lineup was announced on May 1.



The previously reported In the Heights, to open the season, will be joined by Bruce Norris' Pulitzer Prize-winning Clybourne Park; A Christmas Carol, the musical with a score by Alan Menken and Lynn Ahrens; Philip Barry's sophisticated comedy The Philadelphia Story; Neil Simon's The Odd Couple; and John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men.

The epic musical Les Miz had a record-breaking, sold-out 2007 regional premiere at PTC. Azenberg will again create musical staging, with exiting artistic director Charles Morey returning to direct. Azenberg will direct Simon's comedy of mismatched roommates, The Odd Couple, and will direct and choreograph A Christmas Carol, the area Equity premiere of the musical that first surfaced at Madison Square Garden.

Here's the PTC season at a glance:

In the Heights
Music and Lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda
Book by Quiara Alegria Hudes
Conceived by Lin-Manuel Miranda
Directed by Matt August
Choreographed by Bob Richard
Music direction by Helen Gregory
Sept. 14-29

"In Washington Heights, New York, three generations of Latino immigrants dream of succeeding in America while at the same time holding onto their culture and heritage. An uplifting and joyous celebration of life, In the Heights shows us a world that is at once exotic and different from our own but filled with the same dreams shared by us all."

Of Mice and Men
By John Steinbeck
Oct. 19-Nov. 3

"Lennie and George, two Depression-era farm hands traveling from ranch to ranch looking for work, dreaming of owning their own place and 'living off the fat of the land,' first stepped onto the stage over 75 years ago. They have since entered into the American consciousness as mythic characters. Steinbeck's moving and tragic story, taught to generations of American high school students, is a powerful fable about the human impulse to make, and hold onto, spiritual connections with our fellow men as we travel through life."

A Christmas Carol: The Musical
Music by Alan Menken
Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens
Book by Mike Ockrent & Lynn Ahrens
Directed and choreographed by Karen Azenberg
Music direction by Tom Griffen
Nov. 30-Dec. 15

"By the eight-time Oscar-winning composer of Disney's 'Beauty and the Beast' and 'The Little Mermaid,' this singing-and-dancing musical version of Dickens' Christmas classic provides a wonderfully fresh look at the story of Ebenezer Scrooge and the ghostly visits he receives one Christmas Eve."

The Philadelphia Story
By Philip Barry
Jan. 11-26, 2013
Directed by Jenn Thompson

"Tracy Lord is young, beautiful, sophisticated, fabulously wealthy, and about to marry what she thinks is the man of her dreams. But when her dashing ex-husband and the two reporters assigned to cover her wedding descend on her family's opulent country house outside Philadelphia the day before the ceremony, Tracy has a hard time keeping her nuptials — not to mention the dictates of her own heart — on track."

Clybourne Park
By Bruce Norris
Directed by Timothy Douglas
Feb. 15-March 2, 2013

"Currently the most electrifying new play on Broadway, Clybourne Park is a fascinating, insightful, and often brutally funny look at the way we talk about — or avoid talking about — race in America. When a white couple wants to buy a home in the gentrifying, all-black neighborhood of Clybourne Park, Chicago, they unknowingly re-enact the same tense drama, fraught with miscommunications and barely suppressed hostility that occurred 50 years earlier in the same house."

The Odd Couple
By Neil Simon
Directed by Karen Azenberg
March 22-April 6, 2013

"After their thoroughly fed-up wives throw them out, sloppy sportswriter Oscar Madison and uptight neat freak Felix Ungar decide to move in together, thinking they'll save on expenses and have a few laughs. It turns out the laughs are on them."

Les Misérables
A musical by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg
Lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer
Directed by Charles Morey
Musical staging by Karen Azenberg
Music direction by Larry Goldberg
May 3-June 1, 2013

"Victor Hugo's story of Jean Valjean, an escaped prisoner who redeems his life through selfless acts of love even as he is pursued by the implacable Inspector Javert through some of the most tumultuous years in French history, has thrilled millions of theatergoers all over the world."

Pioneer Theatre Company, the major resident Equity company in Salt Lake City, UT, 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. For more information, visit pioneertheatre.org.