By Carey Purcell
29 Apr 2014
The New Jersey theatre will also present Molière's The School for Wives, the musical Camelot, Absurd Person Singular by Alan Ayckbourn and the world premiere of Guadalupe In The Guest Room. The season will also include an abridged adaptation of A Midsummer Night's Dream.
"This season, Two River will produce work by some of the world's greatest theater artists — including Molière, Ayckbourn, and the legendary musical theater team of Lerner and Loewe — as well as original plays and musicals by established artists like Ruben Santiago-Hudson and emerging writers, such as Tony Meneses and the musical theater team of Joe Iconis and Joe Tracz," artistic director John Dias said in a statement. "Michael Hurst and I are proud to offer our audiences this season's range of classics and new work, and to support the extraordinary artists who are at the center of it. One of my ambitions for Two River when I joined the company in 2010 was to create a pipeline for developing work that contributes to the vitality and future of the American theater. The work of these artists is both groundbreaking and entertaining, and we are grateful and honored to connect our adventurous Red Bank audience to the national theater community."
The season-at-a-glance follows.
The School for Wives
Translated into English Verse by Richard Wilbur
Directed by Mark Wing-Davey
Sept. 13-Oct. 5
Press Opening: Sept. 19
"Two River Theater opens its season with Molière's classic comedy about a rich, middle-aged bachelor named Arnolphe, whose plan to groom his innocent young ward into the 'perfect' wife goes quickly awry. The School for Wives received its first production in 1662, with Molière himself as Arnolphe."
Book and Lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner
Music by Frederick Loewe
Directed by David Lee
Nov. 15-Dec. 14
Press Opening: Nov. 21
"Director David Lee directs one of the great musicals in the American theater canon, showcasing the youth and vitality of King Arthur, Queen Guinevere, Sir Lancelot, and the Knights of the Round Table. Written by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe in 1960, this timeless love story, based on 'The Once and Future King' by T. H. White, includes 'I Loved You Once in Silence' and 'If Ever I Would Leave You' and other favorites. Camelot will be performed by an eight-actor ensemble and eight-piece orchestra."
The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Other Eric Carle Favorites
Presented by the Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia
"Three beloved stories by Eric Carle ('The Mixed-Up Chameleon,' 'Little Cloud,' and 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar') are retold on stage through the magic of evocative music, stunning visual effects, and innovative puppetry. On the road continuously since 1999, the Mermaid Theater of Nova Scotia's The Very Hungry Caterpillar (a component of assorted compilations with four other Eric Carle stories) is an imaginative and delightful hour-long production that has delighted audiences in 12 countries. This production is recommended for ages three and up."
Absurd Person Singular
By Alan Ayckbourn
Directed by Jessica Stone
Jan. 10-Feb. 1, 2015
Press Opening: Jan. 16
"A laugh-out-loud look at how three English couples deal with their relationships, social standings, and the pressures of three successive Christmas gatherings. Sir Alan Ayckbourn is an Olivier, Tony, and Molière Award-winning playwright who has written 78 full-length plays. Absurd Person Singular (number 12) had its world premiere in 1972 and is considered one of his greatest works; it holds the record for the single longest run of an Alan Ayckbourn play in both the West End and on Broadway."
Guadalupe In The Guest Room
By Tony Meneses
Directed by Daniella Topol
Marion Huber Theater
Feb. 14-March 15
Press Opening: Feb. 27
"This beautiful new play introduces audiences to Guadalupe Castillo, a Mexican woman whose daughter's untimely death leaves her struggling to connect with her American son-in-law, in a country whose language she barely speaks. Written by the rising young playwright Tony Meneses and directed by Daniella Topol, Guadalupe in the Guest Room is a moving and funny celebration of life, connection, and the unexpected healing power of telenovelas."
Your Blues Ain't Sweet Like Mine
Written and Directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson
April 11-May 3
Press Opening: April 17
"When liberal, Upper West Side resident Judith befriends Zeke, a highly educated yet once-homeless man she meets at a soup kitchen, their fragile hold on history begins to slip. Tony Award-winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson crafts a provocative, daring, and immensely powerful world-premiere drama about race, sacrifice, and legacy."
A Little Shakespeare:
A Midsummer Night's Dream
Adapted and Directed by Jason McDowell-Green
Marion Huber Theater
April 23-May 1
"Two River's new 'A Little Shakespeare' series launched during the theater's 20th Anniversary Season with a production of As You Like It. This year, A Midsummer Night's Dream, one of Shakespeare's most famous, magical, and romantic comedies, will be performed by a cast of local high-school students in a 90-minute version adapted and directed by Jason McDowell-Green. The schedule will include both public performances and six student matinees, and will launch on April 23, 2015—Shakespeare's birthday."
Be More Chill
Music and Lyrics by Joe Iconis
Book by Joe Tracz
Based on the novel by Ned Vizzini
Directed by Scott Ellis
May 30-June 21
"Two River Theater will conclude its season with a commissioned world-premiere musical by two of the most exciting young voices in the musical theater, Joe Iconis and Joe Tracz, based on the acclaimed 2004 novel by Ned Vizzini ('It's Kind of a Funny Story'). Jeremy Heere is just your average dork trying to survive life in his suburban New Jersey high school. When he swallows a pill-sized supercomputer that promises to bring him everything he desires most, he is transformed from complete geek to the coolest guy in class. But is being the most popular guy in school worth the risk?"
Two River Theater Company is located at 21 Bridge Ave., Red Bank, NJ. Tickets and more information are available by calling (732) 345-1400 or visiting tworivertheater.org.