Alliance Plans Zorro, Next to Normal, Alfred Uhry's Apples & Oranges; Lynne Meadow, Scott Schwartz Among Directors

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14 Mar 2012

The world premiere of Alfred Uhry's Apples and Oranges, the Tony-winning rock musical Next to Normal and a new adaptation of the U.K. musical Zorro have been announced for the 2012-13 season at Atlanta's Alliance Theatre.



Artistic director Susan V. Booth will stage the world premiere of Pearl Cleage's What I Learned In Paris, running Sept. 5-30.

Here's how the premiere is billed: "Mini-skirts and bell bottoms were on sale downtown for $8.87; Stevie Wonder was on the radio singing 'Livin' for the City,' and change was in the air from Buckhead to Butler Street. Cleage's sparkling new romantic comedy takes us back to 1973 and weaves a tale of passion and politics that could only happen in Atlanta."

The Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical Next to Normal, about a woman battling mental illness and the family that hangs in the balance, will run Oct. 17-Nov. 11. It has book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey and music by Tom Kitt. Scott Schwartz (Golda's Balcony, Batboy) will direct.

Booth will also stage David Lindsay Abaire's drama Good People, about an out-of-work cashier who encounters her former high school boyfriend, now living a privileged life. It will run Jan. 16-Feb. 10, 2013.

Also planned is a new American adaptation of the musical Zorro, with a book by Stephen Clark and Helen Edmundson, lyrics by Clark, and a score by The Gipsy Kings and John Cameron. It will run April 3-May 5, 2013.

"From the old American west comes the legend of Zorro, a fighter of corruption and lover of beautiful women," according to the Alliance. "When Don Diego comes home from Spain, he finds his father dead and his brother running Los Angeles--badly. Don Diego's foppish exterior hides the soul of a desert fox – Zorro!"

The Hertz Stage season will open with Uhry's Apples & Oranges, running Oct. 5-28, under the direction of Manhattan Theatre Club artistic director Lynne Meadow. It is based on the book by Marie Brenner.

"Carl and his journalist sister have never seen eye to eye or been anything alike. But when he uncharacteristically asks for her help, she begins to spend more time with her odd duck of a sibling. Amid political divides, a rotating cast of girlfriends and Carl’s uniquely Jewish Western Manhood, Carl's sister experiences the extremes of family love," according to the Alliance.

The world premiere of Mike Lew's Bike America will run Feb. 1-24, 2013. The play is the winner of the 2013 Kendeda Playwrighting Award.

"Penny is damaged. She doesn't know who she is or her place in the world. So she drops everything to go on a cross-country bike trip from Boston, MA to Santa Barbara, CA. Along the way Penny meets a colorful crew of bikers, from the lesbian couple who’ve decided to get a marriage license in every state they hit on the trip to the mysterious Man with the Van who transports their stuff. As the bikers travel through iconic towns across the country from the deep North down to the deep South (and the highways between them), Bike America captures the restlessness of a millennial generation that will go to any length to find a place that always seems just out of reach."

The final Hertz production will be Matthew Lopez's The Whipping Man, a Civil War-era drama about a Jewish Confederate soldier who returns home from the war to face his own African-American slaves. Alex Greenfield will direct the production that runs March 8-April 7, 2013.

Holiday productions include A Christmas Carol (Nov. 23-Dec. 23); and the musical Holidays with the Chalks (Nov. 30-Dec. 23).

Booth directs the latter production that has book, music and lyrics by Mary Brienza, Kathryn Markey and Leenya Rideout.

Here's what the Alliance says about Holidays with the Chalks: "The Hertz Stage will be Decidedly transformed into a Christmas honky tonk for the Chalks, an all sister Country and Western band permanently down on their luck at the local dive. Never able to live up to their own talent, they travel the country at the mercy of their sister/wife swapping manager. Spend an evening with their music, their stories, their really big hair – and you might even find yourself part of the show."

For tickets phone (404) 733-5000 or visit AllianceTheatre.