Philly's Arden Plans Unique Next to Normal, Plus Night Music, Lorraine Hansberry, Beckett and More

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06 Jun 2012

Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey
Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey
Photo by Aubrey Reuben

Arden Theatre Company's 25th season in Philadelphia will include the Pulitzer Prize-winning Next to Normal, in "a visually rich production using new technology," producing artistic director Terrence J. Nolen announced on June 6, when he revealed the company's 2012-13 slate.

The resident production of Brian Yorkey and Tom Kitt's Tony-winning musical about a family shaken by grief and mental illness will be conceived by Nolen and designer Jorge Cousineau.

The seven-title season will also include Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler's A Little Night Music featuring Philadelphia actors Grace Gonglewski, Ben Dibble and Mary Martello. (Composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim is the most-produced dramatist in Arden's history.)

Here's the 2012-13 season at a glance:

Next to Normal
Book and Lyrics by Brian Yorkey
Music by Tom Kitt
Directed by Terrence J. Nolen
Production Conceived by Terrence J. Nolen and Jorge Cousineau
On the F. Otto Haas Stage
Sept. 27-Nov. 4

"Winner of the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, this electric and emotional musical follows the Goodman family's struggle to maintain connection amidst crisis. Set to a contemporary score, Next to Normal's bold storytelling redefines the American musical."



Freud's Last Session
By Mark St. Germain
Directed by Ian Merrill Peakes
On the Arcadia Stage
Oct. 25-Dec. 23

"On the day England enters World War II, Sigmund Freud invites a young C.S. Lewis to his London flat. Here, the father of modern psychology challenges a little known professor on the brink of literary fame. Freud's Last Session imagines a collision of these two brilliant minds over love, God, and life."

Cinderella
By Charles Way
Directed by Whit MacLaughlin
On the F. Otto Haas Stage
Nov. 28, 2012-Jan. 27, 2013

"Join the Arden for a retelling of the classic tale — set to the music of Mozart and featuring a great bit of magic. This Cinderella will inspire and surprise the entire family."

Endgame
By Samuel Beckett
Directed by Edward Sobel
On the Arcadia Stage
Jan. 17-March 10, 2013

"Nobel Prize-winner Samuel Beckett influenced generations of writers, from Pinter to Mamet, Albee to Stoppard. The Arden now presents this master storyteller for this first time, with the darkly comic Endgame under the direction of Edward Sobel (Clybourne Park, Superior Donuts). Featuring Philadelphia actors Scott Greer and James Ijames as co-dependent clowns Hamm and Clov, this visceral and vital production introduces Arden audiences to the funny, gritty, and rich world of Beckett."

A Raisin in the Sun
By Lorraine Hansberry
Directed by Walter Dallas
On the F. Otto Haas Stage
March 7-April 14, 2013

"In Chicago's South Side in 1959, a life insurance check sent to the Younger's home arrives with the promise of change. This African American family then considers buying a house in the all-white Clybourne Park, but conflicting aspirations and a neighborhood's intolerance threaten the dream's reality. Walter Dallas (The Piano Lesson, Blue Door) directs this classic drama that paved the way for the African American voice to be heard on stage."

Pinocchio
By Carlo Collodi
Adapted by Greg Banks
Directed by Matthew Decker
April 10-June 16, 2013

"Come meet Pinocchio, a wicked wooden boy who trades his schoolbooks for candy and plays hooky at the amusement park. When his father Geppetto is swallowed by a giant whale, Pinocchio has the chance to truly be brave for the first time. Five storytellers bring this tale to life with great physicality and help from your imagination."

A Little Night Music
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by Hugh Wheeler
Directed by Terrence J. Nolen
On the F. Otto Haas Stage
May 23-June 30, 2013

"This romantic waltz of musical whisks you away to a weekend in the country. One of Sondheim's most brilliant works comes alive on the Arden's stage by the team behind 2009's Sunday in the Park with George. Grace Gonglewski, Ben Dibble, and Mary Martello lead a cast of 16 in this enchanting and passionate romp."

Arden Theatre Company is located at 40 N. 2nd Street in the heart of Old City, Philadelphia, PA.

For subscription information, visit ardentheatre.org.