Barrington's 2013 Season to Feature Annette O'Toole, Joshua Bergasse, John Rando, a Mark St. Germain Premiere and More
By Kenneth Jones
Tony Award winner John Rando will direct the dance-heavy musical comedy On the Town, with choreography by Emmy Award-winning "Smash" choreographer Joshua Bergasse, in summer 2013, Barrington Stage Company announced on Dec. 10. Other titles for the 2013 season were also revealed.
The summer 2013 titles of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing and On the Town by Betty Comden, Adolph Green and Leonard Bernstein had been previously announced.
At a press conference held at Barrington Stage Company's St. Germain Stage in Pittsfield, MA, artistic director Julianne Boyd announced the titles for 2013. BSC's two stages are the Boyd-Quinson Mainstage and intimate St. Germain Stage.
Much Ado (Aug. 8-25) and On the Town (June 12-July 13) will play the Boyd-Quinson Mainstage, as will a July 18-Aug. 3 run of Chaim Potok's The Chosen, adapted for the stage by Aaron Posner and Potok. A director will be announced for the story of "two boys, two fathers, and two very different Jewish communities in Williamsburg, Brooklyn."
A world premiere by BSC resident writer Mark St. Germain will play the smaller St. Germain Stage Aug. 15-Sept. 29. The new work by the author of Freud's Last Session, The Best of Enemies and Dr. Ruth, All the Way is called Scott and Hem in the Garden of Allah. It is billed this way: "In 1937, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway, famous authors and frenemies, meet in Hollywood — the City of Dreams — to confront their own. Scott and Hem in the Garden of Allah is a drama about the cost of love, friendship and the price of being a writer."
The play "is produced as part of a rolling world premiere agreement between Barrington Stage Company and the Contemporary American Theater Festival in Shepherdstown, West Virginia," which will produce a separate staging.
Much Ado will be directed by Boyd. BSC veterans Christopher Innvar, Gretchen Egolf and Mark H. Dold will star.
The American premiere of Bashir Lazhar will be the St. Germain Stage season opener May 22-June 8. The work by Canadian playwright Evelyne de la Cheneliere, in a translation by Morwyn Brebner, will be directed by BSC associate producer Shakina Nayfack.
Bashir Lazhar "tells the story of an Algerian immigrant who is hurriedly hired as the teacher at an elementary school in Montreal for a class of distressed students," according to BSC. "His unorthodox teaching methods draw him into surprisingly explosive territory." It was adapted for the screen under the title "Monsieur Lazhar," and was nominated for a 2012 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
A second play at the St Germain Stage, running June 13-July 6, will be announced at a later date.
Barrington Stage Company’s Musical Theatre Lab — under the leadership of William Finn, artistic producer, and Julianne Boyd, artistic director — kicks off its eighth season with the award-winning musical Southern Comfort, boasting a folk-bluegrass score, with music by Julianne Wick-Davis and book and lyrics by Dan Collins, July 19-Aug. 10.
Based on the documentary of the same name, Southern Comfort was first produced in 2011 by CAP21 Theatre Company in New York City, and had a staged reading at the 2012 NAMT Festival of New Musicals. This will be the second production of the musical. BSC veteran Jeff McCarthy and Annette O'Toole will reprise their 2011 roles.
Wick-Davis and Collins are recipients of the 2012 Jonathan Larson Award for Southern Comfort. Tom Caruso, associate director of the upcoming Broadway musical Matilda, will direct.
Southern Comfort "tells the story of male transgendered Robert Eads (Annette O'Toole) and his tight-knit community of individuals, including his trans girlfriend Lola Cola (Jeff McCarthy), living in the back hills of 'Bubba Land' Georgia. When Robert discovers that he has ovarian cancer, he refuses to let it dampen his spirits or his determination to live life fully. The show is a celebration of a uniquely American family, living life openly, honestly, and courageously by choosing to remain in rural Taccoa, Georgia, simply because it is the home they have grown to love."
Beginning in late February/early March, Barrington Stage will collaborate with Shirley Edgerton's Rites of Passage Educational Program for African American young women and develop a play using Ntozake Shange's For Colored Girls Who Have Tried Suicide When The Rainbow Is Enuf as a model. The young Berkshire County women "will work with two playwright/poets in the community, Jamuna Sirker and Nakeida Bethel-Smith, and develop their own evening of poems/stories."
Next summer, as part of the 2013 WordXWord Festival, BSC will present the play For Colored Girls, performed by a professional cast of seven women. The following week, the local women will read their poems/stories at BSC.
Single tickets will go on sale March 1, 2013. Passes to the 2013 season at the Boyd-Quinson Mainstage and St. Germain Stage are on sale now at (413) 236-8888 or by calling barringtonstageco.org.
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