Pasadena Season to Include Stop Kiss; World Premiere by BeBe Winans and Charles Randolph-Wright Under Consideration
By Michael Gioia
March 20, 2014
The Pasadena Playhouse, under the artistic direction of Sheldon Epps and executive director Elizabeth Doran, announced their 2014-15 season, which includes Diana Son's Stop Kiss, William Gibson's rarely produced Two for the Seesaw and a new production of George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion, among others.
The company is also in discussions to present the world premiere of Where We Belong by BeBe Winans and Charles Randolph-Wright with direction by Epps. The show is under consideration for the first or the last slot of the season, running Sept. 5-Oct. 5, 2014, or June 2-28, 2015, respectively.
"While we are eager to have this show on our stage we also want to give this important new musical the development time it deserves which is complicated by the busy schedules of the creative team involved," said artistic director Epps in a statement.
"The truth is that a theatre's season comes together in ways that are both a bit magical and a bit mystical," he added. "I am very pleased that this often elusive process has resulted in these exciting choices for our upcoming season. Our strongly committed celebration of all kinds of diversity is well represented here. I very much believe these choices offer the genuine promise of theatrical excitement and vivacity for our audiences and for the artists that we fortunately will involve in each of these artistic journeys."
Here's a look at the Pasadena Playhouse 2014-15 season at a glance:
By Diana Son
Directed by Seema Sueko
"Stop Kiss marks The Pasadena Playhouse's associate artistic director, Seema Sueko's directorial debut at The Playhouse. Originally produced Off-Broadway at the Public Theatre with a cast including Sandra Oh and Jessica Hect, this critically acclaimed play, which received the GLAAD Media Award for Best New York Production, tells the story of Sara and Callie, who are walking through New York City's West Village very late at night, when they share their first kiss. This leads to a vicious attack by an angry bystander, in which Sara is horribly injured. Throughout Stop Kiss, relationships are explored, formed, and even ended. Diana Son elaborates on the depths of human emotion and compassion."
Panto at The Playhouse
By Kris Lythgoe
Directed by Bonnie Lythgoe
Produced in association with Lythgoe Family Productions
Dec. 10-Jan. 4, 2015
"An updated version of the classic story, in the style of the traditional British family Panto, Lythgoe Family Productions will present a new holiday version of the classic tale of Sleeping Beauty featuring family-friendly magic, a comedic twist and contemporary music. A Panto is known for its interactive style and humor that appeals to fairytale fans of all ages."
Two for the Seesaw
By William Gibson
Directed by Sheldon Epps
Jan. 27-Feb. 22, 2015
"This rarely produced, classic American romantic comedy by William Gibson (The Miracle Worker, Golda's Balcony) is bound for London with The Playhouse's Panto at The Playhouse producing partners, Lythgoe Family Productions. Two for the Seesaw was Gibson's Broadway debut, and the original critically acclaimed production starred Henry Fonda, and in her own Broadway debut, Anne Bancroft. In Two for the Seesaw Jerry Ryan is a lawyer from Nebraska who has recently separated from his wife. To get away from it all, he has moved to a shabby apartment in New York. At a party he meets Gittel Mosca, a struggling dancer. They instantly get along, and begin to fall in love. But the relationship is hampered by their differences in background and temperament in this unforgettable play."
By George Bernard Shaw
March 17-April 12, 2015
"Pygmalion was first presented on stage to the public in 1912. Professor of phonetics Henry Higgins makes a bet that he can train a bedraggled Cockney flower girl, Eliza Doolittle, to pass for a duchess at an ambassador's garden party by teaching her to assume a veneer of gentility, the most important element of which, he believes, is impeccable speech. The play is a sharp lampoon of the rigid British class system of the day and continues to be a commentary on women's independence."
Artistic Director's Choice
To be announced
Where We Belong
Music and Lyrics by BeBe Winans
Book by Charles Randolph-Wright
Directed by Sheldon Epps
"This world premiere musical tells the story of BeBe Winans and his sister CeCe Winans' early involvement with Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker's religious television show 'The PTL Club,' which launched their careers. This pulsating production also explores what took place after they moved on from Tammy Faye before the downfall of the evangelical husband-wife duo's Christian empire."
The Pasadena Playhouse is located at 39 South El Molino Avenue in Pasadena, CA. For more information and tickets, call (626) 356-7529 or visit PasadenaPlayhouse.org.