The 39 Steps, a U.K. hit currently on Broadway, adapted for the stage by Patrick Barlow and directed by Maria Aitken, will run Aug. 11–Sept. 13 in the Mandell Weiss Theatre.
La Jolla artistic director Christopher Ashley said in a statement, "In light of the current economy, it simply wasn't feasible to workshop The Hudsucker Proxy at this time. However, the project is still very much alive, and we sincerely hope to bring it back during a future Playhouse season, when we can give it the full treatment it deserves."
Two new EDGE productions have been added to the La Jolla season: Dogugaeshi, created by celebrated international puppeteer Basil Twist (Peter and Wendy), running June 10-14, in the Sheila and Hughes Potiker Theatre; and Les Freres Corbusier's Hoover: Tanned, Rested and Ready to Rock, by Sean Cunningham, with songs by Michael Friedman, and directed by Alex Timbers (Peter and the Starcatchers), running Sept. 8–13 in the Mandell Weiss Forum Theatre.
The EDGE is designed to bring "the freshest, most adventurous work" to La Jolla. The works are produced outside the subscription season.
Ashley stated, "I am also particularly excited about our two EDGE productions. The work of Basil Twist is revered around the world, and his latest piece showcases his unique theatricality, centered on a fascinating, rarely-performed style of Japanese puppetry. At the other end of the spectrum, Les Freres Corbusier brings Playhouse audiences their hilarious reinvention of Herbert Hoover in a delightfully irreverent musical gem. Both of these new works perfectly illustrate the mission of the Playhouse's EDGE series." The season will also include the "Native Voices" series featuring full readings of workshopped plays by Native American writers. The 2009 free readings include Carbon Black by Terry Gomez (Comanche) on June 19 at 8 PM; Fancy Dancer by Dawn Dumont (Cree, Metis) on June 20 at 1 PM; and The Frybread Queen by Carolyn Dunn (Muskogee Creek, Seminole, Cherokee) on June 21 at 4 PM. All readings take place in the Mandell Weiss Forum Studio.
For more information, visit lajollaplayhouse.org.
In Dogugaeshi, according to La Jolla Playhouse, "renowned artist and puppeteer Basil Twist takes audiences on an intimate, abstract, contemporary journey of images and emotions influenced by the rare tradition of Japanese dogugaeshi technique. The intricate dogugaeshi mechanism of sliding screens that create an unfolding of various images and landscapes was developed centuries ago as the climactic sequence in Japanese traditional puppet theater. Now only practiced in the Awaji region of Japan, Twist has recreated the technique with his own interpretation, blending Japanese tradition with his own inimitable style. Visually and aurally stunning, the performance features original live shamisen (traditional Japanese lute-like instrument) music and sound collages, created and performed by Yumiko Tanaka, a master of traditional shamisen."
The multidisciplinary production features video projection design by The Builders Association's Peter Flaherty (Continuous City), lighting design by Andrew Hill and sound design by Greg Duffin. It was the recipient of a 2005 Bessie Award and a New York Innovative Theater Award.
"After stewing for 70 years in political disgrace (and presumed death), Herbert Hoover takes the stage in Hoover: Tanned, Rested and Ready to Rock, to reclaim his legacy and save America in the process," according to La Jolla notes. "Elvis' classic '68 Comeback Special' serves as inspiration for Hoover's own interactive, rock-infused rebirth. Award-winning theatre company Les Freres Corbusier celebrates the presidency of one of history’s most vilified leaders in this hilarious new concert performance piece directed by Obie Award-winner and Les Freres Corbusier Artistic Director Alex Timbers (Peter and the Starcatchers)."