The musical comedy Animal Crackers will open the season Sept. 4-Oct. 13. It has a book by George S. Kaufman and Morrie Ryskind, with a score by Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby. Henry Wishcamper adapted the Marx Brothers comedy, which is described as such: "The society party of the season has landed at the Rittenhouse estate, but the disappearance of a valuable painting threatens to spoil the affair. Thankfully, Captain Spaulding is on the case! Or is he? Filled with secret identities, love affairs, and stolen art, Animal Crackers proves the comedy genius of the Marx Brothers is as spot on as ever."
Centerstage artistic director Kwame Kwei-Armah will stage Gardley's dance of the holy ghosts: a play on memory, running Oct. 9-Nov.17. Gardley is also the playwright of On the Levee and Every Tongue Confess.
Here's how it's billed: "Oscar Clifton is a blues man living through his memories of the past, until his estranged grandson Marcus pays a visit. Together, they confront a history of loves, regrets, and missed opportunities. This acclaimed play by Marcus Gardley is a poetic family drama set in the key of blues—a memory-scape skipping seamlessly across the decades."
Vogel's play with music, A Civil War Christmas, which weaves together fictional characters and political figures from the Lincoln era, will be presented Nov. 19–Dec. 22. Following will be Marie Jones' Stones in His Pockets, about a Hollywood film crew that takes over a small Irish town, which will run Jan. 15–Feb. 23, 2014. Shakespeare's Twelfth Night will follow March 5–April 6, 2014.
The spring will feature Naomi Wallace's new work The Liquid Plain, directed by Kwei-Armah, April 16–May 25, 2014, following its world premiere at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival this summer. According to Centerstage, "In this lyrical and award-winning new drama, two runaway slaves and an amnesic sailor live on the docks of an 18th-century New England seaport. But as identities come to light and truths are revealed, plans for an escape to Africa are put in jeopardy and their lives are forever altered." The final production will be Wild With Happy, by Scottsboro Boys and Passing Strange actor Domingo. The play had its premiere at the Public Theater Off-Broadway last fall.
Here's how it's characterized: "Grief is a funny thing. Gil's boyfriend has left him, his acting career isn't exactly taking off, and his mother just passed away. He's not taking it all very well. But luckily his boisterous Aunt Flo, a sensitive funeral director, and his outrageous best friend may be exactly what he needs. [It's] a wild ride through love, loss, and, just maybe, The Most Magical Place on Earth."
For tickets visit centerstage.org.