Brooklyn's Gallery Players Will Offer Coleman, Guare, Durang, Miller, Kushner and Top of the Heap

News   Brooklyn's Gallery Players Will Offer Coleman, Guare, Durang, Miller, Kushner and Top of the Heap
Gallery Players, the Brooklyn company that presents intimate productions in the neighborhood of Park Slope, will stage a characteristically eclectic season in 2009-10. Expect works ranging from Arthur Miller's The Crucible to the musical Caroline, or Change to John Guare's House of Blue Leaves to Cy Coleman's City of Angels.

Top of the Heap, a new award-winning musical, will make its Brooklyn premiere in the coming year.

The Gallery Players will end its 43rd season with The 13th Annual Black Box New Play Festival June 10-27, 2010, and will again offer The Peanut Gallery, Park Slope's "musical theatre summer adventure camp for kids."

Here's the 2009-10 season of Gallery Players:

The House of Blue Leaves by John Guare, Sept. 12-27. "Artie Shaugnessy is a songwriter with visions of glory. Toiling by day as a zookeeper, he suffers in seedy lounges by night, plying his wares at piano bars in Queens, New York where he lives with his wife, Bananas (who is). But like many dreams, this promise of glory evaporates amid the chaos of ordinary lives. The 1971 Obie Award winner for Best American Play."

Top of the Heap by Jeffrey Lodin (music), William Squier (book and lyrics), Oct. 24-Nov. 8. "A new musical in The Gallery Players' tradition of championing new musicals. This winner of the 2007 National Musical Theater Network Director's Choice Award and the 2006 Global Search for New Musicals makes its Brooklyn premiere with a limited engagement. It's New York City, 1955. The Brooklyn Dodgers are about to square off with the Yankees in a World Series that will net 'dem bums' their first title in 55 years. So, TV's most popular variety program, 'Top of the Heap,' is headed to Brooklyn for a live, remote broadcast tied into the Series. A struggling pair of nightclub comics see this as a chance to bluff their way out of the dives where they perform and into television. But, they soon discover just how high a price they'll have to pay." Mrs. Bob Cratchit's Wild Christmas Binge by Christopher Durang, Dec. 5-20. "In this departure from Dickens, young Scrooge's exclamations of 'Bah, humbug!' are an undiagnosed 'kind of seasonal Tourette's Syndrome,' and The Ghost of Christmas Past is played by a sassy African-American woman with enough attitude to portray all three spirits (which she does). She tries to show Scrooge his past, present and future in order to change him, but her magic keeps malfunctioning in Durang's version of the beloved holiday classic, and they consistently find themselves transported to the wrong time and place. Mrs. Bob Cratchit, a minor character in the Dickens, takes center stage here."

Caroline, or Change by Jeanine Tesori (music) and Tony Kushner (book and lyrics), Jan. 30-Feb. 21, 2010. "Set in 1963 in sleepy Lake Charles, Louisiana, Caroline, or Change centers its action on the Gellman family and their African-American maid. Caroline is drifting through her life, nearly paralyzed by her circumstances — a single mother of four working in a service job to a white family. The thunder of the civil rights movement and John F. Kennedy's death is distant, yet reverberates deeply through the script, provoking all characters to see their lives in a new light and either embrace or reject the larger social changes that are in motion."

The Crucible by Arthur Miller, March 20-April 4, 2010. "This exciting drama is both a gripping historical play and a timely parable. Based on historical people and real events, Miller's classic play about the witch-hunts and trials in 17th century Salem, Massachusetts, is a searing portrait of a community engulfed by hysteria. Written in 1953, The Crucible is a mirror that Miller uses to reflect the anti-Communist hysteria inspired by Senator Joseph McCarthy's 'witch-hunts' in the U.S."

City of Angels by Cy Coleman (music), David Zippel (lyrics) and Larry Gelbart (book), May 1-23, 2010. "City of Angels is two shows in one...the interweaving of two plots, one dealing with the writing of a screenplay in the legendary Hollywood of the '40s; the other, the enactment of that screenplay." The Gallery Players is located at 199 14th Street, between Fourth and Fifth Avenues in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

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