Four world premieres, including a new musical based on the songs of Randy Newman, top the list of plays announced by South Coast Rep for the coming year. The premieres include new plays by Howard Korder, Jose Rivera and Tom Donaghy, plus the California premiere of John Olive's The Summer Moon. Works by Sam Shepard, August Wilson, George Bernard Shaw and Arthur Miller have also been scheduled.
The Education of Randy Newman, a through-sung musical conceived by Newman, Michael Roth and Jerry Patch, will be unveiled June 2, 2000. The story follows a Newmanesque Everyman from childhood in Louisiana to his arrival and adult years in Los Angeles.
SCR's mainstage season will commence Sept. 10 with Shaw's The Philanderer, directed by Martin Benson. Wilson's The Piano Lesson follows on Oct. 22.
The Hollow Lands Korder's drama about the westward expansion of the United States, opens Jan. l4. Next in line is Miller's All My Sons, directed by Benson, Feb. 25, with a play-to-be-announced filling the April 7-May slot.
The Second Stage season opens with Shepard's True West (Sept. 24). Olive's The Summer Moon comes next (Nov. 5), followed by Rivera's References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot (March 10), which explores the relationship between a young career soldier and his intensely romantic wife. Donaghy's The Beginning of August (April 25) takes a comic look at the American family in transition. Donaghy wrote the 1997 Off-Broadway hit Minutes From the Blue Route.
"In the Korder, Rivera, Donaghy and Olive plays, we have four exciting new projects from established playwrights," said SCR artistic director David Emmes in a statement. "We think it is fortuitous that we will begin this decade as we did the last one, with a play from Howard Korder, whose Search and Destroy was the first American premiere of the 90s."
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-- By Willard Manus
Southern California Correspondent