Philadelphia Theatre Co. Welcomes Nerds Musical in 2006-07, Plus Murderers

News   Philadelphia Theatre Co. Welcomes Nerds Musical in 2006-07, Plus Murderers
Philadelphia Theatre Company, a home of contemporary theatre in the City of Brotherly Love, announced a 2006-2007 season that will include Nerds://A Musical Software Satire.

Also expected are the Philly premiere of the AIDS drama, In the Continuum, featuring the work's original writer-actresses; the Philly (and East Coast) premiere of Jeffrey Hatcher's Murderers; and the Philly premiere of Austin Pendleton's Orson's Shadow.

This will be the Equity troupe's last season at Plays & Players Theater (1714 Delancey Street) before moving to its new home, the Suzanne Roberts Theater, at Broad and Lombard Streets, in fall 2007.

"Our new season again celebrates the genius and diversity of the American playwright," said producing artistic director Sara Garonzik. "Our long standing commitment to premiere works in Philadelphia allows us to continue our relationship with Jeffrey Hatcher and Austin Pendleton, while also establishing a new and exciting partnership with the rising musical theatre team of Jordan Allen-Dutton, Erik Weiner and Hal Goldberg."

Murderers is a The season begins Oct. 6-Nov. 5 with Murderers, which was read in Philadelphia Theatre Company's STAGES new play series in 2005. "Gerald, Lucy, and Minka are cold-blooded murderers, happily living at the Riddle Key Retirement Community in Florida," according to PTC. "That they committed murder is not in question, but the 'why' inspires an evening of greed, revenge and hilarity…"

Hatcher penned Philadelphia Theatre Company's world premiere A Picasso (2004) as well as its Philadelphia premieres of Compleat Female Stage Beauty and Three Viewings. Michael Bush, director of artistic production at Manhattan Theatre Club, will direct.

Nerds://A Musical Software Satire has book and lyrics by Jordan Allen-Dutton and Erik Weiner, and music by Hal Goldberg. It plays Jan. 26-Feb. 25, 2007, as part of the first Philadelphia New Play Festival. Nerds premiered in the 2005 New York Musical Theatre Festival.

"Nerds is an outrageous musical take on the parallel stories of computer pioneers Bill Gates and Steve Jobs as they blaze from 'garage inventors' to warring titans of the computer revolution," according to PTC.

Its creators enjoyed an earlier success Off-Broadway with their musical comedy The Bomb-itty of Errors. Nerds will be directed by Andy Goldberg.

The Philadelphia premiere of the Primary Stages production of In the Continuum, written and performed by Danai Gurira and Nikkole Salter and directed by Robert O'Hara, plays March 16-April 15.

The 2006 Obie Award-winner took audiences and critics by surprise. "Living worlds apart in L.A. and Zimbabwe, two young women experience a kaleidoscopic weekend of darkly comic events when their lives are changed forever as each is diagnosed with HIV," according to PTC. "Portraying a rich array of characters, the playwrights/actresses offer a funny and mesmerizing evening of parallel denials and resonant self-discoveries."

Danai Gurira appeared with Philadelphia Theatre Company in its Barrymore Award-winning production of The Story in 2005.

Engagements of In the Continuum are being announced by regional theatres around the country for the coming year.

The season concludes with the Philadelphia premiere of Orson's Shadow by Austin Pendleton, May 4-June 3, 2007. Read in Philadelphia Theatre Company's STAGES series as part of its 25th Anniversary celebration, Orson's Shadow recently enjoyed success Off-Broadway.

"Set in 1960, Orson's Shadow cleverly dramatizes legendary director Orson Welles' troubled attempts to bring Ionesco's Rhinoceros to the stage," PTC reports. "The stars, Laurence Olivier and Joan Plowright, are deep in the throes of an extramarital affair. Add to the mix Olivier's glamorous but unstable wife, actress Vivien Leigh, and theatre critic Kenneth Tynan, and the result is a recipe for backstage humor and high drama. In this fictional rendering of actual events, Orson's Shadow peeks behind the curtain to reveal the all-too-human frailties of these larger-than-life personalities."

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PTC's recent world premiere productions include Some Men by Terrence McNally; Adrift in Macao by Christopher Durang and Peter Melnick; Bruce Graham's According to Goldman; Jeffrey Hatcher's A Picasso; Daniel Stern's comedy Barbra's Wedding; John Henry Redwood's No Niggers, No Jews, No Dogs; J.T. Rogers' White People; David Ives' Lives of the Saints; and three-time Tony Award-winning Master Class by Terrence McNally.

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