La Jolla Playhouse has announced the three world-premiere productions that will join the previously announced Escape to Margaritaville (featuring the songs of Jimmy Buffett) for its 2017-18 season. The Californian theatre will debut a new musical tribute to the late queen of disco, titled Untitled Donna Summer Project, with choreography by Sergio Trujillo, and new plays by Rachel Bonds and Hansol Jung.
The season will kick off in May 2017 with Escape to Margaritaville, which features music and lyrics by Buffett and an original story by co-book writers Greg Garcia (My Name is Earl) and Mike O’Malley (Survivor’s Remorse, Shameless). Christopher Ashley, the Tony-nominated director behind Memphis and The Rocky Horror Show, will direct the world-premiere production ahead of an engagement in Chicago in November that is being billed as pre-Broadway.
Here’s how the new musical is outlined: “Featuring both original songs and your most-loved Jimmy Buffett classics, this new musical is the story of a tropical island resort and its part-time bartender, part-time singer and full time charmer who thinks he’s got life all figured out. Until a beautiful career-minded tourist steals his heart and makes him question everything.”
In July, La Jolla will present Bonds’ At the Old Place, directed by Playhouse associate artistic director Jaime Castañeda. The story is centered on a literature professor in her mid-40s who returns to her childhood home in Virginia to discover two young people camped out on her lawn.
The production will be followed by another world-premiere new play: Jung’s Wild Goose Dreams, directed by Tony nominee Leigh Silverman. The show is billed as an “inventive, lyrical and darkly humorous piece” about an unlikely romance between a North Korean defector and a lonely South Korean father.
In November the theatre will stage the world premiere of Untitled Donna Summer Project, described as a musical extravaganza, featuring more than 20 of Summer’s classic hits and electric dance. The production will be directed by Tony winner Des McAnuff.
Two additional productions for the 2017-18 season will be announced shortly. Tickets to the Playhouse’s 2017-18 season are available through a subscription purchase at LaJollaPlayhouse.org or by calling (858) 550-1010.