Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, a presenting and producing organization in St. Paul, MN, has announced a 2000-2001 season that includes the touring musicals, Selena Forever, Parade and Barry Manilow's Copacabana, plus a new two-person musical.
One of four Ordway "originals" of the season will be Ten Years Apart, a new musical (previously seen in April 1999 at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park) by and starring Matthew Bennett and Sean McCourt, two alums of the Broadway musical, Titanic. The new tuner, to be presented at Ordway's intimate McKnight Theatre, concerns two brothers living parallel lives apart. They are brought together by the death of their father. The actors play multiple roles.
The production runs Sept. 12-Oct. 22. Bennett's writing and composing credits include the New York cabaret show, Crooners Anonymous, Muleshoe C&W and a new play, Badger County. McCourt has worked as a composer for the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival and wrote the score for the indy film, "Snow Days," starring Bernadette Peters.
The Ordway will also present South Pacific, You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown and Into the Woods as Ordway "originals," meaning they are created and presented exclusively for Ordway audiences.
The Ordway season in the Main Hall and the McKnight also includes: • Selena Forever (June 27-July 9): The touring musical paying tribute to the Latina singer who topped the charts with "I Could Fall in Love" and "Dreaming," before her life was cut short.
• Parade (Aug. 1-13): Director Harold Prince, librettist Alfred Uhry and composer Jason Robert Brown reteam for a tour that resparks their Tony Award-winner about injustice in Atlanta after a child is murdered.
• Wit (Fall 2000): Margaret Edson's Pulitzer Prize-winning drama about a poetry professor's battle with ovarian cancer. The special presentation will play the Fitzgerald Theater in downtown St. Paul.
• Copacabana (Oct. 10-22): Based on the famous song by Barry Manilow, the singer-songwriter and collaborators Jack Feldman and Bruce Sussman have fleshed out an entire story about a showgirl -- her name was Lola. David Warren directs the national tour. A staging played in London to enthusiastic crowds. Wayne Cilento (Aida) choreographs.
• You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown (Nov. 28, 2000-Feb. 18, 2001): The "Peanuts"-inspired musical is revived in a new staging by Ordway at the McKnight, bringing "Happiness" to St. Paul (the hometown of the strip's late creator, Charles M. Schulz) less than two years after a Broadway revival. Ordway is seeking rights to the revival (which has two new songs), but may also stage the "classic" version.
• Into the Woods (Dec. 15-31): The James Lapine-Stephen Sondheim musical merging fairy tales, a new production by Ordway.
• South Pacific (June 12-July 1, 2001): Rodgers and Hammerstein's Pulitzer Prize-winning musical, in a new Ordway production.
In an effort to clarify its public image, Ordway Music Theatre, the two venue presenting and producing organization in St. Paul, MN, changed its name Jan. 10 to Ordway Center for the Performing Arts.
The 15-year-old facility serves 500,000 people yearly and houses national tours, original revivals and world premiere productions (such as the rock musical, Romeo and Juliet and the aborning Adventures in Love).
The center includes the 322-seat McKnight Theatre and the 1,900-seat Main Hall. The Minnesota Opera, The Minnesota Orchestra, The Schubert Club and The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra also perform in the center.
The Ordway is at 345 Washington Street, in St. Paul, MN. Call (651) 282 3000 for information, or the web at
-- By Kenneth Jones