New Works by William Finn and Mark St. Germain Play Barrington Stage Co. in Massachusetts in Summer 2004

News   New Works by William Finn and Mark St. Germain Play Barrington Stage Co. in Massachusetts in Summer 2004
Barrington Stage Company in Sheffield, Massachusetts, will kick off its 10th season with, literally, a kick: A mainstage revival of the dance-heavy musical, Sweet Charity, to be followed by two world premieres.
William Finn
William Finn

Rob Ruggiero (associate artistic director of Theatrewroks in Hartford) will direct the Cy Coleman-Dorothy Fields Neil Simon Sweet Charity June 24-July 17 at the Consolati Performing Arts Center in Sheffield.

Also in the new MainStage season is Mark St. Germain's new play, The God Committee, in a world premiere, July 22-Aug. 7, followed by a revival of Cyrano de Bergerac. St. Germain's Ears on a Beatle got its start at Barrington and now an Off Broadway staging is imminent.

According to press notes, "In The God Committee, medicine, money and morality clash when St. Patrick Hospital's Transplant Selection Committee meets under extraordinary circumstances to decide who will be selected for a heart that has become available. Seven people must make a vital choice as dying patients and a life-saving program hang in the balance."

BSC's Stage II will offer the world premiere of the musical comedy, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, penned by Tony Award-winning composer lyricist, William Finn, and conceiver Rebecca Feldman and playwright Rachel Sheinkin. Performances play July 7-25. BSC is currently conducting a reading/workshop of the project, Feb. 6-15.

"Audience members will battle with six fiercely competitive and talented spellers in this outlandish match of wits," according to production notes. "Only one of these brainiacs will come out on top and be crowned the Putnam County Spelling Bee champ. Spellers clash in this nail-biting contest sure to change each participant's life forever." Finn's works include A New Brain and the Tony Winning Falsettos. Playwright Rachel Sheinkin's recent collaborations include Notes Across a Small Pond (Bridewell Theatre, London), Striking 12: The GrooveLily Holiday Show (Old Globe, San Diego; Prince Music Theatre, Philadelphia) Blood Drive Permutations (Eugene O'Neill National Music Theater Conference) and Serenade (Daryl Roth New Voices/New Musicals First Look series).

Rebecca Feldman most recently directed and performed in the previous incarnation of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, entitled Crepuscule, at the Present Company Theatorium in New York. She has directed new plays by emerging playwrights at such venues as NYC Fringe Festival, New Dramatists, Sanford Meisner, Ohio Theatre, Access Theatre, and House of Candles.

The 2004 MainStage season will conclude with Edmond Rostand's Cyrano de Bergerac, a the adventurous tale of "unrequited love, gallantry and sacrifice," Aug. 12-28. BSC's Cyrano de Bergerac, translated by Lowell Bair and adapted and directed by Julianne Boyd, will star Christopher Innvar as Cyrano and Heather Ayers as Roxane. Fight choreography is by Michael Burnet, with original music by Ray Leslee.

"Set in 17th century Paris, Cyrano de Bergerac tells the tale of a poet and swordsman — brilliant and charismatic, but afflicted with a shockingly large nose. Though he has fallen deeply in love with the beautiful Roxane, he considers himself too ugly ever to risk revealing his feelings. Cyrano agrees to help a handsome but tongue-tied rival woo Roxane in this timeless epic of love and bravado."

Innvar returns to Barrington Stage after playing Vicomte de Valmont in summer 2003's world premiere musical, The Game. He recently played opposite Mia Farrow in the world premiere of James Lapine's drama, Fran's Bed, at Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven. His Broadway credits include Les Miserables and Victor/Victoria. Off-Broadway he is remembered for Floyd Collins, Gun-Shy (Playwrights Horizons), Eight Days-Backwards (Vineyard), Time and Again (Manhattan Theatre Club), A New Brain (Lincoln Center) and more.

Ayers was also featured in The Game in summer 2003, Mme. de Tourvel. Ayers recently appeared in a new version of Dracula by Dodie Pettit and Kevin Gray at The Stonington Opera House in Maine. She appeared Off-Broadway in Forbidden Broadway.

Lee Blessing's Thief River is the second production of the season on BSC's Stage II, Aug. 5-22. Andrew Volkoff will direct the play, which premiered at the Signature Theatre Off-Broadway. The work spans 50 years in the lives of two men who were locked in teen-age affair and who took different paths in the decades that followed.

BSC's Youth Theatre will present The Wizard of Oz, with music from the film, starting in July.

Subscriptions for the MainStage season and ticket information can be obtained by calling BSC's box office at (413) 528-8888.


BSC artistic director Julianne Boyd directed many of BSC's past productions, including last season's world premiere of The Game and the critically acclaimed productions of Company, Mack and Mabel, A Little Night Music, Cabaret and South Pacific. Boyd conceived and directed the Broadway musical Eubie!, which garnered three Tony nominations and starred Gregory Hines, and the award-winning, Off Broadway musical revues of A…My Name is Alice and A…My Name Is Still Alice, both reprised at BSC as A…My Name Will Always be Alice.


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