Philadelphia Theatre Co. Will Stage Piazza, Ma Rainey, Pisoni's Humor Abuse, McNally Premiere | Playbill

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News Philadelphia Theatre Co. Will Stage Piazza, Ma Rainey, Pisoni's Humor Abuse, McNally Premiere Philadelphia Theatre Company's six-title 2009-10 season — to include the Philly premiere of Lorenzo Pisoni's acclaimed Off-Broadway circus tale, Humor Abuse — was announced May 21 by producing artistic director Sara Garonzik.
Humor Abuse star Lorenzo Pisoni
Humor Abuse star Lorenzo Pisoni Photo by Joan Marcus

In addition to the previously announced world premiere of Terrence McNally's Golden Age, directed by Austin Pendleton, the resident Equity company will offer a Second City revue and plays by August Wilson (starring E. Faye Butler) and Theresa Rebeck, and the Adam Guettel-Craig Lucas musical, The Light in the Piazza.

Here's the PTC season at a glance:

  • PTC collaborates with legendary The Second City comedy theatre to create City of Nutterly Love: Funny as Bell!, a world-premiere revue running July 8-July 26. It's the improv troupe's spoof of all things Philadelphia. "The Chicago-based masters of sketch and improv comedy will partner with Philadelphia's funniest actors in a show reflecting Philadelphia in all its diversity, complexity and hilarity."
  • Humor Abuse, written and performed by Lorenzo Pisoni, Sept. 25–Oct. 25. "Coming to Philadelphia following a sold-out run at Manhattan Theatre Club, Humor Abuse swept awards season, winning the four 2009 awards for Best Solo Show — OBIE, Drama Desk Award, Lucille Lortel Award and Outer Critics Circle Award. Based on his vagabond life as the youngest member of his father's famed Pickle Family Circus from San Francisco, Humor Abuse is one man's funny and candid exploration of the father/son relationship and the hopes, dreams, and disappointments that lurk behind that red rubber nose. Pisoni, through extraordinary clowning and riveting storytelling, reveals that running away with the circus isn't always fun and games."


  • The Light in the Piazza, book by Craig Lucas and music and lyrics by Adam Guettel, Nov. 13–Dec. 13. "Directed by Joe Calarco, this six-time Tony Award winner combines the romance of Italy with a passionate love story. Margaret Johnson, a woman escaping her crumbling marriage, is traveling in Tuscany with her daughter Clara. When a handsome young Florentine captures Clara's heart, Margaret must decide if she'll risk revealing truths that could threaten her daughter's happiness."
  • Terrence McNally's Golden Age, directed by Austin Pendleton, Jan. 22-Feb. 21, 2010. "Exploring the exquisite and passionate world of opera, Golden Age is set backstage at the 1835 Paris premiere of Vincenzo Bellini's final opera, I Puritani. PTC has partnered with McNally for the world premieres of Master Class, Some Men and Unusual Acts of Devotion. Following its run in Philadelphia, the PTC production will move to the Kennedy Center as part of its 'Terrence McNally's Nights at the Opera Festival.' Golden Age is supported by a $50,000 development grant from the Kennedy Center's Fund for New American Plays."
  • Theresa Rebeck's Mauritius, March 19–April 18, 2010. "Acclaimed theatre, TV, and film writer Theresa Rebeck has crafted a caper filled with scams, con-artists and double-crosses, as two half-sisters vie for the rights to a recently inherited stamp collection that may include the crown jewel of the stamp-collecting world. Mauritius is a gripping blend of sharp comedy and heart-pounding drama that simmers with surprise."
  • Ma Rainey's Black Bottom by August Wilson, May 21–June 20, 2010. "Winner of the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play. Set in a 1920s Chicago recording studio where real-life blues legend Ma Rainey and her band have assembled along with Rainey's white agent and producer, Ma Rainey explores the historic exploitation of black recording artists, delving deeply into the heart of racism. The production features the return of Barrymore Award winner E. Faye Butler (PTC's Dinah Was) in the title role. Ma Rainey's Black Bottom is produced in association with Centerstage in Baltimore." Subscriptions for the 2009-10 season are currently available. For more information call (215) 985-0420 or (866) 985-0420, or visit


    Philadelphia Theatre Company is Philadelphia's only not-for-profit professional theatre dedicated exclusively to producing world and regional premieres of works by contemporary American playwrights. Sara Garonzik has been the company's producing artistic director since 1982, and in October 2007, Diane Claussen became its managing director.

    PTC's home is in the Suzanne Roberts Theatre, designed by the award-winning firm of KieranTimberlake Associates LLP.

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