The first thing that pops out looking at Theatre Arlington's 2012-'13 season is that more shows than usual for this family-friendly theater come with the disclaimer "for mature audiences." And that begins this fall with the Pulitzer Prize- and Tony-winning musical Rent. Theatre Arlington's is the first-announced area production of it since Casa Mañana's professional debut of the show recently opened up its rights to the local pool.
Also on the "mature audiences" list are shows by two famous camp-lovers with the first name of "Charles." That begins with the Ridiculous Theatrical Company founder Charles Ludlam, who's most popular show, the hysterical The Mystery of Irma Vep, is in October. Then Charles Busch, one of Ludlam's disciples, will be represented with his Tony-nominated play The Tale of the Allergist's Wife. (It's a fairly tame work for Busch; for another taste of him, Uptown Players is doing his The Divine Sister in July.)
The season also includes Margaret Edson's Pulitzer Prize-winning play Wit, which was recently revived on Broadway with Cynthia Nixon; and returns to an audience favorite that appears on TA's season at least once a decade, Larry Shue's The Foreigner.
But don't worry, all those adult content shows will be tempered with Annie (good timing on that one, considering a major Broadway revival is set for the fall), the return of Always...Patsy Cline and, as usual, two youth productions. One is an adaptation of The Wizard of Oz from Theatre Arlington's artistic director Todd Hart.
Here's the season, with descriptions provided by Theatre Arlington's news release.
Book, Music and Lyrics by Jonathan Larson
Sept. 7 - 30, 2012
Winner of the Tony Award for Best Musical and the Pulitzer Prize (Drama)
This story of a group of friends struggling to make it in the big city has become a pop cultural phenomenon with songs that rock and a story that resonates with audiences of all ages. Based loosely on Puccini's La Boheme, Rent's music and tale are compelling, memorable and haunting. For mature audiences. See website for details.
The Mystery of Irma Vep: A Penny Dreadful
Written by Charles Ludlam
Oct. 19 – Nov. 4, 2012
A sympathetic werewolf, a vampire and an Egyptian princess brought to life when her tomb is opened make this a quick-change marathon in which two actors play all the roles. The New York Times calls this hilarious spoof of Gothic melodramas, "Far and away the funniest two hours on a New York stage." For mature audiences. See website for details.
Book by Thomas Meehan, Music by Charles Strouse, Lyrics by Martin Charnin
November 30 – December 16, 2012
Leapin' Lizards! Just in time for the holidays! An orphan, a wealthy mogul and, of course, a lovable mutt named Sandy all take center stage in one of the world's best-loved musicals. Come join the spunky, tug-at-your-heart-strings orphan on her quest to find her parents who abandoned her.
The Tale of the Allergist's Wife
By Charles Busch
January 8 – February 3, 2013
Winner of the Outer Critics Circle John Gassner Award. Marjorie Taub, the wife of a philanthropic allergist, is engulfed in a life crisis of Medea-like proportions. Her children are grown, her beloved therapist died recently and her mother, obsessed with bowel movements, grates on her nerves. Her spirits suddenly soar when a fascinating and incredibly worldly friend from her childhood appears on her doorstep. Lee, the savior that infuses Marjorie with life, quickly becomes Lee the unwelcome and sinister guest. For mature audiences. See website for details.
Lyrics and Music by Todd Hart
February 22 – March 10, 2013
Dorothy's magical trip to Oz and her quest to find her way home with her friends, The Tin-Man, Cowardly Lion and the Scarecrow is one of our most popular all-youth musicals ever! All of your favorite characters come to life joining Dorothy on her journey and assist in her battles with the Wicked Witch – even Toto!
Written by Margaret Edson
March 29 – April 14, 2013
Winner of the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Winner of the Lucille Lortel Award for Best Play. Vivian Bearing, Ph.D., a renowned professor of English who has spent years teaching the metaphysical sonnets of John Donne, has been diagnosed with terminal ovarian cancer. During the course of her illness—and her stint as a prize patient in an experimental chemotherapy program at a major teaching hospital—Vivian comes to reassess her life and her work with a profundity and humor that are transformative both for her and the audience. For mature audiences. See website for details.
by Ted Swindley
May 10 – June 2, 2013
Houston housewife Louise Seger met singer Patsy Cline at one of Cline's concerts. The two formed a lasting friendship through being pen pals over the years. This show tells the story of Patsy's life through those letters and, of course, the songs Patsy made famous. Featuring hits "Walkin' After Midnight," "She's Got You" and "Crazy," to name a few, this moving tale will remain with you long after the curtain closes.
Adapted by Joseph Robinette. Based on the book by E.B. White.
July 12 – July 21, 2013
Named by the Children's Literature Association as "the best American children's book of the past two hundred years," the story of the extraordinary spider Charlotte, and her unlikely friendship with an irresistible young pig unfold on stage in colorful and endearing fashion. Don't miss a minute of the fun as she embarks on a campaign to save the life of her dear friend.
By Larry Shue
August 9 – 25, 2013
Winner of two Obie Awards and two Outer Critics Circle Awards as Best New American Play and Best Off-Broadway Production. Pathologically shy Charlie is overcome with fear at the thought of making conversation with strangers. When a rumor starts that Charlie is from an exotic foreign country and speaks no English he overhears more than he should. The fact he understands every devious word fuels nonstop hilarity and sets up the wildly funny climax. For mature audiences. See website for details.
Season packages are on sale now, and may be purchased over the phone by calling 817-275-7661 or online at www.theatrearlington.org.