The 2013-'14 season for Jubilee Theatre, its 33rd, has been announced. Keeping with tradition, it's a six-show season of three plays and three musicals.
The plays begin with a one-woman show by Charlayne Woodard, called Neat, which is a companion piece to Woodard's Pretty Fire, which Jubilee gave us last year. Ebony Marshall-Oliver, who won awards for her performance in Pretty Fire, will also star in Neat. (Neat was also done a few years ago at African American Repertory Theatre.) Then in 2014, the plays continue with Katori Hall's The Mountaintop, which was on Broadway in 2012, and imagines a conversation between Martin Luther King, Jr. and a hotel maid on the night before he was assassinated. The third play is August Wilson's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom.
For musicals, Jubilee is going more traditional this year, beginning with an original Christmas work that looks like a tribute to Jubilee's co-founder, Rudy Eastman, called Jubilation. In the spring, they'll revive the perennial favorite Ain't Misbehavin', and close out the season with the terrific rock musical Little Shop of Horrors.
Here's the complete breakdown of the season, which has the theme of "Rhapsodies."
NEAT by Charlayne Woodard
Previews Oct. 11 – 17
Opening Night Oct. 18
Runs through Nov. 10
In “NEAT”, the follow up companion piece to the Jubilee Theatre smash hit Pretty Fire, Charlayne Woodard shares her memories of growing up black in America in the 50’s and 60's. Through the magic of storytelling, music and movement, Charlayne takes us on a journey from Savannah, Georgia to Albany, New York with engaging humor and sharp insight. Award winning actress and star of Pretty Fire, Ebony Marshall-Oliver returns to the Jubilee stage in a performance that will leave you spellbound.
JUBILATION by Tre Garrett and Geno Young
Runs Nov. 30 – Dec. 29
Set in the town of Rudyville, Jubilee Theatre’s mascot Lee Roy, the proprietor of Lee Roy’s Night Club hosts the Jubilation Christmas Celebration. It’s a Christmas celebration and their annual rent party all in one. Lee Roy has gathered all of his friends and favorite performers together for a fun evening of holiday cheer, friendship and your favorite holiday songs with a jazzy, gospel twist.
THE MOUNTAINTOP by Katori Hall
Previews Jan, 31 – Feb. 6
Opening Night Feb. 7
Runs through March 2
Winner of the distinguished Olivier Award for Best New Play, The Mountaintop is a vivid and bold reimagining of the last night of the historic life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Set in the now infamous Lorraine Motel, Dr. King has an unexpected visitor that challenges him to face his own humanity, as well as the fate of our country. Hailed as “daring, rousing and provocative” by Entertainment Weekly, and “Soul Stirring” by Variety Magazine, the Mountaintop is a spiritual march through the soul of a great man and the heart of a changing nation.
Following in the steps its recent London and Broadway success, Jubilee Theatre is proud to present the North Texas Premiere of this provocative play.
AIN’T MISBEHAVIN’ book by Murray Horwitz and Richard Maltby Jr.
Previews March 21- 27
Opening Night March 28
Runs through April 20
At the height of the historic Harlem Renaissance, venues like The Cotton Club were jumpin’ to a new beat called “swing.” Ain’t Misbehavin’ is a rollicking, finger-snapping, toe-tapping, Tony Award®-winning musical revue — a tribute to the black entertainers of the early 1900’s that centers on the music of one of the most prolific musicians of the time, Thomas “Fats” Waller.
MA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM by August Wilson
Previews May 9 – 15
Opening Night May 16
Runs through June 8
Set in a Chicago recording studio in 1927, a group of musicians anxiously await the arrival of legendary blues singer Ma Rainey, who is known for her music and her attitude. What transpires in this studio is a fiery battle of will and identity as soulful and soul stirring as the blues itself. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is a gripping drama from Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning playwright August Wilson.
LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman
Previews July 4 -10
Opening Night July 11
Runs through Aug. 3
Meek, mild mannered, out-of-luck Seymour Krelbourn has just discovered an exotic little plant with a strange and unusual appetite. This plant is growing remarkably fast - and so is Seymour's love for Audrey, his co-worker at the flower shop. But she has a boyfriend...and the plant has a bloodthirsty secret that threatens the entire planet. The feeding-frenzy begins as Seymour becomes a celebrity and the plant becomes a larger-than-life sensation.