The 2013-'14 season for WaterTower Theatre has been announced, with five productions on the subscription series, plus a new holiday show and the return of Out of the Loop Fringe Festival.
The first half of the season is loaded with shows that should get the box office staff happy: the Hank Williams musical, a Sherlock Holmes Christmas show, and a new adaptation of Mark Twain's The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.
Then comes Out of the Loop, and the second half of the season is when things get interesting.
When is the last time anyone around here did George C. Wolfe's 1990 work Spunk, based on stories by Zora Neale Hurston? That's followed by two newer works, the regional premieres of David Lindsay-Abaire's play Good People and the musical Dogfight, set on the eve of JFK's assassination (but it'll miss the 50th anniverary commemorations of that event by a few months).
Here's more details on the 2013-2014 season:
Hank Williams: Lost Highway
By Randal Myler and Mark Harelik
October 11-November 3, 2013
More than 50 years after his death, Hank Williams still ranks among the most powerfully iconic figures in American music. A musical biography of the rise and fall of the brash, forever young, always legendary singer-songwriter Hank Williams stands among the greatest innovators of American popular music. Follow Williams on his often lonely journey from backwoods Alabama to super-stardom at the Grand Ole Opry. This unforgettable tribute highlights his unique magic as a performer and the simple spell of his yearning songs, and features over 20 hits, including “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry,” “Jambalaya” and “Hey, Good Lookin'."
Randal Myler has received two Tony Award nominations (Best Musical/Best Book of a Musical) and a Drama Desk nomination (Best Musical Revue) for It Ain’t Nothin’ But The Blues. Myler is also the co-author of the musical biography of Janis Joplin, Love, Janis. He also wrote Dream A Little Dream: The Mamas And The Papas Musical with Denny Dougherty.
Mark Harelik is the author of The Immigrant, The Legacy, and Hank Williams: Lost Highway. As an actor, he has appeared in numerous plays at The Mark Taper Forum, the American Conservatory Theater, Seattle Repertory Theatre, the Intiman Theatre, the Denver Center Theater Company, the La Jolla Playhouse, The Globe Theatres and South Coast Repertory Theater.
The Game’s Afoot (Holmes for the Holiday)
By Ken Ludwig
December 13, 2013-January 5, 2014
(Not part of season subscription)
It’s December 1936 and stage star William Gillette, an iconic actor admired all over the world for his role as Sherlock Holmes, is shot onstage during a show. While he recuperates, he invites his fellow cast members to his Connecticut castle for a lively Christmas weekend of fun. But, when one of his guests is found stabbed to death, the fun turns dangerous. It’s up to Gillette, as his assumes the persona of his beloved Holmes, to find the killer before someone else is killed. The hilarity is non-stop in what is a glittering whodunit set during the Christmas holidays! Oh, did we mention it’s written by Tony Award winner Ken Ludwig (Lend me a Tenor, Moon Over Buffalo).
Ken Ludwig is a playwright whose work has been performed in at least 30 countries in over 20 languages. He has won two Laurence Olivier Awards, holds three Tony Award nominations, two Helen Hayes Awards, the Edgar Award, the SETC Distinguished Career Award, to name a few. His best known plays include Lend Me A Tenor, Crazy For You, Moon Over Buffalo, Three Musketeers, Treasure Island and The Beaux’ Stratagem.
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
By Laura Eason
January 24-February 16
Adapted from the novel by Mark Twain
Mark Twain’s classic novel of Missouri boyhood comes to life in this high-spirited theatrical romp. Mischievous Tom and his pal Huck witness a murder and then embark on a string of wild escapades. Becky Thatcher, Aunt Polly, Injun Joe and the rest of the group join Tom in this timeless family tale. Laura Eason’s brand new adaptation of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, brings out the child in all of us, as we explore the thrill of mischief-making, the fickleness of first love, the cold shivers of an adventure gone wrong, and the excitement of discovering real live buried treasure. This is a story for anyone who celebrates all that is glorious about childhood.
Laura Eason is the author of more than twenty full-length plays, both original work and adaptations. She is an Ensemble Member and the former Artistic Director of Lookingglass Theatre, Chicago. She is also an Affiliated Artist of the Obie-winning New Georges and an alumna of the Women’s Project Playwright’s Lab and America-in-Play in New York City.
OUT OF THE LOOP FRINGE FESTIVAL
March 6 -16, 2014
Sponsored by The Town of Addison and Texas Commission on the Arts
(Not part of season subscription)
Over the past 13 years, WaterTower Theatre has hosted more than 100 artists and companies in its nationally acclaimed 10-day fringe festival of music, dance and theatre. Now recognized as one of the most important fringe festivals in the country, the Out of the Loop Fringe Festival has been instrumental in providing a forum for new works, new artists and emerging voices in the arts.
By George C. Wolfe
Adapted for the stage from three short stories by Zora Neale Hurston
Music by Chic Street Man
April 11-May 4
Spunk is a wild, bluesy wail—three stories by the great Harlem Renaissance writer Zora Neale Hurston, adapted into a staggeringly theatrical play by George C. Wolfe, who won an Obie for its 1989 off-Broadway premiere production. A trio of vignettes of African-American life in the first half of the 20th century, Spunk is a raucous, charming, blues-infused look at love, revenge, jealousy, and the fine art of the hustle.
Zora Neale Hurston released her first novel, Jonah's Gourd Vine, in 1934. Two years later, she received a Guggenheim fellowship, which allowed her to work on what would become her most famous work: Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937). She is considered one of the pre-eminent writers of twentieth-century African-American literature.
By David Lindsay-Abaire
When Margie Walsh loses her job at a South Boston dollar store, she reaches out to her old friend and flame Mike, a Southie boy who made good when he became a successful doctor. What begins as an attempt to hit Mike up for a job takes on a threatening cast when Margie realizes the power that secrets from Mike's past life hold over his current one. Penned by Pulitzer Prize-winner David Lindsay-Abaire, Good People is an incisive and funny character study of old friends, old flames and the question of whether you can ever leave the old neighborhood behind.
David Lindsay-Abaire won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his acclaimed Broadway play, Rabbit Hole. He was most recently nominated for a Grammy Award with composer Jeanine Tesori (Best Musical Show Album) and two Tony Awards (Best Book of a Musical and Best Score) for their work on Shrek the Musical. His plays include Fuddy Meers, Kimberly Akimbo, Wonder of the World, High Fidelity and A Devil Inside, among others.
Dogfight: A New Musical
Music and Lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul
Book by Peter Duchan
Based on the Warner Bros. Film - Screenplay by Bob Comfort
July 25-Aug. 17
Winner of the prestigious 2013 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Musical! Set on the eve of the Kennedy assassination on November 21, 1963, Dogfight chronicles the story of newly inducted Marine, Eddie Birdlace. Before shipping out to Vietnam, Birdlace and his friends make a bet: Each man contributes $50 to a pot, and whoever brings the ugliest date that night to a bar wins the prize. But when Eddie meets Rose, an awkward and idealistic waitress as his date, she rewrites the rules of the game and teaches him the power of compassion. Dogfight is a musical adaptation of the 1991 indie film starring River Phoenix and Lilly Taylor.
The Tony-nominated team of Benj Pasek and Justin Paul wrote A Christmas Story, Edges and James and the Giant Peach. Their original songs are featured in the popular NBC-TV series “Smash.” They are winners of the 2007 Jonathan Larson Award which honors achievements by composers, lyricists and librettists. They have won the 2011 Richard Rodgers Award for Musical Theatre from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a 2011 Sundance Institute Fellowship, the 2011 ASCAP Richard Rodgers New Horizons Award, the 2011 ASCAP Songwriters Fellowship Award, and a 2007-2008 Dramatists Guild Fellowship.
WaterTower Theatre offers a host subscription options, in addition to the standard five-play, full series subscription (Hank Williams: Lost Highway, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Spunk, Good People, Dogfight). offers the best seating and deepest discounts over individual tickets. Continuing again next season are a number of fairly new series designed to enhance the theatre-goers experience:
Enhanced Theatre Experience Series:
Behind-the-Scenes: a five-play series the first Friday night of the run that includes a pre-show conversation/talk with an actor, director, designer, producer, etc. (held at WaterTower Theatre).
Conversation with the Artists: a five-play series on all Wednesday nights and Sunday matinees that includes a post-show discussion with the actors.
Wine Lover’s Series: a series with a pre-show wine tasting experience every time a patron attends. A three-play series that includes Hank Williams: Lost Highway, Good People, and Dogfight.
Sample Series: an introduction to theatre, three-play package that includes Hank Williams: Lost Highway, Spunk and Good People.
Music Lover’s Series: a three-play subscriptions that includes two great musicals: Hank Williams: Lost Highway, Spunk and Dogfight.
Design Your Own series: this series provides the most flexibility of all of WaterTower Theatre’s subscription packages. Patrons can choose their own plays and dates to put their own series together.
Student Subscription Series:
- A student subscription series will be offered, including a special student Design Your Own Series.
- Men and women in uniform: fire, police, EMTs, veterans, current members of the armed forces and their immediate families will be offered a special subscription of 50% off any five-play subscription package (excluding DYO, special affinity programs, special miniseries).
There will be no price increase in subscriptions or single tickets for the 2013-2014 season. Five-play season subscriptions range from $75 to $150. Call 972-450-6232 or visit www.watertowertheatre.org.