Arlington — Here's the new season for Theatre Arlington, which is one of the largest community theaters in the country. The season usually opens with a musical, but forgoes that this time for the American classic Bus Stop. There's a Christmas musical, Plaid Tidings, and the spring musical is Footloose. Other plays include A.R. Gurney's Sylvia, John Logan's Red and Rebecca Gilman's The Sweetest Swing in Baseball. There will also be a staged reading of a new work by a local writer, Tony Arangio's Branching Out.
Below is the complete season with dates and descriptions:
By William Inge
September 22 – October 22, 2017
Featuring Todd Hart
In the middle of a howling snowstorm, a bus out of Kansas City pulls up at a cheerful roadside diner. All roads are blocked, and it appears the weary travelers are stuck with each other until morning. Cherie, a nightclub entertainer is the passenger with most to worry about. She's been pursued, courted and finally kidnapped by a 21-year-old cowboy with the romantic methods of an unusually headstrong bull. While she's ducking out from under his clumsy but confident embraces, the audience is introduced to the other characters and all their quirks and conflicts. This sentimental and charming American classic will touch your heart and your funny bone. Appropriate for audiences aged 12 and up.
By Tony Arangio
November 3, 4 & 5, 2017
Have you ever wanted to be part of the creative process? Theatre Arlington subscribers will have the opportunity to view the staged reading of a brand-new play by local playwright, Tony Arangio. After the show, there will be a talk back with the playwright, the producer and actors. You can let us know what you liked and what did not work. We want your input on this hilarious, yet poignant, comedy about a man in mid-life crisis who discovers he is not who he thinks he is. Or is he?
Holiday Edition of Forever Plaid
By Stuart Ross
December 1 - 17, 2017
Filled with Christmas standards that have all been "Plaid-erized," our boys are back to do their Christmas Special. At first, Francis, Jinx, Smudge and Sparky aren't sure why they've returned to Earth for another posthumous performance, but a phone call from the heavenly Rosemary Clooney lets them know that they're needed to put a little harmony into a discordant world. Sprinkled among the Christmas offerings are audience favorites, like their riotous three-minute-and-eleven second version of The Ed Sullivan Show – this time, featuring the Rockettes, the Chipmunks and The Vienna Boys Choir, as well as a Plaid Caribbean Christmas that puts the "Day-O" in Excelsis! Appropriate for all ages.
By A.R. Gurney
January 12 – February 4, 2018
After 22 years of raising children in the suburbs, Greg and Kate move to Manhattan. As Greg's career as a financial trader is winding down, Kate's career, as a public-school English teacher, is taking off. Greg brings home a dog he found in the park—or that has found him—bearing only the name "Sylvia" on her name tag. A street-smart mixture of Lab and Poodle, Sylvia becomes a major bone of contention between husband and wife.
She offers Greg an escape from the frustrations of his job and the unknowns of middle age. To Kate, Sylvia becomes a rival for affection. And Sylvia thinks Kate just doesn't understand the relationship between man and dog. The marriage is put in serious jeopardy until, after a series of hilarious and touching complications, Greg and Kate learn to compromise, and Sylvia becomes a valued part of their lives. Appropriate for audiences aged 16 and up. Adult Language.
DreamWorks SHREK THE MUSICAL JR.
Based on the DreamWorks Animation Motion Picture and the book by William Steig Book and Lyrics by David Lindsay-Abaire
Music by Jeanine Tesori
February 23 – March 11, 2018
It's a "big, bright, beautiful world" as everyone's favorite ogre, Shrek, leads a cast of fairytale misfits on an adventure to rescue a princess and find true acceptance. Once upon a time, in a far-away swamp, there lived an ogre named Shrek. One day, Shrek finds his swamp invaded by banished fairytale misfits who have been cast off by Lord Farquaad, a tiny terror with big ambitions. When Shrek sets off with a wisecracking donkey to confront Farquaad, he's handed a task – if he rescues feisty princess Fiona, his swamp will be righted. Shrek tries to win Fiona’s love and vanquish Lord Farquaad, but a fairytale wouldn't be complete without a few twists and turns along the way. Appropriate for all audiences.
By John Logan
March 30 – April 15, 2018
Winner of six Tony Awards, including Best Play. Master abstract expressionist Mark Rothko has just landed the biggest commission in the history of modern art - a series of murals for New York’s famed Four Seasons Restaurant. In the two fascinating years that follow, Rothko works feverishly with his young assistant, Ken, in his studio on the Bowery. But when Ken gains the confidence to challenge him, Rothko faces the agonizing possibility that his crowning achievement could also become his undoing. This raw and provocative portrait of an artist’s ambition and vulnerability brings to light the meaning of art, integrity, commerce and audience, and pushes both characters to confront their fears, irrelevance and meaninglessness as each struggle to discover his place in the shifting cultural and political world of the late 1950s. Appropriate for audiences aged 16 and up. Adult language.
FOOTLOOSE: THE MUSICAL
Stage Adaptation by Dean Pitchford and Walter Bobbie Music by Tom Snow / Lyrics by Dean Pitchford | Additional Music by Eric Carmen, Sammy Hagar, Kenny Loggins and Jim Steinman
May 11 – June 3, 2018
This explosive movie musical bursts onto the live stage with exhilarating results. When Ren and his mother move from Chicago to a small farming town, Ren is prepared for the inevitable adjustment period at his new high school. What he isn't prepared for are the rigorous local edicts, including a ban on dancing instituted by the local preacher, determined to exercise the control over the town's youth that he cannot command in his own home. When the reverend's rebellious daughter sets her sights on Ren, her roughneck boyfriend tries to sabotage Ren's reputation, with many of the locals eager to believe the worst about the new kid. A heartfelt story about fathers and son emerges and celebrates the wisdom of listening to young people and guiding them with a warm heart and open mind, complete with all the Oscar and Tony-nominated Top- 40 songs you love! Appropriate for all audiences.
By Saskia Janse
July 13 – 22, 2018
Baby bat Stellaluna’s life is flitting along right on schedule–until an owl attacks her mother one night, knocking the bewildered batlet out of her mother’s loving grasp. The tiny bat is lucky enough to land in a nest of baby birds, but her whole world has just turned upside down. Literally. Stellaluna’s adoptive bird mom accepts her into her nest, but only on the condition that Stellaluna will act like a bird, not a bat. Soon Stellaluna has learned to behave like a good bird should– she quits hanging by her feet and starts eating bugs. But when she finally has an opportunity to show her bird siblings what life as a bat is like, all of them are confounded. Anyone who has ever been asked to be someone they’re not will understand the conflicts–and possibilities–Stellaluna faces.Appropriate for audiences aged 4 to 12.
THE SWEETEST SWING IN BASEBALL
By Rebecca Gilman
August 10 - 26, 2018
Dana Fielding is a hot commodity in the art world, but fear of failure after critical acclaim in her early career, and a recent disastrous gallery opening drives her to a suicide attempt. She finds herself in the mental ward, in this quirky comedy, enjoying the structured days. When she finds out her health insurance will only pay for a 10-day stay, she cooks up a scheme with two fellow patients to fool the doctors into believing she’s psychotic. Without knowing much about him, she takes on the personality of the troubled baseball star, Darryl Strawberry known for having “sweetest swing in baseball.” Michael an alcoholic, and Gary the stalker, coach the artist in Strawberry’s stats, while she instructs the would-be killer in the finer points of negative space. Appropriate for audiences aged 16 and up. Adult language.