Sunday, March 4, 2012

IN THE WINGS: THEATRE NEWS FROM SD REP, La Jolla Playhouse, and Broadway SD

"Zoot Suit" in Mexico City. Photo credit: Sergio Carrion Ireta.

SD REP Kicks Off Season 37 with a Strong “Suit”

San Diego REP in partnership with San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts (SCPA) will open its 37th Season with a sizzling, hip-swiveling production of “Zoot Suit.” Kirsten Brandt will direct this brand new production of Luis Valdez’s musical masterpiece set in Los Angeles, California during World War II. A live orchestra will provide the beat of some smoking Latin songs with scintillating dances staged by award-winning choreographer Javier Velasco.

SD REP produced the first professional revival of “Zoot Suit” back in 1997, where playwright Valdez was an artist in residence from 1998 to 2005. According to REP Artistic Director Sam Woodhouse, “I remember performances [during our first staging in ‘97] when the audience, many of whom were young Latinos, would not leave the theatre after the show. The experience … was so culturally profound and theatrically electric that they refused to allow the event to go gently into the San Diego night. Now, 15 years later, we are thrilled to stage a brand new production of this classic American work.”

“Zoot Suit” will play July 14-August 12 2012 on The Lyceum Stage. The rest of SD REP’s Season 37 is to be announced in the weeks ahead…

Amanda Jane Cooper and Mamie Parris in "WICKED." Photo credit: Joan Marcus.

Something “WICKED” This Way Comes…

After breaking box office records in 2006 and 2009, WICKED, Broadway’s biggest blockbuster, will return to the San Diego Civic Theatre from June 20 to July 15 under the auspices of Broadway/San Diego. With music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz ("Godspell," "Pippin," and "Pocahontas") and book by Winnie Holzman (“My So Called Life” and “thirtysomething”), WICKED is directed by Tony-award winner Joe Mantello and features musical staging by Wayne Cilento.

Currently, there are seven productions of WICKED worldwide: New York, London, Japan, Holland, the Australia/Asia Tour, and two concurrent North American National Tours. This Summer, the untold story of the witches of Oz will cast its spell on San Diego for a three and a half week engagement. Tickets are now on sale for Broadway SD Season Subscribers and Groups, with tickets available to the general public starting Friday, April 13. Prices start at $35 and can be obtained at

Jeremy Davidson in the Lincoln Center production of "Blood and Gifts." Photo credit: Sara Krulwich.

La Jolla Playhouse adds “Blood” and “Gifts” to its 2012/2013 Season

The Playhouse has announced another show in its 2012/2013 Season: "Blood and Gifts" by J.T. Rogers to play in the Mandell Weiss Forum from June 12-July 8, 2012. Part spy thriller, part black comedy, "Blood and Gifts" tells the story of the secret spy war behind the official Soviet-Afghan War of the 1980s. Spanning a decade and playing out in Washington DC, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, the play follows the character of CIA operative Jim Warnock and chronicles his struggles to stop the Soviet Army’s destruction of Afghanistan. According to Playhouse Artistic Director Christopher Ashley, “Given the current international climate, coupled with San Diego’s military history and population, the Playhouse is the perfect place to the host the West Coast premiere of 'Blood and Gifts'.”

The rest of the Playhouse’s 2012/2013 season includes the world premiere musical "Hands on a Hardbody" (April 27-June 17), "An Iliad" (August 11-September 9), and "Glengarry Glen Ross" (September 18-October 21). The final two shows that will round out the season are yet to be announced.

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