LA JOLLA–La Jolla Playhouse kicks off its 2014/2015 season with a Page To Stage workshop production of Chasing the Song, a jubilant new musical by the team behind the Tony Award-winning musical Memphis, featuring book and lyrics by Joe DiPietro, music and lyrics by David Bryan and directed by Playhouse Artistic Director Christopher Ashley.
The season also features a world-premiere play and two adaptations of classic texts: The Orphan of Zhao, in a new adaptation by James Fenton, directed by Carey Perloff, co-produced with American Conservatory Theatre and featuring Tony-winning actor BD Wong (Playhouse’s Herringbone, TV’s Law & Order: SVU); the world premiere of Kingdom City by Sheri Wilner, helmed by Pam MacKinnon, 2013 Tony Award-winning director of Broadway’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, and a bold new production of Eugene Ionesco’s The Bald Soprano, directed by Gabor Tompa, head of Directing, UC San Diego’s Department of Theatre and Dance.
“La Jolla Playhouse is dedicated to serving as a home for artists, and never has that been more evident than with this upcoming season,” said Ashley. “I’m so pleased to be working again with Playhouse favorites and frequent collaborators Joe DiPietro and David Bryan on their latest project and to be able to continue the show’s developmental journey that began last year during our inaugural DNA New Work Series.” Ashley continued, “We also welcome to the Playhouse several internationally-acclaimed, award-winning directors and playwrights – not to mention our dear friend BD Wong – giving these exceptional artists a chance to hone their work in an environment of support that only the Playhouse can provide.”
Chasing the Song
The creators of the Tony Award-winning musical Memphis follow the evolving American music scene into the early 1960s in this rock ‘n’ roll-inspirednew musical. Elegant Edie’s team of hit-makers is upended by the arrival of the newest aspiring songwriter — Edie’s daughter Jinny. As Jinny strives to earn her place in the male-dominated world of songwriting, American rock ‘n’ roll finds itself under siege from the incoming British Invasion.
The Orphan of Zhao
BD Wong returns to the Playhouse in a luminous reinvention of a classic Chinese legend. In the aftermath of a violent coup, an epic story of self-sacrifice and revenge plays out as a young orphan discovers the shattering truth behind his origins. Often described as the Chinese Hamlet, this gripping tale was the first Chinese play to be translated in the West and has inspired countless operas, plays and movies.
When displaced New York director Miriam finds herself in Kingdom City, Missouri, she reluctantly agrees to direct a high school production of The Crucible. As the students fall deeper into their roles, the play unlocks their own unspoken desires, creating a firestorm in this small, predominantly Christian town. Pam MacKinnon, 2013 Tony Award winner for Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, helms this comic and smart world premiere in which a 20th Century classic play inspires a 21st Century showdown.
The Bald Soprano
Acclaimed Romanian director and head of Directing at UC San Diego’s Department of Theatre and Dance Gabor Tompa directs this modern masterpiece by the “Shakespeare of the Absurd.” Ionesco’s seminal “anti-play” is as fierce and funny as it was during its initial premiere nearly 70 years ago. Tompa brings his trademark physical inventiveness and audacious theatricality to this farcical satire of the middle class.
Tickets to the 2014/2015 season are available only through a subscription purchase by calling the box office at (858) 550-1010, or online at LaJollaPlayhouse.org. Additional subscription shows and run dates will be announced shortly.