Monday, December 31, 2012

2013: A Collection of Dreamers




Weston’s 2013 season is populated by a collection of dreamers whose stories will send you out of the theatre full of hope. 

Our MainStage seasons features four modern classics.  In Educating Rita (remember the film with Michael Caine and Julie Walters?), a ballsy hairdresser seeks to better herself with an Open University course taught by a sodden middle-aged professor.  Both lives change in surprising ways in this delightful spin on the Pygmalion story.

Next To Normal took Broadway by storm in a production directed by Rent’s Michael Greif.  The Goodman family struggles with life’s many challenges, striving to be just “next to normal.”  Their victory is as inspiring as the score is unforgettable.  Don’t miss this exciting Vermont Premiere!

42nd Street follows small-town girl Peggy Sawyer as she realizes her dream of opening in a big Broadway musical, only to find herself thrust into the lead.  With toe-tapping favorites like “We’re In the Money” and “Lullaby of Broadway,” 42nd Street will lift your spirits and bring back fond memories.

Atticus Finch dares to defend a black man in the American south in To Kill A Mockingbird, made famous in the film starring Gregory Peck.  Told through the eyes of Atticus’ tomboy daughter, Scout, To Kill A Mockingbird is a true American classic, seen for the first time on Weston’s stage.

Our OtherStages series at the Weston Rod and Gun Club hosts two exciting premieres.  Loving Leo, winner of our 2012 New Musical Award, is the story of David and Lena, whose childless marriage is re-examined and reaffirmed when they take in Lena’s aging stepfather. 

This Blessed Plot is the latest work of Obie-winning actor/writer Marc Wolf, who plays Joe Papp, Robert Moses, and the Bible’s “Moses Moses,” among others, in this smart and funny one-man play about the battle for free Shakespeare in Central Park.

Our talented Young Company will perform a musical version of the children’s classic, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, reminding audiences of all ages that even the worst of days will pass.  And they will be joined by guests from our Equity company in a return to the much-loved musical revue format of Weston’s late night Cabarets, the perfect theatrical nightcap.

We think it all adds up to a magical summer of much-needed renewal.  Come dream with us!   

-Steve 

Friday, March 25, 2011

Pushing the Envelope

With last night's smash opening of the super iconoclastic Broadway musical, THE BOOK OF MORMON, we have the latest example of an American musical pushing subject matter and/or form with great success.  Add to that last year's Pulitzer and Tony-winning NEXT TO NORMAL, or, closer to home, last summer's AVENUE Q (by the same composer as THE BOOK OF MORMON) or the winner of our latest New Musical Award, PREGNANCY PACT, and it starts to feel like a trend.

Not so.  While musicals remain our most populist theatrical form, the great musicals of the past have almost always pushed the envelope.  Rodgers and Hammerstein brought psychological motivation and sociological exploration to works like OKLAHOMA! and THE KING AND I, Stephen Sondheim dared to investigate urban angst and murderous compulsion in COMPANY and SWEENEY TODD, and more recent shows like RENT and SPRING AWAKENING linked rock scores to taboo subjects, winning whole new generations of musical theatre fans in the process.

What's encouraging and lasting about all of these shows, from OKLAHOMA! to THE BOOK OF MORMON, is that they are able to be meaningful, artful and entertaining.  Roughly half of each Weston season is devoted to musicals, and this summer we are proud to produce our first world premiere musical with the adventurous and hauntingly tuneful SAINT-EX.  We believe that the future of this deeply American art form lies in its ability to continue to push the envelope, and we look forward to playing an even greater role in birthing the great musicals of the future.