SHARON CT – Sharon Playhouse, under the leadership of Artistic Director John Simpkins and Managing Director Justin Ball, announces the 2015 summer season of musicals and plays “My Fair Lady,” “Merrily We Roll Along,” “Little Shop of Horrors,” “Georgie: The Life and Death of George Rose,” “Peter and the Starcatcher,” and the new musical, “True Love.”
The theatre has also changed its name from TriArts Sharon Playhouse to Sharon Playhouse. “The Sharon Playhouse has a long history and tradition of quality artists and productions,” said Artistic Director John Simpkins. “Now that as a company, we have been calling the Playhouse home for over 15 years, we are excited to combine the history of our organization with the diverse and rich tradition of the Sharon Playhouse and look forward to calling the town of Sharon our home for many years.”
A MUSICAL MASTERPIECE
Kicking off the season from June 18 through July 5 is one of America’s greatest musicals, “My Fair Lady,” directed and choreographed by Richard Stafford (In My Life). Professor Henry Higgins loves language. Cockney flower girl Eliza Doolittle yearns to speak like a lady. His curiosity and her determination launch a daring social experiment designed to turn a lower-class ugly duckling into a high-society swan — with unexpected results for both of them. Based on George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion, Lerner and Loewe’s masterpiece features such unforgettable numbers as “I Could Have Danced All Night,” “The Rain in Spain” and “On the Street Where You Live.”
A RARE SONDHEIM REVIVAL
Artistic Director John Simpkins directs the Stephen Sondheim and George Furth musical, “Merrily We Roll Along,” from July 15-19.
Featuring a book by George Furth and score by Stephen Sondheim, the authors of the landmark musical Company reunited to turn the traditional showbiz musical on its head in this thrilling and compelling Broadway fable about friendship, compromise and the high price of success. Inspired by the 1934 play by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart, Merrily We Roll Along is a powerful and moving story featuring some of Sondheim’s best known songs including “Good Thing Going,” “Not a Day Goes By” and ‘”Old Friends.”
FEED ME SEYMOUR!
Directed and Choreographed by Casey Hushion (Artistic Director of North Carolina Theatre), “Little Shop of Horrors” runs Aug. 13-30 featuring book and lyrics by Howard Ashman with music by Alan Menken.
A deviously delicious Broadway and Hollywood sci-fi smash musical, “Little Shop of Horrors” has devoured the hearts of audiences for over 30 years. Howard Ashman and Alan Menken (Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin) are the creative geniuses behind what has become one of the most popular shows in the world. This affectionate spoof of 1950s sci-fi movies centers on a down-and out skid row floral shop employee who becomes an overnight sensation when he discovers an exotic plant with a mysterious craving. Soon “Audrey II” grows into an R&B-singing carnivore who offers him fame and fortune in exchange for feeding its growing appetite!
AN ACTOR’S ECCENTRIC LIFE
From May 14-17 and May 28-31 on Stage 2 in the Bok Gallery, Sharon Playhouse will present a developmental workshop of Ed Dixon’s new play “Georgie: The Life and Death of George Rose,” directed by John Simpkins.
The one-man show about his mentor, George Rose, the well-known Broadway character actor, will also star Ed Dixon. During their quarter of a century friendship, Mr. Rose gave Ed impersonations of Laurence Olivier, John Gielgud, Ralph Richardson, Edith Evans and a host of theater luminaries. Mr. Dixon becomes Mr. Rose and at least fifty other fabulous characters during the 90-minute play. The New York Times said, “Mr. Dixon morphed from one character to another, delivering incisive impersonations and well-timed punch lines.” The denouement is harrowing and includes Dixon’s first-hand knowledge of the events that led to Mr. Rose’s demise in the Dominican Republic. A very complete portrait of a very complicated life. Rose was a classically trained British actor and two-time Tony winner (The Mystery of Edwin Drood and My Fair Lady) who also performed in The Pirates of Penzance, My Fat Friend and Coco, and met Dixon in New York.
FLYING, DREAMING, ADVENTURE, AND GROWING UP
On the Mainstage from July 31 through August 2 Sharon Playhouse Youth Theatre will present “Peter and the Starcatcher,” a hilarious-filled evening of madcap fun! In this 5-time Tony Award winning play by Rick Elice, an ensemble cast of actors play more than 100 unforgettable characters using their ingenious stagecraft and the limitless possibilities of imagination. This swashbuckling grownup prequel to “Peter Pan” will have you hooked from the moment you let your imagination take flight.
A NEW MUSICAL
On Stage 2 at the Bok Gallery from August 6-9, Sharon Playhouse will present “True Love,” a new musical with book by Sarah Schlesinger and David Evans, music by David Evans and lyrics by Sarah Schlesinger.
An affectionate tribute to the legendary romance comics of the 1940’s and 1950’s,True Love is a valentine to a long lost but never to be forgotten era when the concept of eternally perfect love was every girl’s dream. Set to a melodic original score, True Love is a whirlwind course in the hard won lessons of getting love right. Journey with us through a love comic whose characters go from honeymoon to heartbreak and all the stops in between. Enjoy ads for Sea Monkeys, bust enhancers and elevator shoes that assure popularity. Hear confessional letters from readers, get tips on choosing the right man and oh so much more. Agonizing love – Is there any other kind? Directed by John Simpkins.
Casting, Special Events and Cabarets will be announced soon. Season subscriptions are on sale now. Single tickets are available online beginning March 15. The box office opens April 15 and may be reached by calling 860-364-7469 x100.
The Sharon Playhouse (49 Amenia Road) is located at the foot of the Berkshires in idyllic Sharon, CT, and just a few minutes from the Metro North (Wassaic) train station. For more information, visit www.sharonplayhouse.org or call 860-364-7469.