Our 2010-2011 Season!
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“The upcoming season will be one of our most adventuresome ever,” said Todd Olson, American Stage’s producing artistic director. “We have an exciting mix of comedy and drama, classics and recent Broadway hits, a Pulitzer Prize winning musical in the Park and, of course, the return of our August Wilson Century Cycle.”
Next season, American Stage will be producing the classic quick change comedy, The Mystery of Irma Vep; the new dramatic comedy about chamber music, Opus; our fourth installment in the August Wilson Century Cycle, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom; Edward Albee’s masterpiece, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?; Rent at American Stage in the Park; Terrance McNally’s Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune; and Winner of the 1964 Tony Award for “Best Play”, Barefoot in the Park.
THE MYSTERY OF IRMA VEP
"A really good laugh. The story has to be seen to be believed." -NY Post
Charles Ludlam’s Obie-winning comedy is a hilarious Gothic spoof that satirizes everything from Alfred Hitchcock’s “Rebecca” to Victorian melodrama and the movie “The Mummy's Curse”. It’s also a quick-change marathon in which two actors play a dozen roles: English newlyweds, a mysterious maid, a sympathetic werewolf, a vampire and an Egyptian princess brought back to life. But just who was (or is) Irma Vep?
"Sex, drugs and chamber music! An absorbing new play, marked with a nuanced intelligence in its depiction of the complex relationship between musicians' lives and their art." —NY Times
After firing one of their founding members due to his erratic behavior, a world-class string quartet takes a chance on a gifted, but relatively inexperienced, young woman. With only a few days to rehearse a grueling Beethoven masterpiece, the four struggle to prepare their highest-profile performance ever—a televised ceremony at the White House. Their rehearsal room becomes a pressure-cooker as passions rise, personalities clash and the players are forced to confront the ephemeral nature of their life's work. Winner of the Barrymore Award for Outstanding New Play and a Steinberg New Play Citation from the American Theatre Critics Association.
"Brilliant and explosive! Dramatically riveting." –Time Magazine
It's Chicago, 1927, and a group of black musicians gather in a rundown recording studio to make one of the earliest blues recordings. While the white agent and studio boss wait angrily for blues star Ma Rainey to show up, the four musicians in her band practice, bicker, tell stories and dream. In his first play to reach New York, August Wilson issues an unforgettable challenge to America. Mature subject matter and language.
WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF?
"A scorching, scalding, revealing and completely engrossing drama."
One of the landmark plays of the twentieth century, Edward Albee’s masterpiece tells the story of George and Martha, an aging history professor and his razor-tongued wife who have returned home from another tedious faculty event at a small New England college. But the night is far from over. Martha has invited a young professor and his mousey wife for late-night cocktails and parlor conversation. Pleasantries dissolve as the liquor flows, and the party devolves into an escalating war of words between George and Martha. The unsuspecting guests are soon drawn into the volcanic battle, exposing secrets within their own marriage. By dawn, no one remains unscathed. Winner of the 1963 Tony Award and New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for “Best Play”. Mature subject matter and language.
Based loosely on Puccini's opera, La Bohème, Rent follows a year (incase you didn’t know, that would be 525,600 minutes), in the lives of seven friends living the disappearing Bohemian lifestyle in New York's East Village. AIDS, with both its physical and emotional complications, pervade the lives of Roger, Mimi, Tom and Angel; Maureen deals with her chronic infidelity through performance art; her partner, Joanne, wonders if their relationship is worth the trouble; Benjamin has sold out his free living ideals in exchange for a hefty income and is on the outs with his former friends; and Mark, an aspiring filmmaker, feels like an outsider to life in general, always behind the camera recording the events but never playing a part. Winner of the 1996 Pulitzer Prize.
FRANKIE AND JOHNNY
"A very sweet, extraordinarily funny, romantic and ribald comedy." —NY Post
In a walk-up apartment on New York’s West Side, Frankie, a waitress, and Johnny, a short-order cook, make love. Then, what could easily become a one-night stand between co-workers, takes a romantic detour when Johnny, a compulsive talker, convinces Frankie that he may love her. And so, in a long night’s journey into day, two very ordinary people, both disappointed by life, entertain the courageous and terrifying notion of love at middle age. Frankie and Johnny is a bittersweet comedy by an American master playwright brave enough to contemplate the miracles that happen between two people watching TV and eating ice cream. Mature subject matter, language and brief nudity.
Barefoot in the Park
Ah, those delicious, delirious, and dicey first days of marriage! It’s 1964, and newlyweds Paul and Corie are just starting their life together in a tiny, fifth floor Manhattan walkup. He's a straight-as-an-arrow lawyer and she's a free spirit always looking for the latest kick. Their new apartment is her most recent find-too expensive with bad plumbing and in need of a paint job. After a six day honeymoon they’re invaded by Corie’s buttinsky mom as well as an aging Lothario neighbor-in-the-attic…and hilarity ensues…until everything that can go wrong, does. Paul doesn't understand Corie, and she just wants him to be a little more spontaneous, running "barefoot in the park" would be a start. Don't miss this sparkling, romantic comedy from the master of the form.
Mainstage performances and ticket prices are as follows:
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