Center REP’s 2013-2014 mainstage season includes two musicals, a Pulitzer and Tony winner, one of the most brilliant bedroom farces of all time, the holiday favorite: A Christmas Carol, one of the world’s greatest British thrillers, and an Off Center World Premiere musical
Center REPertory Company’s Artistic Director Michael Butler today unveiled the company’s 47th subscription season. Running from September 6, 2013 to June 21, 2014, the season will be continuing Center REP’s programming to include seven productions to be performed in all three theatres of the Lesher Center for the Arts. The diverse season moves from a Pulitzer and Tony Award winning comedy to the life story of the First Lady of Song; from one of the greatest British thrillers of all time to the spelling bee championship of a lifetime; from a brilliant bedroom farce to the World Premiere Off Center production and Center REP’s classic holiday tradition for the entire family. A variety of subscription packages, ranging from $140 to $498, can be purchased by calling 925-943-SHOW. The productions at Center REP are made possible by the gaenerous support of Chevron, Comcast, Contra Costa Times, The Diablo Regional Arts Association, The Lesher Foundation and Union Bank.
“This is a season of extraordinary plays that will feature bravura performances,” says Center REP Artistic Director Michael Butler. “From Broadway veteran Yvette Cason to the Bay Area’s own triple threat musical theatre Jedi, Molly Bell. And each play and musical is a triumph of well crafted theatre.”
The season will kick off with Ella, The Musical (September 6 – October 12, 2013). Weaving myth, memory, and music, this vivacious new musical tells the inspirational story of Ella Fitzgerald, one of the greatest jazz vocalists of the 20th century. Featuring more than a dozen of her most famous hits, including They Can’t Take That Away From Me, How High the Moon and That Old Black Magic, this swinging celebration is a sensational musical event for anyone who wants to fall in love with the magic and soul of Ella Fitzgerald all over again.
Next comes Don’t Dress For Dinner (October 25 – November 23, 2013), the brilliant “sort of” sequel to REP’s 2011 hilarious and stylish sold-out hit, Boeing-Boeing. Ten years later, Robert and Bernard are at it again, and the mischievous antics continue in what many consider to be the most brilliant bedroom farce of all time. With crisscrossed affairs, a suspicious wife, and mistaken identities, everyone is guaranteed a good time at this hilarious romp through the French countryside.
Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol (December 12 – 22, 2013) heralds the holiday season with colorful costumes and delightful music. Directed by Center REP Managing Director Scott Denison, the annual feast for the eyes and ears includes stunning special effects as the curmudgeonly Scrooge learns that it is better to give than to receive.
Written as a response to the famous play A Raisin in the Sun, Clybourne Park (January 31 – March 1, 2014) tells a new story in a social commentary about race and real estate in America. This Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winning play focuses on a pair of connected events, 50 years apart, and two generations of a neighborhood in times of social upheaval and racial transition. Filled with jokes and hidden agendas, this rich and lightning-quick comedy is every bit as provocative as it is entertaining.
For decades, Sleuth (March 28 – April 26, 2014) has been wowing audiences with its breathtaking surprises and revelations, which has led it to be deemed one of the best stage thrillers of all time. Successful British mystery writer Andrew Wyck lures his wife’s lover to his mansion and suggests a proposal that sets off a chain of events that leaves the audience trying to decipher where Wyck’s imagination ends and reality begins.
Center REP closes the mainstage season with a hilarious tale of over-achievers’ angst. The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is the story of six young people in the throes of puberty, overseen by grown-ups who barely managed to escape childhood themselves. A Tony Award-winning musical about adolescent outsiders vying for the spelling championship of a lifetime, learning that winning isn’t everything and that losing doesn’t necessarily make you a loser. This riotous musical comedy is guaranteed to have you howling with laughter as you root for your favorites to win first place.
In addition to its six-show mainstage season, Center REP’s season also includes its popular Off Center selection. Designed to present new, challenging works to its audience, the Off Center series has been a hit with audiences for the past four years. “I’m thrilled that Off Center has grown to where we’re able to commission a new musical,” says Butler. “This is a tremendously exciting development, for us and for our audience.”
Off Center celebrates its fifth season with the World premiere of a NEW, REP-commissioned pop musical. Inspired by one of America’s favorite (and perhaps despised) reality series, The Real Housewives of Walnut Creek: The Musical (April 17 – May 4, 2014) channels all the craziness and cat-fights that – for better or worse – keep audiences tuning in for more. In a new musical from the star and co-author of Becoming Britney, Molly Bell exposes the world of reality television set to an original score. REP Artistic Director, Michael Butler says, “Molly Bell wowed us with Becoming Britney and showed she has a great comedic gift for cultural observation. And as a singer/dancer/actor, she always delivers a powerhouse performance. I can’t wait to see her take on this!”
For more information on the 2013-14 season and to purchase subscriptions, call 925-943-SHOW or go online to www.lesherartscenter.org.
ABOUT CENTER REP
Center REPertory Company, the resident professional theatre company of the Lesher Center for the Arts (LCA), will be celebrating its 47th Subscription Season of high-quality theatrical productions during 2013-2014. Center REPertory Company’s mission is to celebrate the power of the human imagination by producing emotionally engaging, intellectually involving, and visually astonishing live theatre and, through our outreach and education programs, to enrich and advance the cultural life of the communities we serve.
Director’s Matinee. Join Center REP’s Artistic Director, Michael Butler, for an engaging discussion at a selected matinee performance during the run of each show. Michael often enlists the cast as well as some of the show’s designers to add their perspectives to this always-lively dialogue.
Teacher’s Day. Center REP hosts area teachers from elementary schools, middle schools, high schools and colleges for a matinee at the theatre! This is a great way to honor teachers. By enjoying the performance and then participating in the Director’s Post-Show discussion, teachers are provided tools to broaden their students’ understanding of live theatre. Call 925-295-1420 and press 1 for more information or to take advantage of this discount.