Monday, March 9, 2009

Asolo Repertory announces 2009-2010 season

Asolo Repertory Theatre announced its season lineup today. Highlights include a new play festival and a collaboration with the Sarasota Ballet in a brand new musical Tony Award-winning musical.

Mainstage productions include:
CONTACT Created by Susan Stroman and John Weidman
A romantic and thrilling dance musical. OCT 24-NOV 22
This romantic, breathtakingly beautiful, and totally unique fusion of music, theatre, and dance won four Tony Awards including Best Musical. Created by renowned director/choreographer Susan Stroman, Contact’s three engaging stories depict the pursuit of life’s most elemental connection with another human being: love. The sheer ingenuity of the choreography creates an evening that is as exhilarating as it is delightful. In this major new production by Asolo Rep in partnership with the Sarasota Ballet, Contact is a scintillating thrill for the soul as well as the senses.

THE PERFUME SHOP adapted by E.P. Dowdall
A heartwarming comedy for the holidays. DEC 4 – APRIL 1
This bubbly and whimsical comedy is the perfect thing to warm your spirit. Taking place at Christmastime, the plot revolves around two bickering co-workers in a Budapest perfume shop, who unknowingly exchange love letters at night as anonymous pen pals. One of the world’s most beloved stories, it’s been adapted as The Shop Around the Corner, The Good Old Summertime, You’ve Got Mail, and the musical She Loves Me. Come see the American premiere of a new adaptation of Parfumerie by Miklos Laszlo, the brilliant original that inspired them all!


A delightfully comic look at relationships. DEC 18 – FEB 25
The time: The Beginning. The place: The Garden of Eden. The stage is set for the best known “battle of the sexes” in human history. In this captivating romantic romp, partly inspired by the comic writing of Mark Twain, the world's first lovers meet in paradise – and everything goes downhill from there. Join the humanity’s most famous couple as they learn about themselves, each other, and most importantly, what it means to be human. Witty and tender, Searching for Eden is a modern testament to enduring love.

HEARTS by Willy Holtzman
A poignant journey of forgiveness and friendship. JAN 22 – APRIL 11
Hearts is playwright Willy Holtzman’s frank and often bittersweet exploration of his father’s experiences as a Jewish-American soldier in World War II. As adults, and supposedly “hardened” war veterans, Donald Waldman and his friends get together to play cards and reminisce. But what happens to the memories that can’t be shared? And what about the haunting ones that won’t go away? As Donald struggles with issues of long-buried guilt and loss, he discovers that sometimes the only true way to move on is to fully embrace your past. A stirring tribute to the poignant legacy World War II left for the “Greatest Generation” and their children.

MANAGING MAXINE by Janece Shaffer
A hilarious look at love in the Golden years. MARCH 12 – APRIL 17
All great love feels like young love. Whatever your age, the giddy discovery, the unexpected rush, the surprising insecurity, and the soaring euphoria leave you breathless and exhilarated. It's wonderful, it's terrible - and it's the last thing Maxine Levine expects to interrupt her well-ordered, happy life at 70. But in this honest and hilarious romantic comedy, Maxine discovers that the power of love can change everything, including the very way you embrace your future. Funny and touching in equal measure, Maxine will leave you eager to grow old with the richness that wisdom and experience lend to love.

Conceived & Developed by Lynnette Barkley & Christopher McGovern
Book/Original Songs/Arrangements by Christopher McGovern
A new musical about an all-time American favorite. MAY 7 – MAY 30
Backwards in High Heels is a celebration of the remarkable life and times of the multi-talented entertainment dynamo Ginger Rogers. The show takes an in-depth look at the public and private life of this timeless beauty, combining cherished standards from Berlin, Gershwin and Kern with new original songs, a compelling play, and stunning dance sequences. Funny, moving, and a visual feast, Backwards in High Heels is a complete and wonderfully satisfying night of theatre that will have both audiences and critics cheering.

Off stage:

The Asolo will also continue it's New Stages program, which launched last year with "The Giver." Look for an annoucement of a new show for the program in the spring. Show dates will be Oct. 21-Nov. 8.

THE LAST FIVE YEARS by Jason Robert Brown
An intimate and uplifting musical in the Historic Asolo Theater. JAN 21 – FEB 28
The thrill of first love is universal. But most of us have also known heartbreak. The Last Five Years, an emotionally powerful and intimate musical from Tony Award winner Jason Robert Brown, lets us feel both at once. Two New Yorkers in their twenties meet, marry, and grow apart over the course of five years. It’s a familiar fable, but told in a new and exciting way: her story starts at the end of the relationship, his begins the day they first met. The score is rich with fresh, beautiful gems from one of today’s hottest composers. Funny, uplifting, and full of poignant yearning, The Last Five Years proves that even when a love affair is over, its glow lingers on.

An exciting journey from page to stage. MARCH 24 – APRIL 18
Join Asolo Rep for an exciting new festival celebrating the best in new American plays. Two scripts will be produced during the festival, and the audience will be invited into every step of the process – from attending open rehearsals, to special events with the playwrights, talkback sessions, and finally the performances themselves. Featuring Asolo Rep company members in both shows, and offering an unparalleled chance to engage with plays and playwrights at the very beginning of their journey, the first annual Asolo Rep New Play Festival is not an event to be missed. (In the Cook Theatre).

The FSU/Asolo Conservatory also announced its new season today:
THE MYSTERY PLAYS by Roberto Aquirre Sacasa
preview October 27, runs October 28 – Nov. 15
Two tales of psychological terror and the unknown by the most intriguing young writer in America today. A young filmmaker barely escapes a deadly train accident and discovers how close we all reside to the afterlife. A brother and sister try to assemble the details of a horrible murder fifteen years after it took place. The boundaries of reality and illusion are constantly shifting in this exciting play opening just in time for Halloween.

BLUE/ORANGE by Joe Penhall
preview Jan 5, runs Jan 6 – 24
This edgy new play explores the politics of mental illness with enormous power and scathing comedy. At a National Health Service Hospital in London, two psychiatrists lock horns over the diagnosis of a young black patient, and a dangerous game of power, ego and racial prejudice unfold. As brilliantly comic as it is provocative, this Olivier award-winning play for 2000 raises questions for which there are no answers and leads the audience on a complex and emotional journey.

MACHINAL by Sophie Treadwell.
preview March 2, runs March 3 – 21
A classic play from early 20th century America. An ordinary young woman is foolish enough to believe she can have it all: career, home, marriage, children, pleasure, and love. Her inevitable downfall and the play's shattering conclusion still has the power to fascinate and shock. . .

preview April 14, runs April 15 – May 3
One of France’s great classic playwrights, and the man who brought subtle psychological insight to classic comedy. Two headstrong children are betrothed to each other by their parents, in spite of the fact that they have never been introduced. Trying to exert their independence, the two children trade places with their servants in order to get a good look at their fianc├ęs. In doing so, however, they only manage to confuse their families, their friends, and their own hearts. . A romantic comedy presented on the Historic Asolo stage.

For more information, season subscriptions or tickets,c all 351-8000 or visit

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