Friday, March 5, 2010

American Stage's new season includes "Rent"

This week, American Stage Theatre Company announced its lineup for the 2010-2011 season. What especially caught my eye was the company's plans for its annual "American Stage in the Park." It will perform the hit Broadway musical "Rent."

I'm excited!

Here's the rest of the 2010-2011 season:

"THE MYSTERY OF IRMA VEP" by Charles Ludlam
Previews September 15 and 16, Opens September 17, Closes October 10

"A really good laugh. The story has to be seen to be believed." -N.Y 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?

"OPUS" by Michael Hollinger
Previews November 3 and 4, Opens November 5, Closes November 28

"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.

August Wilson’s First Play
Previews January 19 and 20, Opens January 21, Closes February 13

"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.

by three-time Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Edward Albee
Previews March 9 and 10, Opens March 11, Closes April 3

"A scorching, scalding, revealing and completely engrossing drama."
-Women's Daily

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.

26th Annual American Stage in the Park
"RENT" by Jonathan Larson
Previews April 13 and 14, Gala opening April 15, Closes May 8

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.

Previews June 1 and 2, Opens June 3, Closes June 26

"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.

"A STEADY RAIN" by Keith Huff
Previews July 20 and 21, Opens July 22, Closes August 14

"Enough fiery, superbly rendered, often deeply poetic speeches, enough mood shifts, enough emotional cataclysms and action-packed storytelling to keep this hallucinatory roller-coaster ride in exciting motion.” -Variety

One night on a routine call, two Chicago cops begin a journey over three harrowing days that will change their lives forever. Joey and Denny are longtime partners and best friends. They are also men with flaws. Joey is single, a recovering alcoholic and lonely. Denny is married with children, but there are clearly secrets. What begins as a domestic disturbance call snowballs into an avalanche and the friends are eventually forced to offer their differing accounts of what happened. A STEADY RAIN is the investigation where the audience becomes the jury and Joey and Denny’s lives become changed forever. Mature subject matter and language.

Mainstage performances and ticket prices are as follows:
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evening curtain is 7:30 p.m.
Friday and Saturday evening curtain is 8 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday matinee curtain is 3 p.m.

Tickets prices are $29-$50 depending on date and time of performance.
Students Rush tickets are $10, 30 minutes prior to curtain.

Subscription prices range from $120 to $329 and can be purchased at
727-823-PLAY or

American Stage Theatre Company at the Raymond James Theater is located at 163 3rd Street North in the heart of downtown St. Petersburg, Florida.

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