By Kay Kipling
Get out your calendars; it’s time to mark the dates for the 2014-15 season for the Asolo Repertory Theatre and the FSU/Asolo Conservatory.
The shows for those dates were announced yesterday afternoon by Asolo Rep producing artistic director Michael Donald Edwards and Conservatory director Greg Leaming. The mainstage Asolo Rep season continues the theater’s commitment to exploring the American Character; here’s that line-up.
The mainstage season opens Nov. 14-Dec. 28 with the multi-award-winning musical South Pacific, which Edwards says will be a “fresh new production, with all-new orchestrations especially for the Asolo.” Director will be Rob Ruggiero, who also directed the 2013 production of Show Boat.
Following that, the rotating repertory will begin with what Edwards calls “an iconic piece of American theater,” Thornton Wilder’s The Matchmaker, centering on Dolly Levi and her various romantic pairings, running Jan. 9 through April 11. Peter Amster directs.
Also opening in January; David Lindsay-Abaire’s Good People, a Tony nominee set in South Boston that touches on people who “have next to nothing in America,” said Edwards. Greg Leaming directs; onstage Jan. 16 through Feb. 26.
Next up: Maxwell Anderson’s Both Your Houses, a Pulitzer winner from 1933 that Edwards promises is just as relevant today in its look at politics and congressional corruption. Tony winner Frank Galati will direct; the play runs Jan. 23 through April 12.
Edwards invoked the popularity of PBS’s Downtown Abbey in presenting the title of the next play, W. Somerset Maugham’s Our Betters, written in 1915 and focused on American heiresses trying to find their places in British society by marrying financially strapped aristocrats. “A delightfully witty piece,” said Edwards, who will direct it. Onstage March 13 through April 18.
Running May 1-24 will be a world premiere of the music of Jerry Herman (Hello, Dolly!, Mame, etc.), It Only Takes a Moment. Herman’s music “is in our cultural DNA,” said Edwards, and the theater wanted to produce this musical so that Herman, who now lives in Miami, would be able to attend. Gordon Greenberg directs.
Still to be announced: a new work in the Historic Asolo Theater, April 2-26; and a summer musical event, May 30 through June 21. Also, the Asolo Rep and the Conservatory team for this fall’s New Stages Tour of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which will bring a 45-minute adaptation of the classic to schools and community venues throughout the state. In October and November.
And last but certainly not least, the Conservatory’s line-up of productions includes David Mamet’s The Water Engine (Nov. 5-23); Shakespeare’s As You Like It (Dec. 31 through Jan. 18); a rarity for the Conservatory, a musical, Title of Show, onstage Feb. 18 through March 8; and finally Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard, April 8-26.
For ticket information and more, call 351-8000 or go to asolorep.org.