You can head over here to read the lineup or hit the jump.
A couple quick thoughts:
Sunset Boulevard: I'm much more excited for this than I usually am for the season opening musicals. Who's gonna play Norma Desmond? Can any local actors pull it off? Does Vana O'Brian sing?
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest: PCS' production of Kesey's Sometimes a Great Notion two years ago was excellent; and after this season's Snow Falling on Cedars, you can officially call "adaptations of Northwest novels" a streak. I hope it keeps up.
Futura: This show was workshopped at JAW over the summer, and the first half was great—a funny, informative, engaging lecture about the history of fonts (really). Then it turned into a not-terrifically original distopian sketchof a text-free future. I hope the final production is more of the first half, and less of the second.
A Christmas Story: I love this movie. I can't help it. And I'm pleased we're getting a new Christmas show instead of another A Christmas Carol rehash. (Although, what's this? You again, Santaland Diaries?)
Love, Janis: Casting hasn't been announced yet, but... Storm Large is too tall to play Janis Joplin. Just sayin'.
Without Further Ado, Portland Center Stage is Pleased to Announce the 2010-2011 Season Lineup:
book and lyrics by Don Black and Christopher Hampton
music by Andrew Lloyd Webber
directed by Chris Coleman
September 14 to October 17, 2010
“It's extravagant. It's spectacular. Go and enjoy." -Clive Barnes, New York Post
She’s still big. It’s the pictures that got small. Norma Desmond gets the full star treatment in this blow out season opening musical (our first by Andrew Lloyd Webber) about the fading silent film star whose obsession with the revitalization of her career and a young man named Joe might just succeed… or it might end in the kind of tragedy only a legend can inspire.
created by Denis O’Hare and Lisa Peterson
Ellyn Bye Studio
September 28 to November 21, 2010
Leave it to Tony-award winning actor Denis O’Hare to find a way to make the western world’s oldest extant work of literature not only intelligible, but immediate, relevant and eerily fascinating- like a barroom raconteur telling LITERALLY the oldest story in the book and making you believe it is being told for the first time. Gods and goddesses, weak-tendoned heroes and the face that launched a thousand ships…it’s all just another (incredibly engrossing) yarn in O’Hare’s one-man adaptation, developed at the Sundance Theatre Institute.
A Christmas Story
By Phil Grecian
Based on the motion picture written by Jean Shepherd, Leigh Brown & Bob Clark
Directed by Rose Riordan
November 21 to December 26, 2010
“Wacky and wistful, and fresh as a fir.” — San Jose Mercury News
The only thing little Ralph Parker hopes to find under the tree is a Daisy Brand Red Ryder BB rifle. He doesn’t simply want it - he’s consumed with an aching desire for it. Looming in the way, however, are alleyway bullies, major awards, freezing flagpoles, unsympathetic authorities and a certain horrifying Macy’s Santa. Based upon the classic motion picture, this play is a holiday treat everyone can enjoy—that is, until someone shoots their eye out.
Special Holiday Offering
This year only The Santaland Diaries will be presented outside of the regular subscription packages.
The Santaland Diaries
by David Sedaris
adapted for the stage by Joe Mantello
Ellyn Bye Studio
November 30, 2010 to January 2, 2011
Based on the true chronicles of David Sedaris’ experience as Crumpet the Elf in Macy’s Santaland display, this cult classic riffs on a few of Sedaris’ truly odd encounters with his fellow man during the height of the holiday crunch. NPR humorist and best-selling author of When You Are Engulfed in Flames, Me Talk Pretty One Day and Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, David Sedaris has become one of America’s pre-eminent humor writers. This production will include two late night 10:00 pm performances on December 9th and 16th.
The Imaginary Invalid
in an adaptation by Constance Congdon
directed by Chris Coleman
January 11 to February 6, 2010
“Trés crass, trés funny… [a] delirious spree of silliness.” — Misha Berson, Seattle Times
All the world’s a fart joke in Constance Congdon’s hilarious new take on Moliere’s skewering of a health care crisis from an entirely different century. To quell his growing pile of medical bills, Monsieur Argan, a chronic hypochondriac, will go to any length to marry his daughter off to a doctor. Of course, his daughter has other ideas. A narcotic cocktail of romantic triangles, double entendres and mistaken identities ensues, promising to leave you gasping, giggling and possibly… in stitches.
Futura World Premiere!
by Jordan Harrison
directed by Kip Fagan
Ellyn Bye Studio
February 1 to March 27, 2011
Seven months ago, at the JAW reading, Futura’s warnings about the extinction of print media (and its costs) seemed timely. Now, they seem downright spooky. What will it feel like by the time the show premieres in February? Jordan Harrison’s last trip to PCS launched a gender-bending, Drammy-Award winning hit with Act a Lady. This time he returns with a different axe to grind: the future of the words you are reading right now. And Futura? Well, it’s a font; it’s a love story; but ultimately… it’s one rogue professor’s quest to avenge her missing husband — and the lost art of ink on paper.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
by Dale Wasserman
from the Ken Kesey novel
directed by Rose Riordan
February 22 to March 20, 2010
It was set at the Oregon State Hospital, still one of the most controversial institutions in the state. It was arguably the greatest anti-authority protest novel of the 20th century. And it boils down to one insistent refrain: Authority Must Always Be Questioned. Want more? Cuckoo’s Nest pits Randle Patrick McMurphy (a convict who has feigned psychosis so that he can spend the final months of his sentence at a mental institution) against Nurse Ratched (the icy head nurse of the ward), who believes that rules must be followed without exception. A band of crazies gets half-inspired, half destroyed by McMurphy’s rebellion and the question remains… was it worth it anyway?
By Michael Hollinger
Directed by Brandon Fox
April 12 to May 8, 2009
“So entertaining and insightful that you'll never quite listen to a chamber music group the same way again.” — New York Post
Ex-violist Michael Hollinger trades in his bow for a pen in this tart and witty chamber piece about the politics and passions that threaten a classical string quartet. In front of an audience they're pitch perfect but behind the scenes the Lazara string quartet is coming unstrung- all on the eve of their first televised performance for the President of the United States. There’s sex, there’s drugs, there’s…chamber music, but the real rewards lie in Hollinger’s insights into the balancing act of drudgery, machination and volatile genius that make a seemingly effortless performance possible.
Love/Stories (or, But You’ll Get Used to It)
by Itamar Moses
directed by Michelle Tattenbaum
Ellyn Bye Studio
“For those prone to delight, Love/Stories is a revelation!” - Sam Thielman, Variety
April 26 to June 19, 2011
A casting session for a play about a love affair goes awry. A talk-back with a theatre audience becomes the occasion for a life-altering choice. A couple moving in together finds that greater intimacy can have surprising results. Nothing is what it seems in these five funny and poignant short plays from Itamar Moses, the breakout playwright whose world premieres of Outrage and Celebrity Row were launched right here at Portland Center Stage. Why an evening of short plays? Moses explains, “Theater is so much closer to music than it is to fiction and so, in a way, only ever writing full-length plays is like only ever writing concept albums, or Handel’s Messiah.” Or, to use a foodie metaphor… sometimes, a tasting menu is the ideal way to experience the full range of a chef’s talent.
written and directed by Randal Myler
May 24 to June 26, 2011
“Spirited and poignant…Love, Janis passionately explores the person behind the myth and the music that stirs listeners now as it has for four decades.” — culturevulture.net
Inspired by the memoir of the same name, Randal Mylers combines Janis' own words (taken from real-life interviews and heartfelt letters home to her family in Port Arthur, Texas) with her brilliant breed of rock-n-soul music that revolutionized 1960's America. To recreate Janis’ leave nothing back style of musical performance (including full renderings of her hits "Piece of My Heart," "Ball & Chain," "Mercedes Benz," "Me and Bobby McGee" and "Get It While You Can"), three actresses will tackle the role- one to play the young Janis seen in the letters and interviews and two to alternate performance nights embodying the on-stage legend.