Award-winning Theaterworks in Hartford, CT anticipates another hit year, and with good reason. It asked audiences to select shows by its favorite playwrights. The votes have been counted and five of the most promising new works by emerging and established playwright are in pre-production for the 2016 – 2017 season.
First up is the East coast premiere of Relativity by Mark St. James, writer of Freud’s Last Session, Dancing Lessons and Becoming Dr. Ruth. Relativity explores the bonds of family and the cost of genius. To be a great man, does one first need to be a good man? In 1902, Albert and Mileva Einstein had a baby daughter. After 1904 she was never seen again. When a young reporter confronts Einstein years later in Princeton, Einstein must face his greatest challenge: his past. The play opens on October 6 and runs through November 19.
Producing artistic director of TheaterWorks, Rob Ruggiero, said of Sunset Baby playwright, Dominique Morriseau, that she is “one of the most distinctive voices in America.” High praise, indeed, from one of the most versatile and acclaimed director of Broadway, Off-Broadway and regional theaters in America and overseas. The play is a powerful and honest story of one woman’s life from a hard existence to her own liberation. It’s an energetic, daring look at the point where the personal and political collide. It sears with wit and wisdom and the politics of freedom. It’s on from January 12 through February 19, 2017.
Next to Normal won a Pulitzer Prize for Drama and three Tony Awards, including Best Musical Score for Brian Yorkey (book and lyrics) and Tom Kitt for music. It’s about The Goodmans who appear to be a typical American family, yet their lives are anything but normal. This brave and breathtaking contemporary musical takes an unflinching look at a family’s struggle with mental illness. Dad is an architect and mom rushes to pack lunches and pour cereal; their daughter and son are bright, wise-cracking teens. This bold musical takes an unflinching look at a family’s struggle with mental illness.
The Raging Skillet –The Unbelievable True Adventures of a Punk Rock Caterer is based on the true life story of Chef Rossi by one of our favorite new playwrights, Jacques Lamarre. When Rossi’s mother discovers the microwave, home cooked meals become a thing of the past. What starts as Rossi’s rebellion against her Orthodox Jewish mom ends with her becoming New York’s #1 punk-rock caterer. Mr. Lamarre wrote the laugh-out-loud hit I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti and the equally frank and funny Born Fat. He now heads back to the kitchen, for the third time, with this hilarious and provocative new comedy. May 18 through June 25, 2017. If you love to laugh, you’ll love this show.
This world premiere of A Song Will Rise: The Music of Peter, Paul and Mary, was conceived by David M. Lutken, Sherry Lutken, and Rob Ruggiero. With inspiring songs, beautifully woven harmonies and passionate activism, this legendary trio gave voice to America’s urgent call for justice and freedom during a turbulent time of remarkable social and political growth. The story of Peter, Paul and Mary is the story of the conscience of America. The exceptional David Lutken (Woody Sez) returns in this extraordinary play with music. July 13 through August 30, 2017.
There are still two plays upcoming during this spring/summer: From May12, 2016 — June 19, 2016, The Call, the story of a couple facing global issues as they try to adopt a baby from Africa, by Tanya Barfield and directed by Jenn Thompson will be onstage, and from July 14, 2016 — August, 2016 Midsummer ( A play with songs) by David Greig & Gordon McIntyre and directed by Tracy Brigden will give audiences a glimpse into the story of a great lost weekend of bridge-burning, car chases, wedding bust-ups, bondage miscalculations, midnight trysts and self-loathing hangovers.
Call the box office at 860-527-7838 Monday – Friday 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM. On Saturday during the run of the productions the phones are open 11:00 AM – 1:30 PM / 3:30 PM – 7:00 PM. For online tickets, directions, parking and more details go to http://theaterworkshartford.org/
TheaterWorks City Arts on Pearl is at 233 Pearl Street Hartford, CT 06103