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THE HUNTINGTON’S 2008-2009 SEASON, THE FIRST UNDER ARTISTIC DIRECTOR PETER DUBOIS, FEATURES TWO WORLD PREMIERES, STOPPARD’S LATEST, A REIMAGINED “PIRATES OF PENZANCE,” and MORE
(BOSTON) – The Huntington Theatre Company announces today its 2008-2009 Season, the first under new Artistic Director Peter DuBois, who begins his tenure July 1. The season includes two world premiere productions, one American premiere, two reinvigorated classics, playwrights new to Huntington audiences, and the latest critical smash from Tom Stoppard.
THE 2008-2009 SEASON LINEUP
· “HOW SHAKESPEARE WON THE WEST,” a world premiere by Tony Award-winner Richard Nelson, directed by Jonathan Moscone, Sept. 5-Oct. 5, 2008 at the Huntington’s main stage, the Boston University Theatre;
· “Boleros for the Disenchanted” by José Rivera, directed by Chay Yew, Oct. 10-Nov. 15, 2008 at the Huntington’s Stanford Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts;
· “Rock ‘n’ Roll” by Tom Stoppard, directed by Carey Perloff in a co-production with San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theatre, Nov. 7-Dec. 7, 2008 at the B.U. Theatre;
· Kate Burton in “The Corn is Green” by Emlyn Williams, directed by Huntington Artist Emeritus Nicholas Martin, Jan. 9-Feb. 8, 2009 at the B.U. Theatre;
· “The Hinge of the World” by Richard Goodwin, directed by Edward Hall in an American premiere running March 6-April 5, 2009 at the B.U. Theatre;
· “The Miracle at Naples,” a world premiere by David Grimm, directed by Peter DuBois, April 3-May 9, 2009 at the Calderwood Pavilion; and
· “THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE,” a Caribbean-style adaptation of Gilbert and Sullivan’s classic musical conceived by Gordon Greenberg, Nell Benjamin, and John McDaniel, with additional book and lyrics by Nell Benjamin. Directed by Gordon Greenberg; runs May 15-June 14, 2009 at the B.U. Theatre.
DuBois says his first season is designed to appeal to a wide range of theatregoers looking for great entertainment. “This upcoming season offers some of the best writing, directing and acting from Boston to New York to London. My goal is this: as audiences journey between our homes at the Boston University Theatre, and the Wimberly and Roberts Theatres at the Calderwood Pavilion, they will encounter some of the most exciting work on stage today.”
MORE ON THE SHOWS
“How Shakespeare Won the West” is Richard Nelson’s funny, heartbreaking, and highly theatrical look at a troupe of 19th century actors who cross the U.S. to perform Shakespeare for entertainment-starved panhandlers caught up in the Gold Rush. It’s based on a true story and DuBois calls it “a celebration of ambition and the human spirit. Richard has written a love letter to the theatre with his latest play.” Nelson’s work has been seen at the Huntington twice before; he wrote and directed an acclaimed adaptation of “James Joyce’s The Dead” in the 2000-2001 season and wrote a translation of “The Cherry Orchard” in 2007. This production will be directed by Jonathan Moscone, who is Artistic Director of the California Shakespeare Theatre.
“Boleros for the Disenchanted” is Academy Award-nominated writer José Rivera’s moving portrait of a loving marriage between Flora and Eusebio, two Puerto Rican immigrants whose youthful, whirlwind romance is tested and strengthened over four decades – from their homeland to rural Alabama. DuBois says “Boleros” is “a groundbreaking play and Rivera’s most exciting dramatic work to date.” He says director Chay Yew “excels in creating simple, elegant, emotionally resonant worlds.” Rivera was Oscar-nominated for his screenplay adaptation of the book, “The Motorcycle Diaries.”
Tom Stoppard’s “Rock ‘n’ Roll” is a sweeping, generation-spanning drama of international dissidents who experience political, personal, and musical revolutions. In 1968, Russian tanks roll into Prague; by 1990, the tanks are out and the Rolling Stones are in. Featuring 20+ years of great rock music, “Rock ‘n’ Roll” was a New York and London hit. “Stoppard’s breathtaking language and searing intellect propel this stunning new work.” DuBois says. Ben Brantley of The New York Times called “Rock ‘n’ Roll” "Stoppard’s finest play! It had me hooked." Produced in association with San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theatre and directed by Carey Perloff.
The sure-fire team of actress Kate Burton and director Nicholas Martin (“Hedda Gabler,” “The Cherry Orchard”) returns to the Huntington with Martin’s critically acclaimed production of Emlyn Williams’ classic, “The Corn is Green.” Burton plays idealistic and hardnosed schoolteacher Miss Moffat, who arrives in a poverty-stricken Welsh coal-mining town to open the community’s first school. She takes illiterate school bully Morgan (played by Burton’s son, Morgan Ritchie) under her wing and points him toward a brighter future in this funny, life-affirming tale. DuBois says “I am thrilled that the Huntington will remain an artistic home for Nicky, and so happy to have Kate and Nicky teamed again for this poignant story.”
“The Hinge of the World” by historian and former JFK speechwriter Richard Goodwin captures the moment 400 years ago when Galileo raised his telescope to the skies and created theories that shook society to its core. As word spreads from Venice to Rome, the scientist becomes a target for Pope Urban VIII and his Catholic brethren. Brought before the Holy Inquisition, Galileo is forced to choose between his religion and his life’s work in this intelligent, thought-provoking epic drama about the struggle between reason and faith. Director Edward Hall is Associate Director of London’s National Theatre and the son of British director Sir Peter Hall. DuBois calls Hall “one of the most theatrically daring directors in England. Ed and Richard proved to be an amazing team when this play was first produced by Ed’s Propeller Theater Company. It is an honor to present the American premiere.”
“The Miracle at Naples” is David Grimm’s hilarious and bawdy comedy, set in Renaissance Italy and focused on the romantic adventures of a band of commedia players who arrive for the Feast of San Gennaro. The beautiful maiden Flaminia falls madly in love with actor Giancarlo, and it’s up to her nurse Francescina to maintain her virtue. Not easy to do when lovers are displaying their affections all over the piazza. This outrageous sex farce is by the author of “Measure for Pleasure,” and “Kit Marlowe.” DuBois says “if Oscar Wilde, Tom Stoppard and Charles Ludlum had a love child, it would be David Grimm. David’s dazzling language skills, romanticism, and bawdy imagination make him a truly singular writer. It’s a play about love, appetite, and the role of theatre in a changing world.”
“THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE” is a raucous and rowdy Caribbean update of the musical comedy classic – complete with swordfights, sex appeal, and all the beloved Gilbert and Sullivan songs. After a hard-of-hearing nurse mistakes the word "pilot" for "pirate," young Frederic is apprenticed to a band of swashbuckling buccaneers. Now a young man with his final days of servitude rapidly approaching, Frederic longs for a respectable life. In true Gilbert and Sullivan fashion, mishaps arise, and it takes a fair maiden, a fair amount of double-crossing, and the very model of a modern Major General to reach a happy ending. DuBois says, “Gilbert and Sullivan were sophisticated political satirists – the Jon Stewarts of their time – and this new re-imagining is a joyous conclusion to our season!”
Huntington Managing Director Michael Maso says “Peter DuBois became the Huntington’s new Artistic Director because he has great vision, enthusiasm, and access to wonderful artistic collaborators in the U.S. and around the world. His first season embraces the traditions of the Huntington’s past quarter-century, and harnesses the best of what’s happening on the American theatre scene right now. This season appeals to the Huntington’s core subscriber base and to individual ticket buyers looking for the best entertainment in the region.”
SUBSCRIPTIONS ON SALE NOW
The Huntington’s 2008-2009 subscriptions, on sale now, are more flexible than ever, available in 4-, 5-, 6-, and 7-play packages. Subscribers save up to 50 percent on full-price tickets to individual shows.
Subscriptions may be purchased online at www.huntingtontheatre.org or by calling the Huntington Box Office at 617-266-0800. Individual tickets for these shows go on sale in August.
MORE TO COMEThe Huntington will announce the lineup for its “Huntington Presents” series in a few weeks.
Photo: "Pirates of Penzance" - Goodspeed Musicals