Colonial Players to open '06-'07 slate with drama

Frayn's `Copenhagen' to lead season of variety

July 14, 2006|By MARY JOHNSON | MARY JOHNSON,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Colonial Players' recently announced 2006-07 regular season opens Sept. 1 with Michael Frayn's Copenhagen, a 2000 Tony award-winner for best play.

The drama tells the story of two leading physicists - Neils Bohr and his former student, German atomic scientist Werner Heisenberg - who become reacquainted during World War II in Nazi-occupied Copenhagen where Bohr is living. A speculation on the scientists' fateful conversations, Copenhagen runs through Sept. 30.

Neil Simon's Jake's Women is like much of the playwright's later work - an autobiographical comedy. It deals with important women in the writer-hero's life such as his deceased first wife, his current wife and his daughter (at age 12 and 21), along with his sister and his therapist.

As he considers his fate with them, he comes to terms with losses that prevented his trusting them. Jake's Women opens Oct. 20 and runs through Nov. 18.

Colonial's traditional original musical version of A Christmas Carol will run Dec. 7-17. It is not part of the regular subscription series.

That series resumes with Eugene O'Neill's A Moon for the Misbegotten, which runs Jan. 12-Feb. 10. Regarded as his masterpiece, O'Neill's last play is a sequel to his autobiographical Long Day's Journey into Night. It revolves around three family members while it explores human emotion and tells a beautiful love story.

The season's musical, Jekyll and Hyde, with music by Frank Wildhorn and lyrics by Leslie Bricusse, opens March 2 and runs through March 31. This dark musical retelling of the classic Victorian tale opened on Broadway in 1997.

The season will close with Ken Ludwig's comedy Moon Over Buffalo, running April 27-May 26. It tells the story of a married couple who are traveling actors waiting for a break when opportunity and romance seem to arrive.

As Colonial Players prepares for its next season, more than 100 volunteers and supporters celebrated the recently completed 2005-06 season Saturday at Chartwell Country Club, where they also honored a trio of talented behind-the-scenes workers.

Karen Cannon, the new board president, was enthusiastic about last season and the productions to come, including the summer One-Act Play Festival, which will run weekends from July 20 through July 30.

Andrea L. Elward, who will direct in the festival, said she is "now in rehearsal and enjoying directing at Colonial for the first time." She has directed numerous shows over the years, she said, and "especially enjoyed working with budding talent."

Artistic Director Craig Allen Mummey, who directed such demanding works as Tom Stoppard's Arcadia in 2003 and Stephen Sondheim's Assassins the next season, said he is "looking forward to directing the new season's musical Jekyll and Hyde ."

Judi Wobensmith, the production director, was pleased that the set design and construction talents of Dick Whaley, Ted Yablonski and Jim Robinson were recognized with special awards Saturday.

Next week's festival of one-acts for directors new to Colonial Players will offer works from playwrights as diverse as internationally known Christopher Durang and locals J.B. McLendon and Audrey Cefaly.

The first slate offers Durang's Mrs. Sorkin (about a speaker not always in control of the facts), followed by Desire, Desire, Desire, a send-up of Tennessee William's Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and A Streetcar Named Desire.

Having worked in New York since college, Children's Theatre alumnus J.B. McLendon tells about friends stuck in a dead-end town in The Recipe. Billy Rosenfield's Bridal Terrorism offers a new take on getting married or avoiding it.

Directors will be Bryant Centofanti, Elward, Beth Terranova and Jennifer Parris.

The second slate will offer four plays - Alice Gerstenberg's Fourteen, Michael Strang's The Veritas Machine, Ludmilla Bollow's Late/Late ... Computer Date and Dorothy Parker's Here We Are, to be directed by Amber Perkins, Julien Jacques, Robbie Melton and Elward.

Tickets for each slate cost $7 and can be purchased by calling the box office at 410-268-7373 or online at www.tickets. cplayers.com.

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