Bay Theatre sets varied 4-play season

Preview

September 14, 2007|By Mary Johnson | Mary Johnson,Special to The Sun

Bay Theatre will offer a balanced, four-play season that deals with difficult family relationships while reflecting the wide range of material that attracts co-founders Lucinda Merry-Browne and Janet Luby.

In its sixth season, the professional, not-for-profit theater has become an equity theater, which requires half of the actors to be members of the Actors' Equity Association union.

"We had no choice if we didn't want to go backward," Luby said. "We'll still use local actors because we have great talent here. But we are required to hold auditions for Equity actors. This puts us in league with Baltimore's Everyman Theater and Rep Stage in Howard County."

The 2007-2008 season opens Sept. 28 with the two-actor musical I Do! I Do!, created by Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt in 1966. Based on Jan de Hartog's play The Four Poster, it tells the story of turn-of-the-century couple Agnes and Michael and their 50-year marriage. The show's best-known song, My Cup Runneth Over, will be performed by New York actors Ryan Clardy and Heather Mayes. Both possess an abundance of easy charm and youthful attractiveness. Merry-Browne said this show will feature an onstage combo of piano, bass and drums.

I Do! I Do! runs weekends through Nov. 10 at Bay Theatre's intimate, off-Broadway-style house at 275 West St. in Annapolis.

An appropriate show for the holiday season, Wendy MacLeod's Apocalyptic Butterflies, opens Dec. 14 and runs weekends through Jan. 19.

Debuting in New York in 1989, this quirky domestic comedy set in rural New England during the Christmas season deals with Muriel and Hank trying to cope with a new baby and numerous problems, some helped by the couple's eccentric in-laws. The play will be directed by Jenifer Johnson of Catholic University.

Tennessee Williams' loosely autobiographical tale The Glass Menagerie runs Feb. 22 through March 29. In Depression-era St. Louis, former Southern belle Amanda has been deserted by her husband, her son Tom works in a factory job he despises and her daughter Laura has difficulty functioning in the real world. This will be Bay Theatre's first production of a Williams play. Merry-Browne will play Amanda.

The season will close with Edward Albee's The Goat, May 9-June 19. Winner of the 2002 Tony Award for best play, Albee's script shatters the limits of social convention as it explores the nature of love. Aware that Albee's play is controversial, Merry-Browne said, "What drew me was the brilliance of the writing as it deals with an affluent family's tragedy."

Season subscriptions cost $85 for adults and $65 for seniors and students. Individual tickets cost $25 for adults and $20 for seniors age 65 and over. The price is $17 for students and groups of 12 or more. Call 410-268-1333 or e-mail reserve@baytheatre.org.

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