An ambitious 60th season

July 09, 2008|By Mary Johnson | Mary Johnson,Special to The Sun

Just weeks after putting on a surprisingly polished production - from casting to performance - in a mere 24 hours, Colonial Players is offering another interesting venture: a festival of nine one-act plays, titled Fun and Mind Games, featuring eight directors and 26 actors, from tomorrow through July 20.

The Annapolis troupe has even more planned for its 60th anniversary season. The number of shows will increase from five to seven and will include a mix of comedies, dramas and one musical. Colonial Players President Carol Youmans said it will provide more variety and challenge.

"Going from five shows a season to seven will be a risk we think is worth taking," she said.

The season opens Sept. 5 with Philip Barry's classic American comedy The Philadelphia Story, about an upper-class family on the eve of daughter Tracy Lord's society wedding to snobbish mine magnate George Kittredge. Tracy soon becomes fascinated with a magazine writer to complicate a plot that also focuses on her ex-husband trying to win her back.

"I was excited to be offered the chance to direct this classic and have the opportunity to work with a cast who honor the performances of film legends like Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant," said director Beverly van Joolen. "In their performances, they will give subtle recognition to the film performances while welcoming the challenge of re-creating this great classic. I have a cast that is wonderful to work with: Zarah Roberts, who will be fabulous as Tracy, and we have Patrick Reynolds, who was Bruno Hauptmann last season, and Ben Carr, who was in Death of a Salesman two seasons back, and we also have Richard McGraw."

The season's second offering, scheduled from Oct. 17 through Nov. 8, will be David Lindsay-Abaire's 2007 Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, Rabbit Hole, which tells of parents coping with the death of their young son. The director will be Tom Newbrough.

Lee Blessing's Two Rooms will run from Jan. 2 to Jan. 17. The drama, about a man held hostage by Lebanese radicals and his wife, who is so frustrated by her government's inability to free him that she creates a room that approximates his bare cell, will be directed by Edd Miller.

Arriving in February is Christopher Hampton's Les Liaisons Dangereuses, a wickedly funny play about the romantic activities of the 18th-century French leisure class on the eve of the Revolution. This classic will be directed by Craig Mummey.

Beth Terranova will direct this season's musical, She Loves Me, based on Miklos Laszlo's story "Parfumerie" with the musical version provided by Joe Masgroff, Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick. The story is about two people who develop a romantic relationship through their letters to each other, not knowing that they are employees of the same shop.

In May, Colonial's stage is home to Anthony Fingleton and Michael Sutton's comedic mystery, Over My Dead Body, the story of three elderly mystery novelists who decide to attempt the perfect locked-room murder. Joan Hamilton will direct.

The season ends in June with a three-weekend run of David Lindsay-Abaire's Wonder of the World, a comedy to be directed by Ron Giddings.

Subscribers can choose various options at season prices: $65 for seniors and students, and $90 for adults for five shows or $84 for seniors and $112 for adults for all seven. For more information, visit or call 410-268-7373.

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