Pasadena Playhouse 2011-2012 Season

Earlier today, I wrote about how the Ahmanson had announced their 2011-2012 season, and I was interested in four of the five shows (“Bring It On”, “Funny Girl”, “American Idiot”, “Fela!”). I probably won’t subscribe because I can usually get Hottix (“God of Carnage” is an exception).

I come home to discover that the Pasadena Playhouse has announced their 2011-2012 season. Here it is:

  • SOUTH STREET by Craig Carlisle & Richard Addrisi. September 2011. A new musical based off of Philadelphia South Street Jazz, from the fellow who wrote “Never My Love”. Summary from Playbill: On Philadelphia’s legendary South Street, Sammy’s Place has long been the hottest joint around. Now the club’s family and its eclectic regulars gather to celebrate the club’s namesake at the annual Full Moon Festival. Get ready for an evening full of love, laughter and friendship with a score by the legendary songwriter Richard Addrisi [known for] his hit song ‘Never My Love’…
  • PASTORAL by Frank Tangredi. World-premier play starring Angela Bassett. From the Playhouse Hothouse series about a pastor with a dark secret. Summary from Playbill: Pastor Emily has a dark secret, hidden from even her own son. When a terrible crisis ensues, she must set her pain aside and look within to discover the true capacity of her forgiveness.
  • ART by Yasmina Reza. International hit, directed by David Lee. About the dire consequences about adhering to one’s taste in art. Short description: How would you feel about your best friend if she suddenly did something so colossally stupid, it made you doubt the very basis of the friendship? It happens in Yasmina Reza’s monster international hit, Art. When an art lover buys what is in essence a pure white painting for a horse-choking sum, his best friend goes ballistic. Yet a third friend gets squeezed in the middle. Questions about the meaning of strange modern art and strange modern friendships–and how they’re sometimes not all that different–fly thick in the limelight.
  • THE HEIRESS by Ruth & Augustus Goetz. An American classic. Short description: This classic tale of love and betrayal centers around the socially awkward and painfully shy spinster Catherine, who in 1850 stands to inherit a tidy sum. When the handsome but penniless Morris Townsend begins to woo her, Catherine’s suspicious father, bitter over his wife’s death and at Catherine’s inability to live up to her mother’s reputation, cruelly insists that she is not worthy of true love and threatens to disinherit her. Will Catherine choose love? Will love choose her? All is in doubt until the emotionally shattering conclusion.
  • MUSICAL TBA 6/2012, either musicalizations of (a) PEGGY SUE GOT MARRIED (American premiere of the revised London success) or (b) THE NUTTY PROFESSOR (Based on the Jerry Lewis film, w/ score by Marvin Hamlish & Rupert Holmes)

The pricing for the season is much more reasonable: weekend evenings is $225 per person, or about half of what it was under the old group. No options for split payments, though.

My opinion on the season? It is the old Pasadena Playhouse mixture. A few plays designed specifically to draw in the African-American audience in Los Angeles (SOUTH STREET and PASTORAL). A hit from Broadway (ART). A classic most haven’t heard of (THE HEIRESS). A new “feel good” summer musical… although the NUTTY PROFESSOR musical has been in development for a while and keeps having trouble (plus is something that shouldn’t be musicalized), so PEGGY SUE is the more likely candidate. However, that dates back to 2001, and was considered to be a “dose of sickly, second-hand nostalgia“. However, some liked it.

Will we subscribe? There’s not that much attracting me back, other than the price. None of the shows are “must see”s, except perhaps “Art”.