By FRANK RIZZO, email@example.com
9:48 AM EDT, May 6, 2014
Long Wharf Theatre’s 50th anniversary season will open with an American classic written by a familiar New Haven-area figure.
Artistic director Gordon Edelstein will stage Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town” on the main stage. The production will “mirror the diversity of America today,” according to the season announcement on Tuesday. The show will run Oct. 9 to Nov. 9.
The New Haven theater produced the play in 1987 with Hal Holbrook as the Stage Manager. (A popular play, “Our Town” was also produced in 2007 at Hartford Stage starring Holbrook and the Westport Country Playhouse in 2001 starring Paul Newman.)
No casting for the Long Wharf production has been announced for any of the new season’s shows.
In addition to “Our Town,” three new plays — including those of familiar artists — and two off-Broadway titles were announced.
Following “Our Town” will be another comedy on the main stage by Steve Martin, following last year’s production of his stage adaptation “The Underpants.” The second show of the new season will be Martin’s “Picasso at the Lapin Agile.” The show will be staged by Edelstein will direct half of plays in the six-show season.
“Picasso at the Lapin Agile,” which celebrates genius and ingenuity at the dawn of the 20th century, played off-Broadway in 1995 and has since toured and played at regional theaters across the country.
The Stage II shows will open in January with the world premiere of Dael Orlandersmith’s “Forever,” staged by Neel Keller. Orlandersmith’s “Yellowman” and “The Blue Album” (with David Cale) played Long Wharf. Then show will run Jan. 2 to Feb. 1. The show is described as “an intimate look at family and identity.”
“Forever” will be followed on the second stage by Joshua Harmon’s comedy “Bad Jews” running Feb. 18 to March 22. The play opened last season off-Broadway and centers on a a trio of cousins who gather following the death of their grandfather.
The main stage will be lit again in late March with the co-production with Philadelphia Theatre Company: Kimber Lee’s “brownsville song (b-side for tray).” Running March 25 to April 19 it will be staged by associate artistic director Eric Ting. (The play premiered last month at the Humana Festival in Louisville, Ky. and a separate production will play Lincoln Center’s LC3 Theater this fall.)
The play is described a personifying “the plague of urban violence through the experiences of a teenager and his family.”
The season will end on the main stage May 6 to 31 with the world premiere of “The Second Mrs. Wilson,” by Joe DiPietro, directed by Edelstein.
The play centers on First Lady Edith Wilson and the period in American history when she navigated her husband’s agenda, during Woodrow Wilson’s incapacitation following a stroke. (The play is not to be confused with the play “Edith,” that was presented in 2013 at the Berkshire Theatre Festival in Stockbridge, Mass.
DiPietro won a Tony Award for his book to the musical “Memphis.” He also did the book to the musical “Nice Work If You Can Get It.” He also adapted the musical “Damn Yankees,” which is now playing at Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam.
DiPietro’s association with Long Wharf Theatre goes back 25 where his play “I Love You, You’e Perfect, Now Change” premiered and then went on to be a a hit off-Broadway and at regional theaters across the country.
Season subscription are on sale. Single tickets go on sale Aug. 4. information: 203-787-4282 and www.longwharf.org.
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