Philadelphia Theatre Company announces its 2009-2010 mainstage season, highlighted by a world premiere by Terrence McNally, a Tony Award-winning musical and a pre-Broadway production. Expanding to a five-play series, the season features the world premiere of Terrence McNally's Golden Age, the six-time Tony Award-winning Broadway musical The Light in the Piazza by Craig Lucas and Adam Guettel, Lorenzo Pisoni's multi-award winner Humor Abuse, August Wilson's first major play Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, the dark comedy thriller Mauritius by Theresa Rebeck, and a special summer comedy revue, City of Nutterly Love: Funny as Bell!, co-produced with Chicago's The Second City.
"I am very excited about our new season which is bursting at the seams with new plays, exciting partnerships, gorgeous music, high comedy and writing of the highest order," said Producing Artistic Director Sara Garonzik.
"One of our objectives in building our own theater space was to be able to expand our season options. This upcoming season, our theater will be continuously busy, beginning this summer with our partnership with The Second City and continuing year-long with five mainstage productions," said Managing Director Diane Claussen.
Expect hot fun in the summertime when PTC collaborates with legendary The Second City comedy theatre to create City of Nutterly Love: Funny as Bell!, a world premiere revue running July 8 through July 26, 2009. The improv troupe's lauded wit, irreverence and audience interaction will be showcased in a hilarious spoof of all things "Philadelphia." Birthplace of comedy superstars Steve Carell, Bill Murray, Mike Myers and Tina Fey, the Chicago-based masters of sketch and improv comedy will partner with Philadelphia's funniest actors in a show reflecting Philadelphia in all its diversity, complexity and hilarity. The revue will feature Philadelphia-centric sketch comedy, songs, and improvisation.
The fall kicks off on September 25 - October 25 with Humor Abuse, written and performed by Lorenzo Pisoni. Coming to Philadelphia following a sold-out run at Manhattan Theatre Club, Humor Abuse swept awards season, winning the four 2009 awards for Best Solo Show - OBIE, Drama Desk Award, Lucille Lortel Award and Outer Critics Circle Award. Based on his vagabond life as the youngest member of his father's famed Pickle Family Circus from San Franciso, Humor Abuse is one man's funny and candid exploration of the father/son relationship and the hopes, dreams, and disappointments that lurk behind that red rubber nose. Pisoni, through extraordinary clowning and riveting storytelling, reveals that running away with the circus isn't always fun and games.
The holiday season will be filled with the sound of music as PTC presents the hit Broadway musical The Light in the Piazza with book by Craig Lucas and music and lyrics by Adam Guettel on November 13 - December 13. Directed by Joe Calarco, this six-time Tony Award-winner combines the romance of Italy with a passionate love story. Margaret Johnson, a woman escaping her crumbling marriage, is traveling in Tuscany with her daughter Clara. When a handsome young Florentine captures Clara's heart, Margaret must decide if she'll risk revealing truths that could threaten her daughter's happiness.
The new year rings in a new play with the world premiere of Terrence McNally's Golden Age directed by Austin Pendleton on January 22 - February 21. Exploring the exquisite and passionate world of opera, Golden Age is set backstage at the 1835 Paris premiere of Vincenzo Bellini's final opera, I Puritani. PTC has partnered with McNally for the world premieres of Master Class, Some Men and this season's Unusual Acts of Devotion. Following its run in Philadelphia, the PTC production will move to the Kennedy Center as part of its "Terrence McNally's Nights at the Opera" Festival. Golden Age is supported by a $50,000 development grant from the Kennedy Center's Fund for New American Plays.