As everyone else was reminiscing about times past and enjoying holiday celebrations in mid December, the play reading committees and boards of directors at Richey Suncoast Theatre and Stage West Community Playhouse were busily looking forward to May 2012.
That's the last day of the last production in the theaters' 2011-2012 seasons.
The theater people have tried to figure out what will interest potential patrons the most from September 2011 through May 2012, and they've come up with some beloved chestnuts and exciting new-to-us shows that are worth at least three times the $150 it will cost to see all 14 productions (that's six for $70 at Richey Suncoast and eight for $80 at Stage West — five on the Main Stage and three in the Forum).
The Forum at Stage West
6 Dance Lessons in 6 Weeks, a light comedy set in a waterfront condo in St. Petersburg, where elderly widow Lily Harrison has hired gay dance instructor Michael Minetti for private lessons. It's hate at first sight, which makes for barbed quips and exchanges, as Lily (who already knows how to dance but doesn't want to dance in public) recalls her troubled marriage to a Baptist minister and the tragic death of her daughter, and Michael is less than sympathetic. Oct. 6-9 and 14-16.
Proof, the 2001 Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning drama about a young woman who is trying to prove that her late father actually figured out a mathematical proof that could change the world's concept of prime numbers. She's challenged by the ex-student who finds the papers in her father's office and implies that credit to the new proof may not be given to her father. Feb. 9-12 and 17-19, 2012.
Doubt, a Parable, the 2005 Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning drama set in 1964 (before the pedophile priest scandals began) at St. Nicholas Church School, where the school's rigid, conservative principal, Sister Aloysius, believes that the popular Father Flynn may be a child molester. April 12-15 and 20-22, 2012.
Individual tickets for the shows will be $10; all three, $25; or as part of the eight-for-$80 package.
Main stage at Stage West
Lend Me a Tenor, a comedy farce by Ken Ludwig that won six HAMI awards when Stage West first did it in 1994, including Favorite Show. Lots of mistaken identity, double entendres, door slamming, and plot twists. Sept. 18-11 and 16-18.
Chicago, the Tony Award-winning blockbuster set in 1920s Chicago, where murderers Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly vie for headlines amid razzle-dazzle and some of John Kander and Fred Ebb's best music. Nov. 10-13 and 18-20.
A Streetcar Named Desire, the Pulitzer Prize-winning, Tennessee Williams drama set in New Orleans' French Quarter, where fading Southern belle Blanche DuBois moves in with her sister, Stella, and brother-in-law, Stanley Kowalski, and mentally and emotionally descends into a fantasy world. Jan. 12-15 and 20-22, 2012.
The Music Man, Meredith Wilson's delightful musical about a traveling salesman con man who falls for the librarian in a small Iowa town around the turn of the 20th century. March 8-11 and 16-18, 2012.
Barefoot in the Park, Neil Simon's comedy set in the top-floor flat of young, newlywed New Yorkers whose friends, relatives, neighbors and repairmen battle the seemingly endless flights of stairs and each other. May 10-13 and 18-20, 2012.
Tickets to all Stage West productions go on sale in mid January. Box office is open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays and an hour before each show. Call (352) 683-5113. Watch for more details later.
The theater is at 8390 Forest Oaks Blvd., Spring Hill.
Richey Suncoast Theatre
Cabaret, John Kander and Fred Ebb's musical set in decadent 1929 Berlin, where a young, impoverished American writer falls for a brittle, young British woman who dances at the outrageous Kit Kat Klub and society falls apart as the Third Reich comes to power. Sept. 15-18; 23-25 and 30; and Oct. 1 and 2.
There Goes the Bride, a comedy farce co-written by audience favorite Ray Cooney, about a young bride with some definite ideas about premarital sex and a father who gets a bump on the head and begins to see a perky young girl no one else can see. It was a huge hit with audiences when Richey Suncoast first did it in 1999. Oct. 20-23; 28-30 and Nov. 4-6.
Pasco Christmas, an all-new musical comedy written by board member Charlie Skelton. Expect a huge cast, lots of songs and dances and loads of laughs. A holiday tradition, it usually sells out early. Nov. 25-27 and Dec. 2-4.
The Foreigner, a comedy with some serious thoughts and biting dialogue tucked between the big laughs. A visitor to a remote, rustic mountain retreat pretends not to understand English and becomes the unwitting witness to personal and dangerous secrets. Jan. 12-15; 20-22; and 27-29.
City of Angels, a musical set in 1940s Hollywood, where aspiring writer Stine compromises his scruples to write a screenplay to please an egomaniac movie producer. Stine grinds out a black-and-white movie about a private investigator named Stone, which plays out inside the wildly colorful world of Hollywood. Feb. 23-26; March 2-4 and 9-11.
Mame, the musical version of Auntie Mame, set in 1920s New York, where the party girl Mame Denis "inherits" a 10-year-old nephew and then, with the help of her butler and maid, battles her best friend, the boy's banker and the boy's nanny to show the big, wonderful world to the sheltered young man. May 10-13; 18-20 and 25-27.
Tickets go on sale Jan. 13 at the theater box office at 6237 Grand Blvd., New Port Richey, or call (727) 842-6777.
All six shows are $70; without the Christmas show, $60. Individual shows will be $17 adults, $8 ages 11 and younger.