Sunday, March 15, 2009

Theatrical Outfit Announces Its 2009-10 Season; Launches with World Premiere of the Opera King

Theatrical Outfit begins its 33rd season with the world premiere of KING, with libretto, music, and lyrics by Douglas Tappin. The story of a preacher from Atlanta, this glorious musical tribute to the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., blends the operatic form with indigenous gospel, blues and other contemporary musical influences and features a cast of twenty-five and a fifteen-person orchestra. While the actual run dates for Theatrical Outfit’s upcoming productions are being finalized, KING is scheduled for the month of September, 2009, and is the pitch-perfect start to the five-show season, which includes both classic and new works. For ages 10 and up for adult themes.

Following KING, the 2009-10 Theatrical Outfit season also includes:

Around The World In 80 Days (October – November, 2009) Adapted by Mark Brown from the novel by Jules Verne.

The original “Amazing Race,” this comedy/adventure, set in 1872, is a high-spirited romp through different continents, cultures and time zones that puts one man’s life and fortunes at risk. After making an outrageous wager, the unflappable Phileas Fogg and his man-servant Passepartout, embark on an extraordinary itinerary and global race against the clock, all the while eluding a misdirected detective. Complete with angry natives, typhoons, runaway trains and a damsel in distress, 80 Days is a delightful odyssey for the entire family. For all ages.
“Action and hilarity to spare.” - Boston Globe

Brownie Points (February, 2010) by Janece Shaffer

This new comic drama by the popular Atlanta playwright masterfully mirrors modern families and society through the multi-cultural mayhem of a Brownie troop’s camp-out in the north Georgia mountains. When a fierce, unexpected storm strands a group of mothers and daughters overnight in the woods, ethnic prejudices, some latent, others blatant, bubble to the surface and force the adults to examine which is deeper—the shared experience of motherhood or the divisive judgments of their upbringing. Brownie Points is both touching and comical in its portrayal of race, stereotypes and how people relate to each other, both unwittingly and intentionally. For age 12 and up, for adult language.

The Sunset Limited (March - April, 2010) A Novel in Dramatic Form by Cormac McCarthy
A startling encounter on a New York subway platform leads two strangers to a dilapidated tenement where a life or death decision begs the existential question: is there light at the end of the tunnel? In a split-second intervention, the character Black, a Christian ex-con, prevents the character White, a nihilistic and world-weary professor, from hurtling himself in the path of an oncoming commuter train. The ensuing philosophical sparring between the two sparks an intriguing articulation of opposing belief systems and the internal debate between innate human isolation versus transcendent communion. Published in 2006 and first performed at Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre, The Sunset Limited has been praised as “deft, spare, and full of artful tension,” and contains the brilliant, often darkly humorous, dialogue for which McCarthy is celebrated. For age 16 and up, for adult themes and language.

“This is mind-expanding theater at its best.” -

Blues in the Night (April - May, 2010) Conceived and Originally Directed by Sheldon Epps
Tony-nominated, this scorching Broadway musical, set in a seedy Chicago hotel, is a full-out compilation of blues songs that interweaves stories of life, loss and love through the unrivalled tunes and lyrics of Bessie Smith, Duke Ellington, Johnny Mercer, Harold Arlen, and many more. For age 16 and up, for adult themes.

“…crowd-pleasing appeal…knock ‘em dead vocalizing…” Variety

In addition to our regular season, Theatrical Outfit will present these two must-see co-productions:

Cotton Patch Gospel (Summer, 2009) Written by Tom Key and Russell Treyz, with music and lyrics by Harry Chapin

A gem of musical theater, Cotton Patch Gospel adapts Clarence Jordan's "Cotton Patch" versions of the gospels of Matthew and John for the stage, transplanting the story of Jesus into the mid-20th-century American South and considering what might have happened had Jesus been born in Georgia--with Gainesville standing in for Bethlehem, Valdosta for Nazareth and Atlanta as the fateful Jerusalem. This perennial favorite plows new ground with an all-new cast and is co-produced with Third Coast Productions. For all ages.

“Cotton Patch Gospel is the musical that asks: Would the people of today’s world know a savior if they saw him?…the underlying message is spiritual…it’s deeply moving…” Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Amahl and the Night Visitor (December, 2009) Composed and written by Gian Carlo MenottiThis vocal score is a new and revised edition of the well-known opera that made television history on Christmas Eve, 1951, and is in collaboration with the Georgia State University School of Music. Haunting and vivid musical interpretations capture the humble life of a crippled child and his impoverished mother and describe one mesmerizing evening when traveling magi from the East mysteriously seek rest with them. Among the unforgettable songs are Don't Cry Mother Dear; From Far Away We Come; Good Evening!; Come In!; Have You Seen a Child?; Dance of the Shepherds; and All That Gold. In one night’s brief encounter, gifts both spiritual and material are bestowed on Amahl, who is miraculously healed and able to join the kings on their quest to find the Christ child. For all ages. “Amahl is the modern equivalent of a medieval mystery play…not biblical but an invented fable…Menotti’s music is attractive and unfailingly lyrical.” – The New York Times

For more information, call the box office at 678.528.1500 or visit Theatrical Outfit, 84 Luckie Street, Atlanta, GA 30303.
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