Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Hot New Musical Twist to Open the Alliance Theatre’s 2010-11 Season

Travel to New Orleans 1928 for a triumphant story of love conquering adversity and of finding family in the most unexpected places. The Alliance Theatre is proud to bring Twist to the stage for its Atlanta debut. Inspired by Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist, and in the rich musical tradition of Jelly’s Last Jam, this heart-warming musical brings award-winning director/choreographer Debbie Allen (Fame) back to the Alliance, following her hugely successful Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (winner of the 2010 Olivier Award for Best Revival).

Set in “the Paris of the South,” when the Roaring 20s were at their peak, Twist takes us on an orphan’s journey to find a place to belong and a family to love. Tony Award-nominee William F. Brown (writer of The Wiz) wrote the book for this new spin on the Charles Dickens’ tale, with music by Tena Clark (Grammy Award-winning songwriter) and Gary Prim; lyrics by Tena Clark. Twist will open the Alliance’s 2010-11 Season with its first performance Sept. 1, 2010 on the Alliance Stage.

“Having already assembled a season of high drama, Tony-winning artists and world premieres of all scales and styles, Twist really is the cherry on top,” said Susan V. Booth, Alliance Theatre Artistic Director. “We're so grateful to Atlanta for its support of our work and for joining us on this season’s national journey of American stories.”

Twist examines the deep emotions and human struggles of a young boy whose father was a black song-and-dance man and whose mother was a white woman of prominence. Guided by a fierce yearning for home, he travels through larger-than-life New Orleans, from the orphanage to a new life behind the red velvet curtain of The Jewel Box speakeasy. There he discovers the home he never had and the parents he never knew among a group of children surviving on the street.

“A very present character in Twist is the City of New Orleans—one of our country's greatest phoenix stories. Jazz Age New Orleans is about as juicy an American icon as you can imagine,” notes Booth, referring to next season’s celebration of American icons and American ideas.

So, why introduce Atlanta to Twist now? “Atlanta has proven time and again its appetite for new musical work—diving into big ideas with real delight,” explains Booth. “Twist's capacity to take the warm familiarity of Dickens' beloved tale of a child's search for home and make it bracingly fresh, contemporary and American was irresistible. And that it affords us an opportunity to welcome the dynamic force of nature that is Debbie Allen back to the Alliance just sweetened the deal.”

The following list provides run dates for each of the productions announced as part of the Alliance Theatre’s 2010-11 Season (in chronological order):

Twist Sept. 1 – Oct. 3 (opening night is Sept. 15)

Sammy & Me Oct. 1 – 24 (opening night is Oct. 6)

The Nacirema Society Requests . . . Oct. 20 – Nov. 14 (opening night is Oct. 27)

Middle School the Musical Oct. 23 – 30 (opening night is Oct. 25)

The Second City: Miracle on 1280

Peachtree Street Nov. 5 – Dec. 12 (opening night is Nov. 10)

A Christmas Carol Nov. 26 – Dec. 24 (opening night is Dec. 2)

Bring it on: the Musical Jan. 12 – Feb. 20 (opening night is Jan. 26)

Carapace Feb. 11 – Mar. 6 (opening night is Feb. 16)

Honk! Mar. 5 – 20 (opening night is Mar. 5)

Spoon Lake Blues Apr. 1 – 24 (opening night is Apr. 6)

August Osage County Apr. 13 – May 8 (opening night is Apr. 20)

Now in its 41st season, Atlanta’s nationally acclaimed Alliance Theatre, recipient of the 2007 Regional Theatre Tony Award®, is the leading professional resident theatre of the Southeast, creating the powerful experience of shared theatre for diverse people on two stages for youth and adult audiences. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Susan V. Booth, the Alliance Theatre is a national theatre with a local address, reaching out annually to almost 200,000 patrons and members of the community. Known for its high artistic standards and national role in creating significant theatrical works, the Alliance launched three Tony Award-winning hits to Broadway: Alice Walker’s The Color Purple, Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida and Alfred Uhry’s The Last Night of Ballyhoo. And, in a rare event for a regional theatre, it originated the national tour of the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. The theatre has premiered 60 works including adaptations of Carson McCullers’ The Heart is a Lonely Hunter and Pearl Cleage’s Blues for an Alabama Sky. Further evidence of the Alliance’s commitment to new work is found in its nationally recognized Kendeda Graduate Playwriting Competition, a cutting-edge program introducing student playwrights to professional networks while producing the world premiere of the winning student’s work. The Alliance Theatre also offers extensive education and outreach programs such as the Institute for Educators and the Collision Project for high school students. The Alliance continuously brings Atlanta the finest talent and finest art—proving once again that the Alliance is where great theatre lives. 404.733.4650 or

The Alliance Theatre is a division of the Woodruff Arts Center in Atlanta, Georgia, which also includes the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, High Museum of Art and Young Audiences.

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