James Miles and Turron Kofi Alleyne in "Fly" at Crossroads Theatre Company in 2009. (Photo by Jane Hoffer)

Pasadena Playhouse Announces 2015–16 Season of ‘Curves’ and Musicals

The California theatre plans a new musical by Kirsten Guenther, Cliff Downs and Katie Kahanovitz, plus plays by Josefina Lopez, Ricardo Khan and Harvey Fierstein.

PASADENA, CALIF.: The Pasadena Playhouse has announced its 2015–16 season, which will include a world-premiere musical and new plays.

Sheldon Epps, artistic director of the Playhouse, said in a statement: “Happily, the Playhouse has enjoyed tremendous artistic success over the last several years. I feel confident that the selections for next season will allow us to continue this wonderful period of aesthetic excitement and creativity. These choices represent our ongoing commitment to theatrical diversity, vibrant and eclectic programming and artistic excellence. I look forward with great anticipation to the joys of the theatrical journeys ahead and the ongoing collaboration with our cherished audiences.”

The season will open with Josefina López’s Real Women Have Curves (Sept. 8–Oct. 4), a comedy about five full-figured women fighting to keep their tiny sewing factor alive, which was the basis of a film of the same name. The Playhouse’s associate artistic director Seema Sueko will direct.

The second production will be the world-premiere musical Breaking Through (Oct. 27–Nov. 22), with a book by Kirsten Guenther, and music and lyrics by Katie Kahanovitz and Emmy-winning songwriter and producer Cliff Downs. The musical is told through the eyes of a young singer/songwriter as she tries to break into the music business. Artistic director Epps will direct. Breaking Through was read in 2014 as part of the Playhouse’s HOTHOUSE play development program.

Lythgoe Family Productions returns for the holiday season with a panto-style production of Peter Pan and Tinkerbell: A Pirate Christmas (Dec. 9, 2015–Jan 3, 2016), written by Kris Lythgoe. The production will combine comedy, magic and dancers from “So You Think You Can Dance” to tell the story of Tinkerbell, Wendy and Peter Pan as they set out to foil a plan to kidnap Peter. Donnie Lythgoe will direct, with musical direction by Michael Orland and choreography by Spencer Liff.

Following will be Trey Ellis and Ricardo Khan’s Fly, directed by Khan (Jan. 26–Feb. 21, 2016). Fly tells the story of the Tuskegee Airmen, the first African-American Army Air Corp who flew during World War II. The play will be produced in association with Crossroads Theatre Company (where it received its world premiere in 2009) in honor of Black History Month.

The West Coast premiere of Harvey Fierstein’s Casa Valentina (March 15–April 10, 2016) will be next. The production will be directed by nine-time Emmy winner David Lee, co-creator and writer on NBC’s “Frasier,” who has directed several plays at the Playhouse over the years. The play takes place in a bungalow colony in the Catskills where heterosexual men pass the time by dressing up as women.

The final production of the season will be announced at a later date and will run May 31–June 26, 2016.

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