PHILADELPHIA: Walnut Street Theatre announced its 2016–17 season, which will feature five classic musicals and plays including works by Rodgers and Hammerstein, Neil Simon, and Oscar Wilde.
The season will open with South Pacific (Sept. 6–Oct.23), a World War II tale of romance by Rodgers and Hammerstein. The musical tells the story of Nellie Forbush, an Arkansas nurse who falls in love with a French plantation owner on an island in the South Pacific.
Next up, audiences can journey to the Emerald City for the stage adaptation of The Wizard of Oz (Nov. 8, 2016–March 5, 2017). The Walnut’s production will be the Royal Shakespeare Company’s adaptation of the 1939 film.
In Neil Simon’s Laughter on the 23rd Floor (Jan. 17–March 5, 2017), audiences will be invited into the writers’ room of a 1950s television show. The play follows comedian Max Prince, who wrestles with censorship in order to make his show more advertiser friendly.
Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest (March 14–April 30, 2017) depicts two bachelor friends who take on double lives to pursue the attention of two women. The comedy was first produced on Broadway in 1895.
The season will close with Saturday Night Fever (May 16–July 16, 2017), the stage adaptation of the 1977 film. The musical features hits from The Bee Gees including “How Deep is Your Love” and “Stayin’ Alive.”