PASADENA, CALIF.: The Pasadena Playhouse has announced its 2016–17 season, its final under artistic director Sheldon Epps. The season will include a world premiere musical by Randy Johnson and Cheryl West, as well as David Henry Hwang’s M. Butterfly.
“My final season as artistic director is made up of passion projects for me and for the artists involved.” Epps said in a statement. “These titles represent so many of the aspects of the art of the theatre that I truly love.”
Opening the season will be The Fantasticks (Sept. 6–Oct. 2), by Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones. The musical tells an an allegorical love story about a boy, a girl, two fathers, and a wall. Playhouse associate artistic director Seema Sueko will direct.
Next will be David Henry Hwang’s M. Butterfly (Oct. 25–Nov. 20), about a French diplomat who has an affair with a Peking opera star who turns out to be a man. Bart DeLorenzo will direct.
For the holidays, the Lythgoe Family will return with a Panto production of Cinderella Christmas (Dec. 8, 2016–Jan 8, 2017), by Kris Lythgoe and directed by Bonnie Lythgoe. The interactive holiday show will feature the story of Cinderella with comedy and magic; dancers from “So You Think You Can Dance”; and contemporary music from Taylor Swift, the Bee Gees, and more.
The world premiere of Shout, Sister, Shout! (Jan. 31–Feb. 26, 2017), by Randy Johnson and Cheryl West, will be next. The musical depicts the life of gospel singer Rosetta Tharp. Johnson will direct.
Shakespeare’s gender-bending Twelfth Night (March 28–April 23, 2017) will follow. The play is Epps’s favorite of the Bard’s works.
The season will close with a show directed by Epps, to be announced at a later date (May 30–June 25, 2017).
The Pasadena Playhouse was founded in 1917 and presents innovative new works and classics.