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Alex Mickiewicz and Patrick J. Adams in Anna Ziegler’s "The Last Match," at the Old Globe in 2016. (Photo by Jim Cox)

Old Globe Announces 3 World Premieres for 2017-18 Season

The slate includes new plays by José Cruz González and Anna Zeigler, and a musical based on ‘Benny & Joon.

SAN DIEGO: The Old Globe has announced its 2017–2018 season, which will feature three world premieres, including a musical based on the film Benny & Joon and new plays by José Cruz González and Anna Zeigler.

“Our 2017–2018 season is as varied and exciting as any I’ve had the privilege to present,” said artistic director Barry Edelstein in a statement. “This season of work embodies the values of transformation, inclusion, and excellence that are central to the Globe’s mission. Each show provides a sparkling, fun, engaging, and vibrant evening of great theatre, offering something for every San Diegan. I can’t wait to bring this bounty and variety to our audience.”

The season will begin with the world premiere musical Benny & Joon (Sept. 7-Oct. 22), with book by Kirsten Guenther, music by Nolan Gasser, and lyrics by Mindi Dickstein. Based on the 1993 film by Barry Berman and Lesley McNeil, this offbeat romantic comedy follows auto mechanic Benny and his eccentric sister Joon, whose lives are turned upside down by new housemate Sam and his off-kilter take on the world. Jack Cummings III will direct.

Acclaimed actor and playwright James Lecesne will next share his one-man show, The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey (Sept. 30-Oct. 29), about a New Jersey detective who takes on the case of a missing teenager. Tony Speciale will direct.

Following will be the Globe for All touring production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night (Oct. 31-Nov. 18). The production will play for free to diverse, multigenerational audiences across San Diego County who do not have regular access to the performing arts. This year’s 20-stop tour will culminate in two low-cost performances at the Old Globe. Jerry Ruiz will direct.

Next will be the Globe’s holiday tradition, Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (Nov. 4-Dec. 24), now in its 20th year. A performance on Dec. 9 will host children on the autism spectrum and their families, as well as other families with special needs. James Vásquez will direct.

The Globe and the University of San Diego’s Shiley Graduate Theatre Program will next present Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet (Nov. 11-19).

The new year will begin with a revival of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest (Jan. 27-Mar. 4, 2018), in which two carefree bachelors with double lives discover the truth and decide to cause some mischief. Maria Aitken will direct.

Another classical revival will follow with Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya (Feb. 10-March 11, 2018), in a Globe-commissioned world premiere translation from Richard Nelson, Richard Pevear, and Larissa Volokhonsky. Nelson will direct this play about dashed idealism and the tangled bonds of family.

The world premiere of José Cruz González’s American Mariachi (March 23-April 29, 2018) will be next. Two cousins in the 1970s have a wild idea: to start an all-girl mariachi band. The musical is produced in association with Denver Center for the Performing Arts Theatre Company. James Vásquez will direct.

Another world premiere will follow with Anna Ziegler’s The Wanderers (April 5-May 6, 2018), a mysterious new drama, commissioned by the Globe and developed in this year’s Powers New Voices Festival, which explores the hidden connections between two seemingly disparate couples. Barry Edelstein will direct.

Khaled Hosseini’s best-selling novel A Thousand Splendid Suns (May 12-June 17, 2018) will be next, in an adaptation by Ursula Rani Sarma. In the war-torn neighborhoods of 1990s Kabul, beautiful Laila forges an extraordinary and unlikely friendship with Mariam, her new husband’s first wife. The show will be produced in association with American Conservatory Theater. Carey Perloff will direct.

Next will be the West Coast premiere of Karen Zacarías’s Native Gardens (May 26-June 4, 2018), which was in the 2017 Powers New Voices Festival and will return next season to make its West Coast premiere. This rollicking real estate comedy tells the story of a young power at war with their new neighbors. Edward Torres will direct.

Finally, next summer brings a long-awaited premiere, as the Globe will introduce Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax to San Diego audiences (July 3-Aug. 12, 2018). This coproduction with Children’s Theatre Company and the Old Vic is the U.S. premiere of an adaptation by David Greig, with music and lyrics by Charlie Fink, and directed by Max Webster. Puppet design is by Finn Caldwell and Nick Barnes of War Horse fame, and choreography by Drew McOnie.

The Old Globe produces a year-round season of 15 productions of classic, contemporary, and new works on three Balboa Park stages for more than 80 years.

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