ADV – Leaderboard

"Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" by August Wilson, at Two River Theater in 2016. Pictured: Arnetia Walker and cast.

Two River Season to Premiere Wendy Wasserstein/Cy Coleman Musical

In addition to ‘Pamela’s First Musical,’ with book co-written by Christopher Durang and lyrics by David Zippel, the slate also feature a new play by Martin Moran.

RED BANK, N.J: Two River Theater has announced its 2018-19 season, featuring eight productions.

“Over the past eight years, Two River has built a robust initiative to develop and foster a pipeline of new plays and musicals, and to produce original work and classics interpreted by some of the country’s leading theater artists,” said artistic director John Dias in a statement. “To celebrate this landmark 25th anniversary season, we look to our own history—our founder’s vision, our expansive mission, our family of artists—as we forge our way into the future of the American theatre.”

The season will start with the world premiere of Pamela’s First Musical (Sept. 8-Oct. 7), by Wendy Wasserstein and Christopher Durang, with music by Cy Coleman and lyrics by David Zippel. The musical, based on a book by Wasserstein, follows Aunt Louise as she takes her niece Pamela to her first Broadway musical. Kevin Stites will provide music direction, and Graciela Daniele will choreograph and direct.

Next up will be August Wilson’s King Hedley II (Nov. 10-Dec. 16), about an ex-con desperately trying to make a new life for himself selling stolen refrigerators in Pittsburgh in 1985. Brandon J. Dirden will direct the play, which marks the halfway point of Two River’s presentation of Wilson’s American Century Cycle.

Following will be Journey to Oz: A Wizard of Oz Story (Nov. 23-25), written and directed by Christopher Parks, with music composition and sound design by Josh Totora. This interactive adaptation invites the audience to join the cast in singing, dancing, and journeying to Othe Emerald City.

The season will continue with Noises Off (Jan. 12-Feb. 3, 2019), by Michael Frayn, a farce about the onstage mishaps and backstage blunders of an acting troupe putting on a comedy. Sarna Lapine will direct.

Next will be A Little Shakespeare (Jan. 25-Feb. 2, 2019), a 75-minute version of one of Shakespeare’s plays for children. The title will be announced at a later date.

Following will be the world premiere of Theo (Feb. 23-March 24, 2019), by Martin Moran, about a man who returns home to care for his ailing mother, and his sister who is struggling to deal with their mother and her transgender child. Carolyn Cantor will direct.

Next will be The Belle of Amherst (April 13-May 5, 2019), by William Luce, about the life of one of America’s greatest poets, Emily Dickinson. Maureen Silliman will star, and Robert Rechnitz will direct.

The season will conclude with Regina Taylor’s Oo-Bla-Dee (June 8-30, 2019), with original music by Diedre L. Murray, about  a female bebop band of African-American musicians traveling the country following the end of World War II. Ruben Santiago-Hudson will direct.

Founded in 1994, Two River Theatre producers classics and new works and offers new-play development opportunities to support artists and the next generation of theatregoers.

Support American Theatre: a just and thriving theatre ecology begins with information for all. Please join us in this mission by making a donation to our publisher, Theatre Communications Group. When you support American Theatre magazine and TCG, you support a long legacy of quality nonprofit arts journalism. Click here to make your fully tax-deductible donation today!

ADV – Billboard