Phillip James Brannon and Nia Vardalos in "Tiny Beautiful Things" by Vardalos at the Public Theater.

Huey Lewis and Clint Black Musicals Headline Old Globe Season

Also on the slate are the West Coast premiere of ‘Tiny Beautiful Things’ and world premieres by CJ Lee, Laurel Ollstein, and Ken Ludwig.

SAN DIEGO, CALIF.: The Old Globe has announced its 2018-19 season, which will feature five world premieres, two of which have been developed through the theatre’s Powers New Voices Festival.

“The Old Globe’s 2018–19 Season showcases the wonders and excitements of American theatre at its very best,” said artistic director Barry Edelstein in a statement. “Our slate of shows once again demonstrates why this is one of our country’s preeminent theatres. The season includes powerful and engaging world premieres, musical theatre of the highest caliber, hilarious comedy, and deep feeling, all created by artists of national and international renown. This remarkable body of work continues to demonstrate the Globe’s commitment to programming a diverse lineup, in every sense of that word. ”

The season begins with the world premiere of the new musical The Heart of Rock & Roll (Sept. 6-Oct. 21), with book by Jonathan Abrams, story by Abrams and Tyler Mitchell, and music supervision, arrangements, and orchestrations by Brian Usifer. Inspired by the songs of Huey Lewis and the News, the musical follows a dive-bar-rocker-turned-businessman who reunited with his old band to play one last gig. Gordon Greenberg will direct.

Following will be Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (Nov. 3-Dec. 29), with book and lyrics by Timothy Mason, and music by Mel Marvin. Based on the classic book, the musical follows the Grinch’s attempt to steal Christmas from the residents of Whoville. There will be a special performance on Saturday, December 1 at 10:30 a.m. for children on the autism spectrum and their families. James Vásquez will direct.

Next is the world premiere of Looking for Christmas: The New Clint Black Christmas Musical (Nov. 13-Dec. 16), with music and lyrics by Black, book by James D. Sasser with Black, based on an idea by James D. Sasser and Black. Based on the singer’s holiday country album, the musical follows a soldier returning home from Afghanistan to spend the holidays with his family. Kent Nicholson will direct.

Following will be the West Coast premiere of Tiny Beautiful Things (Feb. 9-March 10, 2019), based on the book by Cheryl Strayed, adapted for the stage by Nia Vardalos, and co-conceived by Marshall Heyman, Thomas Kail, and Vardalos, about the relationships between an anonymous advice columnist named Sugar and the many real-life readers who pour out their hearts to her. Vásquez will direct.

Next will be the American premiere of Life After (March 22-April 18, 2019), with book, music, and lyrics by Britta Johnson, about a 16-year-old girl who grieves the loss of her father. Barry Edelstein will direct.

Following will be the world premiere of They Promised Her the Moon (April 6-May 5, 2019), by Laurel Ollstein, about Jerrie Cobb, one of the 13 women who underwent the same rigorous psychological and physical testing as the famed “Mercury Seven” astronauts but was never given the chance to set foot on the moon, despite out-performing her male counterparts. Giovanna Sardelli will direct.

Next will be the world premiere of The Gods of Comedy (May 11-June 16, 2019), by Ken Ludwig, a comedy presented in association with McCarter Theatre Center, about two young classics professors who receive the help of ancient Greek deities in order to find a misplaced manuscript. Kathleen Marshall will direct.

Following will be the Globe-commissioned world premiere of What You Are (May 23-June 23, 2019), by CJ Lee, about a family man in an office job who feels adrift in a changing America he no longer recognizes.

The Globe will also be presenting its fifth annual Globe for All Tour which provides will bring a free professional production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Oct. 30-Nov. 18) to diverse audiences in San Diego. William Shakespeare’s classic comedy follows star crossed lovers whose woes are complicated by fairies’ intervention. Patricia McGregor will direct.

Additionally, the Globe and University of San Diego Shiley Graduate Theatre Program will present Julius Caesar (Oct. 20-28), William Shakespeare’s play about a political coup which fells the famed Roman politician and military general, at The Globe’s intimate arena stage.

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