CINCINNATI: Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park has announced its 2020-21 season, featuring a new Sherlock Holmes mystery and a world premiere set in 1941 Cincinnati.
“From the extravagant, family-friendly production of The Wizard of Oz to Pressure— the U.S. premiere of a gripping and true World War II story—the new season showcases the range, scale, and diversity of the Playhouse,” said artistic director Blake Robison in a statement. “I’m especially proud to bring the world premiere of The West End to our mainstage. Keith Josef Adkins is a major American playwright and a Cincinnati native. We commissioned him to write about our city, and his new play shines a light on a transformative chapter in local history.”
The 2020-21 Marx Theatre season will open with the L. Frank Baum classic The Wizard of Oz (Aug. 29-Oct. 4), with music and lyrics of the MGM motion picture score by Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg, background music by Herbert Stothart, and book adaptation by John Kane from the screenplay. Robison will direct.
Next up will be the world premiere of The West End (Oct. 17-Nov. 14), by Keith Josef Adkins. Based in 1941 in Cincinnati’s West End, the play looks at a time where African Americans were migrating from the deep south to start new lives at the same time that German residents were facing hostility on the brink of World War II. Playhouse associate artist Nicole A. Watson will direct.
Following will be the holiday classic A Christmas Carol (Nov. 25-Dec. 27), adapted by Howard Dallin from Charles Dickens. Michael Evan Haney will direct.
The Marx Theatre season will continue with David Haig’s Pressure (Jan. 23-Feb. 20, 2021), based on a true story where a Scottish meteorologist has to advise General Eisenhower on the uncertain weather leading up to D-Day. Robison will direct.
Next will be Steel Magnolias (March 6-April 3, 2021), by Roger Harling. Laura Gordon will direct this examination of the power and grace of female friendship.
The world premiere of Ken Ludwig’s Moriarty: A New Sherlock Holmes Mystery (April 17-May 16, 2021) will close the Marx Theatre season. Holmes, Dr. Watson, and Irene Adler are all on the scene in this new mystery that takes a dangerous turn when the investigation leads to Professor James Moriarty.
The 2020-21 Rosenthal Shelterhouse Theatre season will start with Tiny Beautiful Things (Sept. 12-Oct. 25), adapted by Nia Vardalos from the book by Cheryl Strayed. This adaptation brings to life some of the letters and responses Cheryl Strayed received as the anonymous advice columnist Dear Sugar. Brendon Fox will direct.
Next up will be Katie Forgette’s Incident at Our Lady of Perpetual Help (Nov. 7-Jan. 3, 2021), about the O’Shea family who, in 1973, work their way through a series of mishaps that jeopardize their reputation.
Following will be Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill (Jan. 16-March 7, 2021), by Lanie Robertson. This play with music, featuring a dozen jazz standards, follows Billie Holiday in one of her last performances as she tells the story of her life through her music. Kenneth Roberson will direct.
The world premiere of Rooted (March 20-April 25, 2021), by Deborah Zoe Laufer, will be next, about a reclusive amateur botanist who unwittingly becomes a new-age, YouTube messiah. Noah Himmelstein will direct.
The Rosenthal Shelterhouse Theatre season will conclude with Tenderly: The Rosemary Clooney Musical (May 8-June 27, 2021), by Janet Yates Vogt and Mark Friedman and based on the life of Rosemary Clooney. This musical biography brings the struggles and triumphs of Clooney’s life back to Cincinnati. Eleanor Holdridge will direct.
Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, founded in 1959, strives to produce and present a broad range of theatrical works for diverse audiences.
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