AMBLER, Pa.: Act II Playhouse has announced its 2020-21 season, featuring seven mainstage productions.
“The timing could not be more challenging, and this is a decision we did not make lightly,” said artistic director Tony Braithwaite in a statement. “Our production model is year-round, and we launch our seven-show mainstage season in July. We have already invested in the production rights, we have the full support of our board, and our subscribers were asking when we’d announce. This is a stressful time for both theatres and patrons, and we wanted to offer something to look forward to. We are all taking a leap of faith together.”
The season will start with Too Darn Hot: An Evening of Cole Porter (July 14-Aug. 9), featuring the songbook of Cole Porter, including hits made famous by Louis Armstrong, Bing Crosby, Sammy Davis Jr., and more. Sonny Leo will choreograph and direct.
Next up will be Electile Dysfunction: Hindsight is 2020 (Aug. 25-Sept. 27), a series of improvisational sketches and footage of on-the-street interviews about local politics from Ambler residents.
Following will be John Patrick Shanley’s Doubt, A Parable (Oct. 20-Nov. 15), about the suspicions surrounding a young priest at a parochial school and his interest in a student on campus.
Just in time for the holidays will be This Wonderful Life (Dec. 1-27), adapted by Steve Murray from the Frank Capra film. Braithwaite will reprise the roles of George Bailey, Uncle Billy, Mary, the guardian angel Clarence Odbody, Harry Bailey, and Mr. Potter in this one-person adaptation.
The new year will begin with Erma Bombeck: At Wit’s End (Jan. 26-Feb. 28, 2021), by Allison Engel and Margaret Engel, a humorous look at what it takes for a woman to run a household, raise a family, and build a career.
Following will be Ron Hutchinson’s Moonlight and Magnolias (March 23-April 25, 2021), an imagined story about the behind-the-scenes development of Gone With the Wind from a novel into an award-winning film.
The season will conclude with Neil Simon’s Lost in Yonkers (May 18-June 27, 2021), about two teen brothers forced to leave Brooklyn after the death of their mother.
Also part of the programming will be Bill D’Agostino’s Mikey the Elf and The Case of The Terrifying Tinsel (Dec. 18-30), an Act II exclusive “Toyland Mystery Series” installment that includes the youngest audience members in solving the case.
Founded in 1998, Act II Playhouse produces new, classic, and contemporary plays and musicals.