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Old Globe’s 2013-14 season to include extra helpings of the Bard

originally posted by the Los Angeles Times
April 26, 2013

The Old Globe’s new artistic director, Barry Edelstein, is a noted Shakespearean, and its 2013-14 season, the first he’s picked, will give extra emphasis to the Bard, beyond the separate summer series that typically offers at least two Shakespeare plays in the outdoor theater that’s part of the Old Globe complex in San Diego’s Balboa Park.

Edelstein will direct “The Winter’s Tale” (Feb. 8-March 4, 2014), the first indoor Shakespeare play at the Old Globe since a 2001 staging of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

And he’s giving Shakespeare a new collaborator — deceased Southern California-raised rocker Jeff Buckley — in “The Last Goodbye,” (Sept. 20-Nov. 3), a musical adaptation of “Romeo and Juliet” that will kick off the season.

Michael Kimmel conceived the show and adapted Shakespeare’s text, which will be interspersed with songs by Buckley, who was beginning to emerge as a star when he drowned in 1995.

Directed by Alex Timbers (“Peter and the Starcatcher” and “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson”), it will be played in period Shakespearean costumes and include “Hallelujah,” the Leonard Cohen song that became a signature number for Buckley.

The season offers the first California staging of “Water by the Spoonful,” (April 12-May 11, 2014), Queria Alegria Hudes’ 2012 Pulitzer Prize-winning drama about the family struggles of an ex-Marine who was wounded in Iraq. Hudes interweaves a second narrative about recovering crack addicts who meet in an online forum. Edward Torres directs.

Christopher Durang’s latest comedy, “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” (May 17-June 22, 2014), is a comic riff on Chekhov that’s currently running on Broadway with Sigourney Weaver and David Hyde Pierce. The Old Globe will mount its own production, led by the show’s New York director, Nicholas Martin, but with no word yet on San Diego casting.

The season features two world premieres. “The Few” (Sept. 28-Oct. 27), a comedy by Samuel D. Hunter, portrays the owner of a small-town Idaho newspaper whose main revenue source is personal ads taken out by interstate truckers. Davis McCallum directs.

“Dog and Pony” (May 28-June 29, 2014), a new musical with a book by Rick Elise (“Jersey Boys” and “Peter and the Starcatcher”) and songs by Michael Patrick Walker (“Altar Boyz”), focuses on a male-female screenwriting team that has flourished while keeping their relationship strictly professional. New possibilities — and dangers — arise when the married partner becomes single. The director is Roger Rees, who co-directed the Broadway production of “Peter and the Starcatcher” with Timbers.

“Bethany” (Jan. 25-Feb. 23, 2014) is a dark comedy by newcomer Laura Marks about new economic pressures on the erstwhile middle class, personified by a young single mother who has lost her house to foreclosure, sells cars at a soon-to-be-defunct Saturn dealership, and has been forced to place her daughter, Bethany, in foster care. The director is Gaye Taylor Upchurch, who staged the play in New York earlier this year.

Rounding out the season is “Time and the Conways,” a seldom-revived 1937 drama in which J.B. Priestley depicted the life of a post-World War I British family while hopscotching between 1919 and 1937; it explores the theory that past, present and future co-exist simultaneously, despite humans’ inability to perceive it. Rebecca Taichman directs.

Also on tap will be the 16th annual staging of “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” (Nov. 16-Dec. 28).

The previously announced 2013 summer season runs June 2 to Sept. 28, offering a Shakespeare Festival, programmed by festival artistic director Adrian Noble, of “The Merchant of Venice,” “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and Tom Stoppard’s “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead,” as well as “The Rainmaker” by N. Richard Nash and David Pichette and R. Hamilton Wright’s adaptation of James M. Cain’s novel, “Double Indemnity.”

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