Front Row Center
By Michael Warren
Season 51 at the Lakeside Little Theatre
Well, it’s that time again – rehearsals and program notes! Season 51 is soon to begin at the Lakeside Little Theatre, and an ambitious series of five plays and a musical show is advertised.
“Murder by Misadventure,” directed by Debra Bowers, opens on October 2. As you might guess from the title, it’s an ingenious murder mystery by British scriptwriter Edward Taylor. What happens when two writers who have collaborated for years begin to hate each other? You’ll have to buy a ticket to find out. The second offering of the season is “Stepping Out” by Richard Harris, which premiered in England in 1984. It’s a comedy-drama set in a dance studio - the West End production received the Evening Standard Comedy of the Year award. It’s directed by Ann Swiston and opens on November 6. Then there’s “Rumors” directed by Paul Kloegman. It’s a crazy farce by Neil Simon – the plot is insanely complicated and extremely funny. “Rumors” opens on December 4 and runs through December 13.
In 2016, we are offered “Good People” by David Lindsay-Abaire, an American drama with moral and social themes. This play was nominated for two 2011 Tony awards – one for Best Play and one for Best Leading Actress (Frances McDormand), with the latter winning. It is directed by Lynn Phelan and opens on January 15. The musical this season is “Nunsense” – a very successful 1985 musical comedy with book, music and lyrics by Dan Goggin. “Nunsense” ran in New York for 3,672 performances and is the second longest-running off-Broadway show in history. Barbara Clippinger is in charge of the singing and dancing nuns, and the show opens on February 19.
The final play of the season is “Other Desert Cities” by Jon Robin Baitz. This intense play involves a family with differing political views and a long-held family secret. Russell Mack will direct “Other Desert Cities” which opens on March 25.
All in all, an entertaining and challenging bill of fare for the 2015-16 season. Theatre aficionados may wish to mark their calendars.