The Pasadena Playhouse (Sheldon Epps, Artistic Director) announced their 2016-2017

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PASADENA, CA (March 3, 2016) – The Pasadena Playhouse (Sheldon Epps, Artistic Director) announced their 2016-2017 season today, which includes an exciting new production of THE FANTASTICKS by Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones directed by Associate Artistic Director Seema Sueko; David Henry Hwang’s Tony Award-winning play M. BUTTERFLY; the World Premiere Rock and Roll musical SHOUT, SISTER, SHOUT!, conceived and directed by Randy Johnson with the book by Cheryl West, about the life of legendary gospel singer Sister Rosetta Tharpe; a new production of Shakespeare’s TWELFTH NIGHT and The Artistic Director’s Choice to be announced at a later date. Once again this year, The Pasadena Playhouse will also present Panto at The Playhouse as a special holiday add-on to the 5 play subscription package with Lythgoe Family Productions’ CINDERELLA CHRISTMAS.

Sheldon Epps, Artistic Director of The Playhouse, said, “My final season as Artistic Director is made up of passion projects for me and for the artists involved. These titles represent so many of the aspects of the art of the theatre that I truly love.  From the whimsy of a classic musical to the soulful shouts of gospel and the blues.  From the lyrical and romantic poetry of the Bard, to the strong and powerful emotionally infused dialogue of one of our greatest playwrights, our next theatrical year will employ all of these elements and much more.  It is a season that is boldly theatrical, diverse, and hopefully a celebration of the magic of the theatre and the joy that I have had in sharing that treasure with our audiences for two decades.  I look forward to the party!”

The Pasadena Playhouse 2016-2017 season features:

The Fantasticks (Production #1)
by Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones
Directed by Seema Sueko
September 6, 2016– October 2, 2016
September 11 Opening at 5:00pm

The Fantasticks opened on May 3, 1960 and played off-Broadway for 17,162 performances before closing on January 13, 2002, making it the longest running musical in history.  Winner of a Tony Honor for Excellence in Theatre, The Fantasticks is a lyrical and romantic musical that tells an allegorical love story about a boy, a girl, two fathers and a wall.  This beloved musical has been seen in over 67 countries, and performed in locations ranging from The Peking Opera to The White House.  Seema Sueko, Associate Artistic Director of The Pasadena Playhouse will bring an exciting fresh approach to this enduring classic.

M. Butterfly (Production #2)
by David Henry Hwang
Directed by Bart DeLorenzo
October 25, 2016– November 20, 2016
October 30 Opening at 5:00pm

Winner of multiple Tony Awards including “Best Play” in 1988 and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, M. Butterfly is David Henry Hwang’s fictionalized account of an actual French diplomat who carried on an affair with a Peking opera star for twenty years, only to discover she was actually a man. Hwang’s compelling drama, which is also inspired by Puccini’s Madam Butterfly, explores not only the role illusion plays in perceptions, but questions the ability for one person to truly know another.  The New York Times said “Mr. Hwang cracks open a liaison to reveal a sweeping, universal meditation on two of the most heated conflicts – men versus women, East versus West – of this or any other time.”

Shout, Sister, Shout! (Production #3)
Conceived and Directed by Randy Johnson
Book by Cheryl West
January 31, 2017– February 26, 2017
February 8 Opening at 8:00pm

Shout, Sister, Shout! is a World Premiere musical conceived and directed by Randy Johnson, the creator of the wildly popular smash hit A Night With Janis Joplin which broke box office records at the Pasadena Playhouse before transferring to Broadway.  Shout, Sister, Shout! depicts the life and music of legendary gospel singer Sister Rosetta Tharpe, whose hits include “Down by the Riverside,” “This Train,” and “Strange Things Happening Every Day.” Tharpe was a great trailblazer in the history of American music and influenced some of the greatest rock and roll and R & B singers of all time, including Elvis Presley, Little Richard, and Johnny Cash.

Twelfth Night (Production #4)
by William Shakespeare
March 28, 2017– April 23, 2017
April 2 Opening at 5:00pm

Twelfth Night remains Artistic Director Sheldon Epps’ favorite Shakespeare play, in his words, “A perfect mix of comedy, romance, beauty and mystery, and a great way to return to the tradition of the Bard on our stage as The Pasadena Playhouse enters its 100th year.”  One of Shakespeare’s most beloved comedies, Twelfth Night features mistaken identities, gender confusion and separated twins, all obstacles to be overcome on the quest for true love.

THE ARTISTIC DIRECTOR’S CHOICE (Production #5)
To Be Announced
May 30, 2017– June 25, 2017
June 4 Opening at 5:00pm

Sheldon Epps, Artistic Director of The Pasadena Playhouse, is on the hunt for the show he will direct for the last production of his final season as Artistic Director. As demonstrated by previous ARTISTIC DIRECTOR’S CHOICE selections, such as Twelve Angry Men, One Night with Janis Joplin, TWIST – An American Musical, Baby It’s You! and Sister Act, A Divine Musical Comedy, Playhouse audiences can look forward to a very special Season Finale.

Lythgoe Family Productions’
Cinderella Christmas (Special Holiday add on option)
By Kris Lythgoe
Directed by Bonnie Lythgoe

December 8, 2016– January 8, 2017
December 8 Opening at 7:00pm

Panto at The Playhouse, now in its fifth year, has become a “must do” holiday tradition for Southern California residents. Cinderella Christmas is the latest Holiday Spectacular presented by Lythgoe Family Productions in the style of the traditional British Panto. A Panto is interactive holiday fun for all ages, and the timeless tale of Cinderella will feature comedy, magic, dancers from “So You Think You Can Dance,” and contemporary music from Taylor Swift to the Bee Gees. “Those who have never been to a panto will have a glorious introduction to the form.” – Los Angeles Times. Panto at The Playhouse productions have featured luminaries from the worlds of music, theatre and television, including Sabrina Carpenter, John O’Hurley, Ariana Grande, Ben Vereen, Olivia Holt and Lucy Lawless.

Full casting and creative teams for each production will be announced at later dates.

Subscription Information:

Subscriptions for the 2016-2017 Season are available for purchase by phone or in person at The Pasadena Playhouse Box Office. On-sale dates for single-tickets to each production will be announced at later dates. Current subscribers can renew online or by phone and will receive priority access to their current seat locations. New subscribers can purchase subscriptions via phone or in person at the box office only and will receive the best available seats within the requested sections.

Box Office Number:  (626) 356-7529 or visit www.pasadenaplayhouse.org
The box office phone lines are open Monday-Friday from 12:00-6:00pm, and on Saturday and Sunday from 1:00-6:00pm.

The Pasadena Playhouse is located at 39 South El Molino Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91101.  On non-performance dates, the box office windows are open Tuesday-Sunday from 1:00-6:00pm. On performance dates, the windows are open Tuesday-Saturday from 1:00-8:00pm, and on Sunday from 1:00-7:00pm.
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