Playhouse on Park, the award-winning theater in West Hartford, has announced the shows for Season 14.
Opening the season is LADY DAY AT EMERSON’S BAR AND GRILL by Lanie Robertson. The time is 1959. The place is a seedy bar in Philadelphia. The audience is about to witness one of Billie Holiday’s last performances, given four months before her death. In Robertson’s Tony award-winning play, Holiday engages the audience with salty, often humorous reminiscences of her troubled life as a traveling performer in a segregated south. With the help of her piano man, Jimmy Powers, she lets music tell her story, sharing soulful and heart-wrenching songs from her memorable canon including: “Strange Fruit,” “God Bless the Child,” “When a Woman Loves a Man,” and “Ain’t Nobody’s Business if I Do.” LADY DAY AT EMERSON’S BAR AND GRILL runs September 28 – October 16, 2022.
Running November 2 – 20, 2022 is August Wilson’s FENCES. Set in segregated Pittsburgh in the 1950s, Fences depicts the life of Troy Maxson, a former Negro League baseball star now scraping by as a sanitation worker. A towering figure facing thwarted aspirations, Troy attempts to assert control in his life through his relationships with his wife and son. But even as he takes responsibility for their safety and well-being, he betrays them each in ways that will forever alter their lives. Part of August Wilson’s 10-play Century Cycle, Fences explores the walls we build around ourselves and our loved ones, while also illuminating one family’s struggles in a racist society. Fences is the winner of the Pulitzer Prize, two-time Tony Award-winner, and one of the most groundbreaking plays of the 20th century.
Paula Vogel’s INDECENT will run January 25 – February 26, 2023. Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paula Vogel tells the explosive and deeply moving story of the controversial 1923 Broadway debut of Jewish playwright Sholem Asch’s God of Vengeance—a play about a forbidden lesbian romance that enchanted and outraged audiences. We follow the path of the artists who risked their careers in order to perform it. It actively pays tribute to the Yiddish, immigrant families, Jews, theater makers, and the women, specifically the queer women, who are erased from historical narratives. Indecent is a riveting backstage drama filled with music, groundbreaking theatre, and stage magic.
stop/time dance theater is gearing up to take the stage for their annual production, which you can add to your subscription at a 20% discount! This will be the 18th original stop/time show and their 14th show as the Resident Dance Company of Playhouse on Park. Our cast of 18 promises to entertain you with original choreography and memorable music. Singing, dancing, and lots of heart make stop/time an audience favorite. Conceived, Directed and Choreographed by Darlene Zoller, stop/time will run March 22 – April 2, 2023.
Playhouse on Park is proud to present the World Premiere WEBSTER’S BITCH by Jacqueline Bircher. When their Editor-in-Chief gets caught using some unexpected profanity, the employees of Webster’s Dictionary find themselves at the center of an internet uprising over gender and obscenity in the age of social media. As office politics collide with ambition, morality, and lexicography, the future of the English language hangs in the balance. A play about vulgar words and the people who define them. Running May 31 – June 18, 2023.
The 14th Main Stage Season will close with BANDSTAND; music by Richard Oberacker, with a book and lyrics by Robert Taylor and Richard Oberacker. It’s 1945. American soldiers return home to ticker-tape parades and overjoyed families, and Private First Class Donny Novitski, singer and songwriter, returns with the hope of rebuilding his life. When NBC announces a national competition to find the nation’s next swing band sensation, Donny joins forces with a motley group of fellow veterans, and together they form a band unlike any the nation has ever seen. However, complicated relationships, the demands of the competition, and the challenging after-effects of war may break these musicians. Victory will require every ounce of talent, stamina, and raw nerve that these musicians can muster. BANDSTAND runs July 12 – August 20, 2023.