Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Variety Marks Next Season at Hartford Stage

Classic stories, international rhythms and a compelling new voice will transport audiences next season at Hartford Stage.

Opening the theater's 47th season will be the internationally acclaimed musical drama Sheila’s Day. Accompanied by rousing gospel and blues and stirring Zulu chants, Sheila’s Day offers a riveting history of the civil rights movement in rural Alabama and apartheid in South Africa that is also a triumphant celebration of the human spirit.

Also announced for the MainStage season are Alfred Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps, the Tony Award-winning Broadway smash hit comedy that mixes a thrilling Hitchcock masterpiece with a juicy spy novel; August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean and the world premiere of Divine Rivalry by noted political journalist Michael Kramer, a compelling exploration of a little known painting competition between Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo engineered by the brilliant Niccolo Machiavelli. Divine Rivalry will be directed by Michael Wilson.

The 2010-2011 season will also mark the completion of the first of two phases of renovation and upgrade projects for Hartford Stage. To facilitate these essential renovations to the Church Street theatre, the 2010-2011 MainStage season will present Sheila’s Day at its temporary summer home at the Roberts Theatre at the Kingswood-Oxford School in West Hartford, a ten-minute drive from downtown Hartford. Following the completion of this first phase of renovation, the 2010-2011 season will continue in October at Hartford Stage’s 50 Church St. home.

Also at the Roberts Theatre this summer is a theatrical treat for Connecticut audiences: Broadway legends Chita Rivera and Ben Vereen will both bring their hit solo shows to Hartford Stage’s SummerStage series for back-to-back one-week limited runs. Each performer will bring his or her unique talents to Hartford as they revisit their storied Broadway careers in Chita Rivera: My Broadway and An Evening with Ben Vereen. Tickets for the Broadway Legends series are on sale now and can be purchased individually or as a multi-show subscription.

The holiday season brings the 13th annual production of a Connecticut’s favorite yuletide tradition, the crowd-pleasing A Christmas Carol, seen by more than a quarter million people during its unprecedented run at Hartford Stage. Tickets for A Christmas Carol are on sale now for subscribers and will go on sale to single ticket buyers July 1.

Tickets to Hartford Stage’s 2010-2011 season are on sale now. To purchase a subscription or to receive more information, call the Hartford Stage Box Office at 860-527-5151, or visit www.hartfordstage.org. Single tickets to Sheila’s Day and the Broadway Legends series are on sale now; individual tickets for all other productions go on sale July 1. Groups of 10 or more may receive discounts; call the box office for further information.

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Lauren Yarger with playwright Alfred Uhry at the Mark Twain House. Photo: Jacques Lamarre)

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