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BOOK BY CATHERINE JOHNSON
MUSIC & LYRICS BY BENNY ANDERSSON & BJÖRN ULVAEUS
DIRECTED BY BILL BERRY
The smash hit musical based on the songs of ABBA. A brand new, original 5th Avenue version of the famed piece that has wowed audiences worldwide. On the Greek island of Kalokairi, Sophie is preparing to marry her fiance, Sky. She wants her father to walk her down the aisle but doesn't know who he is. She discovers her mother's old diary and finds entries describing intimate dates with three men. Surely one of these men is her father. On the day before Sophie's wedding, her mother begins receiving guests at her taverna, and so the story begins.
"THE SUNNIEST OF ALL MUSICALS. IT PROVIDES NEW PLEASURES EVERY TIME!" - Sunday Express
"MY ADVICE IS JOIN THE PARTY." - Atlanta Journal Constitution
"A WILDLY ENTERTAINING GOOD TIME." - CBS-TV
BOOK, MUSIC & LYRICS BY BROOKE MAXWELL & JACOB RICHMOND
DIRECTED & CHOREOGRAPHED BY RACHEL ROCKWELL
A CO-PRODUCTION WITH AND PRESENTED AT ACT - A CONTEMPORARY THEATRE
At 8:17 PM, the Saint Cassian High School Chamber Choir will board the Cyclone roller coaster. At 8:19, the front axle will break, sending them to their tragic demise. Trapped in fantastical carnival-like purgatory, the recently deceased teens discover a mechanical fortune teller, who invites them to tell their stories of life interrupted, with the promise of a prize like no other. Welcome to the West Coast premiere of Ride the Cyclone, a wildly original new musical. Part comedy, part tragedy and completely unexpected, this wonderfully weird story is at every turn satirical, macabre, creepy, campy and hilarious.
“A delightfully weird and just plain delightful show… knocked out of the park” -The New York Times
MUSIC & LYRICS BY COLE PORTER
BOOK BY SAMUEL & BELLA SPEWACK
DIRECTED BY ALAN PAUL
Celebrating its 70th Anniversary! Kiss Me, Kate is the multi-Tony Award®-winning Cole Porter masterpiece that set the standard for great musicals and then broke the mold. A play-within-a-play inspired by William Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, this sparkly sensation is, at its core, a true battle of the sexes. A charming leading man and his superstar ex-wife are starring in a production of the Bard’s famous play. Both on stage and off, they revel in combat and romance. Who comes out on top? We’re thinking you’d better “brush up your Shakespeare…”
Produced as a part of the 2018 city-wide festival, Seattle Celebrates Shakespeare.
MUSIC BY ALAN MENKEN
LYRICS BY STEPHEN SCHWARTZ
BOOK BY PETER PARNELL
BASED ON THE NOVEL BY VICTOR HUGO
DIRECTED BY GLENN CASALE
A glorious retelling of Victor Hugo’s epic masterpiece, this powerful tale of love, faith and prejudice will leave you utterly spellbound. Its lush, beautiful score is unlike anything in musical theater today, featuring songs from the Disney animated feature and new music from legendary composers Alan Menken (The Little Mermaid, Aladdin and Newsies) and Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Godspell and Pippin). Immerse yourself in the power and glory of rapturous music; melt with the passion of a magnificent story.
“Menken’s uncommonly complex, classically-influenced score soars” -The Hollywood Report
Something Rotten, a recent hit on Broadway, is set in Elizabethan London; it tells the story of two down-and-out playwrights (Nick and Nigel Bottom) who prematurely invent the musical in order to compete with William Shakespeare. The show’s comedy is Monty Python-like in being outrageous and irreverent, including plenty of anachronistic modern references. Parents and concerned theatergoers should peruse the following guidelines carefully.
The adult language is mild, but does contain quite a few “vulgar” expressions. The jealous Nick has a few choice words about Shakespeare (“that little turd,” “the bastard”). A couple of words for body parts are used (“Don’t be a penis/The man is a genius”) (“I’d give my left nad to be Shakespeare”). The word “shit” appear (“You’re a shit actor”) as does “piss.” Shakespeare himself asserts that writing is “still friggin’ hard.” A couple of “damns” are heard and one “Godammit.”
Most of these are implied rather than explicit; for instance, the Puritan preacher, Brother Jeremiah, declares that theater “promotes lustful desires” and therefore all theaters “must be pulled down, for we cannot abide such ungodly erections.”
It is suggested that Robin, a player who specializes in female roles, is gay (“If I was to wear dresses and hang about in taverns and flirt with men . . . You know? For research.”)
A song lyric describes “a play from Greek mythology” (Oedipus Rex) as “See a mother have sex with her son? Eww.”
Nick and his true love, the puritan Portia, who are both inexperienced, become very aroused (without touching) when Nick reads his poetry to her (“Yes! Don’t stop!”).
When Nick is acquitted in court and kisses Bea (who is in male dress), Jeremiah the Puritan preacher calls out, “Look! Homosexuals! Charge them!”
At a party for Shakespeare, the Puritan girl Portia tastes wine for the first time and drinks too much.
Set in the early twentieth century before World War I, Ragtime deals with the promises of the American dream and how they were fulfilled or denied for those already established in the United States, for those newly arrived as immigrants, and for those who were descendants of slaves. It follows the stories of three groups in New York: an African-American musician and the mother of his child in Harlem, an affluent upper-class family living in New Rochelle, and a Jewish father and daughter who have recently emigrated from Russia and settled in the Lower East Side.
The show’s language is very mild; “son of a bitch” is heard twice. There are a couple of “damns” two “goddamns,” and one “shit.”
Racial slurs are heard on several occasions, particularly when bigots confront Coalhouse Walker, calling him “some high-falutin n----r and his whore and whore’s baby.” A crowd at a baseball game calls out, “Take your head out of your ass!” or “Kill the kike!” or “Run, you polack!”
The word “bastard” is several times applied to the child of Sarah and the musician, Coalhouse Walker.
Tateh, the Russian immigrant father, attacks a man who offers him money in exchange for his daughter.
A character is blocked from driving his car down a street; when he goes for help, his car is destroyed.
When workers organize a strike, mill owners call out the militia; a woman is struck down and Tateh, who tried to help her, is knocked down by a man with a nightstick.
A woman approaches the vice president, who is campaigning for the presidency, to ask for his help, and is mistakenly thought to have a gun (President McKinley had been assassinated not long before); she is clubbed down and killed.
A character who fails to get justice from the police or the courts resorts to vigilantism; fire stations are torched, and three people are shot. Later a character is shot as he attempts to surrender (all of this takes place offstage: the shots are heard, but the action is not seen).
Ragtime deals with the hope, poverty, and despair of the immigrant experience, including the fetid, unhealthy tenements, the backbreaking work, the bad food, and the minuscule pay experienced by factory workers. The story also shows the consequences of racist violence resulting in both loss of property and life, and the refusal of legal authorities to help the victims find justice.
Holiday Inn is a classic musical with a score by the legendary Irving Berlin. Ted, Lila, and Jim are a trio performing in a nightclub in Yonkers when Jim proposes to Lila, suggesting they give up show business and move to a farm he has bought in Connecticut. When Lila breaks their engagement, Jim worries about his mortgage; he gets the idea to put on a show and convert the farmhouse into a hotel. Holiday Inn is a family show suitable for audience members of all ages.
Linda, the former owner of the farm, tells Jim about how her mother ran off with a Fuller Brush salesman, leaving her and her father alone.
Some of the songs, such as “Heat Wave,” contain double entendres: “Her anatomy / Made the mercury / Jump to ninety-three.”
After being knocked out by Jim, Ted wakes up the next morning in Louise’s bedroom; he asks, “Did we –” and she responds, “Not on your life, kid.”
Ted, who is drunk, kisses Linda; Jim punches him.
Jim and Louise, the “handywoman” helping him run the farm, drink brandy while listening to Ted and Lila being interviewed on the radio.
A drunken Ted intrudes on the Holiday Inn’s first performance.
Mamma Mia takes place on an island in Greece where Sophie, a 20-year-old girl, is about to get married. Her mother, Donna, former flower child and musician, does not know that Sophie has invited three men, any one of whom might be her father, to give her away during the ceremony.
The language in this show is very mild (and most of it is British). The strongest word used is “bloody” (as in “I’ve done a bloody good job of raising Sophie all by myself”), a word that has more impact in the U.K. A few other vulgar expressions are used: “Bollocks!” “Screw ’em if they can’t take a joke!” “buggering,” and “crap.”
All sexual references are either double entendres or innuendoes. Sophie discovers the names of the three men her mother was involved with twenty-one years ago by reading her diary: “One thing led to another and . . . dot, dot, dot.” Harry, one of the candidates for Sophie’s father, has the following exchange with Sam:
Harry: Well, I hope I get the chance to get my tongue around a little Greek.
Sam: Oh, yeah?
Harry: I haven’t spoken it in years.
Two of the wedding guests, Tanya and Rosie, are seen flirting with two men; it is implied in each case that they may have spent the night together. At the wedding ceremony, one character announces being in a gay relationship.
Donna eventually confesses that she does not know which of the three men fathered Sophie.
The wedding guests are seen drinking.
Ride the Cyclone is set in a warehouse that holds the detritus of Wonderville, once an amusement park, including the remains of The Cyclone, a huge roller coaster. The Amazing Karnack, a magical fortune-telling machine, narrates the show. The cast: the teenage members of the “former Saint Cassian Choir,” whose fortunes Karnack told before they boarded the Cyclone for its final ride. Now one of these six will be given a chance to come back. As Karnack tells us, this is their chance to express not what they were perceived to be (“Our Six Saints”) but what they dreamt to be.
At one point, all the teenage choir members agree on one thing: “Why’d I even go to class? / Algebra 12, kiss my ass!” Ricky addresses Ocean as “badass.” Also heard one or two times: “bitches,” “son of a bitch,”“shit,” “goddam” and “dick” (as in “Don’t be a dick”).
Ocean, campaigning to be the one chosen, sings of her friends, “Add ‘em all up and you still get zero / What you really need is a futher-muckin’ hero.” However, the actual “F” word is used when Noel says of his female drag alter ego (about whom he also uses the word “whore”), “I want to be that f—d-up girl.”
One of the teens, Mischa, looks back on his fate and berates himself: “Sex? Oh, God, why did I wait?”
Another, Noel, notes that “being the only gay man in a small rural high school is a bit like having a laptop in the Stone Age. I mean, you can have one, but there’s no place to plug it in.” Noel reminisces about his ad libbing a line from Waiting for Godot during a 7th grade Christmas pageant: “There’s no room at the inn, for it is Christmas. Shall we hang ourselves? I hear it gives you an erection. Then we should hang ourselves immediately.” He was, he says, “a sexual provocateur and novelist who never wrote a novel or had sex.” Noel sings a song in drag as his alter ego, a French “hooker with a heart of charcoal;” he and Mischa dance a tango and kiss.
Ricky, who suffered from a degenerative disease that affected his mobility and took his voice, sings of his fantasy of a race of cat-like aliens (“the sexy Cat Women from Zolar”) whom he saved by fathering their next generation.
One of the teens tells a story of how, tired of being dismissed as “nice,” she had sex for the first and only time with a carnie in a port-o-potty just before riding the Cyclone. She is the only one of the six who did not die a virgin.
The show’s cast are the six children who took a last ride on the doomed roller coaster, which derailed at the apex of its loop-the-loop. The accident is implied through a series of projected images.
Constance becomes annoyed with Ocean’s self-centeredness and punches her “in the friggin’ boob,” as ocean puts it.
As the children reminisce about their fall from the coaster, one asserts that the “carnie” operating it was drunk.
Noel’s alter ego, Monique Gibeau (based on Marlene Dietrich in The Blue Angel), sings of “a whirl of boozy, floozy light;” she is a chain smoker and sells herself for opium.
Mischa, the rap singer, says of his “homies:” “We pass around the chronic / We party all night.” “Chronic” is high-quality marijuana.
Mischa and Noel are seen chugging vodka.
Kiss Me, Kate a classic musical with a score by the great Cole Porter, tells the story of the backstage romances, quarrels, and rivalries of a theatre troupe performing a revised version of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew.
The language is quite mild; Lilli, the leading lady, calls her leading man Fred (from whom she is divorced) a “bastard” a couple of times. There are a couple of “hells” and one “Goddamned” and the word “whoreson” is used as part of the Shakespeare play within the play.
The city of Parma is referred to as a “heartless, tartless menace” in the song “We Open in Venice.”
Almost all of the sexual references are implied rather than explicit; Lois, in her song, “Always True to You (In my Fashion),” admits that she occasionally strays in her relationship with Bill (“I could never curl my lip / To a dazzlin’ diamond clip / Though the clip meant ‘Let ‘er rip,’ I’d not say nay”). The gangsters’ song, “Brush Up Your Shakespeare,” and the backstage song, “Too Darn Hot” (“I’d like to fool with my baby tonight / Break ev’ry rule with my baby tonight / But, pillow, you’ll be my baby tonight / ’Cause it’s too darn hot”) are full of such double entendres.
Several of the songs make references to alcohol. Bill has furs, a hat, champagne, and beer delivered to Lois’s dressing room.
Lilli and Fred quarrel onstage while playing Katharine and Petruchio: she hits him, bites him, and slaps him several times; he spanks her; later she slaps him again. Both Katharine and Petruchio throw objects at each other.
The gangsters are carrying guns and quietly threaten both Lilli and Fred. They leave without carrying out any of these threats when they learn that their boss’s “unidentified remains will be found floating in the bay tomorrow morning.”
The Hunchback of Notre Dame is adapted from the classic novel by Victor Hugo; the music is by Alan Menken, the lyrics by Stephen Schwartz. It tells the story of Quasimodo, the son of an archdeacon’s brother and a gypsy girl, who grows up in Notre Dame cathedral. He is told by Claude Frollo, his uncle and keeper, that he is deformed and ugly and must stay hidden.
A couple of “hells” are heard and one “damnation.” The townspeople call Esmerelda a “gypsy whore.”
Jehan brings his pious brother, Claude, a gypsy girl as a birthday gift, which is refused. Jehan and the girl leave together; their illegitimate son, who has a hump on his back, will later be given to Claude, who has risen to the position of archdeacon.
Esmerelda, the gypsy girl, dances before the crowd: Claude Frollo, Phoebus, and Quasimodo are all entranced by her as she sings: “Before we get old / Come feel the heat / Come taste the desire / Feel them within you.”
Frollo offers to teach Esmerelda and save her soul; she is frightened, as she can see his attraction to her. When she resists, he threatens her with arrest if she enters the cathedral again. Frollo then confesses his lust to God, but blames it on the “gypsy witch.”
We see Phoebus seek Esmerelda out and then see them awaken together in the morning, indicating they have become lovers.
Soldiers searching for Esmerelda, who has been accused of witchcraft, seek her out in a brothel that is known to provide help for gypsies.
Claude Frollo considers throwing a child (who has been left in his keeping) into the abyss, but changes his mind.
Phoebus, a soldier back from the front, arrives to join the Cathedral Guard; he sings of the deaths he has witnessed: “I’m far away from battle / the clotting blood and rotting wounds / Of dead and dying men.”
When Quasimodo is named king of the day, the crowd begins to throw objects at him, then to beat him; Frollo refuses to stop them right away, but Esmerelda calls it a halt.
Frollo decides that the gypsy girl he is infatuated with “will be mine or she will burn.” When she is captured, he embraces her and she claws at his cheek to get away.
Frollo slaps Quasimodo after Esmerelda visits, accusing him of “impure thoughts.”
Esmerelda puts a knife to Phoebus’s throat when she thinks he will arrest her; he disarms her, but she elbows him and retrieves her knife.
A character is stabbed in the back (but not killed) when soldiers attempt to arrest Esmerelda.
Claude Frollo’s pleasure-loving brother Jehan is seen drinking in the cathedral.
The archdeacon, Frollo, objects to the annual “Feast of the Fools,” the only time “foreigners, gypsies, and criminals” are allowed to wander the city freely without fear of arrest.
Esmerelda prays when she enters the cathedral for the first time: “Please help my people / The poor and down-trod / I thought we were all / The children of God.”
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2017/18 3 at the 5th Preview Pack includes:
Mamma Mia! – Feb. 2, 3, 6, 7 or 8, 2018
Kiss, Me Kate – Apr. 6, 7, 10, 11, or 12, 2018
The Hunchback of Notre Dame – June 1, 2, 5, 6, or 7, 2018
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