On Wednesday evening, the beautiful O’Reilly Theater welcomed back its loyal patrons and kicked off Pittsburgh Public Theater (now in its 41st year)’s 2015/2016 season with some wine and cheese, and a talk from the amazing Ted Pappas. After some charming “Everything Coming Up Roses” dance moves and a brief summery of another successful year, the company’s Producing Artistic Director opened up the conversation by presenting the first show of the season, The Diary of Anne Frank.
This Pulitzer and Tony winning play tells a coming-of-age story of a young girl who took refuge with her family from the Nazis in an Amsterdam attic. Directed by the talented Pamela Berlin (The Glass Menagerie, Clybourne Park, Red), this new production features the original 1955 script by playwrights Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett. The performance will begin on September 24th, and runs until October 25th.
Next up is a passionate comedy about an ambitious servant who works for two bosses at two dinner parties at the same time. Written by Carlo Goldoni and adapted by Lee Hall (creator of Billy Elliot), A Servant To Two Masters promises to provide a special fun night with beautiful music and aroma of authentic Italian food. Also after a little test run with the live audience on Wednesday, I’m pretty sure there will be a live sing-along too. The play will serve the Pittsburgh audience from November 5th to December 6th.
Still have the melodies of My Fair Lady stuck in your head? Well worry no more because another great American Musical is coming to town this season! With music and lyrics by Frank Loesser and a book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows, Guys & Dolls has everything a Broadway classic can offer: from sexy girls and a salvation army, to “The Oldest Established Permanent Floating Crap Game in New York”. Directed by Mr. Pappas himself, the show will open up the New Year with a run from January 28th to February 28th, 2016.
Coming up next is what Mr. Pappas called “the play that will have the most post-show talkbacks”. As the winner of the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Disgraced tells a story about a dinner party where a hot-shot Pakistani-American lawyer, who married a WASP, is coming head to head with another power couple—a Black female attorney and her Jewish boyfriend. A 90-minute ride full of surprises and witty dialogues, this show will run from March 10th to April 10th, 2016.
Last year, a one-man play called The Chief broke Box Office records and became the best-selling show in Pittsburgh Public Theater history. This season Mr. Pappas wishes to lead the team and break his own record with another golden age classic. Adapted from the words of works of Truman Capote and written by Jay Presson Allen, Tru is anther one of those shows that the actor will directly play with the audience all night. Next year marks the 50th Anniversary of the debut of Capote’s most famous work In Cold Blood. With new insights and “indiscretion”, the show is set to bring back the black & white spirit to Pittsburgh, from April 21st to May 22nd, 2016.
The final show of the season is another recent Broadway sensation. Venus in Fur tells a story about a stage director who is eagerly looking for the perfect leading lady, but eventually realizes that the rules of domination can be easily reversed as the erotic seduction of power takes action. Nominated for the 2011 Tony Award for Best Play, this what Mr. Pappas called “a very frisky very funny comedy” will take center stage of the O’Reilly Theater and conclude the season from June 2nd to 26th, 2016. Expert opinion: great for date night, but don’t bring the children!
When it comes to Pittsburgh Public Theater, every moment matters! And for 40 years it has been inspiring and enriching the local performing arts community and striving to become one of the best theater companies in town. This season truly looks like it’s going to another great year for all the theater yinzers. And if you need more quotes, Mr. Ted Pappas himself said it the best,
“This season has it all: from Anne Frank and Guys & Dolls, to the Pulitzer winning Disgraced—amazing variety for Pittsburgh audience!”
Special Thanks to Pittsburgh Public Theater for the complimentary press tickets. For more information about season productions and ticketing, check out their website www.ppt.org.