The Lake Dillon Theatre Company recently announced its 2014 theater season, which includes a Tony Award-winning “Best Musical,” a Pulitzer Prize-nominated drama and a critically acclaimed regional premiere, among others.
A season that examines human journeys amidst the ever-changing American cultural and social landscape, the Lake Dillon Theatre Company’s 20th anniversary season explores the instinctive struggle for connection and purpose while chasing the illusive American dream.
“All of us at the Lake Dillon Theatre Company are excited to present our 2014 season, which features eight very different productions that each individually look at the American journey in unique, yet somehow similar, ways,” said Christopher Alleman, producing artistic director. “(We) feel that this is the most diverse and exciting season of theater that we have produced in our 20-year history, and we look forward to sharing these amazing stories with our community and our patrons.”
Opening Jan. 17 is the regional premiere of Craig Wright’s drama “Grace,” directed by Alleman and featuring Joel Rainwater, Melanie Beck, Bob Moore and Joshua Blanchard, Lake Dillon Theatre Company executive director.
Evangelical Christians Sam and Sara leave their dreary life in Minnesota for sunny Florida and the hope of fast money from turning abandoned hotels into a chain of gospel-themed inns. Their new neighbor Sam is struggling to emerge from the trauma of a car accident that killed his fiancée and left him badly maimed. And the building’s pest exterminator Karl is still tormented by a dark childhood episode.
As their stories converge, Wright’s characters find themselves questioning the most eternally vexing uncertainties: the nature of faith, the meaning of suffering and the possibility of redemption. An exploration of religious faith in a fallen world, “Grace” demonstrates empathy for the hollow spiritual malaise recognizable in today’s lost America.
‘Other Desert Cities’
Opening Feb. 27, Pulitzer-nominated family comedy-drama “Other Desert Cities,” by Jon Robin Baitz, will be directed by Alleman and will feature Jennifer Condreay.
After years of living on the East Coast, struggling writer Brooke Wyeth returns home to Palm Springs to celebrate Christmas with her family. Brooke’s parents Lyman, a former matinee idol, and Polly, a former screenwriter, are shadows of Hollywood’s 1960s glitzy film era, spending their retired years basking in both the Palm Springs sun and in their dried up memories as Hollywood elites. But when Brooke announces that she is about to publish a memoir dredging up a pivotal and tragic event in the family’s history, a wound each family member has hidden, buried or forgotten, the Wyeth clan is forced to confront differing recollections of what happened years ago one arid California night.
As bitingly hilarious as it is devastatingly poignant, “Other Desert Cities” ultimately reveals that family secrets and the mirages of truth and illusion that encompass them can be as hopeful, dangerous and devastating as an oasis in the California desert.
Opening May 15 is Lyle Kessler’s tragicomedy “Orphans,” directed by Blanchard and featuring Alleman.
Deserted in childhood by an unfaithful father and the death of their mother, orphaned, now-adult brothers Treat and Philip live together in a dilapidated row house in North Philadelphia. The violent, yet emotionally wounded, elder brother Treat provides for the younger, disabled Phillip through odd jobs and petty thievery. But the brothers’ safe yet unstable lifestyle is interrupted when Treat kidnaps Harold, an unsuspecting Chicago gangster, with the idea to ransom him for some fast cash.
Harold escapes the kidnapping but embraces his kidnappers, putting himself into the role of teacher, healer and surrogate father. While the young men discover a world of opportunity through the unconventional guidance and encouragement from their newly sanctioned mentor, Harold, too, discovers that a life’s legacy lives deeper in the service to others than in bookie payouts and million-dollar heists.
Disturbingly funny and surprisingly tragic, “Orphans” explores the instinctive struggle against deterioration and insignificance amidst the vanishing illusion of the American dream.
Opening the Lake Dillon Theatre Company’s 2014 Summer Repertory Theatre Season, the eight-time Tony Winner “Big River,” by Hauptmann and Miller, features a diverse, stellar cast under Blanchard’s direction.
Mark Twain’s timeless classic tale propelled by the award-winning score from Roger Miller, the king of country music, sweeps us down the mighty Mississippi as the irrepressible Huck Finn helps his friend Jim, a slave, escape to freedom. Their adventures along the way are hilarious, suspenseful and heartwarming, bringing to life the favorite characters from Twain’s novel, including the Widow Douglas and her stern sister Miss Watson, the uproarious no-goods King and Duke, Huck’s partner in crime Tom Sawyer, the lovely Mary Jane Wilkes and many, many more.
The jaunty journey of “Big River” brilliantly examines the American south, expertly intertwined into a quilt-like patchwork of Americana archetypes and themes that celebrates the difficult, complex landscape of a changing 19th century America.
Opening in July 2014 is “Sweet Charity,” by Coleman, Fields and Simon, with direction and choreography by Adam Estes.
A dance hostess consistently giving her heart and her dreams to the wrong man, Charity Hope Valentine muddles through life in New York City looking for meaning through a pair of busted rose-colored glasses. Enter Oscar, a quirky, complicated and sweet guy promising Charity a whole new life of purpose and hope. But despite his good will and his good intentions, Oscar eventually leaves Charity behind, forcing her to confront her once again dashed hopes and misguided dreams.
With a classic score by Cy Coleman and Dorothy Fields, and a hilarious but moving book by Neil Simon, “Sweet Charity” is one woman’s story of searching for identity in an ironic and cynical 1960s New York.
For a complete schedule of shows for the 2014 theater season, visit the Lake Dillon Theatre Company’s website, www.lakedillontheatre.org.
“All of us at the Lake Dillon Theatre Company are excited to present our 2014 season ... (We) feel that this is the most diverse and exciting season of theater that we have produced in our 20-year history, and we look forward to sharing these amazing stories with our community and our patrons.”
Producing artistic director