Story: Henry Saunders has big plans for the Cleveland Grand Opera Company. Although the company is struggling with everyone else in the Great Depression, its general manager Saunders has come up with a dazzling idea for a fund-raiser: Get renowned opera star Tito Morelli, aka Il Stupendo, to perform the title role in Verdi’s Otello with the Cleveland Grand Opera. When Morelli accepts the assignment, Henry’s hopes are raised even higher.
Story: Willum is in a quandary. The Terre Haute architect is working on a couple of projects that, to his exasperation, have been seriously diluted by his clients. Additionally, his patient girlfriend Tansy is set to move to Washington, D.C. to accept a job as a TV meteorologist.
Story: Director Lloyd Dallas is frantically putting his ensemble of six performers through their much-needed dress rehearsal for the Otstar Productions Ltd. presentation of Nothing On, a comedy by noted playwright Robin Housemonger. “Doors and sardines,” Dallas advises his troupe. “It’s all about doors and sardines.”
When it’s live, anything can happen, says The Repertory Theatre’s veteran artistic director Steven Woolf. This season, The Rep will showcase that exciting element of live theater during two productions that take audiences backstage. The new lineup also will feature a range of dramatic, comical and mysterious plays. LN recently spoke with Woolf for an inside look at the mainstage season and Studio Theatre series.
Story: Charley Wykeham, an undergraduate at Oxford, is in love with Amy Spettigue, niece of the officious Stephen Spettigue. Jack Chesney, Charley’s pal and another Oxford undergraduate, is in love with Spettigue’s ward, KittyVerdun. The young men long to express their feelings to their respective heart-throbs, and use the excuse of a visit by Charley’s aunt, Donna Lucia D’Alvadorez, a wealthy widow in Brazil who plans to see her nephew for the first time, so that Donna Lucia can serve as the young ladies’ chaperone.
Story: Bernard is an architect, and a very successful one at that. When he’s not designing fancy buildings, he’s designing romantic conquests from his fabulous apartment in Paris. When his old chum Robert pays an unexpected visit, Bernard is delighted to welcome him and promptly introduces Robert to his fiancée, an American stewardess named Gloria.
The year 2012 was tumultuous in many respects, so perhaps fittingly Wicked is the title of the production that brings down the curtain on the last 12 months. A record drought plagued the St. Louis area, temperatures sweltered in an elongated summer and the area’s economy staggered toward a slow but steady recovery. All of this took place in the face of impending doom predicted centuries ago by the Mayan calendar.
Story: It’s final rehearsal night for a sex comedy titled Nothing On, which (fictional) playwright Robin Housemonger has set in a 16th century English mill that’s available for rent. The touring company that’s about to present this show at the Grand Theatre in Weston-super-Mare, England is still missing cues, dropping lines and questioning motivation in their characters, all of which exasperates Lloyd, the director.
Story: Bingham, the worrisome president of Quail Valley Country Club, is besieged with complications. He’s found out that the scratch golfer he eagerly welcomed as a new member earlier in the year has abandoned ship and joined forces with Bingham’s cursed rival, Crouching Squirrel. To make matters worse, he learns of the defection only after he’s made a lavishly foolish bet with Dickie, his rival at Crouching Squirrel, who informs Bingham that the prized golfer is now playing for his team. And Quail Valley vice president Pamela bluntly tells Bingham that the board has decided to fire him if he doesn’t win the vaunted match after failing to do so for several years.
Story: Jack Shore makes his living primarily as the “flying carpet guy” in TV commercials. He’s held that gig for 11 years and nervously awaits the go-ahead from his client for another annual extension through his agent, Ted. In the meantime, Jack has traveled from Los Angeles to Chicago at the request of his mother Esther to appear in a benefit tribute to his grandfather, legendary Yiddish Theater star Jacob Shemerinsky.
Story: King Berenger the 1st is running out of time. After hundreds of years of iron-clad rule over his kingdom, including Mother Nature herself, his majesty is informed by the palace physician that he is going to die by the end of this two-act play. The doctor is almost giddy about the news, and why not? The countryside is in decay, the castle is in ruins and the population has shrunk from the hundreds of millions to about a thousand, according to Queen Marguerite, the king’s first wife.
Story: A troupe of actors is on the road with its production of Nothing On, a sex comedy set in “a delightful 16th century posset mill” by its author, Robin Housemonger. It’s now been restored to a fashionable retreat owned by Philip and Flavia Brent, who spend most of their time living abroad to avoid paying taxes. When the Brents sneak back to their estate, they unknowingly are joining realtor Roger Tramplemain, who is showing the place to a sexy Inland Revenue agent named Vicki. The Brents’ housekeeper, Mrs. Clackett, does an indifferent job keeping up the abode, which is about to be burglarized by a senior thief as well as visited by a sheikh who looks a lot like Philip and is interested in renting out the home.
Play: “The Crumple Zone”
Play: “Perfect Wedding”
Play: “The Adventures of Huckleberry Hostel”
Play: Noises Off
Play: There’s a Burglar in My Bed
10/31 THE LAST BROADCAST John Borroughs School hosts a reception for ‘The Last Broadcast,’ a series of drawings inspired by the Northwestern landscape, from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Bonsack Gallery.
Play: The Lieutenant of Inishmore