Long Beach theater group releases new schedule

LONG BEACH - Long Beach-based International City Theatre announced five plays for 2013 with characters that are as passionate as they are intriguing.ICT launches its 28th season in January with one of the greatest adventure stories of all time, Jules Verne's "Around the World in 80 Days," adapted for the stage by Mark Brown. It's 1872 and Phileas Fogg has agreed to an outrageous wager that puts his fortune and his life at risk. With his resourceful servant Passepartout, Fogg sets out to circle the globe in an unheard-of 80 days. But his every step is dogged by a detective who thinks he's a robber on the run. Danger, romance and comic surprises abound as five actors portraying 39 characters traverse seven continents. The play runs Jan. 25 through Feb. 17, 2013. Opening in March will be Terrence McNally's Tony Award-winning "Master Class." Internationally renowned soprano Maria Callas had a legendary voice and en equally legendary life as one of the world's most celebrated (and gossiped-about) opera stars. In 1971, Callas taught a series of master classes at Juilliard. Outspoken in her artistic beliefs and uncompromising in the musical understanding she sought to communicate to 25 fortunate students, Callas worked through her legendary arias from Mozart, Verdi, Rossini, Puccini and others. McNally's play finds Callas near the end of her career, her voice almost gone, as she instructs a group of young singers aspiring to the heights of fame and fortune with wicked humor, unrelenting criticism and deeply personal stories. "Master Class" plays March 22 through April 14. "Dead Man's Cell Phone," Sarah Rushl's quirky, Helen Hayes Award-winning comedy about mortality, redemption and the need to connect in a technologically obsessed world, opens in June. When the man at the next cafe table refuses to answer his incessantly ringing phone, Jean discovers he's dead. Taking the phone, she becomes his self-appointed secretary and sets out to heal the rifts in his family - but on the way, finds that the real transformation may be within herself. The play runs June 7-30. August brings John Logan's multiple award-winning "Red" to Long Beach. Winner of the Drama Desk, Drama League and six Tony Awards, "Red" is an intimate glimpse into the world of abstract expressionist painter Mark Rothko. After he lands the biggest commission in the history of modern art, Rothko begins work on a series of large murals with the help of a new young assistant. What takes place between the two men reveals the dynamic relationship between an artist and his creations. "Red" will be performed Aug. 23 through Sept. 15. The season's final productions opens in October 2013. "Don't Dress for Dinner" by Marc Camoletti, translated by Robin Hawdon, is a sex farce in the true French tradition. Bernard's plans for a romantic rendezvous with his chic Parisian mistress are complete with a gourmet caterer and an alibi courtesy of his friend, Robert. But when Bernard's wife learns that Robert will be visiting for the weekend, she decides to stay in town for a surprise tryst of her own...setting the stage for a collision course of mistaken identities and outrageous infidelities, with more twists than a corkscrew. The cook is Suzette, the lover is Suzanne, the friend is bewildered, the wife is suspicious, the husband is losing his mind, and everyone is guaranteed a good time at this hilarious romp through the French countryside. "Don't Dress for Dinner" plays Oct. 11 through Nov. 3. ICT performances are held at the Long Beach Performing Arts Center. For more information, call (562) 436-4610 or go online to internationalcitytheatre.com.

********** Published: August 30, 2012 - Volume 11 - Issue 20