L.B. Playhouse releases season schedule

LONG BEACH - The Long Beach Playhouse released its 2011-12 season schedule this week, which includes six plays and a holiday show.The season is one play shorter than last year, but officials said the playhouse will feature more productions from locally-based groups. "Our new season layout allows for more time to raise the production value of each show, therefore enhancing the experience for our artists, actors, designers and audience," said artistic director Andrew Vonderschmitt. Also new this season is the addition of Thursday night performances. The Playhouse previously only had Thursday preview shows, which ended during the regular production run. The 2011-12 season includes: "To Kill a Mockingbird," Oct. 22 - Nov. 19, 2011: The world never seems as fresh, as wonderful or terrifying as it does through the eyes of a child. Atticus Finch must teach his children, Scout and Jem, difficult lessons about racial tolerance, violence and prejudice when he goes against the community by defending a young black man falsely accused of a crime against a white woman. One of America's greatest stories movingly adapted for the stage. "The Best Holiday Pageant Ever," Dec. 3-24, 2011: In this hilarious Christmas tale based on the bestselling children's book, a couple struggling to put on a church Christmas pageant is faced with casting the Herdman kids - probably the most inventively awful kids in history. You won't believe the mayhem - and the fun - when the Herdmans collide with the Christmas story head on. "Barefoot in the Park," Jan. 14 - Feb. 11, 2012: One of the sweetest odes to young love and commitment ever written for the theatre. In this playful comedy, newlyweds Corie and Paul negotiate their first apartment, eccentric neighbors and a meddling mother. This Neil Simon hit sparkles with lively wordplay and laughs as well as with charming characters who find joy - and true love - amid inspired lunacy. "Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure," Feb. 25 - March 24, 2012: The world's greatest detective has seemingly reached the end of his remarkable career when a case presents itself that is too tempting to ignore. In this spirited, fast-moving and theatrical adaptation, Holmes is surrounded by all the elements that fans of his exploits have come to expect: danger, intrigue, wit, humor and surprise. Based on the original 1899 play by William Gilette and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. "Tartuffe by Moliere," April 7 - May 5, 2012: This version of the great French comedy is a hilarious and scathing commentary on human greed and manipulation, Seemingly a beacon of piety, Tartuffe is a guest in the home of wealthy merchant Orgon. But all is not as it seems. Orgon becomes more and more enraptured with his new companion, but the family smells a rat and hatches a cunning plan to outwit the wily hypocrite. "The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow," May 19 - June 16, 2012: Jennifer is just an average California girl who re-engineers obsolete missile components for the U.S. Army from her bedroom. Rolin Jones' inventive "techno-comedy" chronicles one brilliant woman's quest to determine her heritage and face her fears with the help of a Mormon missionary, a mad scientist, a pizza delivery guy, an Army colonel and her astound creation called Jenny Chow. Funny, lighthearted and irreverent at times, this Obie-winning play poignantly explores the meaning of family and what it means to be human in a technology-obsessed world. "Into the Woods," June 30 - July 28, 2012: An ambivalent Cinderella? A blood-thirsty Little Red Riding Hood? A Prince Charming with a roving eye? A witch...who raps? They're all among the cockeyed characters in James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim's fractured fairy tale. What begins a lively irreverent fantasy in the style of "The Princess Bride" becomes a moving lesson about community responsibility and the stories we tell our children - all wrapped in the shiny trappings of a smash-hit Broadway musical. As has been tradition at the Playhouse, the Thursday evening before opening weekend will be a "pay what you can afford" performance. The Friday before opening of each show is available at a two-for-one ticket price. Regular ticket prices are $24 for adults, $21 for seniors, $14 for students, and $27 for opening night with a champagne reception. Tickets are available at lbplayhouse.org or by calling (562) 494-1014.

********** Published: August 04, 2011 - Volume 10 - Issue 16