‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ to make Long Beach debut in summer 2015

LONG BEACH – The Long Beach Playhouse has released its 2014-15 mainstage season schedule, which opens Sept. 27. This year’s offerings are a mix of suspense, comedy and drama, with works featuring well-known playwrights such as Agatha Christie and Arthur Miller along with contemporary writers like Tom Stoppard and Lynn Nottage.

The full schedule is below:

“The 39 Steps” by Patrick Barlow, John Buchan

September 27 - October 25, 2014

Do you love mysteries?  Do you love physical comedy?  Are you a Hitchcock aficionado?  Then The 39 Steps is the show for you.  Imagine Monty Python presenting a maddeningly-fast-paced tribute to Hitchcock and playing all the parts.  Revolving around a mysterious organization called “The 39 Steps,” this production will take you on a wild manhunt, thrill you with strangely imaginative special effects, and introduce you to more than 150 zany characters (played by 4 performers). This Tony® and Drama Desk Award-winning treat is packed with nonstop laughs, madness, mayhem, murder, and some good old-fashioned romance!

“Arms and the Man” by George Bernard Shaw

November 8 - December 6, 2014

It is 1885, the height of the Serbo-Bulgarian war. An armed soldier breaks into a young woman’s bedroom and demands refuge.  Doesn’t sound much like a comedy! But coming from the fertile mind of George Bernard Shaw, these events set in motion a witty look at governmental posturing, infidelity, social structures, and the passionate pursuit of chocolate creams. Will young Raina marry her war hero? Will social lines be crossed to find true love? Will romantic affairs be revealed? Will duels be fought over faithfulness and sweets?  Watch as National and Moral borders blur in this brilliant comedy of manners.

“A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens, adapted by Gregory Cohen

December 13 - 21, 2014

Returning for its third incarnation at Long Beach Playhouse, this quick-paced, highly theatrical re-telling of Charles Dickens’ classic tale of sin and redemption will delight the entire family.  In nineteenth century England, the ghosts of Christmases past, present and future show tight-fisted miser, Ebenezer Scrooge, the poverty of his material wealth and the blessings that come with generosity. Can they convince him to change before it’s too late? This production will be the Christmas party needed to set you and your loved ones on the path to holiday cheer.

“Murder on the Nile” by Agatha Christie

January 17 - February 14, 2015

Is there any better way to celebrate a marriage than a romantic honeymoon aboard a paddle steamer cruising down the Nile?  There must be, especially if the bride ends up dead and the groom grievously wounded!  In this classic by the modern mistress of mystery, we travel through the Dark Continent along with master sleuth, Canon Pennefather, as he uncovers an audacious conspiracy and brings the criminals to justice.  Passion, jealousy, infidelity, and murder, make this a honeymoon cruise you will not soon forget.  Play along and see if you can solve the crime before they are revealed.

“The Real Thing” by Tom Stoppard

February 28 - March 28, 2015

The brilliantly witty and biting writing talents of the author of The Real Inspector Hound and Shakespeare in Love  makes every moment of this backstage comedy intellectually and emotionally engaging.  An articulate and romantically idealistic playwright receives a challenge from his wife - take the inept play of a “political prisoner” named Brodie and rework it into a theatrical triumph.  In the process, the writer must show his wife that Brodie is more of a thug than a victim of political repression, all the while challenging his own long-held concepts of love, marriage and fidelity.

“By the Way, Meet Vera Stark” by Lynn Nottage

April 11 - May 9, 2015

In a new dramatic comedy from Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, Lynn Nottage, this funny yet thoughtful play draws upon the screwball films of the 1930s to take an insightful look at racial stereotypes in Hollywood. Based on a true story, By The Way, Meet Vera Stark is a journey through the life of an African-American maid and actress and her relationship with her boss, a white Hollywood starlet. Jumping from a low-rent apartment to a Hollywood Mansion, from 1930s show-biz to a 21st Century historical seminar, racial imagery and cinematic fame have never been more entertaining.

“Death of a Salesman” by Arthur Miller

May 23 - June 20, 2015

Willy Loman has become the quintessential image of the traveling salesman, forever chasing his dream of success, but always falling short of true contentment and happiness.  Presented in a series of dreamlike flashbacks, we see the failing philosophy of Willy’s life, even as he stubbornly hangs onto the need to be liked. Seeing his failed  dreams reflected back from his sons, his hopes and regrets are shared by everyone who has questioned life choices.  This is truly a thrilling work of deep and revealing beauty by one of the true masters of American Drama.

“Jesus Christ Superstar” by Tim Rice, music by Andrew Lloyd Webber

July 11 - August 15, 2015

Jesus Christ, the world’s first superstar!  This thrilling rock-opera takes a sometimes irreverent, always impassioned, look at Jesus’ last days.  As Judas begins to question the motivations and methods of his friend and mentor, emotion and true belief is put to the test. Propelled by a stirring score by the creators of Phantom of the Opera  and Evita, Jesus Christ Superstar illuminates the transcendent power of the human spirit with a passion that goes straight to the heart.



Published: July 24, 2014 - Volume 13 - Issue 15