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Theater:

'A Little Night Music' will open the season

May 24, 2007|By TOM TITUS

Playgoers who miss out on the Costa Mesa Civic Playhouse's "A Little Night Music," now on stage through June 3, can wait three months and catch the Stephen Sondheim musical at South Coast Repertory.

That's the scheduling quirk that finds a show that hasn't been staged locally in more than two decades suddenly enjoying two productions nearly back to back in the same city.

"Night Music" will kick off SCR's 2007-08 season, running from Sept. 7 through Oct. 7 on the Segerstrom Stage. The show, which features the hit song "Send in the Clowns," captured six Tony awards in its original Broadway production.

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Next up on the Segerstrom Stage will be "Doubt" by John Patrick Shanley, which won four Tonys and the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for drama. This intrigue-laced tale of a possibly predatory priest will be on stage from Oct. 19 through Nov. 18.

Alan Ayckbourn, a favorite playwright at SCR who's been absent for some time, will return Feb. 8 through March 9 when his "Taking Steps" mounts the Segerstrom Stage. This comedy involves a Victorian house with innumerable entrances and exits.

The Costa Mesa theater has mounted more than 100 world premieres in its 43-year history, and another will arrive April 4. As yet unselected, the play will be an SCR commission from one of America's best-known playwrights and will run through May 4.

The Segerstrom Stage closer will be what the theater terms a "surprise selection." Two plays under consideration for the May 16-June 15 slot are "An Italian Straw Hat" by John Strand and "The Vertical Hour" by David Hare.

Another "surprise selection" will launch the new season on the company's Julianne Argyros Stage from Sept. 23 through Oct. 14. Among the plays being considered are two receiving stage readings at the Pacific Playwrights Festival — "Po Boy Tango" by Kenneth Lin and Donald Margulies' "Shipwrecked! The Amazing Adventures of Louis de Rougemont (as told by himself)."

"A Feminine Ending" by Sarah Treem is ticketed for the Jan. 6-27 slot. This new play focuses on a young composer whose music career conflicts with her about-to-be-famous boyfriend and her contentious parents.

A comic import will take the Argyros stage from March 16 through April 6. "Culture Clash in America" features satirical comedy of the political, social and ethnic varieties, with this particular edition focusing on Orange County.

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