By Gail Hayes
Special to the Tribune-Star
The mission of Community Theatre of Terre Haute is to entertain, educate and enrich the community through dramatic arts, and the 2013-2014 season promises to accomplish all three of those objectives. Audience members can enjoy three musicals and two plays on the theater’s main stage this year.
The 87th season begins Sept. 27 with the soulful musical, “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” based on an idea by Murray Horwitz and Richard Maltby with music by “Fats” Waller. The Tony Award-winning musical features the rollicking, swinging, humorous songs of 1930s Harlem, including “Honeysuckle Rose,” “The Joint is Jumpin’” and “I Can’t Give You Anything by Love.” Community Theatre Board of Directors Vice President Jeff Lorick is directing the musical, which is currently in rehearsal. Additional performances are Sept. 28-29 and Oct. 3-6.
The second show is the holiday musical classic, “Babes in Toyland,” based on the operetta by Victor Herbert and Glen MacDonough and adapted by Ruth Perry and Ann Smit. Fairytale characters such as Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary; Tom-Tom, the Piper’s Son: Jack and Jill; Little Miss Muffet and wicked Uncle Barnaby come to life in this memorable romp through Toyland. Will Jane and Alan be the next victims of Uncle Barnaby and be turned into dolls to be sold for gold? Veteran CT director and actor Josh Hoffman will direct the musical. Auditions will be Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 with performance dates of Dec. 6-8 and 12-15.
A new year brings a newer comedy written by Steve Martin: “Picasso at the Lapin Agile.” The play features Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso, who meet at a Paris bar called the Lapin Agile, which means “nimble rabbit.” The date is Oct. 8, 1904, and both men are on the verge of amazing ideas. At their meeting, they have a lengthy debate about the value of genius and talent while interacting with a host of other characters. Martin’s work won the 1996 Outer Critics Circle Awards for Best Play and Best Writer. Auditions will be conducted Nov. 18-19, and performances will be Jan. 24-26 and Jan. 31-Feb. 2. Community Theatre veteran actor and director Sandra Groves will direct the play.
The next offering won the 2009 Tony Award for Best Play. “God of Carnage” is a black comedy by Yasmina Reza, directed by a past board president, Sharon Russell. The play relates an evening in the lives of two couples, residents of a Brooklyn neighborhood who get together to discuss a playground incident involving their two sons. While they agree to discuss the incident civilly, as the night wears on and drinks are imbibed, the polite veneer breaks down. Initially, the couples spar against each other, but the men soon gang up on the women and the spouses switch sides as the fighting continues. Auditions for “God of Carnage” will be Jan. 27-28, with performances scheduled for March 14-16 and 21-23.
The final main stage production is “Taking My Turn,” a musical celebration conceived and adapted by Robert H. Livingston, with music by Gary Wm. Friedman and lyrics by Will Holt. This musical reviews some of the concerns, anxieties, complaints and joys that come with age. The musical may be about aging, but it is young at heart. An old-fashioned musical show, it is shamelessly upbeat, as evidenced by the defiant anthem, “I’m Fine! – For the Shape I’m In.” “Taking My Turn” won the 1984 Outer Critic’s Circle Award for Best Lyrics/Music. Auditions will be March 17-18, with performances being May 9-11 and 16-18. Mark Frederick, who has both directed and acted at Community Theatre, will direct the musical.
Season tickets for the 87th season are on sale now. Each ticket is $50 and includes five punches per ticket. A ticket may be used more than once for a single play, or the owner can use just one punch per play. Only the first musical and holiday show are limited to one punch per ticket. Individual ticket prices are as follows:
• Main stage play: $15 for adults, $10 for students or children
• Main stage musical: $20 for adults, $15 for students or children
Group rates are also available for 10 or more adults attending the same main stage production. Call 812-232-7172 or visit www.ctth.org for ticket information.
In addition to the main stage productions, Community Theatre will also perform “Talley’s Folly” by Lanford Wilson on the smaller Oakley Stage Oct. 25-27. Bill Carper will direct the play, with auditions being conducted on Sept. 9. This funny, heartwarming play set at the end of World War II, is about finding love when you’ve nearly given up looking. It won the 1980 Drama Critics’ Circle Award and 1980 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. This play is not included in the season ticket, and individual tickets are $7.
The Board of Directors encourages everyone to get involved at the theater, in addition to buying tickets to see the productions. Volunteers can work back stage, run lights or sound, serve as ushers, help at workdays and many other activities. Community Theatre of Terre Haute is at 1431 S. 25th St.