The Old Globe Announces Its '17-18 Season

The Old Globe San Diego

The Old Globe San Diego

The Old Globe announced its 2017–18 season, which will kick off with the world premiere musical Benny & Joon, with book by Kirsten Guenther, music by Nolan Gasser, and lyrics by Mindi Dickstein. Based on the beloved 1993 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer motion picture written by Barry Berman and Lesley McNeil, this delightfully offbeat romantic comedy follows auto mechanic Benny and his eccentric sister Joon, whose lives are turned upside down by new housemate Sam and his off-kilter take on the world. Directed by Jack Cummings III, Benny & Joon will run September 7th–October 22nd, 2017.

Acclaimed actor and playwright James Lecesne will share his tour-de-force one-man show, The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey, with Globe audiences. Looking to get out from behind his desk, brash New Jersey detective Chuck DeSantis takes on the case of missing teenager Leonard Pelkey, and as he digs deeper into the boy’s life, Chuck follows clues that lead him to unexpected places. In the course of the play, Lecesne effortlessly brings to life the inhabitants of a colorful seaside town as they awaken to the beauty of being different. Tony Speciale directs this thoroughly entertaining new play, which will run September 30th– October 29th, 2017.

And no Globe season would be complete without William Shakespeare. The fourth annual Globe for All Tour will bring a free professional production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, directed by Jerry Ruiz, to diverse, multigenerational audiences across San Diego County who do not have regular access to the performing arts. Over the past three years, the Globe for All Tour has performed in military bases, homeless shelters, centers for the elderly, correctional facilities,recreation centers, libraries, and other community venues for more than 4,800 audience members, many seeing theatre—and Shakespeare—for the first time. This year’s 20-stop tour, which will culminate in two low-cost performances at The Old Globe, will run October 31st–November 18th, 2017.

The illustrious The Old Globe and University of San Diego Shiley Graduate Theatre Program will present Shakespeare’s classic romantic tragedy Romeo and Juliet, directed by San Diego’s own Delicia Turner Sonnenberg (the Globe’s Skeleton Crew). It will run November 11th–November 19th, 2017. A joint venture of the Globe and USD, the Shiley Graduate Theatre Program trains seven select students in an intensive two-year course of graduate study in classical theatre. Private funding for the Master of Fine Arts in Theatre program has been contributed through a generous endowment established by Donald and Darlene Shiley. Additional support for the program is provided by the Dorothy Brown Endowment Fund and the Louis Yager Cantwell Foundation.

Everyone’s favorite Green Meanie is back as Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas! returns to the Globe for its 20th annual production. James Vásquezonce again directs this wonderful, whimsical holiday musical, based upon the classic Dr. Seuss book, November 4th–December 24th, 2017. As in years past, The Grinch will also be performed on Saturday, December 9th for children on the autism spectrum and their families, as well as other families with special needs that may appreciate the welcoming and supportive environment this performance provides.

Two top-notch revivals of world classics will take to the Globe’s stages, starting with Oscar Wilde’s endlessly entertaining comedy The Importance of Being Earnest. When two carefree bachelors with double lives discover the truth and decide to cause some mischief, silliness ensues with whimsical ingénues, jealous fiancées, indomitable dowagers, and the most famous handbag in theatre history. Maria Aitken will direct the play the London Telegraph calls “the most perfect comedy in the English language.” The Importance of Being Earnest will run January 27th–March 4th, 2018.

The Globe will also mount Anton Chekhov’s masterpiece Uncle Vanya, which has received a Globe-commissioned world premiere translation from Richard Nelson,Richard Pevear, and Larissa Volokhonsky. Vanya and his niece struggle to care for the estate owned by his brother-in-law, a wealthy and celebrated professor. When this local legend announces his plans to sell the estate, the lives of the entire family come undone. Directed by Nelson, Uncle Vanya provides an up-close encounter with a classic of world drama. It will play February 10th–March 11th, 2018.

A second world premiere play, José Cruz González’s American Mariachi, will take audiences back to the 1970s as two spunky cousins get a wild idea: start an all-girl mariachi band! Directed by Globe favorite and San Diego native James Vásquez (Rich Girl, Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas!) and in association withDenver Center for the Performing Arts Theatre Company, this heartwarming and hilarious comedy with live music will run March 23rd–April 29th, 2018.

The world premiere of The Wanderers brings playwright Anna Ziegler back to The Old Globe following the success of The Last Match in 2016. Ziegler’s funny, insightful, and mysterious new drama, commissioned by the Globe and developed in this year’s Powers New Voices Festival, explores the hidden connections between two seemingly disparate couples, drawing audiences into an intriguing puzzle and a deeply sympathetic look at modern love. The Wanderers will be directed by the Globe’s Erna Finci Viterbi Artistic Director Barry Edelstein and will run April 5th–May 6th, 2018.

Khaled Hosseini’s best-selling novel A Thousand Splendid Suns will come to life as a play in a sweeping and deeply moving adaptation by Ursula Rani Sarma. In the war-torn neighborhoods of 1990s Kabul, beautiful Laila forges an extraordinary and unlikely friendship with Mariam, her new husband’s first wife. Summoning the strength to defy a tyrannical society, the two women seek hope and the promise of a better future. Directed by Carey Perloff and in association with American Conservatory Theater, A Thousand Splendid Suns will play at the Globe May 12th–June 17th, 2018.

Karen Zacarías’s Native Gardens was developed in the 2017 Powers New Voices Festival and will return next season to make its West Coast premiere. Young power couple Pablo and Tania get their piece of the American dream when they purchase an upscale house, but a disagreement with their next-door neighbors over a property line soon spirals into an all-out war of taste, class, and gardening. Edward Torres (the Globe’s Water by the Spoonful) directs this uproarious new comedy, playing May 26th–June 24th, 2018.

And next summer, the Globe will introduce Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax to San Diego audiences. As previously announced, The Old Globe and Children’s Theatre Company, in partnership with The Old Vic, will present the show’s U.S. premiere, based on the book The Lorax by Dr. Seuss, adapted for the stage by David Greig, with music and lyrics by Charlie Fink, and directed by Max Webster. The silky soft tufts of the Truffula trees are the perfect stuffs to knit the perfect Thneeds. But the first chop, chop of the perilous ax begins the powerful tale of The Lorax. When the last tree of the forest falls, was it worth losing paradise for nothing at all? The most beloved environmental tale of all time, The Lorax will have you singing in Seussian rhymes! Originally produced at The Old Vic theatre in London, where it was directed by Webster, Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax includes puppet design by Finn Caldwell and Nick Barnes, famous for their Tony Award-winning War Horse puppetry design, and choreography by Drew McOnie. Performances will run July 3rd–August 12th, 2018 as part of the Globe’s 2018 Summer Season.

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