People who love the classics will love the 2014-15 seasons of the Asolo Repertory Theatre and the FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training.
Both groups have seasons slanted heavily toward the great works of theater, particularly American theater.
On tap are works by Shakespeare, Chekhov, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Thornton Wilder and Somerset Maugham.
There's still room for new work too, including the world premiere of a Jerry Herman revue, along with more recent works by the likes of David Mamet and David Liondsay-Abaire.
With eight main stage productions, the Asolo Rep season schedule will follow the same successful format as the 2013-14 season, with four plays in rotating rep book-ended by musicals. The first is "South Pacific," the seminal Rodgers and Hammerstein work that explores racism against a lush background of such classic songs as "Some Enchanted Evening."
The final show is "It Only Takes a Moment," a fully-staged revue of songs by Herman, who wrote the music for "Hello, Dolly!," "Mame" and many other Broadway hits.
Season subscriptions are on sale now and available by visiting the Asolo Rep Box Office, located in the lobby of the FSU Center for the Performing Arts, 5555 N. Tamiami Trail in Sarasota, by calling 941-351-8000 or online at www.asolorep.org. Single tickets will go on sale in September.
Here's the whole lineup.
Asolo Repertory Theatre
"A Midsummer Night's Dream": October and November. Presented by Asolo Rep and the FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training, the New Stages Tour features a cast of third-year Conservatory students in 45-minute adaptations of classic literature to schools and community venues throughout the state of Florida. The tour kicks off with performances in the Mertz Theatre.
"South Pacific": Nov. 14-Dec. 28. The Rodgers and Hammerstein classic contains some of the most glorious music ever written, and a compelling story how the happiness of two couples is threatened by the realities of war and their own prejudices.
"The Matchmaker": Jan. 9-April 11. The lively comedy by Thornton Wilder that inspired the Broadway musical, "Hello, Dolly!," and a Broadway classic in its own right.
"Good People": Jan. 16-Feb. 26. A 2011 play from David Lindsay-Abaire, the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer of "Rabbit Hole" and "Shrek: The Musical." It's a humor-filled, Tony-nominated play that looks at the "haves" and the "have-nots" as it questions the American dream and how to achieve it.
"Both Your Houses": Jan. 23-April 12. A comic political masterpiece that won the Pulitzer in 1933, this Maxwell Anderson satire has an idealistic young Congressman trying to expose corruption in Washington.
"Our Betters": March 13-April 18. W. Somerset Maugham's witty play looks at hypocrisy and immorality among the titled Britons, and the emotional costs of social-climbing in the early 20th century.
"It Only Takes a Moment": May 1-24, 2015. Jerry Herman, who lives in Miami, has graciously granted Asolo Rep permission to produce the first-ever production of a new, fully staged revue of his canon of songs.
New work in the Historic Asolo Theater: April 2-26, 2015. Asolo Rep will present a new production in the Historic Asolo Theater next spring. The title will be announced later.
Summer musical: May 30-June 21, 2015. Also to be announced later.
FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training
"The Water Engine": Nov. 5-23. David Mamet's dark drama set against the Chicago World's Fair in 1934. An inventor creates an engine that runs on water, but finds himself the victim of nightmarish persecution by the oil industry.
"As You Like It": Dec. 31-Jan. 18. One of Shakespeare's most beloved comedies, performed by the entire company of second-year Conservatory students.
"Title of Show": Feb. 18-March 8. This musical won Obie Awards Off-Broadway and a Tony Award on Broadway. This hilarious play focuses on two struggling young artists and their two friends who race to write a successful piece in three weeks, resulting in the very musical the audience is seeing.
"The Cherry Orchard": April 8-26, 2015. Anton Chekhov's brilliant portrait of a society poised on the verge of the 20th century. The gorgeous and charming Madame Ranevskaya along with her entire family and retinue return to their family home in order to save it from being auctioned off.
Marty Clear, features writer/columnist, can be reached at 941-708-7919. Follow twitter.com/martinclear.