Shakespeare, Andrew Lloyd Webber and a hit comedy with an unprintable title are among the highlights of the 2017-18 seasons at Asolo Repertory Theatre and the FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training.
Asolo officials announced the seasons Monday in the Mertz Theatre at the FSU Center for the Performing Arts in Sarasota, where Asolo Rep produces most of its main-stage productions.
This current season brings to an end Asolo Rep’s five-year “American Character” series, which was billed as an examination of what makes this country unique.
The theme for the coming season is “Staging Our World,” and it’s meant to explore American and international issues and ideas. Among the offerings are “Evita,” one of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s most melodic musicals, the regional premiere of the stage version of “Shakespeare in Love,” and the quintessential absurdist work “Rhinoceros.”
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The conservatory’s season features Sophocles’ “Oedipus” and Stephen Adly Guirgis’ “The (Expletive) With the Hat,” a comedy that drew some phenomenal reviews but was a Broadway flop, perhaps because of its title.
The season kicks off with a production of Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” that will tour school and community venues between Sept. 26 and Nov. 19.
Here’s the Asolo Rep season:
▪ “Evita,” Nov. 15-17. Lyrics by Tim Rice, music by Andrew Lloyd Webber. directed and choreographed by Josh Rhodes, who led this season’s lively production of “Guys and Dolls.”
▪ “Shakespeare in Love,” Jan. 13-March 28. Based on the film that won seven Academy Awards, with a screenplay by Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard adapted for the stage by Lee Hall.
▪ “The Morning After Grace,” Jan. 19-March 4. It’s described as a “hilarious and heart-warming, unconventional new comedy.” Peter Amster directs.
▪ “Rhinoceros,” Feb. 9-April 14. Tony Award-winner Frank Galati directs the Eugene Ionesco classic about a city that is inexplicably invaded by rhinoceroses.
▪ “Roe,” March 16-April 14. Lisa Loomer’s drama that revolves around the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court case.
▪ “Gloria” April 6-29, 2018 (Cook Theatre). A hilarious, dark, shocking play that was a Pulitzer Prize finalist and one of The New York Times Best Theater Picks of 2015.
▪ “Ragtime,” May 4-17, 2018. The musical, with a Tony Award-winning book by St. Petersburg native Terrence McNally, based on the E.L. Doctorow novel.
The Asolo Conservatory season in the Cook Theatre gets going with “Oedipus,” Nov. 1-19, and continues with “The (Expletive) With the Hat” (Jan. 3-21), Jean Anouilh’s “The Rehearsal” (Feb. 21-March 11) and Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing” (April 18-May 6, 2018).