Altarena Playhouse 2011 Season
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By John Steinbeck
January 21 – February 20
American writer John Steinbeck won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the Nobel Prize for combining “sympathetic humor and keen social perception.” Longtime friends Lennie and George cling to each other as they’re driven from job to job by simple-minded Lennie’s inability to fit society’s norms. George needs Lennie’s friendship as much as Lennie needs George to look out for him—“a guy goes nuts if he ain’t got nobody.” But just as their humble dreams seem to float within reach, “the best laid schemes o’mice an’ men” begin to go hopelessly awry. Rated PG-13 for subject matter. Some material may be unsuitable for preteens.
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Music & Lyrics by William Finn
Book by Rachel Sheinkin
March 18 – April 24
“Doing for geeks what A Chorus Line did for hoofers” (The Washington Post), this witty, Tony Award-winning musical follows six bright young misfits struggling to simultaneously fit in and stand out in our competitive, elimination-tournament culture. Like the awkward overachiever in each of us, they ultimately learn that winning isn’t everything, losing doesn’t make you a loser, and it’s all about the journey. Rated PG-13 for language and subject matter. Some material may be unsuitable for preteens.
A comedy by Ron Hutchinson
June 3 – July 3
It’s 1939 and producer David O. Selznick’s new film Gone With The Wind is in trouble. The new director and screenwriter are convinced the movie will flop, but Selznick, undeterred, sequesters himself in the office with them to rewrite the script, emerging days later having wrested order from chaos. Their raucous arguments about artistic compromises, commercialism, the politics of race, and even the closing line of the movie are agitated, funny, but always impassioned—vividly showing that the backstage drama of creating enduring art can be as engaging as the art itself. Rated PG-13 for language and subject matter. Some material may be unsuitable for preteens.
A play by Jaston Williams, Joe Sears and Ed Howard
July 29 – August 28
Welcome to a day in the life of “the third smallest town in Texas”, where the Lions Club is viewed as suspiciously liberal and Roots is pulled from the library because “it only shows one side of the slavery issue”. Yet despite Tuna’s quirky small-town politics, we see much of ourselves in its inhabitants, with their all-too-human struggles, triumphs and foibles. Greater Tuna was performed at the White House for President George H.W. Bush (Sr.) and earned the SF Bay Area Critics Award and LA Dramalogue Award for playwright Jaston Williams. Rated PG-13 for sharp satire. Some material may be unsuitable for preteens.
Book, Music and Lyrics by Richard O’Brien
September 23 – October 30
You’ve sung along to midnight showings of the cult-classic movie… but it can’t compare to the energy of 140 live audience members doing the Time Warp! Experience the rollicking, slightly raunchy comedy/horror/rock opera that inspired the longest-running theatrical release in history. Celebrate the Halloween season with Dr. Frank N. Furter (the “sweet transvestite from Transsexual, Transylvania”), Dammit Janet, and the rest, in the ultimate audience-participation musical! Some suggestive content; recommended for ages 15 & up.