Michael Laun, the executive producing director of Sacramento Theatre Company, doesn't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows. Themed seasons have been a hit with his board and embraced by audiences, so today Laun announces 2013-14's "A Season of Adventure, Rhythm & Romance."
The season includes four Mainstage shows and three on the Pollock Stage; three are musicals and one is a world premiere. There also is the Cabaret Series (see box, page D6).
The Main Stage shows include the season-opening adaptation of Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice," William Shakespeare's always popular "Romeo and Juliet" and the season-closing "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum."
Said Laun: "We are going to continue to do shows that will appeal to families and that appear on the reading lists of schools around the region. That's why you'll see shows like 'Pride and Prejudice' and 'Romeo and Juliet.' These are shows you can actually enjoy with your entire family and we can bring students to our theater."
Laun said there are opportunities for students. "We can have age-appropriate roles for some of our Young Professional Conservatory students to work alongside our professional actors. It's become clear to us that since we have a school connected to our theater, what we want to do is become a leader in integrating professional theater and theater arts education," Laun said.
The world premiere "Crazy Horse & Custer," one of the "adventure" slots of the season, is by local playwright Jon George. "There've been a lot of plays done on the issue of Little Big Horn, but his spin is 'Here's the American Indian and the battle that they won, but a lot of things they believed in are gone forever. But the man who lost the battle had all these American goals and aspirations that never died," Laun said.
The musicals include the regional premiere of "It's a Wonderful Life The Musical" as the holiday offering and the intimate chamber musical "Closer Than Ever," plus the classic "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum."
Laun said he is happy with how the season fits the theater's mission and objectives. "Part of our niche is we do classic theater. We do unique musical offerings. I do like musical theater and I think a lot of people in Sacramento like musical theater, and again this last year we made a recommitment to new works."
NEW SEASON AT STC
Here is the complete 2013-14 schedule for Sacramento Theatre Company, 1419 H St., Sacramento.
"Pride and Prejudice" (Main Stage, Oct. 3-27): Adapted by Joseph Hanreddy and J.R. Sullivan from the novel by Jane Austen
"Crazy Horse & Custer" (Pollock Stage, Nov. 6-Dec. 15): world premiere by Jon George
"It's a Wonderful Life The Musical" (Main Stage, Nov. 27-Dec. 22): Book and lyrics by Keith Ferguson, music by Bruce Greer, from the screenplay by Frances Goodrich, Albert Hackett, Frank Capra and Jo Swerling
"Closer Than Ever" (Pollock Stage, Jan. 8-Feb. 16): Lyrics by Richard Maltby Jr., music by David Shire. Conceived by Steven Scott Smith
"Romeo and Juliet" (Main Stage, Feb. 26-March 23): by William Shakespeare
"Visiting Mr. Green" (Pollock Stage, March 26-May 4): by Jeff Baron
"A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum" (Main Stage, April 23-May 18): Music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, book by Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart
"The Sounds of Their Music A Salute to Rodgers and Hammerstein": Nov. 14-16 "Journey On The Musical Adventures of Ahrens & Flaherty": Jan. 23-25
"Give 'Em the Old Razzle Dazzle A Tribute to the Bob Fosse Musical": April 3-5
Subscription packages to all series are scheduled to go on sale June 25; single tickets are to go on sale Sept. 3. (916) 443-6722; www.sactheatre.org
Note: "It's a Wonderful Life The Musical" is a holiday show not included in the six-show subscription package. It is available at a discount to subscribers.
Call The Bee's Call The Bee's Marcus Crowder, (916) 321-1120. Follow him on Twitter @marcuscrowder.