On Saturday night, as part of Spreckels Performing Arts Center’s big party celebrating its 30th anniversary, Artistic Director Sheri Lee Miller announced Spreckels Theatre Company’s ambitious, premiere-filled 2019/2020 season. Anchored by a number of major North Bay debuts, the season – which will begin this August – will feature two plays and four musicals, a total of six productions split between the small 99-seat Condiotti Experimental Theater and the large 550-seat Nellie W. Codding Theater.
The season is as follows:
Eureka Day by Jonathan Spector (August 30 – Sept. 22) – A contemporary drama/comedy about the parents whose kids attend a touchy-feely cooperative day school, and the wildly escalating clash between pro-vaccination and anti-vaccination factions after a child at the school comes down with the mumps. The play, to be staged in the Condiotti Theatre, will be directed by Elizabeth Craven (“The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time”).
A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder by Robert L. Freedman and Stephen Lutvak (October 11 – 27) – A Tony-winning 2013 comedic musical based on a 1907 novel that was adapted into the classic film “Kind Hearts and Coronets,” the story follows the misadventures of a poor Englishman attempting to ascend to aristocracy by murdering the eight people standing between him and a dukedom. The musical, set to be staged in the Codding Theatre, will be directed by Michael Ross.
Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley by Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon (Nov. 22 – Dec. 15) – A charmingly comic sequel, of sorts, to Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice,” this 2017 play takes place two years after Elizabeth Bennet married Mr. Darcy. The primary protagonist is Elizabeth’s bookish younger sister, Mary, and what happens over the course of Christmas holiday at Darcy’s palatial home, Pemberley. The play will be staged in the Condiotti Theatre, and will be directed by Sheri Lee Miller.
Urinetown by Mark Hollman and Greg Kotis (Feb. 14 – March 1) – The Tony-nominated cult hit comedy-musical takes place in a futuristic world where water rights are owned by the rich, and the poor must pay to pee. Packed with outrageously colorful characters, wild plot turns, hilariously satirical lyrics and a surprisingly upbeat (if decidedly twisted) sensibility, the musical will be staged in the Codding Theatre.
Passion by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine (March 20 – April 11) – Love, sex, madness, obsession and really great music collide in this rarely performed Sondheim musical about a soldier’s intense relationship with the frail daughter of his commanding officer. Directed by Elly Lichenstein, “Passion” will be staged in the Condiotti Theatre.
Matilda: The Musical by Tim Minchin and Dennis Kelley (May 8 -24) – Based on the novel by Roald Dahl, this hit musical follows a little girl with big powers, as she surmounts an array of obstacles at school and home, using her brains, her kindness and compassion, her growing supernatural talents and a certain knack for being strategically naughty. Directed by Sheri Lee Miller, “Matilda” will be staged in the Codding Theatre.