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Geva announces its season

Geva indoor panorama shot by Victoria Main

Easy as it would be to sulk around and lament the absence of a local regional playhouse (i.e. Studio Arena Theatre), it might be more gratifying to spend that energy on the hour-long drive to Rochester, where the estimable Geva Theatre is alive and thriving.

Geva, founded in 1972, announced its 2010-11 season last week, which I'll reprint in full after the jump. To round out the rest of the current season, Geva will mount August Wilson's "Two Trains Running" from March 30 to April 25 and the musical "Five Course Love" from May 5 to June 6. It just finished up a run of Arthur Miller's "The Price," which, at least judging by word-of-mouth, was well received.

In 2011, Geva will mount a production of "Over the Tavern," Tom Dudzick's popular play about growing up in Buffalo. It will also feature a production of "Radio Golf," the last piece in Geva's five-year August Wilson retrospective. Check out the full season after the jump.

--Colin Dabkowski

The following is reprinted from a Geva Theatre press release:

By Peter Shaffer
Directed by Paul Mason Barnes
Featuring Jim Poulos as Mozart

Stunned by the brilliance of Mozart’s music, and consumed by jealousy for a gift he knows he can never possess, the court composer Antonio Salieri plots to destroy the brash and fiery young genius. Full of passion and intrigue, Amadeus is a modern classic of greed, lust, and glorious music. Shaffer’s 1979 play had its world premiere at London’s National Theatre and transferred to Broadway in 1980 winning the Tony and Drama Desk awards for best play in 1981. In 1984, the play was made into a movie for which it was given the Best Picture Academy Award.

A Personal Journey through the Songs of a Generation
Co-conceived and written by Maureen McGovern and Philip Himberg
Directed by Philip Himberg

From her early days as a folk singer in the 1960’s, to her skyrocketing stardom as the “Disaster Theme Queen,” from the towering peaks to the deepest valleys of a career in the music industry, Grammy Award winner, pop icon and Broadway star Maureen McGovern performs a moving musical memoir that chronicles a generation. McGovern explores the music which influenced her, including works by Bob Dylan, the Beatles, Joni Mitchell, Carole King and others, and takes the audience on a musical journey through her own glorious career.

By Charles Dickens
Newly adapted for the stage by Mark Cuddy
Music and lyrics by Gregg Coffin
Directed by Mark Cuddy

Ebenezer Scrooge, Tiny Tim, and all the ghostly trappings return to Geva in a new production that is sure to create a new holiday tradition. The famous tale of redemption for the most despised man in London will awaken your heart and rekindle your spirit with songs by Gregg Coffin (Five Course Love, Convenience) and an adaptation by Geva artistic director, Mark Cuddy (co-adapter of Pride and Prejudice). Recommended for the entire family! (Please remember that children under five are not permitted in the theatre.)

Written and Performed by The Second City

Chicago’s world-famous Second City comedy troupe is writing a show exclusively for Geva all about life in the Flour City (or was that Flower City?)! Can you imagine what might be included? Local icons, current gossip and ancient history will be filtered through the brilliant comedic lens of the Second City ensemble.

By Tom Dudzick
Directed by Skip Greer

Chet and Ellen Pazinski live in a cramped apartment above their struggling Buffalo tavern in 1959, trying to raise their four teenage children at the end of the Eisenhower era. Their lives are filled with sibling rivalries, schoolgirl crushes, a strict dad, stricter nuns, spaghetti dinners and Ed Sullivan. Playwright Dudzick taps into his own Buffalo childhood with tremendous reservoirs of the heartfelt sentiment and rollicking humor that can only come from family.

By August Wilson
Directed by Timothy Bond
A Co-production with Syracuse Stage

Geva’s landmark five-year cycle, “August Wilson’s American Century,” concludes with a sleek and savvy battle for the soul of a neighborhood. There’s a new wave of Urban Renewal in Pittsburgh’s Hill District in 1997 – this time by African American entrepreneurs. Which side will win in the struggle between the neighborhood’s deep-rooted identity, the new idealistic politicians who see its potential, and the corporate interests with the cash for a complete makeover? A resounding finale to Wilson’s ten-play chronicle of the Twentieth Century.

Book, music, and lyrics by Meredith Willson
Based on a Story by Meredith Willson and Franklin Lacey
Directed by Mark Cuddy
Special Musical Consultant Jeff Tyzik
Featuring John Bolton as Professor Harold Hill

Con-man Harold Hill poses as a boy’s band leader selling instruments and uniforms to the naïve townsfolk before skipping town with the cash. When he arrives in River City, Iowa; Marian, the prim librarian sees right through him. Can he keep up the charade while falling for the bookish spinster? One of the most beloved musicals of all time, The Music Man is a joyful shout to the power of music in the human heart. RPO Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik joins the company as Special Musical Consultant and the cast is led by Broadway actor (and Rochester native) John Bolton as Harold Hill.



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