2012-13 Season Announced

Long Wharf Theatre announces its 2012-13 season

Long Wharf Theatre, under the direction of Artistic Director Gordon Edelstein and Managing Director Joshua Borenstein, announces the slate of plays for its 48th season.

Subscriptions are currently on sale. Single tickets for the 2012-13 season will go on sale Wednesday, August 1.

“Our hope is to provoke laughter, shock, and thought, exploring what it means to be human in today’s complicated world. This coming year we’ll tell stories about family, legacy, race, politics, sex, (and eating too much.) From world premieres to modern classics, our upcoming season will surely bring special moments – moments of transformation and deeper understanding,” said Artistic Director Gordon Edelstein.

The season will begin with the world premiere of Satchmo at the Waldorf, written by Terry Teachout, known for his groundbreaking biography of Louis Armstrong. “After I finished writing the book, I found that I had questions about Armstrong, and about this complex relationship with Joe Glaser, his longtime manager, that I simply couldn’t answer … Did he have any nagging doubts about the hard choices he’d made along the way? It struck me that a one-man play in which Armstrong looked back on those choices at the end of his life might prove to be very dramatic – and that it would be even more dramatic to have the same actor play Armstrong and Glaser. That’s how Satchmo at the Waldorf was born,” Teachout wrote on his blog.

God of Carnage, the hit comedy by Yasmina Reza, will take the Mainstage in November. This Tony Award-winning play about yuppie parents behaving badly was described by the New York Times as a “study in the tension between civilized surface and savage instinct,” has been a hit with audiences across the country.

Long Wharf Theatre’s Associate Artistic Director Eric Ting will direct the world premiere of January Joiner, a weight loss horror comedy, in January. We visit a weight loss boot camp where the denizens struggle with relationships, losing weight and, ultimately, themselves. Chicago playwright Laura Jacqmin has recently been honored with the 2008 Wasserman Prize, an award given to an emerging female playwright. Her work has been commissioned by South Coast Rep, Goodman Theatre, and Victory Gardens, among many others. “[Jacqmin] deftly weaves varied scenarios, both antic and increasingly dark, into a tight little knot of escalating expectations. And she has a talent for revealing the absurdities in grand topical issues,” said the Chicago Sun-Times on her work.

Tony Award-winner Judith Ivey returns to Long Wharf Theatre in Sam Shepard’s Curse of the Starving Class in February. Curse marks the first time one of Shepard’s plays has been produced at Long Wharf Theatre. This OBIE Award-winning play, first produced in 1978, is part of Shepard’s family play trilogy, which includes Buried Child and True West. “The play’s undeniable power lies more (as in Greek tragedy) in its bleak evaluation of the human condition, its fertile symbols (the eerie blue light of the empty refrigerator that the characters keep opening), and the astonishing quality of its language,” according to the Los Angeles Times.

The quest for power is at the heart of the world premiere of William Mastrosimone’s Ride the Tiger, taking place in late March, directed by Edelstein. Mastrosimone, best known for his play Extremities, spent extensive time with the singer Frank Sinatra. It was through that research that he came upon his dramatic interpretation of the events leading up to the election of John F. Kennedy as president. 

The 2012-13 season will conclude with a play that Edelstein feels is one of the most important written on race in the past decade: Clybourne Park by Bruce Norris. “Bruce Norris’ drama, however, is indisputably, uproariously funny, and a quietly evocative mediation on the by-no-means obsolete stereotypes that pervade millennial melting-pot America,” said Entertainment Weekly. Norris, who is also an actor, was inspired to write the play by the character of Karl Lindner, the racist minister in A Raisin in the Sun. He first saw the Lorraine Hansberry classic in 7th grade at his all white school in Houston. “For years I thought I wanted to play Karl Lindner but then as time went on I thought it’s really an interesting story to think about the conversation that was going on in the white community about the Younger family moving into Clybourne Park. It percolated for many years and that’s how I ended up writing this play,” Norris told the Steppenwolf Theatre.

For more information about the 2012-13 season, or to purchase tickets, visit www.longwharf.org


Satchmo at the Waldorf
By Terry Teachout
Directed by Gordon Edelstein
October 3-Nov. 4, 2012
Stage II
March 1971. Backstage at the Empire Room of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel. Louis Armstrong, the greatest trumpet player in the world, sits in his dressing room trying to pull himself together to do one final show. Because as long as they clap, Louis will go out there and play. His mind wanders through the amazing journey of his life and his complex relationship with his manager Joe Glaser. Join critically acclaimed actor John Douglas Thompson in a tour de force performance playing both men, taking you into the minds and hearts of an American musical icon and the man behind the legend.

God of Carnage
By Yasmina Reza
Translated by
Christopher Hampton
November 28 – December 23, 2012
A schoolyard scuffle between two kids takes on epic proportions when their parents get involved. The meeting between the two sets of parents – successful, urbane and civilized adults – quickly degenerates into childish ranting as they seek redress for their offspring’s antics. This comedy of manners without manners by Yasmina Reza, the writer of the hit Art, won the Tony Award for Best Play. 

January Joiner
By Laura Jacqmin
Directed by Eric Ting
Stage II
World Premiere
January 9-February 10, 2013
Eat less. Exercise more. Make healthy choices. Stop being so fat. Ignore the bloodthirsty vending machine when it speaks to you. The “campers” of the Total Xtreme Weight Loss Boot Camp try to live these mantras daily. But at what cost? In this modern age, when we are barraged with rail thin models in magazines, “miracle” cleanses and fad diets, January Joiner asks, why can’t we just be happy with ourselves? Alternately hilarious, moving and chilling, this new comedy shows us that what appears in the mirror isn’t always what it seems.

Curse of the Starving Class
By Sam Shepard
Directed by Gordon Edelstein
February 13-March 10, 2013
The Tate family is dead broke, the front door smashed in and nothing in the refrigerator. Dad drunkenly dreams of a hermit’s life in the desert while Mom longs for European sophistication. So when both hatch schemes, independent of each other, to sell the family farm out from underneath their two children, a wild battle ensues to save each person’s piece of the American Dream. This modern classic by Sam Shepard, a Pulitzer and Tony Award-winning playwright, balances dark comedy and biting satire in its look at a family fighting to stay alive. Judith Ivey, the star of Long Wharf Theatre’s award-winning production of The Glass Menagerie and the audience favorite Shirley Valentine, returns to the Mainstage.

Ride the Tiger
By William Mastrosimone
Directed by Gordon Edelstein
March 27-April 21, 2013
What happens when John F. Kennedy, Chicago mob boss Sam Giancana and Frank Sinatra all get involved with the same woman? A presidency. In the run up to Kennedy’s election, he becomes smitten with Judith Exner, a ravishing young woman with connections. As Judith goes back and forth between John and Sam, political intrigue mounts as forces move behind the scenes to claim the highest office in the land.  A fascinating drama about power and honor, Ride the Tiger is the newest from William Mastrosimone, best known for the Off-Broadway hit and subsequent major film Extremities.

Clybourne Park
By Bruce Norris
Directed by Eric Ting
May 8-June 2, 2013
In 1959, we meet a nervous group of neighbors trying to talk their friends out of selling their home to a black family. Sixty years later, hilarious sparks fly as a white family attempts to move into the now predominantly African-American neighborhood. Racism rears its head through an ostensibly polite veneer. Described as “an ingenious, audacious lightning rod of a play” by Entertainment Weekly, this provocative and funny Pulitzer Prize-winning play delves into America’s complicated relationship with race with sharp humor and deep perception.