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Main Street Theater Announces Its 2013-14 Season: Stoppard & Sondheim & Shaw Oh My!

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Two seasons ago, Main Street Theater had a smashing success with Tom Stoppard's The Coast of Utopia followed in short order by Guy Roberts acting and directing Shakespeare's Richard III.

So it's not surprising, but very encouraging, that Main Street's Executive Artistic Director and Founder Rebecca Greene Udden has gone back to the same well for the 2013-14 season that includes, as she puts it: "The same broad range we always strive for: two regional premieres, two plays by women writers, modern classics, 'classic' classics, and a musical presented on an intimate scale."

Main Street is in the midst of a capital campaign to raise much needed money to continue renovations to its building. This kind of lineup of its adult offerings (it also operates a children's theater) should help that along.

So here's the next season, with excerpted quotes from Main Street's press release:

THE REAL THING By Tom Stoppard Directed by Rebecca Greene Udden September 5 - 29, 2013 Playing at MST - Rice Village

" In The Real Thing, Tom Stoppard combines his characteristically brilliant wordplay and wit with flashes of insight that investigate the mystery of love, the nature of honesty and the joy of beautiful, skillful language. Using a play-within-a-play, Stoppard mines the romantic permutations of two creative couples -- actors and a playwright -- to explore the themes of semblance and reality. Winner of the Tony Award for Best Play in 1984; Winner of the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play in 1984."

A CIVIL WAR CHRISTMAS: AN AMERICAN MUSICAL CELEBRATION By Paula Vogel Music by Daryl Waters Regional Premiere Directed by Troy Scheid November 29 - December 22, 2013 Playing at MST - Chelsea Market

"It's 1864, and Washington, D.C. is settling down to the coldest Christmas Eve in years. In the White House, President and Mrs. Lincoln plot their gift-giving. On the banks of the Potomac, a young rebel challenges a Union blacksmith's mercy. In the alleys downtown, an escaped slave loses her daughter just before finding freedom. This musical by Pulitzer Prize-winner Paula Vogel intertwines many lives in a hopeful season in one of the country's darkest times."

INTO THE WOODS Book by James Lapine Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim A co-production with Prague Shakespeare Company Directed by Guy Roberts January 19 through February 9, 2014 Playing at MST - Rice Village

"Main Street Theater once again will team up with Guy Roberts and Prague Shakespeare Company to create a new, intimate production of James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim's now-classic take on everyone's favorite storybook characters. To be produced in MST's Rice Village theater, the production will return the material to its storytelling roots, using a small company and simple accompaniment in the inventive style characteristic of Roberts' work."

"The story follows a Baker and his wife's wish to have a child, Cinderella's wish to attend the King's Festival, and Jack's wish that his cow would give milk. When the Baker and his wife learn that they cannot have a child because of a Witch's spell, the two set off on a journey to break the curse. Everyone's wish is granted, but the consequences of their actions return to haunt them later with disastrous results."

"In 1988, Into the Woods won Tony Awards for Best Original Score and Best Book of a Musical."

BETHANY Susan Smith Blackburn Prize Finalist By Laura Marks Regional Premiere Directed by Andrew Ruthven March 27 - April 19, 2014 Playing at MST - Rice Village

"Bethany is a darkly comic exploration of the limits of morality in desperate times. Set in an American exurb wiped out by foreclosures, the play follows Crystal, a financially-strapped mother who discovers just how far she'll go to be reunited with her child."

HEARTBREAK HOUSE By George Bernard Shaw Directed by Rebecca Greene Udden May 8 - June 1, 2014 Playing at MST - Rice Village

"September, 1914. The topsy-turvy household of Captain Shotover and his daughter Hesione Hushabye entertains weekend guests: Ellie Dunn, her father, and her fiancé. Unfortunately, Ellie's fiancé is a scoundrel, her father is a bumbling prig, and she's actually in love with Hesione's husband Hector. This bold mix of farce and tragedy lampoons British society as it blithely ignores the catastrophe looming on the horizon that will become the War to End All Wars. "With the world seemingly on endless edge these days, and with plenty of Americans feeling disengaged from the circus of our cultural and political discourse, Shaw's bracing analysis of a civilization in decline seems more valuable than ever," wrote Charles Isherwood in 2006 of the Roundabout Theater Company's production. And being Shaw, of course sprinkled atop that bracing analysis is wit and humor - and sparkling Shavian language."

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