Alley Theatre Announces its 2022-23 Season

The Alley Resident Company actors will be very busy in the next season.
Photo by Lynn Lane
The Alley Resident Company actors will be very busy in the next season.
Three world premiere plays, two world premiere adaptations and one world premiere musical — that's the lineup for the 2022-23 Alley Theatre season. And for many people it will be very welcome news that the Summer Chills series is returning after three years away thanks to the coronavirus.

There's a new adaptation of A Christmas Carol by Artistic Director Rob Melrose as well as a return to work by playwright Edward Albee with Seascape. Company member Todd Waite returns as Sherlock Holmes in a case of perfect casting called Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Jersey Lily while playwright Ken Ludwig flips his classic Lend Me a Tenor, offering audiences a new work in Lend Me a Soprano.

There's a musical called Cowboy Bob about a Texas woman with a double life as a bank robber, and an alternate look at the theme of A Christmas Carol in What-a-Christmas! set in a Texas burger joint. There's even Clue, based on the board game you've played umpteen times.

Melrose has been busy adapting another work, this time The Servant of Two Masters from the original play in Italian by Carlo Goldoni. Another adaptation, this one vy Derk Walcott, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature, adapts the story of Odysseus in The Odyssey. And in another world premiere, Torera tells the story of a young woman who wants to becomes a professional bullfighter. 

Several members of the resident company will be hitting the road in late January to bring performances of A Midsummer Night's Dream to audiences throughout the Houston area.

And once again, the Alley All New Festival is scheduled for June 15-25, 2023.

Here's how the Alley describes its 2022-23 Season:

Based on the screenplay by Jonathan Lynn
Written by Sandy Rustin
Additional Material by Hunter Foster and Eric Price
Based on the Paramount Pictures Motion Picture
Based on the Hasbro board game CLUE
Original Music by Michael Holland
Directed by Brandon Weinbrenner
By special arrangement with The Araca Group, Work Light Productions, and Michael Barra/Lively McCabe Entertainment

July 22 – August 28, 2022 in the Hubbard Theatre

It’s a dark and stormy night, and you’ve been invited to a dinner party. Murder and blackmail are on the menu when six guests assemble at Boddy Manor for a night they’ll never forget… if they make it out alive. Was it Mrs. Peacock in the study with the knife? Or Colonel Mustard in the library with the wrench? Based on the cult movie and the classic board game, Clue is the ultimate whodunit that will leave you dying of laughter and keep you guessing until the final twist.

The cast of Clue includes Alley’s Resident Acting Company members Elizabeth Bunch as Mrs. White, Dylan Godwin as Wadsworth, Shawn Hamilton as The Unexpected Cop/ Chief of Police, Chris Hutchison as Mr. Boddy/ The Motorist/ Back Up Cop, Melissa Molano as The Cook/ Singing Telegram Girl/ Back Up Cop, Melissa Pritchett as Yvette, David Rainey as Colonel Mustard, Christopher Salazar as Mr. Green, and Todd Waite as Professor Plum.

World Premiere Comedy
Ken Ludwig’s
Lend Me a Soprano
Directed by Eleanor Holdridge

September 16 – October 9, 2022 in the Hubbard Theatre

Ken Ludwig (The Three Musketeers, Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express), America’s preeminent comedic playwright, debuts a “revisal” of his classic hit Lend Me a Tenor with women in the leading roles, Lend Me A Soprano is set in 1934 as Mrs. Lucille Wiley, General Manager of the Cleveland Grand Opera Company, is ready to welcome world-famous soprano Elena Firenzi for her one-night only starring role in Carmen. Alas, Elena arrives late, ill and in need of a nap so, following orders, Wylie’s assistant and aspiring opera singer Jo slips sleeping pills into Elena’s martini. When Elena doesn’t wake up, it’s up to Jo to save the day. Don’t miss the laughs in Ludwig’s hilarious farce that kicks off the season!
Pulitzer Prize-Winning Play
Edward Albee’s
Directed by Nathan Winkelstein

October 14 – November 13, 2022 in the Neuhaus Theatre

From major American playwright and Alley favorite Edward Albee comes a Pulitzer Prize-winning play that tackles two of the playwright’s favorite subjects: marriage and what it means to be human. With his signature wit, Albee introduces a middle-aged couple, Nancy and Charlie, taking a stroll on a deserted beach. Facing retirement, they argue with comfortable familiarity about how to spend the rest of their lives. When a second couple, Sea Creatures Sarah and Leslie, arrives from the depths of the ocean, a pitched encounter, both surreal and profound, ensues. It seems that Sarah and Leslie are also at a turning point in their lives and they are also like no other couple Nancy and Charlie have ever met. A tender and often laugh-out-loud love story, told by way of an unusual marriage counseling session.

World Premiere Adaptation
A Christmas Carol
By Charles Dickens
Adapted and Directed by Rob Melrose

November 18 – December 30, 2022 in the Hubbard Theatre

Inspired by the original novella, Melrose captures Dickens’ witty wording and evocative style to surprise audiences with parts of the familiar story they didn’t know were there! With rich Victorian costumes, exciting magical elements created by acclaimed magician Jim Steinmeyer, and beautifully sung holiday carols, A Christmas Carol tells the beloved story of Scrooge and his miraculous transformation. This new production of a holiday tradition is the perfect way for families to recapture the nostalgia of Christmases past and to create memories for many Christmases to come.

The cast of A Christmas Carol includes Alley’s Resident Acting Company members Elizabeth Bunch as Ghost of Christmas Past, Dylan Godwin as Bob Cratchit, Shawn Hamilton as Ghost of Christmas Present, Chris Hutchison as Jacob Marley, Melissa Molano as Belle, Melissa Pritchett as Mrs. Cratchit, David Rainey as Ebenezer Scrooge, Christopher Salazar as Fred, and Todd Waite as Mr. Fezziwig.

World Premiere One-Woman Play
By Isaac Gómez
Directed by KJ Sanchez
Alley Theatre Commission

December 2 – December 24, 2022 in the Neuhaus Theatre

Meet Margot, a 30-something Tejana who works at a beloved whata-sized Texas burger joint. The Christmas Eve overnight shift is her personal tradition — even if that means spending the holiday dealing with grumpy drive-thru customers and an equally grumpy robotic Santa. But when her dead best friend Jackie Marley drops by to warn her of impending late-night visits by spirits, Margot has no choice but to roll with the punches and confront the very Scrooge she’s become. It’s a Christmas Eve like none other in this brand-new holiday show filled with humor and heart set right here in Htown by Texan playwright Isaac Gómez.

January 20 – February 12, 2023 in the Hubbard Theatre

World Premiere Musical
Cowboy Bob
Created by Molly Beach Murphy, Jeanna Phillips & Annie Tippe
Music & Lyrics by Jeanna Phillips
Book & Additional Lyrics by Molly Beach Murphy
Additional Music by Alex Thrailkill
Directed by Annie Tippe
By special arrangement with Sally Cade Holmes and David Denson (Red Tail Entertainment)

March 3 – 26, 2023 in the Hubbard Theatre

You wouldn’t look twice at Peggy Jo. She's a good daughter, always tips, plays by the rules - but when she dons a fake beard, sunglasses, and ten-gallon hat, she becomes “Cowboy Bob”- the slickest bank robber Texas has ever known. And she may just be the life-affirming inspiration one waitress in a Dallas Chili’s badly needs to buck routine and take control of her own life. Equal parts Riot Grrrl rage and Texas twang, this world-premiere musical loosely based on actual events - and co-authored by Galveston’s own Molly Beach Murphy - invites audiences to join the heist, take life by the reins, and let it ride.

The Odyssey
By Derek Walcott
Directed by Christopher Windom

March 24 – April 23, 2023 in the Neuhaus Theatre

With rich Caribbean tones of his island home, Derek Walcott (winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature) adapts the ancient story of Odysseus, the soldier-king who spends 10 adventurous years making his way home from the Trojan War. Interspersing the story with a commentary by the blind singer Billy Blue adds richness and a musical lilt to the classic tale. While Odysseus’ loving wife Penelope stays chaste in Ithaca, fending off suitors ready to take the throne, Odysseus and his crew face shipwrecks, wrathful gods, sirens, monsters, incarceration, mermaids, a side trip to hell, and absolutely foul weather.
The cast of The Odyssey includes Alley’s Resident Acting Company members Dylan Godwin, Shawn Hamilton, Chris Hutchison, Melissa Molano, Melissa Pritchett, and David Rainey.

Todd Waite returns as Sherlock Holmes.
Photo by John Everett

Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Jersey Lily
By Katie Forgette
Directed by Brandon Weinbrenner

April 14 – May 7, 2023 in the Hubbard Theatre

The wit of Oscar Wilde meets the cunning of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. In this comic twist on a classic sleuthing caper, Wilde’s muse, actress Lillie Langtry (a.k.a the Jersey Lily) presents Holmes with what seems like an open and shut case. But with his superior powers of deductive reasoning, Sherlock wastes no time in exposing a much more sinister conspiracy. Meanwhile, Oscar Wilde is in the throes of writing his acclaimed The Importance of Being Earnest and Holmes might inspire some of the play. In a fast-paced ride full of surprises and disguises, Holmes and Watson must do whatever it takes to help their friends…while facing their greatest foe.

The cast includes Alley’s Resident Acting Company members Elizabeth Bunch as Mrs. Irma Tory/ Mrs. McGlynn, Christopher Salazar as Oscar Wilde, and Todd Waite as Sherlock Holmes.

World Premiere Play
By Monet Hurst-Mendoza
Directed by Tatiana Pandiani

May 12 – June 11, 2023 in the Neuhaus Theatre

Bullfighting in Yucatán, Mexico is a world nearly exclusive to men—yet for Elena Ramírez, it is her life's ambition. With the help of her best friend, a matador's son, Elena begins secretly training to compete with the greatest. But when she discovers that her seemingly inherent talent can beat even the most accomplished toreros, this young woman must choose between accepting society's limits or breaking boundaries. A world premiere play written by a stunning new voice in the American theatre, Torera tells a poignant story about becoming your truest self by proudly stepping into the ring. The play will be developed in the 2022 Alley All New Festival.

World Premiere Adaptation
The Servant of Two Masters
Translated, Adapted, and Directed by Rob Melrose 
From the original play in Italian by Carlo Goldoni 

June 9 – July 2, 2023 in the Hubbard Theatre

Identities are mistaken, engagements are broken, and lovers are reunited in this world premiere adaptation of Carlo Goldoni’s commedia dell’arte masterpiece. Set in Venice, mayhem erupts when the wily—and chronically hungry—servant Truffaldino hatches a zany scheme to double his wages (and his meals) by serving two masters at once. Directed by Rob Melrose, this physical comedy classic will have you laughing at and loving our hapless hero.

The cast of The Servant of Two Masters includes Alley’s Resident Acting Company members Elizabeth Bunch as Beatrice, Dylan Godwin as Silvio, Shawn Hamilton as Pulchinella/ Waiter, Chris Hutchison as Brighella, Melissa Molano as Clarice, Melissa Pritchett as Smerildina, David Rainey as Pantalone, Christopher Salazar as Truffaldino, and Todd Waite as Dr. Lombardi.

Alley Transported
A Midsummer Night's Dream
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Rob Melrose

January 23 – February 5, 2023 throughout the Houston community

Taking place on a 15 by 15 foot playing area with many of the Alley Resident Actors, A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a feast for the eyes, heart, and funny bone. Viewers are led from an elegant but earthbound palace into a magical forest where some of the inhabitants may not be bound by anything at all. It’s a world where even the fools are enchanting. The audience is a part of the wacky action in this abridged version of Shakespeare’s text.

The cast of A Midsummer Night’s Dream includes Alley’s Resident Acting Company members Elizabeth Bunch as Titania/ Hippolyta, Dylan Godwin as Demetrius/ Snug/ Cobweb, Chris Hutchison as Ageus/ Peter Quince, Melissa Molano as Hermia/ Robin Starveling/ Fairy/ Peaseblossom, David Rainey as Oberon/ Theseus, and Christopher Salazar as Bottom.

Full casting and creative teams for all productions will be announced at a later date.