Westport Country Playhouse has announced a world premiere musical revue, “Sing for Your Shakespeare,” as the second production in its 2014 season, running June 3 – 22. Directed by Mark Lamos, and co-conceived by Lamos, Wayne Barker, and Deborah Grace Winer, the show is based on an original idea and production for 92nd Street Y’s Lyrics & LyricistsTM, in New York. Celebrating its 84th season, Westport Country Playhouse was recently named Theater Company of the Year by The Wall Street Journal.
“Last spring I had a ball directing and co-writing a show for the legendary Lyrics & Lyricists series at New York’s 92nd Street Y,” said Lamos. “It was an exploration of pop music that used Shakespeare’s words and stories as inspiration. The show was so successful that I, along with the co-conceivers, decided to adapt it into a brand new musical revue that would have its world premiere at the Playhouse in our upcoming season.”
“Sing for Your Shakespeare,” with musical selections from Broadway, pop, rock, jazz, opera, film, and Tin Pan Alley, explores how the American Songbook has been inspired for decades by Shakespeare’s works. The original production at the 92nd Street Y was praised by The New York Times as “revelatory,” “rousing,” and having “a free-spirited vitality.”
Catherine Cochran, 92Y’s executive producer of Lyrics & Lyricists, stated, “We are thrilled that last spring’s Shakespeare-inspired Lyrics & Lyricists is taking shape as a new production that will delight audiences far beyond our New York City concert hall.”
Lamos added, “The show features numbers from Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim’s ‘West Side Story,’ Cole Porter’s ‘Kiss Me, Kate,’ and Rodgers and Hart’s ‘The Boys from Syracuse,’ of course—but we also sing and dance to treasure troves of music from many greats, including Duke Ellington, Frank Loesser, jazz legend John Dankworth, and others.
“Through dance, song, and verse, six amazing performers and a band of seven versatile musicians will celebrate the way Shakespeare’s words inspired some of the hottest music from some of the greatest 20th Century songwriters,” noted Lamos. “Sing for Your Shakespeare” Production Sponsors are Howard J. Aibel, John and Barbara Samuelson, Ed and Maureen Schloss, and Barbara and John Streicker. Corporate Production Partners are First Niagara Bank and KPMG.
Four other 2014 season productions were previously announced: Noël Coward’s “A Song at Twilight,” an exquisite battle of wits, exploring the nature of passion, the cruelty of love, and the price of hidden secrets, directed by Mark Lamos, April 29 – May 17, a co-production with Hartford Stage; “Nora,” Ingmar Bergman’s adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s “A Doll’s House,” a story of love, blackmail, and the little lies people tell, translated into the English language by Frederick J. Marker and Lisa-Lone Marker, directed by David Kennedy, Playhouse associate artistic director, July 15 – August 2; “Things We Do for Love,” Alan Ayckbourn’s wickedly funny play that questions just how sane anyone really is when it comes to love, directed by John Tillinger, August 19 – September 6; and “Intimate Apparel” by Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage, an intricate tapestry of the joys, sorrows, tragedy, and triumph of a gifted but lonely African-American seamstress in early 20th century Manhattan who’s negotiating the choice between a love that is accepted and one that is true, October 7 – November 1.
Now available are 2014 subscriptions for current and new subscribers, including online purchasing capability 24/7. Subscribers receive a host of benefits not afforded to single ticket buyers, including significant savings, priority seating, free and easy ticket exchanges, and restaurant discounts. Flex passes are also now available for those seeking a more flexible subscription option. Single tickets are now on sale.
The performance schedule is Tuesday at 8 p.m., Wednesday at 2 and 8 p.m., Thursday and Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 3 and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. Special series feature Taste of Tuesday, Previews, LGBT Night OUT, Opening Night, Sunday Symposium, Open Captions, Thursday TalkBack, Together at the Table Family Dinner, Playhouse Young Professionals, and Backstage Pass.
For more information, call the box office at (203) 227-4177, or toll-free at 1-888-927-7529, or visit Westport Country Playhouse, 25 Powers Court, off Route 1, Westport. Tickets are available online 24/7 at www.westportplayhouse.org or by using the new Playhouse App or mobile website. Stay connected to the Playhouse on Facebook (Westport Country Playhouse), follow on Twitter (@WCPlayhouse), view Playhouse videos on YouTube (WestportPlayhouse) or get an insider’s peek on The Playhouse Blog (www.theplayhouseblog.org) .