The Starting Five, 8/4/2014


Expect a few less premieres and a ton more comedies from Phoenix Theatre's 2014-15 season, announced today to the media but not yet live on the theater's website. Bryan Fonseca says in the news release that this is the first Phoenix season without a straight-up drama: "We’ve produced 31 seasons of shows that tackled serious issues of the day, and that’s a lot of drama. So we’ve decided to lighten up a bit."

Note that there are two NNPN Rolling World Premieres in the lineup (that's National New Play Network, of course, a coalition of theaters that band together to produce and present new work). And playwright-in-residence Tom Horan will present a new piece, Typhoid Mary, which recently tied for third place in Stage West's Seventh Annual Southwest Playwriting Competition. 

The complete lineup from the news release is below. And you might check out Hope Baugh's piece about Phoenix's pitch night for the 2014-15 season.

Clark Gable Slept Here by Michael McKeever

September 18 – October 19, 2014

As one of the silver screen's brightest stars charms his way through the Golden Globe Awards ceremony, his staff tries to figure out what to do with the dead male prostitute in his hotel room at the famed Chateau Marmont. This glamorously dark satire explores the make-believe world of Hollywood, where nothing is ever what it seems and closets are used for so much more than hanging up your tuxedo.

Old Jews Telling Jokes by Peter Gethers and Daniel Okrent

October 23 – November 23, 2014

This Off-Broadway hit comedy pays tribute to and reinvents classic jokes of the past and present. Think you’ve heard them all before? Not this way. If you’ve ever had a mother, visited a doctor or walked into a bar with a priest, a rabbi, and a frog, Old Jews Telling Jokes will sit in the dark, give you a second opinion and ask you where you got that. You'll laugh 'til you plotz.

A Very Phoenix Xmas 9: Flashing Through the Snow

November 28 – December 21, 2014

Share your holiday with us! We’re back with another round of all-new sketches, songs and dances! We’ve got everything on your list: traditional holiday music, madcap comedy skits, and some very talented people to help you celebrate this most joyful—and stressful—time of year. We turn the holidays on their head with local and national playwrights putting a new spin on all things traditional. An Indy favorite!

River City by Diana Grisanti (an NNPN Rolling World Premiere)

January 8 – February 1, 2015

Shaken by her father's death, Mary sets off to uncover three generations' worth of family secrets buried in the West End of Louisville, Kentucky. Mary's journey spans four decades and investigates race, memory, and the ghosts that haunt one American city. River City is a fascinating and funny story about how you find your “people” when you check more than one box to define your cultural heritage.

The Cripple of Inishmaan by Martin McDonagh

February 5 – March 1, 2015

When a Hollywood director visits a remote Irish island to cast his latest film, the locals clamor for their once-in-a-lifetime chance at movie stardom. But it's Billy, a frail young man with the odds stacked against him, who has the biggest Hollywood dream of them all. Direct from a smash-hit run on Broadway, this dark comedy features a cross-eyed look at Irishness and what it means to follow your heart, twisted as it may be.

Buyer and Cellar by Jonathan Tolins

March 5 – April 5, 2015

Alex More has a story to tell. A struggling actor in L.A., Alex takes a job working in the Malibu basement of a beloved megastar, Barbra Streisand. One day, the Lady Herself comes downstairs to play. It feels like real bonding in the basement, but will their relationship ever make it upstairs? This hugely successful Off-Broadway hit is an outrageous one-man comedy about celebrity, the oddest of odd jobs and the pursuit of utopia.

Dontrell, Who Kissed the Sea by Nathan Alan Davis (an NNPN Rolling World Premiere)

April 9 – April 26, 2015

18-year-old Dontrell Jones III decides that it is his duty and destiny to venture into the Atlantic Ocean in search of an ancestor lost during the Middle Passage. But his family is not at all ready to abandon its prized son to the waters of a mysterious and haunting past. Blending poetry, humor, wordplay and ritual, Dontrell, Who Kissed the Sea is a present-day hero’s quest exploring the lengths and depths we must go to redeem history’s wrongs.

Typhoid Mary by Tom Horan (Phoenix Theatre playwright in residence)

April 30 – May 24, 2015

You’ve probably heard of “Typhoid Mary,” but most of us are unfamiliar with Mary Mallon, the cook behind the name. This quirky, anachronistic telling of the discovery of Mary’s peculiar disease, as well as her forced quarantine, unfolds in front of a backdrop of changing notions of medicine, morality and cleanliness – Did she willfully infect others? Was she a victim of a misguided medical authority? Or is the truth even stranger?

To Be Determined

May 28 – July 5, 2015

We are currently negotiating a contract for a show that has done so well nationally and internationally, the Phoenix would be the first non-touring production of it in the region. We pride ourselves on bringing you the most recent hits, and this time we’ve definitely hit our mark with this fresh and high energy musical. That’s all we can say till spring.

Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play by Anne Washburn

July 9 – August 9, 2015

What will endure when the cataclysm arrives—when the grid fails, society crumbles and we’re faced with the task of rebuilding? This imaginative dark comedy propels us forward nearly a century, when what begins as a simple reminiscing of foundation a past episode of The Simpsons eventually leads to the development of the of a new civilization. Mr. Burns is a vibrant exploration of how the pop culture of one era might evolve into the mythology of another.