TheatreZone, a professional Equity theatre in Naples specializing in Broadway musicals, has updated its 2020-2021 season shows.
The season include Present Perfect (Oct. 2 – 4), The Feud (Oct. 30 – Nov. 1), Home for the Holidays (Dec. 11 – 13); Curtains (Jan. 7-17); Bright Star (Feb. 4-14); Camelot (March 4-14); and The Bridges of Madison County (April 15-25).
“We are currently practicing responsible social distancing and taking all measures to stay healthy during this unprecedented time,” says Mark Danni, artistic director. “We’re very much looking forward to presenting a blockbuster sixteenth season as soon as possible, with two world premieres, a variety of traditional shows, audience favorites, and shows that might be new to some audience members.”
TheatreZone’s two early summer season musicals, originally scheduled for June, will be presented in October. These two world premieres are Present Perfect: A New Land, A New Song (Oct. 2 – 4), and The Feud – Sinatra & Roselli: 2 Guys From Hoboken, The Story & The Music (Oct. 30 – Nov. 1).
“These two productions are the perfect way to kick off our 16th season,” said Danni. “Present Perfect’s author Nancy Cheser and I met 12 years ago through a mutual friend. Her story is loosely autobiographical and very interesting as it actually tells several different immigration stories among the production’s various characters.”
Present Perfect tells the story of a young Hasidic woman who steps outside the confines of her Brooklyn community and finds herself as much an immigrant in a new land as the recently arrived students she teaches in her New York adult English class. Lives intertwine as each, in their own way, struggles to belong, find love, and succeed in a new country. Present Perfect is a uniquely American story told with a contemporary twist, infectious vitality, and a Latin beat. This project is sponsored in part by the Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Council of Arts and Culture and the State of Florida” (Section 286.25, Florida Statutes).
The Feud is a play based on the 40 plus-year professional and personal relationship between Frank Sinatra and Jimmy Roselli, both great singers who lived on the same block in Hoboken, N.J. Once Sinatra was hired by Harry James, his career skyrocketed, and he became a legend in motion pictures as well as music. Roselli, on the other hand, was a true saloon singer, working in every small nightclub and beer hall for years until he started to achieve success in his early thirties.
“The Feud is a fascinating story with a unique premise, and it features songs everyone will know and enjoy,” said Danni. “It’s a memory play by Dennis DelleFave, the former road manager for Jimmy Roselli, and it illustrates so many of the different stories and events that he lived through.”
The Feud has it all: the great Sinatra songbook, Italian songs which Roselli made famous, and Mob stories about the great nightclubs of the 40’s through the 70’s. It’s the “Raging Bull” of the world of stage.
Kander and Ebb’s Curtains is a musical about a musical, in which an unlikable leading lady is murdered during her opening-night curtain call. Frank Cioffi, a police detective and musical theatre fan, must solve the mystery and save the show. This comedy send-up of backstage murder mysteries, with a book by Rupert Holmes, lyrics by Fred Ebb, and music by John Kander, with additional lyrics by Kander and Holmes, is packed with glorious tunes and a witty, charming script with delightful characters. A hilarious journey for both performers and the audience, the Broadway production garnered eight nominations at the 2007 Tony Awards® including Best Musical.
“Curtains is special in that it’s the final collaboration between Kander and Ebb (writers of Cabaret and Chicago) as Ebb passed away during its creation. After Ebb passed way, Rupert Holmes was brought in by Kander to help finish the work, and he (Holmes) suggested last season that it would be a good show for us,” said Danni. “Curtains is an old fashioned comedic musical with lots of dancing, and we’re truly looking forward to presenting it on our stage.”
Inspired by a true story and featuring the Tony®-nominated score by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell, Bright Star tells a beautiful story of love and redemption set against the rich backdrop of the American South in the 1920s and ’40s. An uplifting theatrical journey that holds you tightly in its grasp, Bright Star is as refreshingly genuine as it is daringly hopeful.
TheatreZone will also present Lerner and Loewe’s Camelot. Audiences can expect to experience a youthful, edgier version of this legendary love triangle of King Arthur, Guenevere and Sir Lancelot. Borrowing from the Arthurian legends, Camelot is the duo’s fantastical masterpiece which triumphed on Broadway in a legendary original production that lead to a film version, and numerous revivals in New York, London and across the globe.
“This new version of Camelot has been enhanced to create stronger connections within the delightful classic,” said Danni. “The definitive score and memorable characters are all there but with a libretto and orchestration adapted for a production which I believe our audiences will appreciate and enjoy.”
The Bridges of Madison County, based on the best-selling novel and developed by the Pulitzer- and Tony Award-winning creative team of Jason Robert Brown (The Last Five Years, Parade, Songs for a New World) and Marsha Norman, captures the lyrical expanse of America’s heartland along with the yearning entangled in the eternal question, “What if…?” Winner of the 2014 Tony Award for Best Score and Orchestrations, this sweeping romance about the roads we travel, the doors we open and the bridges we dare to cross will leave audiences breathless.
“With its soaring score and touching story, The Bridges of Madison County is a strong addition to any theatre’s season,” said Danni. “The powerful roles of Francesca and Robert are a dream come true for any actor, while the ensemble is rich with characters who tell their own individual stories and receive plenty of focus on stage.”
All evening performances will begin at 7:30 p.m. Matinees at 2 p.m. will be offered on Saturdays and Sundays.
TheatreZone is located in-residence at the 250-seat G&L Theatre on the Community School of Naples campus, 13275 Livingston Road., Naples.