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Ted Neeley, Andrew Samonsky Set for Rubicon Theatre's 2012-2013 Season

By Los Angeles
Andrew Samonsky
Andrew Samonsky
Rubicon Theatre has announced a new initiative which is reflected in the title of the 2012-2013 Season: Our Town/Your Theatre. Each of the six productions in the season features an individual with ties to the region or celebrates some unique aspect of our community character.

The Our Town/Your Theatre season opens with a world premiere, new revised version of Pal Joey. The production opens October 17-November 11, 2012. Re-conceived by longtime Ventura resident and Tony Award-winner Peter Schneider, bookwriter Patrick Pacheco, and arranger and orchestrator Michael Reno, Pal Joey is based on the short stories and original libretto penned by John O'Hara. Schneider will direct.

In this revised version, set after World War II, Joey is recast as an African-American singer with the voice of an angel, easy good looks, and a dangerous dream - to headline his own nightclub. For Rubicon's production, Schneider has secured permission to use other songs from the Rodgers and Hart catalog. Classics "The Lady is a Tramp," "Sing for Your Supper" and "Glad to be Unhappy" are now intermingled with gems from the original show. In addition to orchestrating for a six-piece band (including two pianos), Michael Reno also serves as musical director.

In addition, Rubicon's holiday offering is a staged concert reading of a new musical, Little Miss Scrooge which runs December 12-23, 2012. The show reunites Tony and Olivier Award-winner John Caird and Tony nominee Paul Gordon. Music and lyrics are by Gordon, with a book by Gordon, John Caird and Caird's son Sam Caird. The two Cairds will share directing responsibilities. Musical supervision, direction and orchestrations are by Brad Haak. The staged concert features three residents of Ventura County: Andrew Samonsky, Alyson Lindsay (Schuster) and Ted Neeley.

Rubicon will hold the American premiere of Extras (January 30-February 24, 2013), by Sabina Berman, a free adaptation of Marie Jones' Olivier Award-winning play Stones in His Pockets.

Rubicon's spring offering is Thornton Wilder's Tony and Pulitzer Prize Award-winning classic Our Town, to run March 5-31, 2013. Rubicon Artistic Associate Jenny Sullivan will direct. In Rubicon's production, Ventura resident and Artistic Director James O'Neil narrates Wilder's immortal tale of birth, love, marriage, death and daily life. Lauren Patten will play Emily, Dillon Francis will play George, Joseph Fuqua will play Simon, and Rod Lathim plays Howie Newsome. Tony Award-winner Peter Hunt will be the lighting designer.

Lonesome Traveler will return to Rubicon for an encore run April 24-May 19. Conceived and directed by NAACP Award-winner James O'Neil, with musical arrangements and direction by Tony nominee Dan Wheetman. Returning artists include Justine Bennett and Brendan (B. Willing) James, Sylvie Davidson, Anthony Manough, Justin Flagg, Nicholas Mongiardo-Cooper, Trever Wheetman and James Webb. Jennifer Leigh Warren joined the group in Laguna and will be a part of the Rubicon production.

The season ends with The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe, written by Jane Wagner, to run September 4-29, 2013. Actress Karyl Lynn Burns follows in the footsteps of Lily Tomlin, who originated the role, playing more than a dozen roles in this comic one-person tour-de-force.


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