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New Musicals by Hwang and Tesori; Kitt and Yorkey Set for 2019-20 Public Theater Season

David Hyde Pierce and Ari'el Stachel will take the stage in The Visitor.

David Hyde Pierce and Ari'el Stachel will star in the new musical The Visitor.
(© David Gordon)

The Public Theater's 2019-20 season will include the New York premiere of David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori's Soft Power, the world premiere of Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey's The Visitor, and major revivals of plays by Ntozake Shange and Tony Kushner.

The season kicks off with Soft Power, an exploration of America's current place in the world, told through an East-West musical from China's point of view, in which a theater producer from Shanghai forges a powerful bond with Hillary Clinton. With a book and lyrics by Hwang and score by Tesori, the production (September 24-November 3), is directed by Leigh Silverman and choreographed by Sam Pinkleton. The cast includes Billy Bustamante (Xue Xing Standby), Kendyl Ito (Jing/Ensemble), Francis Jue (DHH), Austin Ku (Bobby Bob), Raymond J. Lee (Randy Ray/VEEP/Ensemble), Alyse Alan Louis (Zoe/Hillary), Jaygee Macapugay (Campaign Manager/Ensemble), Daniel May (Ensemble), Paul HeeSang Miller (Ensemble), Geena Quintos (Ensemble), Conrad Ricamora (Xue Xing), Trevor Salter (Ensemble), Kyra Smith (Ensemble), Emily Stillings (Female Swing), Emily Trumble (Zoe/Hillary Understudy), and John Yi (Male Swing).

Shange's For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow Is Enuf will run October 8-November 17, with direction by Leah C. Gardiner and choreography by Camille A. Brown. Kushner's A Bright Room Called Day, directed by Oskar Eustis and starring Jonathan Hadary (Xillah), Linda Emond (Annabella Gotchling), and Estelle Parsons (Die Alte), will run October 29-December 8.

Richard Nelson's latest, The Michaels, will run October 19-November 17, with a company that includes Charlotte Bydwell (Lucy Michael), Haviland Morris (Irenie Walker), Maryann Plunkett (Kate Harris), Matilda Sakamoto (May Mary Jane Smith), Jay O. Sanders (David Michael), Brenda Wehle (Rose Michael), and Rita Wolf (Sally Michael).

The Visitor, a new musical by Kitt, Yorkey, and Kwame Kwei-Armah, will feature Jacqueline Antaramian (Mouna), Joaquina Kalukango (Zainab), David Hyde Pierce (Walter), and Ari'el Stachel (Tarek). Daniel Sullivan directs and Lorin Latarro choreographs (March 24-May 10, 2020).

Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen's Coal Country, with music by Grammy winner Steve Earle, runs February 18-March 29. Mona Mansour's The Vagrant Trilogy, directed by Mark Wing-Davey, runs March 17-April 26. Erika Dickerson-Despenza's Cullud Wattah, directed by Candis C. Jones, runs July 7-August 16. At Joe's Pub, Adrienne Truscott's ''Adrienne Truscott's (Still) Asking For It), directed by Ellie Heyman, runs September 20-October 13, 2019.

The 16th edition of the Under the Radar festival will kick off 2020, running January 8-19.


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