Theatre Aspen's upcoming summer season, reported Artistic Director Paige Price. The award-winning regional theatre unveiled the brand new Hurst Theatre in Rio Grande Park on June 24th with two musicals and a comedy. The theatre's 28th season of summer repertory features the regional premiere of Becky's New Car, by native Coloradan Steven Dietz, starring Emmy- and Tony-nominee Sandy Duncan. Opening July 7th is the beloved musical Annie, by Thomas Meehan (book), Charles Strouse (music) and Martin Charnin (lyrics), and the new musical Vices: A Love Story, (story by Michael Heitzman & Ilene Reid, and music and lyrics by Susan Draus, Everett Bradley, Michael Heitzman and Ilene Reid). Vices closes out the season with a final performance on August 20th. Check out photos of the productions below!
Becky's New Car will be directed by Drama League Fellow Kate Powers. Duncan, a multiple Emmy and Tony Award® nominee, is beloved for her portrayal of Peter Pan on Broadway, as well as her recent appearance as Roxie Hart in Chicago. Television audiences will remember Ms. Duncan as the star of "The Sandy Duncan Show" as well as "The Hogan Family," and for her Emmy-nominated performance in the groundbreaking "Roots."
Ms. Duncan asserts, "I am thrilled my pal Paige Price and the folks at Theatre Aspen have invited me to do "Becky's New Car." I am thrilled it is a quirky and uniquely touching play. I am thrilled to be working with my son and the rest of the talented cast. I am thrilled to be directed by the gifted Kate Powers. And I am thrilled to be spending two months in glorious Aspen. I am clearly thrilled."
The show also stars Duncan's son, Jeffrey Corriea, who also appeared with his mom in The Glass Menagerie in 2009. Featured are Laurence Lau (August: Osage County, One Life to Live), Autumn Hurlbert (Legally Blonde, Little Women), David Ledingham (Light in the Piazza), Ted Pejovich (As The World Turns) and Heather Lee (Gypsy, Guys and Dolls) round out the cast.
Annie, opening July 7th, is the biggest production ever staged at Theatre Aspen, and features local favorite Nina Gabianelli as Miss Hannigan, Broadway's David Hess (Sweeney Todd, Ragtime, Annie Get Your Gun) as Warbucks, Joan Hess (Flight of the Conchords, Mamma Mia, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels) as Grace, Julia Foran as Annie, Melinda Cowan as Lily and Dennis Kyle as Rooster. Thadd Krueger, Franz Alderfer (Marie Christine), Tess Ferrell, Chelsie Nectow and Jeffrey B. Duncan round out the cast, along with the orphans played by Sophie Schlosser, Karlie Nelson, Kaia Vresilovic, Talitha Jones and Tatum Shane. Marjorie Mae Treger directs and choreographs, with musical direction by David Dyer. Casting for "Sandy" is underway.
Vices: A Love Story was first staged at Florida's Caldwell Theatre. The Theatre Aspen production features both a new director (Amanda Dehnert) and choreographer (Andrew Palermo), with Danielle Greaves (Rescue Me, RENT, Hairspray) remaining from the original cast. Greaves is joined by Destan Owens (RENT, Chicago, Smokey Joe's Café), Catherine Brookman (Hair), Jason Reiff (Les Miserables) and the dancers, upon which the show centers, will be portrayed by Samantha Harvey (dre.dance company member) and Matthew Steffens (Women on the Verge, Promises, Promises).
Artistic Director Price said, "We planned a very ambitious season. Not only are we opening our brand new facility, but we're also producing a huge musical, developing a new show and bringing Ms. Duncan to Aspen. Add the kids and the dog and well, you get the picture. We really plan to raise our game this year. In addition, we commissioned our first play, with the Working Title Bullying 101, to be written by Dan Elish (librettist, Broadway's 13)."
Theatre Aspen was awarded the "Outstanding Regional Theatre" Henry Award in 2009 and Alison Luff won a Best Supporting Actress Denver Post Ovation Award for her work in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.
Design teams for the season include the set designers Reuben Lucas (Becky's New Car), Tom Ward (Annie) and Tristan Jeffers (Vices). Costume designs are by Kevin Brainerd (Becky's New Car and Annie) and Jessica Ford (Vices: A Love Story). Lighting will be designed by Charles MacLeod (Becky's New Car), Loren Wilder (Annie) and Jeff Croiter and Grant Yeager (Vices). The season's sound design is by David Thomas, with additional designs by ACME Sound Partners. Production Stage Managers are Rebecca C. Monroe and Vernon Willet.
The new Hurst Theatre will become the centerpiece of a joint effort by Theatre Aspen and the City of Aspen Parks Department. Local builder John Silich, of Silich Construction, and a team from Charles Cunniffe Architects, led by Charles Cunniffe, have been working pro bono to create Theatre Aspen's new venue. The City Council approved the first phase of work to be done by the Parks Department, which will address storm water drainage issues. Work on the current plans is underway, and will continue into the fall, and plans include water features and other aesthetic enhancements to Rio Grande Park.
Tickets and discounted Season and Preview Passes are available from the Wheeler Box Office at 970-920-5770 or through aspenshowtix.com. For further information, visit www.theatreaspen.org or call the theatre at 970-925-9313. Local residents receive additional discounts on Season Passes.
Theatre Aspen's 2011 season is generously supported by: American National Bank, Hays Private Client, Three Forks Ranch, Morris and Fyrwald/Sotheby's, The City of Aspen, Les Dames d'Aspen, The Thrift Shop, Brenda and Jim Grusecki, Soledad and Bob Hurst, Jerry and Jackie Kehle, El Pomar, Aspen Animal Shelter and The Aspen Club & Spa.
Media Sponsors include Aspen Sojourner, Snow Magazine, The Aspen Times, Aspen Daily News, Aspen Public Radio, KSPN/KNFO and KUUR/KSNO.