Alley Theatre announces 2009-2010 Season

Date 2009/5/30 22:10:00 | Topic: Local News

Visionary World Premieres, Re-imagined American Classics and New Comedies Fill the Alley Theatre's 2009-2010 Season

HOUSTON, TEXAS - Artistic Director Gregory Boyd announced that the Alley Theatre subscription season - the Theatre's 63rd - will combine three world premieres, including Frank Wildhorn's new musical Wonderland, Rajiv Joseph's bold and theatrical Gruesome Playground Injuries and Kenneth Lin's gripping Intelligence-Slave, along with re-imagined productions of the great American classic Our Town by Thornton Wilder and the sublime fantasy.. (READ MORE FOR COMPLETE LIST)

Harvey by Mary Chase. In addition, the Alley will create new productions of two recent smash hit comedies from London and New York, Alfred Hitchcock's The 39 Steps and Boeing-Boeing, as well as the regional premiere of Jeffrey Hatcher's mischievous Mrs. Mannerly.

"The season has the widest range of imagination and is filled with thrilling theatricality - and tour de force writing. The combination of the startlingly new and the re-imagined classic offers our audiences a depth of passion and excitement, and our artists wonderful opportunities to make us laugh and bring us together," says Artistic Director Gregory Boyd.

Kicking off the Alley Theatre's season in the fall is the great American treasure Our Town on the Hubbard Stage and the world premiere of Gruesome Playground Injuries by playwright Rajiv Joseph on the Neuhaus Stage.

The season continues on the Hubbard Stage with the world premiere of Frank Wildhorn's new musical Wonderland, produced in association with Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center and the world premiere of Kenneth Lin's Intelligence-Slave on the Neuhaus Stage. In the spring on the Hubbard Stage is the classic comedy-fantasy Harvey and the regional premieres of two huge successes from London and New York, Alfred Hitchcock's The 39 Steps adapted by Patrick Barlow and Boeing-Boeing by Marc Camoletti, translated by Beverley Cross and Francis Evans. The regional premiere of Jeffrey Hatcher's Mrs. Mannerly on the Neuhaus Stage rounds out the

As a subscription add-on, the Alley offers Houston's holiday favorite, A Christmas Carol on the Hubbard Stage. Adapted and created by Hartford Stage Artistic Director (and Alley Artistic Associate) Michael Wilson, the production incorporates elaborate scenic, costume, and lighting design and a large cast. In response to last year's overwhelming audience demand, the Alley will offer a holiday alternative, the irreverent comedy The Santaland Diaries , by David Sedaris, adapted for the stage by Joe Mantello. Company Actor Todd Waite will reprise his role as "Crumpet the Elf" on the Neuhaus Stage beginning November 27.

The Alley's subscription season includes five Hubbard Stage productions and three Neuhaus Stage plays, all produced in the Alley's two-theatre complex at 615 Texas Avenue in downtown Houston. The Theatre proudly welcomes returning Season Sponsor Continental Airlines, the official airline of the Alley Theatre.

Please note: play titles and dates are subject to change.


Enduring, Unsurpassed American Masterpiece
Our Town
By Thornton Wilder
Directed by Gregory Boyd Hubbard Stage
October 2 through November 1, 2009 (press opening: October 7, 2009)

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Thornton Wilder's Our Town follows the courtship and marriage of George and Emily, and in following the two, reveals the hidden mystery behind the everyday. Wilder's portrait of life, love and death is set in Grover's Corners, New Hampshire, a fictional New England town at the start of the 20th century. With a penetrating wisdom about living in community, this play is an enduring American treasure and one of the greatest plays of world theatre.
Recommended for general audiences.

World Premiere - Thought-provoking, DarklyFunny
Gruesome Playground Injuries
By Rajiv Joseph
Directed by Rebecca Bayla Taichman Neuhaus Stage
October 16 through November 15, 2009 (press opening: October 21, 2009) Recommended for mature audiences.
Strong language, profanity, violence.

Gruesome Playground Injuries charts two lives, using scars, injuries and calamity as the mile markers. An imaginative tour de force for actors and audiences, the play explores why people hurt themselves to gain another's love, and the cumulative effect of such damage, of such demands. Director Rebecca Taichman will make her Alley debut.

Houston's Holiday Favorite
A Christmas Carol -
A Ghost Story of Christmas By Charles Dickens Adapted and Originally Directed by Michael Wilson Directed by James Black
Hubbard Stage November 20 through December 27, 2009 (press opening: November 21, 2009) This play is a subscription add-on.

Houston's seasonal favorite that the Houston Press described as having "Spectacular London sets ...the inimitable Dickens' tale - spiced with the usual fog and an unusual twist on the ghosts past, present and future." A Christmas Carol - A Ghost Story of Christmas returns this year with a re-telling of Charles Dickens' classic story, that follows Ebenezer Scrooge's journey with the three ghostly spirits that visit him on Christmas Eve. A Christmas Carol instills a powerful message about redemption and the spirit of the holiday season, through a dazzling production created by Tony Award-winning scenic designer Tony Straiges (Alley's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?), with costumes by Alejo Vietti (Alley's Rock 'n' Roll, Mauritius, Eurydice, Cyrano de Bergerac), lighting by Rui Rita (Alley's Eurydice, Cyrano de Bergerac, To Kill a Mockingbird), and original music by John Gromada (Alley's Subject to Fits, Treasure Island, The Pillowman). Recommended for general audiences.

David Sedaris' Irreverent Holiday Comedy
The Santaland Diaries By David Sedaris
Adapted for the stage by Joe Mantello
Neuhaus Stage November 27 through December 27, 2009 (press opening: December 4, 2009) This play is a subscription add-on.
Recommended for mature audiences due to language and subject matter.

Company Actor Todd Waite will reprise his role as "Crumpet the Elf" in the outlandish, and true, chronicles of David Sedaris' experience as a worker in Macy's SantaLand display. This compact, one-character comedy has been described as "a dream rendition at the Alley Theatre, courtesy of the ideally cast Todd Waite" by the Houston Chronicle. The Santaland Diaries is an hilarious cult classic, featuring comic encounters during the height of the holiday crunch. NPR humorist and best-selling author of Me Talk Pretty One Day and Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim ,
David Sedaris has become one of America's pre-eminent humor writers.

World Premiere Musical
Music by Frank Wildhorn
Book and Lyrics by Jack Murphy
Directed by Gregory Boyd
Produced in Association with Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center Hubbard Stage January 9 through February 14, 2010 (press opening: January 13, 2010)

Composer Frank Wildhorn (Jekyll and Hyde) returns to the Alley with Wonderland, a delightful new musical that updates Alice's adventures through an amazing pop score. Alley audiences will be among the first to see this new production filled with extraordinary songs, fantastic characters, and lots of heart. Recommended for general audiences.

World Premiere Play - Gripping, Intriguing Drama
By Kenneth Lin Neuhaus Stage
January 22 through February 21, 2010 (press opening: January 27, 2010) Recommended for mature audiences due to subject matter.

Kenneth Lin's new play, Intelligence-Slave , tells the story of Curt Herzstark, a concentration camp prisoner who was kept alive by the Nazis because he was rumored to have invented the world's first hand-held four function calculator - a great prize if it could be re-created. Caught between the thrill of technological discovery and the fear of rendering himself obsolete if he produces a working device, Curt's survival plan takes a turn when the Nazis introduce him to a wunderkind member of the Hitler Youth with a soul that might be salvageable. Author Kenneth Lin is an alumnus of Cornell University, the Fulbright Scholarship Program and the Yale School of Drama.

A Classic Comedy-Fantasy
By Mary Chase
Directed by Gregory Boyd
Hubbard Stage
March 5 through March 28, 2010 (press opening: March 10, 2010)

Affable Elwood P. Dowd has a kind word for everyone he meets. He lives a quiet life with his social-climbing sister and her daughter and is devoted to his loyal and trustworthy friend and constant companion, Harvey. The fact that Harvey happens to be a six-foot invisible rabbit doesn't seem to bother Elwood but is an ongoing embarrassment to his family who decides to have him committed. In this Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy, the medical establishment is turned topsy-turvy as Elwood and Harvey cause pandemonium. Recommended for general audiences.

Ingenious, Riotous, Inventive
Alfred Hitchcock's
The 39 Steps

Adapted by Patrick Barlow
Hubbard Stage
April 16 through May 9, 2010 (press opening: April 21, 2010)

Mix a Hitchcock masterpiece with a juicy spy novel, add a dash of Monty Python and you have The 39 Steps, a fast-paced whodunit for anyone who loves the magic of theatre. This two-time Tony and Drama Desk Award-winning treat is packed with nonstop laughs, over 150 eccentric characters - played by a prodigiously talented cast of four - an on-stage plane crash, handcuffs, missing fingers and some good old-fashioned romance. In The 39 Steps , a man with a boring life meets a woman with a thick accent who says she's a spy. When he takes her home, she is murdered. Soon, a mysterious organization called "The 39 Steps" is hot on the man's trail in a nationwide manhunt that climaxes in a death-defying finale. A riotous blend of virtuoso performances and wildly inventive stagecraft, The 39 Steps amounts to an unforgettable evening of pure pleasure. The 39 Steps is currently the longest running comedy on Broadway and ideal for audiences of all ages. Recommended for general audiences.

A Contemporary Comedy
Mrs. Mannerly
By Jeffrey Hatcher
Neuhaus Stage
May 21 through June 20, 2010 (press opening: May 26, 2010)

Inspired by a childhood memory of etiquette class, playwright Jeffrey Hatcher conjures up the world of a seven-year-old studying manners from the title character. Mrs. Mannerly is a demanding teacher, and no student in her 36 years of etiquette classes has achieved a perfect score. But when he discovers her secret past, Young Jeffrey is determined to be the first. This unique comic tale reveals truths about the face we present and real selves that lie inside. Recommended for general audiences.

Tony Award-Winning Comedy
By Marc Camoletti
Translated by Beverley Cross and Francis Evans Hubbard Stage June 4 through June 27, 2010 (press opening: June 9, 2010) Recommended for mature audiences because of subject matter.

Boeing-Boeing, the high-flying, Tony award-winning comedy that had London and Broadway audiences airborne with laughter, is taking off on
the Alley's Hubbard Stage. Bernard, a successful American architect
living in a posh Paris apartment, has been deftly juggling three fiancées who are all flight attendants. It's easy, with good timing and a bit of assistance from his reluctant housekeeper who plays romantic
air-traffic controller. But, this supersonic lifestyle hits turbulence
when his old college friend visits and each of his three fiancées change their flight schedule.

Boeing-Boeing is called "the funniest play to hit Broadway in ages" (Wall Street Journal), "pure pleasure and unconditional bliss" (New York Times). Fasten your seat belt for a roaring ride that will take you up, up and away.


The Alley's $21 "Cheap Thrills" ticket program makes low-priced tickets available year-round for Tuesday and Sunday evening performances of most Alley subscription series productions on the Hubbard Stage. Call the Alley Box Office at 713.220.5700 for details.

Season subscriptions are available starting at $130 and may be purchased at, by phone at 713.220.5700, or in person at the Alley Theatre Box Office, 615 Texas Ave.

Single tickets will be on sale to the general public at a later date, please check web site for future updates. Single tickets are available for purchase online , by phone at 713.220.5700 or in person at the Alley Box Office at 615 Texas Ave.
Single tickets start at $21. The added convenience of reservations by phone or Internet is available for a nominal fee. Tickets purchased in person at the Alley Theatre Box Office have a $1 facility fee.

Groups of 10 or more can receive special discounts and concierge services by calling the group sales department at 713.315.3346.

ActOUT is Houston's premiere group for GLBT theatre fans and their friends. Patrons enjoy pre-show mixers with fellow gay and lesbian subscribers, who gather to meet their favorite Alley artists and enjoy complimentary cocktails and appetizers from Houston's finest restaurants. ActOUT events take place at the Alley for each Hubbard Stage production, and are complimentary with the purchase of a subscription or ticket to the show. For more information, call
713.228.9341 ext. 404.

Now is the time for singles, couples and groups who love the theatre to Mix & Mingle with other likeminded theatre buffs. Meet new friends, enjoy complimentary appetizers, and a cash bar. Mix & Mingle is held for each regular Hubbard Stage production. The mixers - held at a variety of downtown restaurants or at the Alley - encourage like-minded theatergoers to congregate and enjoy Alley productions together. Mix & Mingle events take place for each Hubbard Stage production, and are complimentary with the purchase of a subscription or ticket to the show.
For more information, call 713.315.5404.

Alley Theatre is partnering with the Houston Public Library and Brazos Bookstore for this new pre-curtain event. The perfect evening for the book worm in every theatre buff, this event combines the imagination of the written word with the excitement of live theatre. It is suggested (but not required) that patrons read the selected book that complements each Hubbard Stage production. Participants will enjoy a pre-curtain discussion group led by special guests from the Houston area and then attend the performance. After the performance, readers can stay for an additional TalkBack led by Alley cast members and artistic staff. This pre-curtain event is complimentary with your ticket to the designated performance. To participate in the pre- and post-show discussions, a ticket must be purchased for the performance. Please call Lizz Eynatten
at 713.315.5404, or visit for details.


Alley patrons are invited to attend post-show TalkBacks with the cast and members of the artistic staff on select Tuesdays. These question-and-answer sessions are held immediately after the evening performance.

The Alley's Pay-What-You-Can program rewards patrons who bring a specified item for a designated charity with the opportunity to purchase up to two tickets in the B section for a minimum of $10 each. Purchase in person at the box office (615 Texas Ave.) on the day of the performance only. Cash or check only. The partnering organizations for Pay-What-You-Can will be announced at a later date. Visit for more information.

The Alley offers open-captioned performances for patrons with low hearing and audio described performances for patrons with low vision.
Please visit

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