It’s a comforting feeling to be back in the middle of upcoming arts season announcements in the month of March—a feeling that after the upheavals of the pandemic, we might be returning to normal.
One of the first out of the gate: Asolo Repertory Theatre, which has revealed the shows and dates for its 2022-23 season. In a sign that not everything is quite back to normal yet, producing artistic director Michael Donald Edwards made the announcement online, rather than in person before an audience, but still, he promised a season of “eclectic theatrical works from classic to contemporary,” where every play “reminds us of the importance of family and community.”
First up, in the slot the theater has held for several past seasons for a musical production, is Kander and Ebb’s Cabaret, which will be directed by returning choreographer-director Josh Rhodes. It’s “packed with beloved songs,” says Edwards, including “Wilkommen,” “Maybe This Time” and, of course, the oft-performed title tune. That will take the stage Nov. 16-Dec. 31.
The traditional winter repertory season includes four plays this year, starting with Ken Ludwig’s adaptation of Alexandre Dumas’ classic novel The Three Musketeers. Expect an emphasis on humor as well as adventure here, as was the case with Ludwig’s Murder on the Orient Express at Asolo Rep in 2020. Peter Amster will direct, and the run will be Jan. 11-March 26.
Net up is the inspiring true story of a woman astronomer in a male-dominated world, Silent Sky by Lauren Gunderson. Henrietta Leavitt began work at the Harvard Observatory in the early 1900s, at a time when women’s ideas were dismissed in science and other fields. Seema Sueko, who recently directed the show at Washington, D.C’s Ford’s Theatre, will also helm the show here, Jan. 19-March 5.
Hot off the Broadway stage, the comedy Chicken & Biscuits introduces us to the Black Jenkins family of New Haven, thanks to playwright Douglas Lyons. The takeoff point is a pastor’s funeral disrupted by family issues, and the Broadway production’s associate director, Bianca LaVerne Jones, will stage the show here, Feb. 15-April 13.
Wrapping up the rep season will be another comedy, this one centered on the Catholic O’Shea clan, Incident at Our Lady of Perpetual Help, onstage March 15-April 22. Katie Fourgette’s play, set in 1973, will be directed by Asolo Rep associate director Celine Rosenthal.
Closing the season will be “The Impossible Dream” musical, Man of La Mancha, May 10-June 11. Director Peter Rothstein will lead this retelling of Cervante’s Don Quixote and his quest; the original Broadway production won five Tony Awards.
In addition to the mainstage season, Asolo Rep continues its “On Tour” series, bringing 45-minute adaptations of classic works to schools and other venues. Looking for Ithaca: An Odyssey will be performed Oct. 3-Nov. 20.
And retiring FSU/Asolo Conservatory director Greg Leaming announced two of the Conservatory’s four shows, the opener, Stick Fly (Nov. 1-27), following an affluent Black American family over a long weekend on Martha’s Vineyard, and the season closer, Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour’s Lost, April 4-23. The other two slots for the Conservatory season, set for January and February of 2023, are being left open for the new Conservatory director to choose.
Subscriptions for Asolo Rep and Conservatory plays are on sale now and may be purchased at the box office, by phone at (941) 351-8000 or online at asolorep.org. Single tickets will be on sale on a later date.