For over 50 years, the Visalia Players have been providing live theater presentations for the enjoyment of Visalia and the surrounding communities. Their 2014-2015 season, which opens early in August, promises to be one of their best with familiar names as well as productions to broaden your theatrical experience.
The opening show is “Bonnie & Clyde: A New Musical.” Since its premiere performance in La Jolla in 2009, the musical version of “Bonnie & Clyde” has taken the world by storm with performances in Japan, South Korea, London and Broadway. The Great Depression folk heroes’ love story and crime spree is enhanced with 1930s country and gospel music that will have your toes tapping.
“The Trip To Bountiful,” originally a 1953 TV production that was taken to Broadway and ultimately became a 1985 film, is currently enjoying a theatrical revival with Cicely Tyson that has garnered numerous awards, including a best actress Tony for Tyson. As the Players’ second show of the season, “Bountiful” promises to bring audiences the poignant story of Carrie Watts, an aging widow in the late 1940s.
Our second musical of the season, “Side By Side By Sondheim,” is a review of the Steven Sondheim’s wonderful songs from Broadway and film. Beyond the attraction of beautiful music, the narrator provides interesting tidbits of how and why songs were written and produced – or not. “Side By Side” will be presented as a lobby show.
Are you ready for an hilarious spoof of Alfred Hitchcock’s work? If so, “The 39 Steps” is the show for you. The original “39 Steps” was a 1935 Hitchcock thriller. Patrick Barlow’s zany adaptation calls for four talented actors to portray over 150 characters, providing non-stop laughs. “The 39 Steps” will provide entertainment for the entire family.
“Baby with the Bathwater” is typical Christopher Durang, with unexpected twists and turns. Imagine a young couple totally unprepared for parenthood trying to figure out what to do with this “thing” that doesn’t even speak English. Their calamitous mistakes are wildly hilarious making for a fun evening.
Very popular with professional and amateur theatres since its 2011 debut is “Other Desert Cities.” The play joins staunchly Republican parents with politically opposite children during the Christmas season. Not enough possibilities for drama? Try adding an unhinged aunt and generous amounts of alcohol. Let the Wyeth Family entertain you.
Our season closes with “The Graduate,” a very popular movie in the late 1960s, adapted for the theatre by Terry Johnson. Benjamin Braddock, aimless after graduating from college, finds adventure in an affair with an older married woman only to fall in love with the woman’s daughter. Filled with laughter and tears, “The Graduate” depicts the follies of youth as well as the desperation of neglect.
Special features throughout the season include “Back Stage at the Ice House” hosted by Sharon DeCoux and a featured artist for each show.
After the second Sunday matinee of each production, DeCoux will give the audience a chance for a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to mount a stage play, with an opportunity to ask questions and interact with cast and crew.
The works of the artist for each show are displayed in the box office and/or lobby areas of the theater. The artist is available to discuss his or her work with attendees at specific performances.
All performances are at the Ice House Theater. The show schedule is:
- “Bonnie & Clyde: A New Musical” – August 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 17, 22, 23 and 24
- “The Trip to Bountiful” – October 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12, 17, 18 and 19
- “Side By Side by Sondheim” – November 14, 15, 16, 21, 22, 23, 28, 29 and 30
- “The 39 Steps” – January 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, 18, 23, 24 and 25
- “Baby with the Bathwater” – February 27, 28, March 1, 6, 7, 8, 13, 14 and 15
- “Other Desert Cities” – April 17, 18, 19, 24, 25, 26, May 1, 2 and 3
- “The Graduate” – June 12, 13, 14, 19, 20,21, 26, 27 and 28
Season tickets are $94. Individual tickets purchased in advance are $16 for adults; $8 for students. Individual tickets purchased at the door are $20 for adults; $10 for students,
To purchase individual or season tickets go to the Visalia Players’ website at www.visaliaplayers.org or their Facebook page (“Visalia Community Players”), or call 734-3900.