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City Theatre announces season lineup


City Theatre announced the six-play lineup for its 40th anniversary season, including a wistful Broadway comedy; a music-filled portrait of actress Judy Holliday; a poignant exploration of a Harlem community; a wild “have and have-nots” comedy set in Martha’s Vineyard; an irreverent comic-drama about family, art, and inspiration; and an adventure- and song-filled romp through Edinburgh.

“City Theatre’s 2014-2015 season is branded ‘Up Close’ because each play magnifies the power of the human spirit—often in very comical ways,” says Tracy Brigden, City Theatre’s Artistic Director. “We open the season with Outside Mullingar by John Patrick Shanley. In the same vein as Shanley’s award-winning film Moonstruck, this Irish comedy is a funny, unconventional love story with a magical twist.”

Next up is Smart Blonde, a City Theatre-commissioned world premiere about Judy Holliday. This brand new work by Willy Holtzman is a warm and often surprising portrayal of a Hollywood actress whose public persona as a ‘dumb blonde’ starkly contrasted her true intelligence and upbringing.

From there, they launch into Mr. Joy, a moving world premiere about how a Harlem community comes together in crisis. The script features playwright Daniel Beaty’s blend of comedy, poetry, music, and multi-character storytelling.

Next, City Theatre will produce Elemeno Pea by Molly Smith Metzler. Set on a posh estate in Martha’s Vineyard, this hilarious play is a heightened portrayal of class distinctions. Then, Oblivion; in this sharp play by Carly Mensch, a budding filmmaker helps a Brooklyn couple and their obstinate teenage daughter view their differences through a new lens.

They close the season with Midsummer (a play with songs) by David Greig, the Scottish playwright who gave 2012’s very special The Monster in the Hall. This gritty comedy, interspersed with song, is the rare rom-com that appeals to both sexes with its bawdy humor, crazy plot twists, and unsentimental love story.

City Theatre’s 2014-2015 season includes:

Outside Mullingar, a Broadway comedy from the Pulitzer, Oscar® and Tony®-winning author of Doubt and Moonstruck, John Patrick Shanley and directed by Tracy Brigden, will be presented on the Mainstage from October 11 – November 2.

Tony Reilly is getting old. With his wife dead and gone and his own time approaching, he threatens to leave the family’s cattle farm to an American nephew instead of his own son and namesake, Anthony. That is, until neighbor Rosemary steps in with a long-held family secret to change Anthony’s fate—and her own.

Set in the Irish countryside, this is the wistful story of Anthony and Rosemary—loners going on 40, eccentric souls, and, perhaps, just right for each other.

Smart Blonde is a music-filled portrait from the author of The Morini Strad, Willy Holtzman, and directed by Peter Flynn is a world premiere commissioned by City Theatre and will be presented in the Hamburg Studio from November 15 – December 21.

The scene is New York City, 1964. The tape is rolling when Born Yesterday star Judy Holliday lays down a series of tracks about her rise to fame amidst the politics of the 1950s. Memory and song converge as the “dumb blonde” with a genius IQ charts her experiences from Greenwich Village to Broadway and beyond with notable show business alums, including Leonard Bernstein and Marilyn Monroe.

 Mr. Joy is a poignant solo show from the creator of Through the Night and Breath & Imagination, Daniel Beaty, is another world premiere from January 24 – February 15, 2015 on the mainstage.

What happened to Mr. Joy? A Harlem community is disrupted when the Chinese immigrant’s shoe repair shop, a neighborhood pillar for decades, does not open its doors. Nine customers, ranging from 11-year-old Clarissa, a budding shoe designer, to Bessie, a “gangsta granny,” reflect on the shop owner’s impact in this moving exploration of one community’s efforts to heal in order to dream again.

 Elemeno Pea, a “have and have-nots” comedy by Molly Smith Metzler will be directed by Tracy Brigden on the mainstage from February 28 – March 22, 2015.

Blue-collar Buffalo meets beachfront splendor when Devon visits the sprawling Martha’s Vineyard estate where her sister Simone is employed as a personal assistant. Simone’s new gig is complete with a six-figure salary, a preppy boyfriend with a yacht, and a handsome clothing allowance—all courtesy of trophy wife Michaela, her boss. But when Michaela crashes sisters’ weekend, Devon learns the price for the pampered life.

Oblivion by Carly Mensch is an irreverent comedy from one of the writers of “Weeds,” and will be directed by Stuart Carden in the Hamburg Studio on March 21 – April 26, 2015.

Uber-hip Brooklynites Pam and Dixon take pride in their progressive approach to parenting. But when their 16-year-old daughter Julie lies about where she spent the weekend, their cool façade crumbles. With the help of Julie’s friend Bernard, a filmmaker in the making, this smart comedy takes a humorous look at Nietzsche, famed film critic Pauline Kael, and what it means to fight for the ones you love.

Midsummer, a vivid play with songs by the author of The Monster in the Hall, is by by David Greig and Gordon McIntyre and will be directed by Ms. Brigden from May 9 – June 14, 2015 in the Hamburg Studio.

Midsummer in Edinburgh turns into a weekend of wild abandon when divorce lawyer Helena meets small-time crook Bob in a wine bar. With a wad of ill-gotten cash in hand and a local gangster on their heels, the unlikely pair goes on an alcohol- and adventure-filled romp, discovering that there are second chances at life—and love.

City Theatre’s annual series of limited engagement special presentations will include:

The Pajama Men, created and performed by Shenoah Allen and Mark Chavez from August 27 – September 7 on the Mainstage.

Critically-acclaimed comedy duo The Pajama Men bring their trademark style of blink-of-an-eye character switches and sidesplitting humor to Pittsburgh! Originally from Albuquerque, the sketch comedians and masters of improv have become stars of the international comedy circuit, earning five stars from the London Times and comparisons to comic luminaries including Abbott and Costello, Monty Python, and “South Park.”

Late Nite Catechism Las Vegas: Sister Rolls the Dice by Maripat Donovan, directed and performed by Kimberly Richards is slated for September 3–14 in the Hamburg Studio.

The convent needs a new roof, so the order has decided that Sister (with her extensive gambling experience running the church bingo for the last 25 years) will organize a Las Vegas night. The irrepressible Kimberly Richards returns as Sister to tackle topics ranging from show girls and live animal acts to the dangers of drive-through marriage chapels. Don’t forget—what happens in Vegas may stay in Vegas, but God sees everything.

Season tickets and flex subscriptions for main season productions are now available by calling 412-431-2489. Online subscription sales begin May 15. Single tickets for season plays range from $36 to $56 and go on sale September 2.

City Theatre’s 40th anniversary season begins this fall. Located on South Side, City Theatre specializes in new plays, commissioning and producing work by playwrights including Daniel Beaty, Jessica Dickey, Christopher Durang, Michael Hollinger, Willy Holtzman, Tarell McCraney and Theresa Rebeck.


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