Reprise Theatre Company's 2010-11 season to feature 'They're Playing Our Song,' 'Gigi' and 'Kiss Me, Kate'
For its 2010-11 season, Reprise Theatre Company will present what Artistic Director Jason Alexander calls a trio of "fun, beautiful love stories."
"It's been rough going for a bunch of people for a bunch of reasons of late," he says. "So I thought it would be great to do a season that doesn't have a particularly dark undercurrent." Besides, he adds, "these all worked well when we considered what size shows we can do with our limited production budgets."
Reprise, which presents revivals of classic musicals at UCLA's Freud Playhouse, will open Sept. 28-Oct. 10 with "They're Playing Our Song," which follows the on-again off-again relationship between two songwriters.
The show -- which has a book by Neil Simon, music by Marvin Hamlisch and lyrics by Carole Bayer Sager -- premiered at the Ahmanson Theatre before opening on Broadway in 1979 with Robert Klein and Lucie Arnaz.
Alexander will star in the Reprise production. No other casting has been announced for the season.
Lerner and Loewe's "Gigi," a Parisian romance based on their 1958 film and a Collette novel, will run Feb. 15-27. The production will be directed by TV and theater veteran David Lee, who staged "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum" for Reprise in March.
Cole Porter's "Kiss Me, Kate" will conclude the season May 10-22. The backstage comedy, loosely borrowed from Shakespeare, offers a chance to have what Alexander calls "our one fun blowout dance show. 'They're Playing Our Song' is very small, 'Gigi' is modest, but this one is lavish and big."
When he became artistic director in 2007, Alexander had said he hoped to improve the consistency of Reprise productions. "Our quality is higher now, we have a bit of a real repertory company going and our audience has responded in many ways," he says.
However, he says, "we're faced with the same struggle every other theater in town faces. We don't have enough money, and part of the reason is our home base, where we've been for a long time and which is built on a model that is much more like a concert series -- which we haven't been for years."
"We're rethinking and reconfiguring how we do everything," says Alexander. "In the next year or two, we're going to see some new directions coming."
-- Karen Wada
Photo: Reprise Artistic Director Jason Alexander will star in "They're Playing Our Song." Credit: Jae C. Hong / Associated Press