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Two Neil Simon plays and a hip-hop drama will open 2010-11 season at San Diego's Old Globe

May 21, 2010 | 12:01 am

Diaz The 2010-11 winter season at the Old Globe in San Diego will feature plays that explore what Executive Producer Lou Spisto calls "the dynamics of family life--but not in the way that term is often used."

"These are stories about tricky subjects and relationships," says Spisto, "about people trying to live within the confines of their families and all the good and the difficulties that has to offer."

The mainstage season will open Sept. 14-Nov. 7 with Neil Simon's semi-autobiographical "Brighton Beach Memoirs" and "Broadway Bound" presented in repertory.

Spisto knows this pairing--albeit made up of different productions than the Globe's--didn't fare well last year in New York, where "Brighton Beach" closed after a week and "Broadway Bound" was canceled before it opened. "We have to remember the first productions of these shows ran for years," he says. "And we think in San Diego audiences will respond to them, based on how they've responded in the past."

The Globe's Simon plays will be directed by Scott Schwartz, who staged "Lost in Yonkers" last season.

Other mainstage productions will include the West Coast premiere of Ayub Khan-Din's Olivier-winning comedy "Rafta, Rafta..." (March 19-April 24) and Tracy Letts' Tony- and Pulitzer-winning "August: Osage County" (May 7-June 12), which will be directed by Obie winner Sam Gold.

The season at the Globe's second stage, the 251-seat Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre, will open with the hip-hop drama "Welcome to Arroyo's" by Kristoffer Diaz, whose "The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity" was a 2010 Pulitzer finalist. The show, a West Coast premiere, will run Sept. 25-Oct. 31, before moving to Lincoln High School Center for the Arts from Nov. 4-7.

Other productions at the White will include Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman" (Jan. 22-Feb. 27), directed by Obie winner Pam MacKinnon; Ian Bruce's South African thriller "Groundswell" (March 12-April 17); and the U.S. premiere of Alan Ayckbourn's oddball comedy "Life of Riley" (April 30-June 5).

"Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas!," which was conceived by Globe artistic director emeritus Jack O'Brien, will return for the 13th straight year Nov. 20-Dec 26 on the mainstage.

The Globe plans to announce a musical that will open in January. Last season, the Globe presented two original musicals, Duncan Sheik's "Whisper House" and Leslie Bricusse's "Sammy."

The Globe will announce its 2011 summer lineup in early fall.

--Karen Wada

Photo: Kristoffer Diaz's  "Welcome to Arroyo's" will open at the Globe on Sept. 25. Credit: Emili Panian