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Rita Rudner's stage adaptation of her novel and a new folk music revue highlight Laguna Playhouse 2011-12 season

April 5, 2011 | 10:00 am

RitaRudnerJerryMetellusPhotographyInc The Laguna Playhouse’s 2011-12 season announced Monday will offer a salute to Tony Bennett, a one-man treatment of “It’s A Wonderful Life”  and the next installment in Maripat Donovan’s “Late Nite Catechism” series.

Also scheduled: a new concert-narrative that traces the development of American folk music from the 1920s to the mid-'60s, and the world premiere of a play that comedian Rita Rudner has adapted from her novel, “Tickled Pink.”

The details:

 “I Left My Heart: A Salute to the Music of Tony Bennett” (July 5-Aug. 23) offers three tenors and a four-piece band essaying 40-some standards Bennett has recorded; it’s from David Grapes and Todd Olson, the team that created and produced “My Way,” the Frank Sinatra tribute seen at the Playhouse in 2009.  

“This Wonderful Life” (Nov. 25-Dec. 24) is the title of Steve Murray’s stage adaptation of Frank Capra’s Christmas film classic starring solo performer James Learning.

“Lonesome Traveler: A Journey Down the Rivers and Streams of American Folk” (Jan. 10-Feb. 5) is a touring show conceived and directed by James O’Neil and produced by Ventura’s Rubicon Theatre, where it’s scheduled to premiere April 16.

Donovan’s new turn as a comically instructive parochial school nun is “Sister’s Easter Catechism: Will my bunny go to Heaven?” (March 13-April 8, 2012).

“Tickled Pink” (April 24-May 20, 2012) follows the adventures of Mindy Solomon, an aspiring Broadway performer who falls into standup comedy instead — paralleling Rudner's own career path. Rudner and her husband, Martin Bergman, co-wrote the stage adaptation of her novel, and Bergman directs; Rudner herself is not in the cast.

 A sixth play (Sept. 27-Oct. 23) will be announced.


Laguna Playhouse's 2010-11 season tends toward new plays with small casts

Comedian's number is up in 90210

Andrew Barnicle, longtime artistic director of Laguna Playhouse, stepping down

— Mike Boehm

Photo: Rita Rudner. Credit: Jerry Metellus Photography Inc.