Theater Latté Da announces an expanded five-show season—including two world premieres

(Minneapolis/St. Paul) On the heels of its most successful season ever, Theater Latté Da today announced an expanded five-show season and a robust new work initiative. The adventurous season features a gruesome masterpiece, an iconic Broadway musical and an all-new production of a holiday favorite. The season also includes two world premieres—launching NEXT 20/20, Theater Latté Da’s rigorous new work initiative. NEXT 20/20 is a five-year endeavor aimed at developing 20 new musicals or plays-with-music and shepherding many of them to full production. Artistic Director Peter Rothstein offers, “It is the right time in Theater Latté Da’s evolution to expand our artistic reach and to contribute to the future of the American Musical Theater.” Season subscriptions are on sale now and can be purchased at latteda.org/subscribe or by calling 612-339-3003. All single tickets will be made available at a later date.

Season 18 begins with Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler’s bloody, worldwide success Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, —the story of an unjustly exiled barber who returns to 19th century London seeking vengeance. The road to revenge leads Todd to Mrs. Lovett, a resourceful proprietress of a failing pie shop. Together they plot a delicious plan with deadly consequences. Winner of eight Tony Awards including Best Musical, Sweeney Todd features the memorable songs “Pretty Women,” “Nothing’s Gonna Harm You” and “Johanna.”

Twin Cities favorite Sally Wingert takes on the delicious role of the resourceful pie shop proprietress Mrs. Lovett under the direction of Theater Latté Da Artistic Director Peter Rothstein. Wingert most recently appeared with the company as the caustic, no-nonsense Maria Callas in the critically acclaimed production of Terrence McNally’s Master Class. Wingert will share the stage with local stage sensation Tyler Michaels in the role of Toby, Lovett’s sweet-faced, unwitting accomplice. Michaels is best known for his turn as the Emcee in Theater Latté Da and Hennepin Theatre Trust’s lauded production of Cabaret. Rothstein offers, “I cannot wait to join forces once again with powerhouses Sally Wingert and Tyler Michaels—and on Sweeney Todd no less, which in my opinion is Sondheim at his very best.”

The New York Daily News calls Sweeney Todd, “A work of such scope and vision and daring that it dwarfs every other Broadway musical that even attempts to invite comparison.” Sweeney Todd is in performance from September 23 – October 25 at the Ritz Theater (345 13th Avenue NE in Minneapolis, MN).

Theater Latté Da is launching a major new work initiative called NEXT 20/20 —a five year endeavor aimed at developing 20 new musicals or plays-with-music and shepherding many of them to full production. As part of the initiative, the 2015-16 season will feature two world premieres. Rothstein states, “I believe it is the responsibility of the regional theater to not only speak to audiences today, but to contribute to the dramatic canon of tomorrow. With NEXT 20/20, Theater Latté Da will invest in the future of the great American Musical and its playwrights, composers and lyricists.”

The first world premiere is Lullaby, a compelling play-with-music from award-winning writer Michael Elyanow and famed singer-songwriter, prolific recording artist and playwright Jonatha Brooke (My Mother Has Four Noses; Playwrights’ Center/Guthrie Theater). Direct from Theater Latté Da’s most recent NEXT: New Musicals in the Making series, Lullaby is the story of a widowed young mother who, haunted by the death of her husband, forms an unlikely friendship with the lesbian songwriter she hires to teach her to play lullabies for her infant son. Lullaby is an intimate story about the stories we tell ourselves before the lights go out. NEXT audiences called it “funny,” “powerful” and “absolutely beautiful.”

Lullaby is directed by the Playwrights’ Center Producing Artistic Director Jeremy B. Cohen and features the talents of Adelin Phelps reprising her dynamic performance as Cassie. Lullaby is in performance January 13 – February 7, 2016 at the Ritz Theater (345 13th Avenue NE Minneapolis, MN).

As previously announced, Theater Latté Da has partnered with Hennepin Theatre Trust to present the great American musical Gypsy as the fourth offering in the Broadway Re-Imagined series (previous productions include OLIVER!, Cabaret and Aida). Set during the collapse of vaudeville and the rise of burlesque, Gypsy is the story of famed burlesque performer Gypsy Rose Lee and Momma Rose, the stage mother who steamrolls everyone in her way, propelling her daughters to stardom. Gypsy features an incredible score by Jule Styne and Stephen Sondheim, including the legendary songs “Everything’s Coming up Roses,” “Let Me Entertain You” and of course, “Rose’s Turn.” On his interpretation of the musical Director Peter Rothstein says, “Gypsy is the perfect American musical. It is a quintessential American story, populated by fascinating characters, set to an unforgettable score.”

Gypsy features the remarkable Michelle Barber in the role of the iconic stage mother Mama Rose. Barber, a Twin Cities mainstay, is known to audiences for her impressive corps de travail including appearances in Chanhassen Dinner Theatre’s Hello Dolly and the Guthrie Theater’s Other Desert Cities. The classic musical also features Barber’s real-life daughter Cat Brindisi in the title role of Gypsy Rose Lee.  Tod Petersen, most known for his work in A Christmas Carole Petersen and his riveting performance as Simon Stimson in Our Town, will play the lovelorn Herbie. Theater Latté Da Resident Music Director Denise Prosek provides music direction for the production and Ivey Award winner Michael Matthew Ferrell will choreograph. Performances of Gypsy begin February 13 and continue through March 13, 2016, at the historic Pantages Theatre (710 Hennepin Avenue Minneapolis, MN).

The final production in the main season is the world premiere of C. Bradley Greenwald and Bob Elhai’s musical adaptation of Edmond Rostand’s play, Cyrano de Bergerac. Cyrano is a brash, strong-willed man of many talents. In addition to being a remarkable duelist, he is a gifted poet and musician who is deeply in love with the beautiful, intellectual Roxanne. However, he is plagued with persisting self-doubt because of his extremely large nose. Previously presented as part of Theater Latté Da’s NEXT: New Musicals in the Making series, C. is an inventive retelling of one of the greatest romantic comedies of all time.

C. features the award-winning dynamo Bradley Greenwald in the role of Cyrano. Greenwald was recently seen as the greedy, pied piper Fagin in Theater Latté Da and Hennepin Theatre Trust’s production of OLIVER! The cast also includes the talents of David Darrow (Christian) and Kendall Ann Thompson (Roxanne) who both recently appeared in Theater Latté Da’s innovative, hit production of Into the Woods. John Middleton makes his Theater Latté Da debut as the comedic villain Dewight. Peter Rothstein directs and Jason Hansen will serve as music director. On this world premiere Rothstein offers, “For years I have wanted to create a musical adaptation of Edmond Rostand’s masterpiece. Collaborating with Bradley Greenwald and Robert Elhai has been a remarkable experience; together we have adapted this classic comedy into something wholly original.” Performances of C. begin March 30 and continue through April 24 at the Ritz Theater (345 13th Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN).

Subscribers can add-on two offerings in the 2015-16 season.  All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914 and NEXT: New Musicals in the Making.

Theater Latté Da has once again partnered with Hennepin Theatre Trust to present an all-new production of the classic holiday favorite All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914 by Peter Rothstein. This moving piece recreates an astounding moment in history when Allied and German soldiers laid down their arms to celebrate the holiday together by trading carols, sharing food and drink, playing soccer and burying the dead. In some places the truce lasted only a night, in others it endured until New Year’s Day. This dramatic re-telling contains poetry, diary entries, war documents and letters written by thirty World War I figures brought to life by 12 actor/singers. The historic documents are interspersed with iconic World War I songs and European carols, exquisitely arranged by Erick Lichte and Timothy C. Takach. Lichte, who was artistic director of the vocal ensemble Cantus, returns to the Twin Cities to serve as music director for this production.

Critics have called All is Calm “A dramatic, real-life musing about the power this season has to make us stop, reflect, and decide to operate in a mode of peace” and “A work of beauty…not only an outstanding piece of musical theater, but a brilliantly executed production that understands that its power comes from its simplicity.” Performances of All is Calm begin December 16 and continue through the 20 at the Pantages Theatre (710 Hennepin Avenue Minneapolis, MN).

Season 18 concludes with the fourth year of NEXT: New Musicals in the Making. NEXT provides the unique opportunity for audience members to get in on the ground floor of the creative process. Staged readings of the new musicals will be performed May 4 – 22. Show titles and venues will be announced at a later date.

Theater Latté Da is an award-winning Twin Cities musical theater company that combines music and story to illuminate the breadth and depth of the human experience. The company seeks to create new connections between story, music, artists and audience by exploring and expanding the art of musical theater.  latteda.org
Season at-a-Glance:

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

A Musical Thriller

Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim

Book by Hugh Wheeler

From an Adaptation by Christopher Bond

Directed by Peter Rothstein

Music Direction by Denise Prosek

 

Performance Dates: September 23 – October 25, 2015

Venue: Ritz Theater (345 13th Avenue NE Minneapolis, MN)

Stephen Sondheim’s bloody, worldwide success, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, is the story of an unjustly exiled barber who returns to 19th century London seeking vengeance. The road to revenge leads Todd to Mrs. Lovett, a resourceful proprietress of a failing pie shop. Together they plot a delicious plan with deadly consequences. Don’t miss this tasty, thrilling, theatrical treat that has simultaneously shocked and delighted audiences across the world. Winner of eight Tony Awards including Best Musical, Sweeney Todd is Sondheim at his very best.

 

 

All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914

By Peter Rothstein

With Musical Arrangements by Erik Lichte and Timothy C. Takach

Directed by Peter Rothstein

Music Direction by Erik Lichte

A co-production with Hennepin Theatre Trust

 

Performance Dates: December 16 – 20, 2015

Venue: Pantages Theater (710 Hennepin Avenue Minneapolis, MN)

The Western Front. Christmas. 1914. Out of the violence comes a silence, then a song. A German solider steps into No Man’s Land Singing “Stille Nacht.” Thus begins an extraordinary night of camaraderie, music and peace. This moving docu-musical recreates an astounding moment in history when Allied and German soldiers laid down their arms to celebrate the holiday together by trading carols, sharing food and drink, playing soccer and burying the dead. The Star Tribune calls All Is Calm “a classic to be repeated for years to come.” Don’t miss this award-winning, Theater Latté Da original that has been seen and heard around the globe.

 

Lullaby (World Premiere)

Book by Michael Elyanow

Music and Lyrics by Jonatha Brooke and Michael Elyanow

Directed by Jeremy B. Cohen

Music Direction by Jonatha Brooke

 

Performance Dates: January 13- February 7, 2016

Venue: Ritz Theater (345 13 Avenue NE Minneapolis, MN)

Direct from Theater Latté Da’s NEXT: New Musicals in the Making series, comes the world premiere of award-winning writer Michael Elyanow and singer songwriter Jonatha Brooks’ compelling play-with-music, Lullaby. A widowed young mother who, haunted by the death of her husband, forms an unlikely friendship with the lesbian songwriter she hires to teach her to play lullabies for her infant son. Lullaby is an intimate story about the stories we tell ourselves before the lights go out. NEXT audiences called it “funny,” “powerful” and “absolutely beautiful.”

Lullaby is the first world premiere in Theater Latté Da’s major new work initiative. NEXT 20/20 is a five-year endeavor aimed at developing 20 new musicals or plays-with-music and shepherding many of them to full production.

 

Gypsy

Book by Arthur Laurents

Music by Jule Styne

Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim

Directed by Peter Rothstein

Music Direction by Denise Prosek

Choreography by Michael Matthew Ferrell

A  Broadway Re-Imagined co-production with Hennepin Theatre Trust

 

Performance Dates: February 13 – March 13)

Venue: Pantages Theater (710 Hennepin Avenue Minneapolis, MN)

Strippers! Showstoppers! Stage Mothers! Theater Latté Da and Hennepin Theatre Trust return for the fourth year of Broadway Re-Imagined with the great American musical GYPSY. Set during the collapse of vaudeville and the rise of burlesque, GYPSY is the story of famed burlesque performer Gypsy Rose Lee and Momma Rose, the stage mother who steamrolls everyone in her way, propelling her daughters to stardom. GYPSY features an incredible score by Jule Styne and Stephen Sondheim, including the legendary songs “Everything’s Coming up Roses,” “Let Me Entertain You” and of course, “Rose’s Turn.”
C. (World Premiere)

Book and Lyrics by Bradley Greenwald

Music by Robert Elhai

Adapted from the Edmond Rostand play Cyrano de Bergerac

Directed by Peter Rothstein

Music Direction by Jason Hansen

 

Performance Dates: March 30 – April 24, 2016

Venue: Ritz Theater (345 13th Avenue NE Minneapolis, MN)
Cyrano is a brash, strong-willed man of many talents. In addition to being a remarkable duelist, he is a gifted poet and musician who is deeply in love with the beautiful, intellectual Roxanne. However, he is plagued with persisting self-doubt because of his extremely large nose. Bradley Greenwald and Robert Elhai’s new musical adaptation of Edmond Rostand’s great play, Cyrano de Bergerac, reminds us of the power of language, and of one of its greatest champions. Previously presented as part of Theater Latté Da’s NEXT: New Musicals in the Making series, C. is an inventive retelling of one of the greatest romantic comedies of all time.

C. is the second world premiere in Theater Latté Da’s major new work initiative. NEXT 20/20 is a five-year endeavor aimed at developing 20 new musicals or plays-with-music and shepherding many of them to full production.

 

 

NEXT: New Musicals in the Making

Performance Dates: May 4-22, 2016

Venues and show titles to be announced

 

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