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Beck Theater Season Features 'Annie,' 'Xanadu' and 'Spamalot'

Professional Theater Season kicks off with 'Xanadu' in September. Subscriptions available now.

Expect to hear an "outrageous French accent" and perhpaps to be taunted a second time during the 2012-2013 Professional Theater season at the . Or flash back to the early 1980s and the roller disco scene. 

The center announced its season including five locally produced premieres and an eclectic mix of outrageous comedies, award-winning musicals and inspiring dramas that Northeast Ohio audiences have come to expect from Beck Center. 

“Selecting the 2012/2013 season was truly a labor of love and an exercise in patience, but the payoff is worth the wait,” said Artistic Director Scott Spence. “We are thrilled on so many levels, from our locally produced premieres, to continuing our newfound collaboration with Baldwin-Wallace College Musical Theatre program.” According to Spence, there were a few hurdles in finalizing the new season, but his persistence paid off when he secured a title that he has always wanted to direct, Monty Python’s Spamalot. “To be able to cap off the season with the Eric Idle and Monty Python-inspired Spamalot – well, it's pure icing on the cake. We hope you buy your subscriptions before we have to taunt you a second time!”

Subscriptions for the 2012-2013 Professional Theater season are available now. For more information, call 216.521.2540 ext. 10. Individual tickets go on sale Aug. 1. Beck Center is at 17801 Detroit Ave. Free onsite parking is available.

Here's the lineup:

Xanadu

Sept. 14 – Oct. 14, 2012; Mackey Main Stage

Xanadu follows the journey of a beautiful Greek muse named Kira who descends from the heavens of Mount Olympus to Venice Beach, Calif., on a quest to inspire Sonny, a struggling artist, to build his greatest artistic creation – the first roller disco (Hey, it's 1980!). But, when Kira falls into forbidden love with the mortal Sonny, her jealous sisters are enraged and chaos ensues. This hilarious, roller skating, musical adventure about following your dreams despite the limitations others set for you, rolls along to the original hit score including pop-rock hits such as Magic, Evil Woman, Have You Never Been Mellow, and Xanadu. Winner of the 2008 Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding New Broadway Musical. 

The Little Dog Laughed

Oct. 5 – Nov. 11, 2012; Studio Theater

Nominated for the 2007 Tony Award for Best Play and the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding New York Theatre, this fast-paced farce is an examination of the scandalous world of Hollywood celebrities. Mitchell Green is a hunky movie star who could hit it big if it weren't for one persistent problem. His hard-driving Hollywood agent can't seem to keep him in the closet. Will the leading man’s career be derailed before it gets started with what his agent describes as Mitchell's "slight recurring case of homosexuality?”  Contains strong language and themes. 

Annie

December 7, 2012 – January 6, 2013; Mackey Main Stage

Winner of seven Tony Awards including Best Musical, Book and Score, Annie is the story of a spunky Depression-era orphan determined to find her parents who abandoned her years ago on the doorstep of a New York City orphanage run by the cruel, embittered Miss Hannigan. In adventure after fun-filled adventure, Annie foils Miss Hannigan's evil machinations, befriends President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and finds a new home in the mansion of billionaire Oliver Warbucks, as well as a new family with “Daddy” Warbucks, his personal secretary Grace Farrell and a lovable mutt named Sandy. Annie is one of the world’s best-loved musicals that includes such unforgettable songs as It’s A Hard Knock Life and Tomorrow.

Next to Normal

In collaboration with Baldwin-Wallace University Music Theatre Program

Feb. 1 – April 21, 2013; Studio Theater

An emotional powerhouse of a musical, Next to Normal features a compelling Tony Award-winning pop rock score that shatters the façade of a suburban family dealing with the traumatic effects of mental illness. Winner of three Tony Awards and the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, this intense, emotional, yet ultimately hopeful musical makes a direct grab for the heart with a story that takes us inside the lives of a typical American family that’s anything but typical. Contains strong language and themes. 

The House of Blue Leaves

March 22 - April 21, Mackey Main Stage

Considered John Guare's most popular and arguably most important play, The House of Blue Leaves won the 1971 Drama Critics' Circle Award and Obie Award for Best American Play. Meet Artie Shaugnessy, an aspiring songwriter with visions of glory. Toiling by day as a zookeeper, Artie performs in seedy lounges by night in Queens, New York, where he lives with his schizophrenic wife, Bananas – much to the chagrin of his downstairs neighbor and mistress, Bunny Flingus. With the arrival of an old school chum, now a successful Hollywood producer, Artie plans to escape the life he despises and pursue his musical career in la-la-land. But like many dreams, this promise of glory evaporates amid the chaos of ordinary lives.  

The Pitmen Painters

May 31 – July 7, Studio Theater

Heralded in London’s West End and on Broadway, this new play by the Tony Award-winning writer of Billy Elliot is based on a triumphant true story. In 1934, a group of miners in Northern England take an art appreciation class and begin experimenting with painting. They soon build an astonishing body of work that makes them the unlikeliest of art-world sensations. An arresting and hilarious salute to the power of individual expression and the collective spirit, The Pitmen Painters is richly funny, deeply moving and continuously entertaining as it examines the lives of a group of ordinary men who do extraordinary things. A heart-breakingly funny, inspirational story that takes you on an unforgettable journey from the depths of the mine to the heights of fame.  

Monty Python’s Spamalot

July 12 – Aug. 18, 2013; Mackey Main Stage

Monty Python's Spamalot is the outrageous musical comedy lovingly ripped off from the cult classic motion picture Monty Python and the Holy Grail. With music and lyrics by the Grammy Award-winning team of Eric Idle and John Du Prez and book by Idle, Spamalot tells the story of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table as they embark on their quest for the Holy Grail. Winner of three 2005 Tony Awards including Best Musical, this hysterically irreverent musical features a chorus line of dancing divas and knee-slapping knights, flatulent Frenchmen, flying cows, killer rabbits, a legless knight, and several show-stopping musical numbers including Always Look on the Bright Side of Life and The Song That Goes Like This.

 

Beck Center for the Arts is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization that offers professional theater productions on two stages, arts education programming in dance, music, theater, visual arts, early childhood, and creative arts therapies for special needs students, and gallery exhibits featuring local, regional, and international artists.

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