Williamstown Theatre Festival Main Stage 2014
Divas Renée Fleming and Chita Rivera to Star
By: Charles Giuliano - 01/30/2014
Jenny Gersten will be playing a hand of three queens for WTF this summer.
Renee Fleming makes a timely appearance as an opera diva in a spoken role.
Broadway star Chita Rivera will make her WTF debut.
Jessica Stone made her directing debut with WTF and returns this season.
For her fourth and final program at Williamstown Theatre Festival outgoing artistic director Jenny Gersten has played her aces. Actually, make that Queens. Renowned opera soprano Renée Fleming will play, guess what, an opera diva in Living on Love. Broadway favorite Chita Rivera will appear in The Visit with book by Terrence McNally; music by John Kander; and lyrics by Fred Ebb. Jessica Stone who directed during Gersten's debut WTF season returns to helm a revival of June Moon by Ring Lardner and George S. Kaufman.
Williamstown Theatre Festival has announced the 2014 Main Stage Season, the 60th Anniversary Season for the Tony® Award-winning theatre company. The Main Stage Season will kick off on July 2, 2014 with a revival of Ring Lardner and George S. Kaufman’s June Moon, directed by WTF favorite Jessica Stone (July 2-13); the season will also include the World Premiere of Living on Love by Tony® Award winner Joe DiPietro and Garson Kanin (based on Kanin’s play Peccadillo), with celebrated soprano Renée Fleming in her Festival debut, directed by Tony® Award winner Kathleen Marshall (July 16 - 26), and the highly anticipated revival of Kander and Ebb's The Visit, featuring Tony® Award winner Chita Rivera, directed by Tony® Award winner John Doyle (July 31 - August 17).
As previously announced, Jenny Gersten ended her three-season tenure as Artistic Director this month to become Executive Director of NYC's Friends of the High Line, but has curated the upcoming 2014 season. The summer season will be overseen by current Producer Stephen M. Kaus. Mandy Greenfield, currently Artistic Producer at Manhattan Theatre Club, will take over as Artistic Director beginning September 2014.
"There's a real dynamism to this summer's Main Stage season and it thrills me in particular to have so many female powerhouses be part of the Main Stage this summer, between Jessica Stone, Renée Fleming, Kathleen Marshall, and Chita Rivera," Gersten said. "This was by happenstance, but it's a beautiful way for me to close out my term as Artistic Director."
Nikos Stage productions, special events, and additional details about the 2014 Summer Season are forthcoming.
ABOUT THE MAIN STAGE SEASON
July 2 – July 13, 2014
By Ring Lardner and George S. Kaufman; Directed by Jessica Stone
Earnest and gullible young lyricist Fred Stevens boards a train in Schenectady bound for the Big Apple, determined to make a name for himself in the thriving Tin Pan Alley scene. However, the life he’s imagined is rife with seductive distractions -- namely dames -- that threaten to derail his dream of penning the next big ditty. Both bitterly funny and deliciously literate, legendary humorists Ring Lardner and George S. Kaufman celebrate and skewer the perishable pop of yesteryear. Director Jessica Stone, whose WTF productions of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and Last of the Red Hot Lovers left audiences convulsed with laughter, brings her special brand of glee back to the Festival stage.
Living on Love
July 16 – July 26, 2014
By Joe DiPietro and Garson Kanin
Based on the play Peccadillo by Garson Kanin; Directed by Kathleen Marshall
With Renée Fleming
World-renowned soprano Renée Fleming takes the Festival stage as celebrated diva Rachel DeAngelis. When her husband, the fiery and egomaniacal Maestro Vito DeAngelis, becomes enamored with the lovely young lady hired to ghostwrite his long-delayed autobiography, Rachel retaliates by hiring her very own – and very handsome – ghostwriter to chronicle her life as an opera star. As the young writers try to keep themselves out of the story while churning out chapters, the high-energy – and high-maintenance – power duet threatens to fall out of tune for good. A sparkling new comedy from two-time Tony Award winner Joe DiPietro, adapted from a work by the revered Garson Kanin and directed by three-time Tony Award winner Kathleen Marshall.
July 31 – August 17, 2014
Book by Terrence McNally; Music by John Kander; Lyrics by Fred Ebb
Choreographed by Graciela Daniele; Directed by John Doyle
With Chita Rivera
In her Festival debut, Broadway legend Chita Rivera embodies Claire Zachanassian, the oft-widowed richest woman in the world, who returns to the hardship-stricken town of her birth. The locals pray that her wealth will bring them a new lease on life, but the carefully plotted renewal she offers carries a dreadful price. Tony Award-winning director John Doyle helms this incendiary musical – one of the last collaborations between the incomparable John Kander and Fred Ebb, with a book by Tony Award winner Terrence McNally and choreography by Graciela Daniele. Sardonic and morally complex, The Visit asks: What can your heart afford?
TICKETS AND SCHEDULE
Special Discount Ticket Bundles are available for purchase until March 14, 2014 at www.wtfestival.org. Single tickets for the 2014 Williamstown Theatre Festival season will be available in April through the WTF website (www.wtfestival.org) and by mail order using WTF's season brochure (call 413 597 3400 to join the mailing list). The WTF Box Office will open on June 3rd at which point tickets may be purchased online, by phone, or in person at the '62 Center for Theatre and Dance Box Office at 1000 Main St (Route 2), Williamstown, MA 02167.