Everyman Theatre announced this weekend that a venerable thriller and a venerable farce will bookend its 2016/17 season, which will otherwise contain new comedies, a Michael John LaChiusa/Ellen Fitzhugh musical, and an adaptation of a Charles Dickens novel.
The Baltimore company will start off with Jeffrey Hatcher’s adaptation of Frederick Knott’s Wait Until Dark, in which a blind woman, living in a basement apartment in Greenwich Village, is stalked by a criminal desperate to get his hands on a doll her husband brought from Canada. “[W]hen the tension finally gets going late in the second half, it rips, momentarily reviving not just a dusty property but a theatrical genre,” said Charles McNulty of the Los Angeles Times, commenting on Hatcher’s revision. Donald Hicken directs the thriller, which runs from September 7 to October 9, 2016.
Jen Silverman’s The Roommate will follow. This two-hander observes a 55-year-old Midwestern divorcee who advertises for a roommate and ends up with a sharp-talking New Yorker with a penchant for cigarettes and ceramic statues. The two women slowly reveal their secrets, surprising each other and us, too. Silverman, whose Phoebe in Winter at Baltimore Single Carrot Theatre was one of the features of this season’s Women’s Voices Theater Festival and whose The Dangerous House of Pretty Mbane was a Steinberg finalist, premiered The Roommate at the 2015 Humana Festival of New Plays. The Roommate will run from October 26 to November 27 of this year.
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Everyman’s holiday-season play is Domingo Colman’s Dot, a comedy in which a family must confront their mother’s dementia during their own holiday season. Although Colman (Wild with Happy) appears to be taking on some risks here, Melissa Rose Bernardo of Entertainment Weekly asserts that “Dot is a beautifully unsettling play…A fearless mix of bone-dry humor and warp-speed emotional shifts. ” From December 7, 2016 to January 8, 2017; Vincent M. Lancisi will direct.
A young orphan is plucked from obscurity by a mysterious benefactor, but why? What is expected of him? Great things, of course; so Charles Dickens wrote in his most widely read novel, Great Expectations. Gale Childs Daly has adapted the massive story to the stage, and six actors will play the part of thirty-five characters. The Chicago Tribune called it “tight and suspenseful.” From February 1 to March 5 of next year.
Everyman’s sole musical this coming season with be Michael John LaChiusa’s (The Wild Party, Giant) Los Otros, with book and lyrics by Elizabeth Fitzhugh. This mostly sung-through musical traces the lives of a Latino man and an Anglo woman as they encounter “the Others” during their lives. Noah Himmelstein (I am Harvey Milk) directs. From March 22 to April 23, 2017.
Finally, the mega-theatrical farce Noises Off will conclude the Everyman season. In this Michael Frayn (Copenhagen, and other really dense, intellectual stuff) play, a truly awful British troupe puts on an absolutely dreadful farce, and (in most productions) it’s hilarious. We see the play from front-of-stage, just like the poor British audiences, and also from backstage, where jealousy, treachery, and stupidity reign supreme. Lancisi directs; the show will run from May 17 to June 18 of next year.