Booth Tarkington Civic Theatre Executive Artistic Director Michael Lasley is pleased with the variety in the 2022-23 season.
“I really like that there’s something for everyone,” Lasley said of the schedule, which was announced April 15. “As a set of shows, it covers a wide variety of stories and styles.”
Civic’s season will begin with “Rent” Oct. 7-22. Set in the East Village of New York City, “Rent” is about falling in love, finding your voice and living for today. It won the Tony Award for Best Musical and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
“A Christmas Story: The Musical” is set for Dec. 2-24. It is based on the movie classic that has become a Christmas staple. Set in the 1940s in the fictional town of Hohman, Ind., the musical follows Ralphie Parker and his quest for an official Red Ryder carbine-action, 200-shot Range Model air rifle.
“I’m very excited to give ‘Rent’ a full production,” Lasley said. “It’s a show that means a lot to many performers and patrons. And ‘A Christmas Story’ will be only the second holiday-themed show on the Civic stage since 1996, so we’re excite to see new audiences for it.”
The first play of the season is “The Diary of Anne Frank,” set for Feb. 10-25, 2023. The play records the 25 months two Jewish families spent in hiding from the Gestapo in an Amsterdam warehouse attic during World War II. The play was canceled earlier this year because Lasley said Civic wanted to present it to as many students as possible, and the lingering COVID-19 pandemic made it impossible to bring in the 4,000 students he expects to see it in the 2022-23 season
The second play will be Agatha Christie’s “Murder on the Orient Express,” March 10-25, 2023. The murder of an American tycoon on the train is investigated by detective Hercule Poirot. The season concludes with “The Sound of Music” April 28 to May 13, 2023. The inspirational story follows a governess, Maria, to the seven children of Capt. von Trapp, bringing music and joy to the household.
“All these shows represent first time, or first time in a long time, productions on the Civic stage,” Lasley said. “We did a concert version of ‘Rent’ in 2010, but it’s never been a mainstage show. ‘A Christmas Story: the Musical’ is a first-time production for us. ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’ was last on the Civic stage in 2003 at Newfields, and then it was only offered as a student matinee production. The last time it was on the main season was 1999. This particular adaption of Agatha Christie’s ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ is a new look at the show from the ever-popular Ken Ludwig from 2018, so it’s a Civic premiere. And ‘The Sound of Music’ is being presented for the first time at Civic since 1990, when it was a replacement holiday show alongside the mainstage productions.”
Dr. Seuss’s “The Cat in the Hat” also return in February 2023. The Jr. Civic musical will be “Newsies Jr,” and the Young Artists Program will perform “Revue!” and “Legally Blonde” in the summer of 2023.
Subscriptions will be available beginning April 29, and single tickets will go on sale at the end of July. For more, visit civictheatre.org.