Launching the 2017-2018 Season November 9, and playing through December 23, in the Marian Theatre is the Disney musical Freaky Friday. When an overworked mother and her contrary teenage daughter magically swap bodies, they have just one day to put things right again before mom’s big wedding. In this hilarious modern day fairytale based on two Disney hit movies, a mother and daughter really see what it is to be a family and experience each other’s lives first-hand, if only for a day. Freaky Friday is a delightfully entertaining musical for anyone with a perfectly imperfect family.
Arthur Miller’s Tony-winning masterpiece The Crucible will play from February 15 – March 4 in the Marian Theatre. Inspired by Senator Joseph McCarthy’s witch hunt for Communists in America in the 1950s and the Salem witch trials of 1692, the story centers on a farmer, his wife, and a former servant-girl who maliciously causes the wife's arrest for witchcraft. The farmer finds himself swept up in the runaway witch-hunt and ultimately must face the atrocious decision between preserving his integrity or saving his life. Arthur Miller’s thrilling dramatic play about the Puritan purge of witchcraft in old Salem, Massachusetts is both a gripping historical play and a strikingly timely social parable for today.
Playing in the intimate Severson Theatre March 8 – 25 is Madeleine George’s witty, time-jumping play The (curious case of the) Watson Intelligence that spins in the orbit of four Watsons. Watson the trusty sidekick to Sherlock Holmes, Watson the loyal engineer who built Bell’s first telephone, Watson the unstoppable super-computer that became reigning Jeopardy! champ, and, Watson an amiable techno-dweeb who, in the present day is just looking for love. These four constant companions become one – weaving through synthetic intimacy, remote connections and artificial intelligence – in this loving tribute and modern cautionary tale, dedicated to the people and machines upon which we all depend. (Mature themes/Adult language)
Two of the biggest names in American musical theatre, Alan Menken (Beauty and the Beast) and Stephen Schwartz (Wicked), have teamed up to deliver an emotionally sweeping score and powerful story, making Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame the musical an unforgettable instant classic. It plays in the Marian Theatre April 26 – May 13 and from June 14 – July 8 in the Solvang Festival Theater. Based on Victor Hugo’s gothic novel, Quasimodo, the misshaped bell-ringer, is held captive by his devious caretaker, the archdeacon Dom Claude Frollo, who plans to destroy the gypsies, including the enthralling Esmeralda. Cornered in an unlikely love quadrangle between Frollo, the handsome Captain Phoebus, and the kindly Esmerelda, it’s up to Quasimodo to save the day in this brand new musical.
In Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, playwright Christopher Durang puts dysfunction to hilarious effect when three siblings reunite in the family’s Bucks County, PA home. It plays in the Marian Theatre June 28 – July 7, then in the Solvang Festival Theater July 12 – 22. Vanya and Sonia bicker and pine about the dashed dreams and squandered hopes of their lives when their movie-star sister, Masha, suddenly swoops in with her new boy-toy, Spike. This giddy, Tony-winning farce on Chekhovian themes is the perfect summer tonic. (Adult language)
The sunny and funny Mamma Mia! spins and sparkles into the ultimate feel-good smash hit musical for summer 2018. It will play July 18 – 21 in the Marian Theatre in Santa Maria before transferring to Solvang to play under the stars from July 27 through August 26. The energy and charm of ABBA’s songs propel this enchanting tale with love, laughter and friendship. On the eve of her wedding, Sophie has secretly invited three men from her mother Donna's past back to the Greek island paradise they last visited 20 years ago in a quest to discover the identity of her father. Donna’s long-time friends from her past girl-group “Donna and the Dynamos” also arrive for the wedding to catch up and reminisce, turning a trip down the aisle into one you’ll never forget!
From the author of Shakespeare in Love, Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia is considered one of the greatest plays of its time. It runs August 16 – 25 in the Marian Theatre and August 30 – September 9 in the Solvang Festival Theater. Arcadia is a romantic mystery set in the elegant Coverly estate and taking place in both 1809 and the present. Two plot lines run parallel across time with intertwining themes. While thirteen-year-old Lady Thomasina and her tutor delve into intellectual and romantic issues, the present day finds the Coverly descendants and two competing scholars researching horticulture and a possible scandal at the estate in 1809. Stoppard’s brilliant Olivier and Tony-winning play traverses the centuries exploring the nature of truth and time, the difference between Classical and Romantic temperaments, and the disruptive influence of sex on our life orbits - the attraction which Newton left out.