Two productions which figured prominently in the 1990-91 Tony Awards - one that won in the Best Play category and the other that received two awards for acting - are among the seven plays announced for Pioneer Theatre Company's 1991-92 season.
The two Tony Award plays are also regional premieres for local audiences. They are Frank Galati's acclaimed adaptation of John Steinbeck's "The Grapes of Wrath" and Peter Shaffer's lauded comedy, "Lettice and Lovage."Productions and play dates for PTC's 1991-92 season are:
- "The Grapes of Wrath," Sept. 18 through Oct. 5.
- "Henry V," Oct. 30-Nov. 16.
- "The 1940s Radio Hour," Dec. 4-21.
- "The Mystery of Irma Vep," Jan. 8-25.
- "Uncle Vanya," Feb. 12-29.
- "Lettice and Lovage," March 18-April 4.
- "My Fair Lady," April 29-May 16.
Charles Morey, PTC's artistic director, said the lineup makes up "one of the richest and most varied seasons we have ever presented."
The company's production of "The Grapes of Wrath" will be one of the first presentations since its Broadway run. Steinbeck's Nobel Prize-winning novel about a farm family's epic journey from the dust bowl of the Midwest to California's land of golden opportunity has been transformed into a wrenching stage drama that captures the texture of America's Great Depression.
PTC's second production of the season will be William Shakespeare's `Henry V," one of the most triumphant and clever war plays ever written.
The company's Christmas season offering will be Walton Jones' comedy "The 1940s Radio Hour," which was a Theatre 138 mainstay for several holiday seasons in past years. The setting is a live radio broadcast from the Hotel Astor in New York City on Dec. 21, 1942.
It's a funny, nostalgic recreation of a typical '40s variety hour, complete with hilarious commercials and 20 Big Band tunes, including "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" and "The Chattanooga Choo-Choo."
PTC will start 1992 with Charles Ludlam's "The Mystery of Irma Vep," a clever and amusing parody of the Gothic melodrama genre. This is a two-actor tour de farce with both actors playing all 16 roles, including a werewolf, a vampire and an Egyptian princess.
For February, Morey has a restoration of Anton Chekhov's "Uncle Vanya," in which an everyday country setting populated with ordinary people creates a bittersweet, funny and indelible picture of turn-of-the-century Russia.
The sixth production on Morey's PTC calendar will be "Lettice and Lovage," straight from its London and Broadway engagements. (The Broadway run produced Tony Awards for Maggie Smith and Margaret Tyzack.)
The show, packed with British wit, pits Lettice, a tour guide at one of Britain's least interesting stately homes, against the unimpressed inspector from the Preservation Trust.
PTC will wrap up the 1991-92 season with "My Fair Lady," Lerner and Loewe's adaptation of George Bernard Shaw's "Pygmalion." Now ranked as one of the all-time great musicals of American theater history, Morey said PTC is planning to present a stylish new production of the distinguished classic.
Season tickets range from $46 to $138 and are now available at the Pioneer Theatre Company box office in the Pioneer Memorial Theatre building on the University of Utah campus. For further information, call PTC at 581-6961.