New musicals, two world premieres, and stories that will take audiences on a journey around the world and through time are part of the 2022-2023 season of La Jolla Playhouse.
Following the 2021-22 season’s closing productions of “The Yellow House” (opening this week) and the musical “Bhangin ‘It” in March, the 2022-23 season will kick off in April with a four-wallless festival. days. at Liberty Station at Point Loma. It will continue with six subscription shows, four of which were announced on November 11. Two more – a reimagined classic co-directed by La Jolla Playhouse Artistic Director Christopher Ashley and Will Davis, and a new musical – will be announced soon.
Ashley said the four shows announced last week were about people adjusting to tumultuous changes at extraordinary times in history, including wars, the Holocaust, the break-up of the Soviet Union and a crisis of immigration.
“These new works … speak of the resilience of the human spirit throughout history and how that spirit can triumph in the face of adversity,” he said.
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Tickets for the newly announced productions are available now for current subscribers and from December 1 for new subscribers by calling (858) 550-1010 or by visiting lajollaplayhouse.org.
Here is the program to date:
Festival Without Walls: The 2022 event will feature four days of immersive, site-specific theater, dance and music by local, national and international artists from April 21-24 in the Liberty Station Arts District. Ashley said WOW will become an annual event for the gambling house, and because it’s designed to be mobile, the 2023 festival will likely move to a new location.
“Lempicka: a new musical”, June-July: Carried over from the 2020 season, this acclaimed 2018 musical was inspired by the story of Polish painter Tamara de Lempicka, who fled the Russian Revolution in 1917 and flourished in bohemian Paris with her sensual paintings. Then, when the Germans entered Paris in 1940, she fled again to Los Angeles. “She was a very charismatic woman who was caught between these many worlds and violent changes,” Ashley said.
“Lempicka” features a book and lyrics by Carson Kreitzer and a sheet music by Matt Gould. It will be directed by Rachel Chavkin, who won a Tony Award in 2019 for directing “Hadestown” on Broadway. Raja Feather Kelly will choreograph the show.
“Here, there are blueberries” July-August: Produced in collaboration with Tectonic Theater Project, this world premiere play by Moisés Kaufman and Amanda Gronich was conceived and will be directed by Kaufman. It is based on the true story of a WWII photo album that arrived on the desk of archivist Rebecca Erbelding at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2007.
The photos showed Nazi guards and staff from the Auschwitz extermination camp in Poland frolicking, eating and sunbathing at a nearby vacation home during their days off from the camp in 1944-45. The play also involves a businessman in Germany who is horrified to recognize his grandfather in the photos. Ashley said actual photos will be featured in the show’s screening design.
“The piece explores how ordinary people’s lives and deep damage can coexist,” Ashley said. “The photos are windows to this really rich, vivid, complicated and difficult subject in a way that Moisés is uniquely suited to provide theatrical clarity.”
“Fandango for butterflies (and coyotes)”, August-September: The En Garde Arts production of this 2019 piece by Andrea Thome with original music by Sinuhé Padilla is based on interviews with immigrants from Latin America living in New York City.
In the play, a group of immigrants gather at a community center for a fandango, a festive celebration where stories come to life through live performances, music and dance. As fears of a city-wide immigration raid grow, revelers share their stories of hope, resilience and family.
The play will be directed by José Zayas, whom Ashley has known and worked with for the past 20 years. “It’s a very happy game,” said Ashley.
“Mother Russia,” September October: First announced for the 2020 season, Lauren Yee’s comedy world premiere will arrive next fall. Yee is a Masters of Fine Arts graduate from UC San Diego and author of “Cambodian Rock Band,” which premiered in 2019 at La Jolla Playhouse.
“Mother Russia”, set during the collapse of the Soviet Union in the 1990s in St. Petersburg, involves two barely competent surveillance agents tasked with tracking the movements of a fallen pop star. Ashley describes the play as a “post-Berlin Wall comedy” that the government has fallen into and everyone is trying to figure out how to navigate the new world order. It will be directed by Tyne Rafaeli. ??