MINNEAPOLIS (June 9, 2014) — Theater Latté Da on Monday announced slated productions and preliminary casting for shows in Season 17.
The dynamic season includes a play with music, two musicals, a poignant holiday classic and a new work series and features some of the top talent in the Twin Cities—including Star Tribune 2013 Artist of the Year Sally Wingert in an iconic turn as Maria Callas in the provocative play with music Master Class, Playwright and IVEY Award-winning dynamo Bradley Greenwald as Fagin in the beloved musical OLIVER! and vocal powerhouse and award-winning actress Greta Oglesby as the Witch in Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s fairytale mash-up musical Into the Woods.
Season 17 begins with the limited run of Terrence McNally’s play with music Master Class—a witty, fictionalized account of the glamorous and commanding Maria Callas coaching opera students at the Julliard School on the art of performance. In these classes, Callas—the most influential vocal artist of the 20th century—shares recollections about the glories and struggles of her own career and private life, including her scandalous affair with the formidable Aristotle Onassis. Master Class is a scathingly humorous piece about following your passion and the sacrifice of leading a life of art.
Twin Cities favorite Sally Wingert takes on the iconic role of the quick-witted, sometimes caustic, vocal virtuoso Maria Callas under the direction of Theater Latté Da Artistic Director Peter Rothstein. Wingert most recently appeared with Theater Latté Da in her turn as the practical, no-nonsense Fräulein Schneider in the critically acclaimed production of Cabaret. Rothstein offers, “Sally Wingert and I have collaborated extensively over the past decade. She is one of my most cherished colleagues and friends. I look forward to tackling Maria Callas with her. Callas—as poignantly drawn by Terrence McNally—is a fascinating, funny, tragic and profound character.” Wingert will share the stage with Andrew Bourgoin, the onstage accompanist and music director for the piece. He was previously assistant music director for last season’s production of Cabaret.
The New York Times calls Master Class, “rich, vivid, satisfying theatre.” Master Class is in performance from October 8 – November 2. Rothstein has selected a venue apropos for a master class to bring the production to life. Through a partnership with the MacPhail Center for Music, Master Class will be staged in MacPhail’s striking, new Antonello Hall (501 S. 2nd St, Minneapolis, MN).
As previously announced, Theater Latté Da has partnered with the Hennepin Theatre Trust to present Lionel Bart’s musical OLIVER! as the third offering in the Broadway Re-Imagined series. In this poignant, extraordinary tale, Director Peter Rothstein brings Charles Dickens’ vivid characters to life with iconic songs like “Consider Yourself,” “Food, Glorious Food” and “You’ve Got to Pick a Pocket or Two.” On his interpretation of the musical Rothstein says, “I am looking forward to unlocking the complex and highly theatrical world of Charles Dickens’ characters and illuminating the story’s rich exploration of class, family and social responsibility.”
OLIVER! features the remarkable Bradley Greenwald in the role of the greedy, pied piper Fagin. Greenwald, a Twin Cities mainstay, is known to audiences for his impressive corps de travail including appearances in the Jungle Theater’s I am My Own Wife and a recent turn as Mack the Knife in Frank Theatre’s The ThreePenny Opera. He previously appeared with Theater Latté Da in last season’s Steerage Song, and his new musical C. has been workshopped as a part of the NEXT: New Musicals in the Making series. The production also features 30 members of the Minnesota Boychoir—the oldest boy choir in the Minneapolis/Saint Paul metropolitan area. Theater Latté Da Resident Music Director Denise Prosek provides music direction for the production and Michael Matthew Ferrell—who worked on last season’s Cabaret—will choreograph. Performances of OLIVER! begin February 4 and continue through March 1, 2015, at the historic Pantages Theatre (710 Hennepin Avenue Minneapolis, MN).
The final production in the main season is the award-winning, fairytale musical comedy Into the Woods by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine. Into the Woods incorporates the classic Brothers Grimm stories of Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Rapunzel—all tied together by an original story involving a baker, his wife and the witch who has cursed them childless. A modern spin on timeless fables, this uproariously hilarious and equally poignant musical features memorable songs including “Children Will Listen,” “Giants in the Sky” and “No One is Alone.” Jason Hansen, who served as music director for AIDA, returns to the podium. Peter Rothstein directs—and in true Theater Latté Da form—puts a unique spin on this highly theatrical musical. Rothstein has set Sondheim’s fairytale mash-up in a Bavarian beer garden with nine actors who take on more than two-dozen characters in a theatrical tour-de-force.
Vocal powerhouse and award-winning actress Greta Oglesby makes her Theater Latté Da debut in the role of the possessive, sarcastic and charismatic Witch. Oglesby is known to Twin Cities audiences for her work throughout the region, including her magnanimous turn as Caroline in Tony Kushner’s Caroline, or Change at the Guthrie Theater. Oglesby has appeared in productions at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Alabama Shakespeare Festival and the Goodman Theater Company and was recently seen in Chicago’s TimeLine Theatre’s production of A Raisin in the Sun where she received rave reviews for her turn as family matriarch Lena Younger. Of Oglesby Rothstein offers, “This past fall I worked on a cabaret with Greta and she performed “Children Will Listen,” the Witches lament from Into the Woods. I had never heard that song performed so exquisitely. Our audiences are in for something special.”
Joining Oglesby is City Pages Best Emerging Actor David Darrow in the roles of the Baker and Rapunzel’s Prince. Darrow recently appeared with Theater Latté Da as the magnetic George Gibbs in the toe-tapping production of Thornton Wilder’s Our Town and is currently appearing as lawyer Barnette Lloyd in Beth Henley’s Crimes of the Heart at the Guthrie Theater. The Boston Globe offers that Into the Woods features “some of Sondheim’s most beautiful, clever, and heart-piercing songs.” Performances begin March 4 and continue through 29 at the Ritz Theater (345 13th Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN).
Subscribers can add-on two offerings in the 2014-15 season. All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914 and NEXT: New Musicals in the Making.
For the seventh year, Theater Latté Da has partnered with the Hennepin Theatre Trust and Cantus to present the poignant holiday favorite All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Truce of 1914. All Is Calm relives an astounding moment in history when Allied and German soldiers laid down their arms to celebrate the holiday together by trading carols, sharing food and drink, playing soccer and burying the dead. In some places the truce lasted only a night, in others it endured until New Year’s Day. This dramatic re-telling contains poetry, diary entries, war documents and letters written by thirty World War I figures brought to life by actors Matt Rein, David Roberts and Alan Sorenson. The historic documents are interspersed with iconic songs and exquisitely arranged carols.
Critics have called All is Calm “A dramatic, real-life musing about the power this season has to make us stop, reflect, and decide to operate in a mode of peace” and “A work of beauty…not only an outstanding piece of musical theater, but a brilliantly executed production that understands that its power comes from its simplicity.” Performances of All is Calm begin December 17 and continue through the 21 at the Pantages Theatre (710 Hennepin Avenue Minneapolis, MN).
Season 17 concludes with the third year of the NEXT: New Musicals in the Making series. NEXT provides the unique opportunity for audience members to “get in on the ground floor” of the creative process. The NEXT musicals will be performed April 30- May 17 at the Ritz Theater (345 13th Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN). Show titles will be announced at a later date.
• Master Class by Terrence McNally, Performance Dates: October 8 – November 2, Venue: MacPhail Center for Music/ Antonello Hall (501 S. 2nd St, Minneapolis. Directed by: Peter Rothstein, Musical Direction by: Andrew Bourgoin, Featuring: Sally Wingert. Master Class is a fictionalized account of the series of classes the glamorous, caustic and commanding Maria Callas, the most influential vocal artist of the 20th century, instructed on the art of performing opera. In these master classes Callas divulges recollections about the glories and struggles of her own career and life, including stories about her affair with the formidable Aristotle Onassis.
• All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914 by Peter Rothstein. With musical arrangements by Erik Lichte and Timothy C. Takach. A Partnership with Hennepin Theatre Trust and Cantus. Performance Dates: December 17- 21. Venue: Pantages Theatre (710 Hennepin Avenue Minneapolis, MN). Directed by: Peter Rothstein. Featuring: Cantus
• The Western Front, Christmas, 1914. Out of the violence comes a silence, then a song. A German soldier steps into No Man’s Land singing Stille Nacht. Thus begins an extraordinary night of camaraderie, music, peace. A remarkable true story, told in the words and songs of the men who lived it.
• OLIVER! Music and lyrics by Lionel Bart. Broadway Re-Imagined Partnership with Hennepin Theatre Trust. Performance Dates: February 4- March 1, 2015. Venue: Pantages Theatre (710 Hennepin Avenue Minneapolis. Directed by: Peter Rothstein. Musical Direction: Denise Prosek. Choreography by: Michael Matthew Ferrell. Featuring: Bradley Greenwald.
In this poignant, extraordinary tale with a twist, Director Peter Rothstein brings Charles Dickens’ vivid characters to life with iconic songs like “Consider Yourself,” “Food, Glorious Food” and “You’ve Got to Pick a Pocket or Two.
• Into the Woods Book by James Lapine and music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. Performance Dates: March 4 – 29, 2015. Venue: The Ritz Theater (345 13th Ave NE, Minneapolis. Directed by: Peter Rothstein. Musical Direction: Jason Hansen. Featuring: Greta Oglesby and David Darrow.
• Into the Woods is an epic musical comedy that incorporates the classic Brothers Grimm fairytales of Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Rapunzel—all tied together by an original story involving a baker, his wife and the witch who has cursed them childless. In this contemporary twist on the classics, Director Peter Rothstein sets Sondheim’s fairytale mashup in a Bavarian beer garden with nine actors who take on more than two-dozen characters in this highly theatrical tour-de-force.
• NEXT: New Musicals in the Making. Performance Dates: April 30- May 17. Venue: The Ritz Theater (345 13th Ave NE, Minneapolis.
• NEXT: New Musicals in the Making—is Theater Latté Da’s new work series that showcases three new musicals in various stages of development. Each of the three workshops will culminate in three public performances providing audience members the unique opportunity to “get in on the ground floor” of the creative process.
Theater Latté Da is an award-winning Twin Cities musical theater company that combines music and story to illuminate the breadth and depth of the human experience. The company seeks to create new connections between story, music, artists and audience by exploring and expanding the art of musical theater.
Season subscriptions are on sale now and can be purchased at latteda.org/subscribe or by calling 612-339-3003. All single tickets will be made available at a later date.