A tap-dancing musical bound for Broadway, the world premiere of a new comedy, the Utah premiere of a musical romance, a pair of raucous comic productions that recently played in New York, and a couple of thought-provoking dramas are all on the slate for Pioneer Theatre Company’s 2019-2020 season.
The company, based at the Pioneer Memorial Theatre on the University of Utah campus, unveiled the seven titles for its new season Friday. It marks the first season that PTC’s artistic director, Karen Azenberg, will be working with newly arrived managing director Christopher Massimine.
Here are the planned productions:
Sept. 20-Oct. 5 • “Cagney,” a tap-dancing biography of James Cagney, the actor known as a movie mobster but who was a hoofer at heart. Robert Creighton, who played the role off Broadway, returns as Cagney in the musical’s first pre-Broadway tryout. Music and lyrics by Christopher McGovern and Creighton, book by Peter Colley.
Nov. 1-16 • “The Lifespan of a Fact,” a play by Jeremy Kareken and David Murrell and Gordon Farrell, shows the timely depiction of the thorny relationship between an essayist and the magazine fact-checker who picks apart the essayist’s latest work.
Dec. 6-21 • The Utah premiere of “The Play That Goes Wrong,” a raucous comedy about a theatrical troupe staging a murder mystery — as everything onstage and off turns disastrous. Written by Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields, the play’s Broadway run boasts J.J. Abrams (“Star Wars: The Force Awakens”) as a producer. Azenberg said this was the most-requested play in a recent survey of PTC patrons.
Jan. 10-25, 2020 • “Mary Stuart,” a play by Jean Stock Goldstone and John Reich that documents the conflict between the world’s most powerful women at the time: Mary, Queen of Scots, and Queen Elizabeth I. The play had a recent revival on London’s West End.
Feb. 21-March 7, 2020 • “Once on This Island,” a musical tale of star-crossed romantics based on Caribbean folktales, will have its first professional production in Utah. The musical, with music by Stephen Flaherty and book and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, won the Tony for Best Revival of a Musical last year.
March 27-April 11, 2020 • “Ass,” a dysfunctional-family comedy written by Ellen Simon, will have its world premiere. Simon says the play’s main character, a famous sculptor, “isn’t really based” on her father, playwright Neil Simon (“The Odd Couple,” “The Sunshine Boys”). This is the first fully staged production of the play, which appeared at PTC’s Play-By-Play reading series in the 2017-2018 season.
May 8-23, 2020 • “Something Rotten!,” a musical farce about two theater-operating brothers trying to compete with their contemporary, William Shakespeare. The book is by John O’Farrell and Karey Kirkpatrick (who directed the animated film “Smallfoot”), with music and lyrics by Karey Kirkpatrick and Wayne Kirkpatrick.
PTC also will offer its staged concert and its Play-by-Play new play reading series. Titles for those will be announced later.
Current PTC season subscribers will receive renewal notices in April, with the chance to reserve their current seats through June 28. New subscriber orders will be filled in the order they are received. Go to pioneertheatre.org for ticket information.