Pioneer Theatre plans short season for spring 2021, rescheduling ‘Something Rotten!’ and ‘A**,’ adding ‘Legally Blonde’

Pioneer Theatre Company will present a shortened, laugh-filled, three-production season for 2021, including two shows that had been set for this spring before the coronavirus pandemic disrupted everybody’s plans.

“After being away from the stage and from our patrons,” PTC’s artistic director, Karen Azenberg, said in a statement, “it is important that we come back with a season that appeals to our entire audience base — a season that will make us laugh and forget our troubles, and rekindle the excitement that live theater provides.”

The season will start on Feb. 19, with the musical “Something Rotten!,” in which struggling playwrights try to find a way to compete against their popular rival, William Shakespeare — and hatch a radical plan to produce a play where the actors sing. Azenberg calls it “an imagined love letter about the origins of musical theater.” The production will run through March 6.

From March 26 to April 10, PTC is rescheduling the world premiere of playwright Ellen Simon’s comedy “Ass,” a tangled story of family relationships.

Azenberg said Simon’s play “will resonate even more deeply for our audiences now than it would have before the pandemic had us all isolating with our families.”

Azenberg and Simon are old friends. Azenberg’s dad, Manny, produced plays written by Simon’s dad, Neil Simon, for decades — including “The Sunshine Boys,” the “Brighton Beach” trilogy and “Lost in Yonkers.”

Closing out the short season, from May 7 to 22, is “Legally Blonde: The Musical,” the adaptation of the 2001 movie starring Reese Witherspoon as a sorority girl who busts stereotypes when she enrolls in Harvard Law School.

The theater, based at the Pioneer Memorial Theatre on the University of Utah campus, may add shows for this fall — but only if it can follow state and U. of U. guidelines, and ensure the safety of theatergoers, staff and visiting artists, many of whom come from New York.

PTC will offer a three-play package, ranging from $94 to $154, depending on seating and day of the week. There’s also the “Under 35” discount package for emerging professionals, for $47 to $71.50.

The popular Rush Pass, where patrons can attend performances on a space-available basis for $66, will be offered only to renewing patrons until seating limitations are clear. The Flex Pass is available for renewals and new patrons, for $150.

Current PTC subscribers will receive renewal notices this month and next, and have until July 17 to renew. The theater will not fill seat assignments immediately, to allow for social-distancing guidelines that may still be in effect in 2021.

For details on the shows and ticket offerings, go to pioneertheatre.org.