2020 Season Main Stage Performances

Western Reserve Playhouse presents its

 

2020 Main Season


 

 

I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change (2018 Version) 

Music By Jimmy Roberts and Book & Lyrics By Joe DiPietro

March 13-28, 2020

Director – Kevin Kelly 

Musical Director- Bryan Bird 

I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change is a witty musical revue that tackles modern love in all its forms. This delightful musical with book and lyrics by Joe DiPietro and music by Jimmy Roberts, illuminates the perils and pitfalls of the first date to marriage, children, and the twilight years of life. Set in the modern world and told in a series of vignettes and songs I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change traces the overall arc of relationships throughout the course of a life. An insightful and hilarious musical, I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change will have audience members shouting, “This is my life!”


Violet – the Musical

Music By Jeanine Tesori Book By Brian Crawley

April 24-May 9, 2020

Directed by Dawn Sniadak-Yamokoksi 

Musical Director – Bryan Bird 

Choreographer – Jen Justice 

Winner of the Drama Critics’ Circle Award and Lucille Lortel Award for Best Musical when it premiered Off-Broadway in 1997, and then on to a Tony-nominated Broadway debut in 2014 with a revised version, Violet is a moving musical featuring show-stopping anthems, ranging from American-roots to folk to gospel.  With a score from Tony-winning composer Jeanine Tesori (Caroline, or Change; Thoroughly Modern Millie; Shrek; Fun Home) and book and lyrics by the acclaimed Brian Crawley (A Little Princess), Violet is inspired by the short story, The Ugliest Pilgrim by Doris Betts, astounding critics and audiences alike in two separate decades.

As a girl, Violet was struck by a wayward axe blade when her father was chopping wood, leaving her with a visible scar across her face. With enough money finally saved she’s traveling across the Deep South in 1964 towards a miracle – the healing touch of a TV evangelist who will make her beautiful. Although she may not succeed in having the scar on her face healed, Violet is able to repair those scars that are lying deeper than her skin. On the way, she meets a young, African-American soldier whose love for her reaches far past her physical “imperfections.”


The Seagull 

By Anton Chekhov 

Adapted by Michael Frayn

June 5-20, 2020

Directed by August Scarpelli 

The Seagull, a work that the author himself claimed contained “five tons of love,” is a play about a very human tendency to reject love that is freely given and seek it where it is withheld. Many of its characters are caught in a destructive, triangular relationship that evokes both pathos and humor. What the characters cannot successfully parry is the destructive force of time, the passage of which robs some, like Madame Arkadina, of beauty, and others, like her son Konstantine, of hope.


Dog Sees God: Confession of a Teenage Blockhead

By Bert V. Royal

Rated R

July 24-August 8, 2020 

Directed by Kevin Kelly

When CB’s dog dies from rabies, CB begins to question the existence of an afterlife. His best friend is too burnt out to provide any coherent speculation; his sister has gone goth; his ex-girlfriend has recently been institutionalized; and his other friends are too inebriated to give him any sort of solace. But a chance meeting with an artistic kid, the target of this group’s bullying, offers CB a peace of mind and sets in motion a friendship that will push teen angst to the very limits. Drug use, suicide, eating disorders, teen violence, rebellion and sexual identity collide and careen toward an ending that’s both haunting and hopeful.


Shadowlands

By William Nicholson 

September 11-26, 2020

Directed by Brianna Joi and Dawn Sniadak-Yamokoski 

This West End and Broadway hit is the love story of C.S. Lewis – Oxford don and author of The Chronicles of Narnia and The Screwtape Letters – and American poet Joy Davidman. Jack Lewis is smug in his convictions about God and His plan for the world until Joy and her young son enters his life and the bewildered theoretician of love in the abstract finally confronts its direct presence. Winner! 1990 London Evening Standard Award, Best New Play A true love story of C.S. Lewis.


Ruthless!

By Marvin Laird & Joel Paley

October 23-November 7, 2020

Directed by Michael Caraffi

Musical Directed – Bridget Jankowski

Choreographer – Melanie Leibold

 

Eight-year-old Tina Denmark knows she was born to play Pippi Longstocking, and she will do anything to win the part in her school musical. Anything includes murdering the leading lady! This aggressively outrageous musical hit garnered rave reviews during its long Off-Broadway run.”A spoof that has enough absurd plot twists and multiple identities to fill several old movies…. The fun comes from the sheer brazenness!” – The New York Times.


My Favorite Year 

Music By Stephen Flahery, Book By Joseph Dougherty, Lyrics By Lynn Ahrens

Based on the Motion Picture, “My Favorite Year” 

December 4-19, 2020

Directed by Luke Scattergood 

Musical Directed – Dave Stebbins 

Choreographer – Jen Justice 

A classic musical comedy with a heart of gold, My Favorite Year features a tuneful score by the incomparable Tony-winning songwriters, Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, and is based on the hit Peter O’Toole film of the same name. The show opened on Broadway in 1993, and Andrea Martin won her first Tony Award for her hilarious turn in the original production.

It’s 1954, and Benjy Stone, writers’ assistant on TV’s “King Kaiser Comedy Cavalcade,” is assigned the daunting task of babysitting the veteran Hollywood swashbuckler, Alan Swann. The reckless Swann is in town to do a live guest appearance on the show and his antics and alcoholism nearly get Benjy fired. When Benjy is given an unexpected glimpse into Swann’s broken heart, though, he begins to discover a thing or two about life and love.