On May 24-25, 2011, the Alliance Theatre presented “Taste of the Season” for its patrons. The program offered guests a preview of the 2011-2012 season for the Alliance and Hertz stages, as well as the Family Series and its annual holiday production of A Christmas Carol. Afterwards, guests were given a “taste” in more of the literal sense. Local restaurants set up tables in the lobby and offered samples, along with menus and coupons. Special mention goes to Max Lager’s for its sampler plate of roast pork loin, collard greens, mashed potatoes and bread pudding and to the Flying Biscuit for its biscuits with homemade cranberry-apple butter.
The briskly-paced program provided intrigue for each of the season’s offerings, however, there were definitely two standout moments. First, Tony nominee Tovah Feldshuh delivered a powerful monologue from the one-woman play, Golda’s Balcony. The play, which ran on Broadway for over a year starting in 2003, starred Feldshuh as Israel’s fourth Prime Minister Golda Meir. Feldshuh will reprise her role as Meir during the Alliance’s production October 12-30, 2011. Next, fourteen-year-old Paige McCauley delivered a flawless rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” as a preview to The Wizard of Oz. This production is part of the Family Series and will run from February 25 to March 11, 2012. It’s uncertain whether McCauley will be appearing in the production, but if she is, audiences are in for a treat.
The program each night was identical except that on May 24, best-selling author Stephen King took the stage to discuss the new musical Ghost Brothers of Darkland County. It will make its world premiere at the Alliance from April 4 to May 13, 2012. The production will feature music and lyrics by John Mellencamp with the book by King. Although those attending on May 25 did not have the pleasure of hearing King speak in person, they were treated to a special recorded video of him speaking about the new musical.
For many involved with Ghost Brothers of Darkland County, the process has been lengthy to say the least. Talks of the musical which is being billed by the Alliance as “a riveting Southern gothic musical fraught with mystery, tragedy, and ghosts of the past,” began as far back as 2000. An album of Mellencamp’s songs for the production has been recorded and is expected to be released before the musical’s premier next spring, although no official release date has been set.
After success with launching musicals such as The Color Purple, Aida, Sister Act – The Musical, Come Fly with Me, and last season’s Bring It On: the Musical, the Alliance continues to be a starting point for shows that end up on Broadway, the West End, or National Tours. It is highly likely with the talent behind it, that Ghost Brothers of Darkland County will be following in the footsteps of those productions.
Take a look at the full season line-up below. Season packages are available for purchase now at http://alliancetheatre.org/ and single tickets for all shows go on sale July 11, 2011.
Alliance Stage Series
- Into The Woods – August 31 to October 2
- Golda’s Balcony – October 12 to October 30
- God of Carnage – January 11 to January 29
- Ghost Brothers of Darkland County – April 4 to May 13
- Broke – September 23 to October 23
- Sex and the Second City – November 11 to December 18
- The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls – February 3 to 26
- I Just Stopped By to See the Man – March 9 to April 8
- A Christmas Carol – November 25 to December 24
- The Real Tweenagers of Atlanta – October 29 to November 13
- The Wizard of Oz – February 25 to March 11
– A. Wesley