2019 MAINSTAGE season!
THE LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA
April 5 - 20
Book by Craig Lucas
Music and Lyrics by Adam Guettel
THE LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA takes place in Italy in the summer of 1953. Margaret Johnson, the wife of an American businessman, is touring the Tuscan countryside with her daughter, Clara. While sightseeing, Clara-a beautiful, surprisingly childish young woman-loses her hat in a sudden gust. As if guided by an unseen hand, the hat lands at the feet of Fabrizio Naccarelli, a handsome Florentine, who returns it to Clara. This brief episode, charged with coincidence and fate, sparks an immediate and intense romance between Clara and Fabrizio. Margaret, extremely protective of her daughter, attempts to keep Clara and Fabrizio apart. As THE LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA unfolds, a secret is revealed: in addition to the cultural differences between the young lovers, Clara is not quite all that she appears. Unable to suppress the truth about her daughter, Margaret is forced to reconsider not only Clara's future, but her own hopes as well.
May 10 - 25
A play by Lynn Nottage
Filled with warm humor and tremendous heart, SWEAT tells the story of a group of friends who have spent their lives sharing drinks, secrets, and laughs while working together on the factory floor. But when layoffs and picket lines begin to chip away at their trust, the friends find themselves pitted against each other in a heart-wrenching fight to stay afloat.
Winner of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize. “Keenly observed and often surprisingly funny—but ultimately heartbreaking—the work traces the roots of a tragedy with both forensic psychological detail and embracing compassion. Ms. Nottage…is writing at the peak of her powers…” —NY Times. “…passionate and necessary…a masterful depiction of the forces that divide and conquer us…SWEAT communicates its points with minimal fuss and maximum grit. Along with the rage, despair and violence, there’s humor and abundant humanity…a cautionary tale of what happens when you don’t know how to resist.” —Time Out NY. “Sharp and threatening as a box cutter blade…ferociously engrossing…SWEAT never feels less than authentic—and crucial.” —Deadline.com.
HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH
June 21 - July 6
Text by John Cameron Mitchell
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Trask
This groundbreaking Obie-winning Off-Broadway smash also won multiple awards for its hit film adaptation. It tells the story of "internationally ignored song stylist" Hedwig Schmidt, a fourth-wall smashing East German rock 'n' roll goddess who also happens to be the victim of a botched sex-change operation, which has left her with just "an angry inch." This outrageous and unexpectedly hilarious story is dazzlingly performed by Hedwig (née Hansel) in the form of a rock gig/stand-up comedy routine backed by the hard-rocking band "The Angry Inch." Using songs and monologues, Hedwig tells her story, which began in the former East Berlin where as Hansel he meets Luther, an American GI who promises to take the young man to the States on the condition that he switch his sex. After the bungled operation, Luther abandons newly named Hedwig in a Kansas trailer park, where she turns to music and meets geeky Tommy Speck, whom she takes under her wing and soon falls for. Tommy steals her songs, achieves rock star fame, and Hedwig is once again cast aside. She decides to demand redress and stalks Tommy's world tour, performing in the T.G.I. Fridays that are situated next door to his stadiums. Hedwig describes her life's search for "The Origin of Love" and her other half. It's a rocking ride, funny, touching, and ultimately inspiring to anyone who has felt life gave them an inch when they deserved a mile.
BE MORE CHILL
AUG 23 - SEP 7
Music and Lyrics by Joe Iconis
Book by Joe Tracz
Based on the Novel by Ned Vizzini
BE MORE CHILL has been praised as “a high-energy, imaginative, well-crafted world premiere musical” in The Star-Ledger and has been lauded as “a vibrant, inventive musical that makes the most of every moment” by BroadwayWorld.
Jeremy Heere is just an average teenager. That is, until he finds out about “The Squip” – a tiny supercomputer that promises to bring him everything he desires most: a date with Christine, an invite to the raddest party of the year and a chance to survive life in his suburban New Jersey high school. But is being the most popular guy in school worth the risk?
THE TOXIC AVENGER
Oct 11 - 26
Books and Lyrics by Joe DiPietro
Music and Lyrics by David Bryan
Based on Lloyd Kaufman's cult film and winner of the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off-Broadway Musical, The Toxic Avenger is a charming love story and laugh-out-loud musical that has it all: an unlikely hero, his beautiful girlfriend, a corrupt New Jersey mayor and two guys who play... well, everyone else ... bullies, mobsters, old ladies and stiletto-wearing back up singers. With book and lyrics by Joe DiPietro and music and lyrics by David Bryan, the show also features the most memorable and unbelievable duet you'll ever see on any stage.
Melvin Ferd, the Third, wants to clean up Tromaville, the most polluted town in New Jersey (just off Exit 13B on the Turnpike). Foiled by the mayor's bullies, Melvin is dumped into a vat of radioactive toxic waste, only to reemerge as The Toxic Avenger, New Jersey's first superhero. Affectionately known as Toxie, our new hero is a seven-foot mutant freak with superhuman strength and a heart as big as Newark. He's out to save New Jersey, end global warming, and woo the blind librarian in town.
It's a toxic love story with an environmental twist! The Toxic Avenger will leave audiences laughing in the aisles as it rocks the house. Featuring a wailin' rock score, this comical musical has something for everyone to enjoy.