Pioneer Theater Company has announced its 2017–18 season and amid the old chestnuts like Newsies and Mamma Mia (which, umm, both just passed through town) there are some SIGN ME UP highlights.

First on that list is The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. I saw this play (a fascinating mystery seen through the eyes of an autistic boy) in New York a couple years back and it’s super cool, with wowza hi-tech stage design. Impressively PTC will be one of the first regional companies in the country to tackle the production, which I’m thinking will play well in the Simmons Theatre. (Note: The image on this post is from the National Theatre’s 2015 production in London.)

I’m also looking forward to Bright Star, a collaboration between Edie Brickell and Steve Martin who wrote the music together and Martin wrote the book. The play earned several 2016 Tony nods but closed on Broadway last summer as a result of lackluster ticket sales. Last year PTC staged a similarly configured play (critical darling, meh ticket sales, non-Broadway-type creator) Sting’s The Last Ship, which I really liked. And Bright Star looks similarly  interesting, a throw back Americana musical set in the Blue Ridge Mountains in the 1940s.

The company is bringing back a Shakespeare play to the line-up with Twelfth Night—they haven’t produced the Bard for the past three seasons. I’m more of a Midsummer Night’s man but as someone who cut his Shakespeare teeth on watching Patrick Page on the Simmons Stage, I’m super glad to see that the Bard is back at the U.

In the new, original work category the season includes Jeff Talbot’s “i” which was part of this past Play-by-Play reading series and is billed as a “mysterious love story set a couple of days after tomorrow.” Cue my interested raised eyebrow.

And come on now! They’re doing the sequel to Lend Me a Tenor, A Comedy of Tenors. I have a soft spot in my heart for Lend Me a Tenor, an 80s masterpiece and am hopeful for a light and fluffy bit of theater wackiness from the sequel.

Ticket prices will change slightly for the 2017–18 season. Single ticket prices for musicals will be $42–64, and prices for non-musicals range from $25–44. For more info visit: www.pioneertheatre.org.

Here’s the schedule. Go see (these) plays!

  • Sept. 15–30, 2017—The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
  • Oct. 20–Nov. 4, 2017 —A Comedy of Tenors
  • Dec. 1–16, 2017—Newsies 
  • Jan, 12–27, 2018—Bright Star
  • February 16–March 3, 2018—“i”
  • March 30–April 14, 2018—Twelfth Night
  • May 11–May 26, 2018—Mamma Mia!

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