In celebration of 86 years of Theatre By The Sea, owner and producer Bill Hanney is proud to announce the opening of the 2019 Summer Season. The season begins with the World Premiere of a brand new romantic screwball musical comedy, Love and Other Fables,” which will be presented from May 29 through June 16.
“I am so excited about presenting this new musical at Theatre By The Sea, I can hardly contain myself,” said Bill Hanney. “After hearing the music and experiencing several readings, I was hooked on the show. And when I saw last summer’s audiences overwhelmingly voted on our survey to see a new work during the season, I knew it was the right time to give this show the premiere it deserves. Being the first audiences to see this hysterical musical before it gets to Broadway is something they will remember for a very long time!”
Set on the Greek island of Samos in 600 B. C., “Love and Other Fables” follows the early life of Aesop, the not-yet-famous slave, as he creates the “fable,” persistently woos the headstrong girl of his dreams, enters into a battle of wits with the King of Egypt, and changes the course of history. Written by John McMahon and Jay Jeffries, the original concert version garnered a review from the Chicago Sun-Times, which said “[‘Love and Other Fables’] shows every sign of becoming a surprise hot property …the most astonishing, whip-smart lyrics, with one rapid-fire rhyming line after another perfectly attuned to its properly pronounced syllables.” The production at Theatre By The Sea will by the first fully-staged production of the musical, as it continues its journey to Broadway.
Directed by legendary Broadway Casting Director, Jay Binder, with choreography by multi-Helen Hayes Award-winner Parker Esse, and musical direction by Ed Goldschneider, currently the musical director for Off-Broadway’s NEWSical, the cast includes Brian Sears, whose Broadway and West End credits include The Book of Mormon (Elder Cunningham), Lend Me a Tenor, Finian’s Rainbow, Grease, and All Shook Up. Mr. Sears will be making his Theatre By The Sea debut in the role of Aesop. The role of Catastrophe will be portrayed by three-time MAC Award-winner, Alison Nusbaum, who returns to TBTS having previously appeared as Smitty in How to Succeed…. Brad Bellamy, whose television appearances include “30 Rock,” “On the Edge,” and “Law & Order SVU,” will appear as Xanthus, with Chicago-based actor and comedian Landree Fleming in the role of Lycaena. Peter Saide, whose favorite roles include Gaudio in Jersey Boys and the Prince in Cinderella, (opposite Lea Salonga), and award-winning (Elliot Norton/IRNE) actress, Aimee Doherty, will be making their TBTS debuts in the roles of Philocalus and Delphinia respectively. Blake Hammond whose Broadway credits include First Date, Sister Act, Elf, Billy Elliot, The Lion King, Hairspray, The Music Man, Kiss Me Kate, and On The Town will portray the role of King Croesus of Lydia. Rounding out the cast are Madi Beumée, Craig First, Elizabeth Flanagan, David Groccia of North Providence, Sarah Kawalek of Easton, Mass., Erica Malachowski, PJ Palmer, and Michael Skrzek.
The creative team includes resident scenic designer Kyle Dixon and resident lighting designer Jose Santiago, along with Bobby Pearce (Costume Design), Danny Erdberg (Sound Design), Bobbie Zlotnik (Wig and Hair Design), John Carpentier (Production Stage Manager), and Logan Pratt (Assistant Stage Manager). Love and Other Fables is being produced for Theatre By The Sea by Bill Hanney (Owner/Producer), Kevin P. Hill (Producing Artistic Director), and Thom Warren (Associate Producer).
Audiences are invited to enhance their theatre experience by dining in the casual, contemporary and creative atmosphere of Bistro by the Sea, just a short stroll down the arbor walk adjacent to the theatre. Reservations are strongly recommended and can be made by calling 789-3030 after 3 p.m. Before or after the meal theatergoers can enjoy the lush seaside gardens, which contain over 300 varieties of perennials, grasses, shrubs and climbing plants, which offer a magical environment for flower lovers of all ages.
Love and Other Fables will be presented from May 29 through June 16, with preview performances on May 29 and 30 and opening night scheduled for May 31. Performances are scheduled for Tuesday through Saturday evenings at 8 p.m., Thursdays at 2 p.m., Saturdays at 3 and Sundays at 5 p.m., with special performance times on Sunday, June 2 at 2 and 7 p.m. The theatre is located at 364 Cards Pond Road, Wakefield. Tickets for preview performances, Wednesday, May 29 and Thursday, May 30 are $51, and $54 to $77 for all other performances (additional fees may apply). Discount rates are available for groups of 10 or more by calling 782-3800 x112. Tickets are on sale at the box office Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. and performance days from 11 a.m. until curtain, online 24 hours a day at www.theatrebythesea.com and via telephone during normal box office hours by calling (866) 811-4111 or 782-TKTS (8587).
Theatre By The Sea has had many incarnations since opening on August 7, 1933. Tommy Brent saved the theatre from demolition in 1967 and ran it successfully until FourQuest Entertainment took over the lease in 1988. Following extensive renovations, FourQuest reopened the theatre in the spring of 1989 and continued producing high quality entertainment at the seaside playhouse until the fall of 2003. Bill Hanney purchased the property in 2007 and, with producing partners, successfully mounted a production of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, just six weeks later, reopening the historic theatre on August 8, 2007. Since then, Theatre By The Sea has continued to produce a four-musical subscription season, a late-night cabaret series, a children’s theatre festival, and a children’s summer theatre camp.