'Jeeves & Wooster' Completes New Hartford Stage Season

 The London production of "Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense " featured Matthew Macfadyen and Stephen Mangan.

The London production of "Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense " featured Matthew Macfadyen and Stephen Mangan.

The North American premiere of the Olivier Award-winning comedy "Jeeves & Wooster in 'Perfect Nonsense,' " will complete the six-work 2018-19 season at Hartford Stage, marking the end of artistic director Darko Tresnjak's eight-years run at the theater.

The comedy by David and Robert Goodale will be staged by Sean Foley who directed the original production in London in 2013. Foley's work in America includes "The Play What I Wrote" -- in which he was also featured -- on Broadway. He also staged the West End hits "The Ladykillers" (which earned him an Olivier Award nomination for best director) and Joe Orton’s "What the Butler Saw.

"The Hartford run will be March 21 to April 4, 2019.

 Director Sean Foley

Director Sean Foley

The farce is based upon characters created by British author and humorist P.G. Wodehouse,  Inspired in part by Wodehouse’s 1938 novel "The Code of the Woosters."  The play his described:  "Bertie Wooster, a wealthy British gentleman with a penchant for telling stories, decides to stage a one-man theatrical show on London’s West End. Enter Wooster’s loyal valet Jeeves who, sensing disaster, valiantly steps in to help save the day."

"By Jeeves," a musical centering on Jeeves and Wooster with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and book, lyrics and staging by Alan Ayckbourn,  had its U.S. premiere at Goodspeed Musicals' Norma Terris Theatre in 1996 before transferring to Broadway in 2001 under the goodspeed producing banner..

 The Hartford Stage season, which features women directors staging half of the works,  opens Sept. 6 to 30 with the world premiere of “Make Believe,” by Bess Wohl, a Yale School of Drama grad best known for her play “Small Mouth Sounds" which played Long Wharf Theatre last year. Directing the new play, which Hartford Stage commissioned, will be Jackson Gay (off-Broadway’s “ Transfers,” Yale Rep's “These Paper Bullets!”).

The play, set in the ‘80s, centers on, according to the theater's press release,  “four young siblings as their childhood is upended by the mysterious problems of the adults in their lives and tracking how moments from our childhood resonate with us forever.”

Tresnjak continues Hartford Stage’s commitment to Shakespeare with associate artistic director Elizabeth Williamson directing "Henry V,” the theater’s first history play since “Richard III.” The production runs Oct. 11 to Nov. 4.

Williamson previously directed "Cloud 9" and the world premiere of Sarah Gancher’s" Seder" at Hartford Stage.

Tresnjak will direct the world premiere of Samuel Baum’s suspenseful contemporary drama “The Engagement Party” Jan. 10 to Feb. 3. The play centers on "a young couple’s intimate gathering with family and friends to celebrate their engagement; a spilled glass of wine leads to a spiraling sequence of events and revelations that will irrevocably change their lives." Baum is the creator of the Amazon Prime series “Lie to Me” starring Tim Roth and co-writer of the television movie "The Wizard of Lies," starring Robert DeNiro and Michelle Pfeiffer, about the downfall of Bernie Madoff.

Marking the third co-production with the McCarter Theatre following “Murder on the Orient  Express” and “The Age of Innocence” this season, is American playwright Dominique Morisseau’s “Detroit ’67” running Feb. 14 to March 10. The play which had an off-Broadway run in 2013 at the Public Theatre in association with Classical Theatre of Harlem and the National Black Theatre in New York City.

The play by Morisseau (whose “Sunset Baby” was presented at TheaterWorks last year) centers on the race riots that tore apart the city of Detroit and "the story of Chelle and her brother Lank, who make ends meet by turning their basement into an after-hours party. When a mysterious woman makes her way into their lives, the siblings clash over much more than family business.” Jade King Carroll (August Wilson’s “The Piano Lesson” and “Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years” at Hartford Stage) directs.

The season will end with the world premiere of a musical, “The Flamingo Kid.” The musical, based upon the 1984 Garry Marshall coming-of-age film set in the summer of ‘63, will mark Tresnjak’s third musical premiere at the theater following later Broadway transfers of “Anastasia” and the Tony Award-winning “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder.”

The new musical reunites Tresnjak, who will stage the show, with book and lyric writer Robert L. Freedman who earned a Tony Award for “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder." (Tresnjak won one, too, for his directing.) The music will be by Tony Award-nominated Scott Frankel (“Grey Gardens,” “War Paint”).

“The Flamingo Kid,” based on the film which starred Matt Dillon. The musical follows the tale of Brooklyn teenager Jeffrey Willis, who, against the wishes of his father, "leaves behind his blue-collar roots for an exciting job working the cabana at the colorful El Flamingo — a posh private club on Long Island. The music, the romance, and the beach are magical – until tensions grow between father and son when a slick club member takes Jeffrey under his wing."

Subscriptions for the six-play mainstage season are now on sale at www.hartfordstage.org/subscribe, or call the Hartford Stage Box Office at 860-527-5151.

Tickets for “A Christmas Carol – A Ghost Story of Christmas” are currently on sale to subscribers only. The annual holiday production will return for its 21st season from Nov. 23 to Dec. 29.  It is not part of a subscription series.

Single ticket and group sales for all shows will go on sale to the general public in July.