Dozens of eclectic concerts, two world premiere plays and a new opera
Boston Court Pasadena will bring another year of theater and music events to Southern California for their 2019 season, and welcomes the S. Mark Taper Foundation as sponsor of the 2019 theater season. Artistic Directors Jessica Kubzansky, Michael Michetti and Mark Saltzman have programmed more than 100 performances of music and theater on two stages, continuing the company’s dedication to new work, reimagined classics, and both emerging and established artists.
Michetti helms the first theatrical offering: David Hare’s “The Judas Kiss” (Feb. 15 – March 24) tells the story of Oscar Wilde’s love for Lord Alfred “Bosie” Douglas – tracking his downfall as he endures a brutal trial and life in exile. The play examines a literary icon who continues to hold onto his passionate ideals of beauty as his life crumbles around him. David Hare, the British playwright behind “Plenty,” “Skylight,” and “Stuff Happens” creates what The Globe and Mail have called “an emotionally rich drama illuminated by Hare’s customary insight and humanity.”
Boston Court Pasadena’s music offerings, curated Saltzman, launch with a Valentine’s performance by Pink Martini’s “Storm Large,” followed the next night by “One Body,” a one-man opera based on the transcendentalist works of Walt Whitman and St. Augustine (Feb. 15). The music season runs throughout the year and is comprised of more than 30 concerts in a wide variety of styles including classical, new music, jazz, cabaret, contemporary chamber music, and opera. The series features acclaimed local, regional, and national musicians and ensembles, including partnerships with L.A.-based organizations Piano Spheres, Synchromy, Microfest, and Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra. Notably, the 2019 music season will also include the world premiere concert of “The Passion of Alexander McQueen,” an opera based on the life of the fashion designer with libretto by William Nedved and music by “Project Runway” winner and classically-trained pianist Kentaro Kameyama (March 1).
Theater offerings continue with the 15th annual New Play Reading Festival (April 4 – 13), a series of workshops and readings of new works-in-progress. Of the 34 world premiere productions produced in Boston Court’s history (through 2018), 18 were first discovered as part of the New Play Reading Festival, making this program an important pipeline of new work for the company.
The theater season continues with the world premiere of “Ladies” (May 23 – June 30) by Kit Steinkellner and directed by Kubzansky. Workshopped as part of Boston Court’s 2018 New Play Reading Festival, “Ladies” is a fictional account of the birth of The Blue Stocking Society, the world’s first major feminist movement in 1750s London which promoted female education, authorship and readership. As a playwright, Steinkellner’s work has been produced off-Broadway at Playwright’s Horizons’ Peter Jay Sharp Theater, at San Diego’s Old Globe and at the Kennedy Center. She is the creator and executive producer of the Facebook Watch half-hour series “Sorry for Your Loss” starring Elizabeth Olsen.
The world premiere of “How the Light Gets In” (Sept. 19 – Oct. 27), directed by Boston Court Literary Manager Emilie Beck, concludes the 2019 theatrical season. Also workshopped as part of the 2018 New Play Reading Festival, “How the Light Gets In” was inspired by lyrics from Leonard Cohen’s “Anthem.” The play finds four people – a travel writer who never travels, a Japanese architect who can’t figure out how to build a simple tea house, a gifted tattoo artist who resists the power of his talents and a homeless girl who lives under a weeping willow tree in the Japanese Garden – searching for the safety of home. Writer E.M. Lewis is best known for her plays “The Gun Show” — which has been produced at more than 30 different theatres across the United States, and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival – as well as “Song of Extinction.”
“This season really exemplifies Boston Court Pasadena’s mission of bringing new and groundbreaking art to our stages,” notes Executive Director Kyle Clausen. “I’m thrilled that Michael, Jessica, and Mark have assembled such a bold and eclectic season. I know both longtime Boston Court patrons, as well as brand new ones, will be blown away by the quality of our programming and the intimacy of our venues.”
Flexible subscriptions, as well as a theatre-only subscription, are now available for the 2019 season and range from $54 – $130. Also available is the Full Court Pass, which allows unlimited access to tickets to any Boston Court Pasadena season performances for $25/month. Visit BostonCourtPasadena.org or call (626) 683-6801 to subscribe.