Hippodrome's fall season explores the human condition


Gregory Jones as Jacob Marley, left, and Rusty Salling as Ebenezer Scrooge during a 2011 presentation of “A Christmas Carol” at the Hippodrome Theatre.

Erica Brough/Staff photographer/File
Published: Friday, May 23, 2014 at 2:39 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, May 23, 2014 at 2:39 p.m.

The Hippodrome Theatre looks to wow both current patrons and new guests with the release of its lineup of productions for the upcoming 42nd season.

Facts

Hippodrome 2014-15 season

Tickets: $30-$49. Senior, student and under-30 discounts and monthly/season packages available.
Sept. 5-28: “Clybourne Park,” by Bruce Norris, was written in response to Lorraine Hansberry's 1959 play “A Raisin in the Sun.” “Clybourne Park” deals with race, real estate and the volatile values of each. Discount previews Sept. 3-4. A partnership with UF School of Theatre and Dance.
Oct. 17-Nov. 9: “Slasher,” by Allison Moore. A Florida premiere. A Halloween comedy that tells the story behind the making of a horror film. Discount previews Oct. 15-16.
Nov. 28-Dec. 21: “Winter Wonderettes,” created by Roger Bean. A Christmas-themed song-and-dance musical for families.
Nov. 29-Dec. 20: “A Christmas Carol,” by Jacqueline Goldfinger. A new adaptation of the classic tale.
Jan. 9-Feb. 1: “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike,” by Christopher Durang. The winner of the 2013 Tony Award for best play, this is a comedic tale of sibling rivalry. Discount previews Jan. 7-8.
Feb. 20-March 15: “Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play,” by Anne Washburn. People living in a post-apocalyptic society whose only knowledge of pop culture is based on “The Simpsons.” Discount previews Feb. 18-19.
April 10-May 3: “The Two Musketeers,” by Jon Jory. A high-comedy adaptation of the classic is one Musketeer short due to finances, leaving the rest of the cast to carry on. Discount previews April 8-9.

The 2014-15 season at the Hippodrome will produce two award-winning hits, multiple holiday shows, a world premiere and a dark comedy.

The first show of the season, “Clybourne Park,” by Bruce Norris, is the winner of several awards, including a 2011 Pulitzer Prize for drama and the 2012 Tony Award for best play. The production will be a partnership with the University of Florida School of Theatre and Dance, according to artistic director Lauren Caldwell.

The play portrays events before and after Lorraine Hansberry's “A Raisin in the Sun,” Caldwell said.

“We thought that play is the one that speaks the most about who we are in terms of good material, getting the rights to good plays and partnering with someone here in town, so it ended up in the first slot,” she said, adding that it's a dynamic piece that shows the new leadership coming to the Hippodrome. The show runs Sept. 5-28, with discount preview showings Sept. 3-4.

A Halloween comedy, “Slasher,” by Allison Moore, will follow starting Oct. 17 and running through Nov. 9, with discount previews Oct. 15-16. The show is a humorous tale of making a horror film.

“Along with the good story, along with the slot being Halloween-driven and along with the good reviews that it got from the two theatres [that] did it before, we just thought it was time now for 'Slasher,' ” Caldwell said.

The production will be a Florida premiere, and Caldwell promised interesting design choices, a surprise ending and lots of laughs.

“Slasher” will lead the Hippodrome's holiday shows. The winter season will play host to two

Christmas productions.

The first will be a Christmas version of the song-and-dance show “Marvelous Wonderettes” entitled “Winter Wonderettes,” created by Roger Bean. It will be a family-friendly musical with familiar holiday songs people know and love, Caldwell said.

“Our patrons have been asking us for a musical at Christmas for a long time, and we gave them one,” she said.

It will run Nov. 28-Dec. 21.

The second winter show is a modern adaptation of the production of “A Christmas Carol,” by Jacqueline Goldfinger. The remake of the classic story is suitable for all audiences.

“I just think this version is really fresh and new, and I think people will enjoy it,” Caldwell said.

It will run Nov. 29-Dec. 20.

The first show of 2015 will be the winner of the 2013 Tony Award for best play, Christopher Durang's “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.”

A tale of sibling rivalry, Caldwell said it proved itself to be a magnificent piece of theater by winning the Tony.

“We definitely had to have it in our season,” she said. It will run Jan. 9-Feb. 1, 2015, with previews Jan. 7-8.

What Caldwell calls “the cherry-on-top-of-the-cake show for the season,” is set in a post-apocalyptic society that bases its knowledge of the past on “The Simpsons.”

“Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play,” by Anne Washburn, is the show Caldwell said fits best with the Hippodrome's mission for its productions.

“It represents our mission very well in terms of exploring new structures and showing the Gainesville audiences something told in a way that they might not ever have seen before,” she said.

The show will run Feb. 20-March 15, 2015, with previews Feb. 18-19.

“The Two Musketeers,” by Jon Jory, will be a world premiere running April 10-May 3, 2015, with previews April 8-9. A family-friendly take on the classic tale becomes one Musketeer short due to financial woes.

Caldwell called the play physically challenging for the actors, who will engage in sword-fight battles on stage in a hero-villain comedy.

The summer musical for 2015 has not been decided yet, Caldwell said. Casting for all of the season's productions will begin in June.

Ticket prices range from $45 opening night and $30-$35 on all other showtimes for single tickets. Senior, student and under-30 discounts are available, managing director Jessica Hurov said.

Monthly ticket passes also can be purchased. The Ultimate Hipster package costs $21.99 a month plus a $15 joining fee. It includes one ticket to every mainstage show, one ticket to each film, unlimited empty-seat mainstage and film tickets, and a tote bag, Hurov said.

The Mainstage Hipster package for $15.99 a month plus a $15 fee includes one ticket to each mainstage, unlimited empty-seat mainstage tickets and a tote bag.

The Cinema Hipster package has one ticket to every film, unlimited empty-seat tickets to films and a tote bag. It costs $11.99 a month plus a $10 fee.

Every Tuesday of each show is a pay-what-you-can show.

Season tickets include every show except “A Christmas Carol” and cost $90 to $270, depending on discounts and plans. Flex-pass tickets allow entrance to any production up to seven times, while fixed subscriptions include one ticket per production. Discount previews are $18, Hurov said.

Caldwell said all of the upcoming season's shows are part of the theater's mission of having quality productions and exploring the human condition.

“Our mission is like our thesis statement,” she said. “It says who we are and what we stand for, and what we are dedicated to, and the kind of work we promise to fulfill to our audiences.”

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