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Valerie Vigoda and Brendan Milburn collaborate on a new musical, 'Long Short Story, for TheatreWorks.

TheatreWorks Unveils 2008–09 Stage Season for Mountain View
and Palo Alto

By Michael S. Gant

PRETTY MUCH straight from Broadway, the Tony-winning musical Grey Gardens leads the way for the 2008–09 season at TheatreWorks. The rest of the 39th season, announced Feb. 5, includes three more musicals, Long Story Short, It Ain't Nothin' but the Blues and Snapshots; August Wilson's Radio Golf; Lisa Loomer's Distracted; Ken Ludwig's Twentieth Century and John Patrick Shanley's Doubt, a Parable.

Grey Gardens, by Doug Wright, is based on the Maysles brothers' famous 1975 documentary about two aging society matrons slipping into poverty in a crumbling mansion straight out of a Tennessee Williams play. (Try writing a song about that and you'll appreciate what the composing team of Scott Frankel and Michael Korie have accomplished.) The strange fascination wrought by the woman came from the fact that these weren't just any two women but the aunt and first cousin of Jackie Kennedy.

Expanding on the documentary, the play adds an act about the two women (known as Big Edie and Little Edie) and their glamorous early days in the 1940s. Aug. 20–Sept. 14 at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts.

Snapshots by Stephen Schwartz is a West Coast premiere for the company. Focusing on scenes from a marriage gone awry, the musical includes both original songs and some of Schwartz's numbers from the likes of Pippin and Godspell. Schwartz and David Stern, who wrote the book, will work with TheatreWorks director Robert Kelley on the production. June 18–July 13 at the Mountain View Center.

Prolific playwright (Danny and the Deep Blue Sea) and screenwriter for Moonstruck, John Patrick Shanley delves into a moral thicket with Doubt, a Parable. The play looks at a nun who accuses a priest of wrongdoing. July 16–Aug. 10 at the Lucie Stern Theatre in Palo Alto.

Radio Golf, a regional premiere, is the last entry in August Wilson magisterial 10-play series about African-American life. Oct. 8–Nov. 2 at the Mountain View Center.

Long Story Short is a brand-new work by Brendan Milburn and Valerie Vigoda of the group GrooveLily. This romantic musical charts the whole of a relationship, from first love to the end of two lifetimes. Dec. 3–28 at the Lucie Stern Theatre.

Twentieth Century, Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur's 193os screwball farce about a manic Broadway producer, his straying star (John Barrymore and Carole Lombard in the Howard Hawks movie) and a luxury train ride, is newly adapted for the stage by Ken (Lend Me a Tenor) Ludwig. Jan. 14–Feb. 8 (2009) at the Mountain View Center.

The regional premiere It Ain't Nothin' but the Blues travels through black musical history. March 11–April 5 (2009) at Lucie Stern Theatre.

Lisa Loomer's Distracted finishes the season with a drama about a mother trying to help her child, who is afflicted with ADD—or is it just media overstimulation? April 1–26 at the Mountain View Center.

For more information, call TheatreWorks at 650.463.1960.

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