Musical premieres and diverse slate of plays highlight Old Globe’s 2022 season
Highlights include a Bollywood film-inspired musical, “Bob Fosse’s Dancin’” and “Freestyle Love Supreme”
A world premiere musical, a Bob Fosse musical revival, four new plays and two outdoor Shakespeare productions will highlight The Old Globe’s 2022 season, which was announced today.
Old Globe artistic director Barry Edelstein said San Diego’s oldest and largest theater will celebrate its survival from the pandemic with a season that honors community and the power of theatrical storytelling.
“After this terrible calamity we’ve all lived through, what do we want to see? Let’s do some stuff that will be accessible and entertaining and bright and happy. There are a couple of darker subjects in there, but mostly it’s a very bright and highly spectacular lineup of shows,” he said.
The Old Globe was one of the first professional theaters in San Diego County to return to production after the state reopened for business on June 15. Edelstein said the Globe’s reopening production of the musical “Hair” on its outdoor stage was a “massive hit,” but tickets for indoor productions have been a slightly tougher sell.
The Globe’s staff and all performers are fully vaccinated, and ticket-buyers must be masked and show proof of full vaccination or negative COVID PCR test to attend. But there remains some reticence among theater-goers to return indoors. “The Gardens of Anuncia” musical fell short of ticket sales projections, but “Shutter Sisters is meeting the company’s modest sales goals. On the plus side, Edelstein said ticket sales for this fall’s production of “Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” are the best in company history.
The 2022 season will include a combined 10 productions presented in the Globe’s three Balboa Park performance spaces. Subscriptions are now on sale, starting at $140 for a four-play package. To order, call (619) 234-5623 or visit theoldglobe.org.
Here’s a preview of the 2022 season, organized by the theaters in which the productions will be presented: The Donald and Darlene Shiley Old Globe Theatre, an Elizabethan-inspired, 580-seat proscenium mainstage; the Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre, a 250-seat theater in the round; and the Lowell Davies Festival Theatre, a 620-seat outdoor amphitheater space.
Old Globe Theatre
“Trouble in Mind” by Alice Childress
This 1955 theatrical classic by one of the first Black professional women playwrights in America finally made its long-delayed Broadway debut this month. It’s a backstage comedy-drama about a Black actress and a multiracial cast rehearsing a challenging Broadway play set in the American South when racial tensions arise with the play’s White director. The play will be directed by Old Globe resident artist Delicia Turner Sonnenberg of San Diego. Edelstein said: “This is a play we were looking at in 2019, but the social justice movement that swept the country since George Floyd’s murder has made us look more seriously at plays about the Black American experience. Delicia directed it at Moxie Theatre successfully (in 2015) and has a deep understanding for the play and a deep sympathy for its characters.” Feb. 5 through March 13.
“Bob Fosse’s Dancin’” by Bob Fosse
This Broadway-bound revival of Fosse’s 1978 revue, “Dancin,’” features 18 short scenes that spotlight the famed director-choreographer’s unique theatrical style. It will be directed and musically staged by Wayne Cilento, who starred in the show’s original Broadway company, with a revised and updated book by actress and playwright Kirsten Childs. “It’s everything we associate with Fosse but with the dust blown off it by the team of Wayne and Kirsten to reveal its muscularity,” Edelstein said. “The performers are the cream of the crop of Broadway dancers.” April 17 through May 29.
“Freestyle Love Supreme” by Thomas Kail, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Anthony Veneziale
“Hamilton” writer Lin-Manuel Miranda co-created this hip-hop musical improv show in 2004, where the performers take audience suggestions to create freestyle riffs, comedy and musical numbers. The Globe will be a Southern California stop for a new touring production of the long-running Broadway show that will be directed by co-creator Thomas Kail. “We’ll be adjusting the showtimes to reach out to a different and younger audience. It’s a really conscious way for us to say this is a little departure but the pedigree couldn’t be higher and it’s an absolute blast.” June 21 through July 10.
“Come Fall in Love — The DDLJ Musical”
India’s most popular and long-running Bollywood romantic comedy film “Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge,” will be adapted into a stage musical that makes its world premiere at the Old Globe before moving on to Broadway. Aditya Chopra, who directed the original 1995 “DDLJ” film, will make his stage directing debut for the musical, which will be created by a mix of Indian and American artists including bookwriter/lyricist Nell Benjamin (“Legally Blonde”). It’s the story of an Indian-American woman who is pledged to an arranged marriage in India with a family friend, but during a summer vacation before the wedding she finds her true love. “As the interconnectedness of our world increases, it’s fun to see the theatre as a place where bridges between cultures and nations are built,” Edelstein said. “Also, the South Asian population is one of the fastest growing in California, and to include that beautiful culture in our programming is a happy thing for us.” Sept. 1 through Oct. 16.
Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre
“El Borracho” by Tony Meneses
Developed in the Old Globe’s 2020 Powers New Voices Festival, this world premiere dramedy is the story of a young Mexican-American writer hoping to forge a connection with his estranged alcoholic father, who has moved back in with his ex-wife and son in his final days. Edward Torres directs. Edelstein said he compares the play to Eugene O’Neill’s “Long Day’s Journey into Night,” “except it’s not four hours long and it’s not miserable. It’s quite emotional and enjoyable.” Feb. 17 through March 20.
“Mala” by Melinda Lopez
Actor and playwright Melinda Lopez will perform her funny and brutally honest solo play about a daughter’s complex relationship with her dying mother during a cold Boston winter. Lopez will perform the original English version of the play and a different actor will perform the play in Spanish on select dates. David Dower directs. “It’s a beautiful piece about a woman taking care of her mother at the end of her life, which sounds darker than it is,” Edelstein said. “It’s a beautiful, touching, heartwarming piece about how they manage to connect under the circumstances.” May 7 through June 12.
“Dial M for Murder” by Frederick Knott and Jeffrey Hatcher
The Old Globe commissioned playwright Jeffrey Hatcher to adapt Frederick Knott’s 1954 murder mystery novel about a husband plotting to catch and punish his wife, who he suspects has been unfaithful. Hatcher also adapted Knott’s “Wait Until Dark” for the stage to great acclaim. Stafford Arima (“Allegiance” and “Red Velvet” at the Globe) will direct. “It’s so entertaining and just grips you by the lapels from the second you’re in there,” Edelstein said. July 21 through Aug. 21.
“What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank” by Nathan Englander
The Old Globe commissioned this play by Nathan Englander that Edelstein will direct. The duo previously collaborated on Englander’s “The Twenty-Seventh Man.” It’s based on a short story about two old high school friends whose lives have dramatically diverged on the subjects of culture, religion and family. Edelstein describes the play as “fantastic, funny, audacious and kind of shocking. This is a very Jewish play, and yet manages to talk about the weird political upheavals of this moment we’re living through in a really fascinating way. Sept. 15 through Oct. 16.
Lowell Davies Festival Theatre
“The Taming of the Shrew” by William Shakespeare
Shana Cooper directs this new production of the Bard’s battle of the sexes comedy, based on her original 2018 production at the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival. The staging has been expanded from eight to 20 actors, which will include the Globe’s MFA acting students. Edelstein said Cooper’s production earned universally smashing reviews in New York. “It’s the best production of ‘Shrew’ I’ve seen,” Edelstein said, “It’s one of very few production of that play that really figured it out without agitprop and without imposed political perspective. She just kind of finds a certain vein of comic humanity of it.” June 5 through July 10.
“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” by William Shakespeare
Old Globe resident artist Patricia McGregor directs this romantic comedy of fairies and young lovers caught up in spells, mistaken identities and mischief in the enchanted forest of Athens. “Midsummer” hasn’t been produced on the Festival stage since 2013. McGregor staged the play a few years ago for the Globe for All tour and she’ll return to the play for a fresh look next summer. Edelstein said McGregor is only the second Black woman to direct on the festival stage in the company’s 87-year history. “We feel very happy to be doing this work and moving in this direction but it forces us to confront how long it has taken us to get here.” July 31 through Sept. 4.
Sign up for the Encinitas Advocate newsletter
Top stories from Encinitas every Friday for free.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Encinitas Advocate.