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It's 1954. Everyone likes Ike, nobody likes communism, and Wade "Cry-Baby" Walker is the coolest boy in Baltimore. He's a bad boy with a good cause -- truth, justice, and the pursuit of rock and roll.
Wayward youth, juvenile delinquents, sexual repression, cool music, dirty lyrics, social rejects, it's all here! New Line opens its 29th season in October 2019 with the hilarious rockabilly musical CRY-BABY, based on the classic John Waters film.
At the center of this world are the star-crossed lovers, Cry-Baby and the square rich girl Allison, just a good girl who yearns to be bad in Cry-Baby's arms. Fueled by hormones and the new rhythms of rock and roll, she turns her back on her squeaky clean boyfriend Baldwin to become a "drape" (a Baltimore juvenile delinquent) and Cry-Baby's moll. At the other end of the topsy-turvy moral meritocracy of 1954 America, Baldwin as the king of the squares leads his close-harmony pals against the juvenile delinquents, who are ultimately arrested for arson, sending the drapes all off to prison. It's Romeo and Juliet meets High School Hellcats.
CRY-BABY has a score by David Javerbaum (The Daily Show) and Adam Schlesinger (Fountains of Wayne), and a book by Mark O'Donnell and Thomas Meehan, based on John Waters' classic indie film. O'Donnell and Meehan also adapted John Waters' Hairspray for the musical stage. Cry-Baby premiered at the La Jolla Playhouse in San Diego in November 2007 and opened on Broadway in April 2008. New Line first produced the show regionally in March 2012, after negotiating the first regional production rights in the country. The original creative team revised the show for New Line and commissioned new orchestrations, to make it a smaller, more intimate musical, with a 6-piece rock band.
CRY-BABY was nominated for four Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, Best Original Score, and Best Choreography. It was also nominated for Best Musical by the Drama League and the Outer Critics Circle Awards. Terry Teachout wrote in the Wall Street Journal, "You want funny? I'll give you funny, or at least tell you where to find it: Cry-Baby, the new John Waters musical, is campy, cynical, totally insincere and fabulously well crafted. And funny. Madly, outrageously funny. It is, in fact, the funniest new musical since Avenue Q. If laughter is the best medicine, then Cry-Baby is the whole damn drugstore." Newsday called the show "pleasantly demented and -- deep in the sweet darkness of its loopy heart -- more true to the cheerful subversion of a John Waters movie than its sentimental big sister Hairspray." The New Jersey Star-Ledger called it, "candy for adults who like their musicals nutty -- and not so nice."
The New Line production will be directed by Scott Miller and Mike Dowdy-Windsor, with music direction by Nicolas Valdez, choreography by Michelle Sauer, scenic design by Rob Lippert, costume design by Colene Fornachon, lighting design by Kenneth Zinkl, and sound design by Ryan Day.
For more information about this show, click here.
It's 1580. And 1980. Sort of.
HEAD OVER HEELS is the bold new musical comedy from the visionaries that rocked Broadway with Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Avenue Q and Spring Awakening. Conceived by Jeff Whitty, with an original book by Whitty, adapted by James Magruder, originally directed by Michael Mayer, and set to the music of the iconic 1980s all-girl rock band The Go-Go's, this high-octane, laugh-out-loud love story includes hit songs like, “We Got the Beat,” “Our Lips Are Sealed,” “Vacation,” “Heaven is a Place on Earth” and “Mad About You.”
The wild story follows the escapades of a royal family who set out on a journey to save their beloved kingdom from extinction -- only to discover the key to their realm’s survival lies within each of their own hearts. . . though not always in the way they expect. . . and in their willingness to let go of rigid tradition and change with the times.
Head Over Heels originally premiered at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in 2015, then opened on Broadway in 2018. The show was nominated for Best Musical by the Drama League and the Outer Critics Circle Awards.
The Daily Beast said, "Head Over Heels is a raucously choreographed joy — intelligent, winningly comic, and surprisingly-for-Broadway radical when it comes to its presentation of gender and sexuality, with its central love story a lesbian one." Entertainment Weekly said, "The show is an ode to female independence with the winking spirit of a Shakespearean fairy and the neon edge of a rebellious ‘80s teenager, teaming up to beckon people into the woods. Forty years after The Go-Go’s’ formation, Head Over Heels does more than preserve the band’s iconic hits in amber. For two hours and 15 minutes, it’s enough to pull the world back into sync."
TimeOut NY said, "To enjoy Head Over Heels, which offers quite a lot to enjoy, it is probably best to kick up your heels and put your head on hold. That’s not to say that this saucy, boisterous musical doesn’t have a brainy side, starting with its ambitious crossbreeding of four time periods: It grafts a 2010s queer sensibility onto songs from the 1980s—by the all-girl pop-punk quintet the Go-Go’s (plus two hits from lead singer Belinda Carlisle’s solo career)—and fits them into a 16th-century story that is set in ancient Greece. . . Head Over Heels is a fantasy and celebration of nonconformity, and it puts its casting where its mouth is with an ensemble that is diverse in race, gender and size. Honoring the beat, in this merry Arcadia, means making room for different drummers."
The New Line production will be directed by Scott Miller and Mike Dowdy-Windsor, with music direction by Nicolas Valdez, choreography by Michelle Sauer and Sara Rae Womack, scenic design by Rob Lippert, costume design by Sarah Porter, lighting design by Kenneth Zinkl, and sound design by Ryan Day.
For more information about this show, click here.
It's 2027, the toilets have all been privatized, and you have to pay to pee. Do you follow the rules or join the rebellion?
Mark Hollmann and Greg Kotis' URINETOWN is an hilariously subversive fable of greed, corruption, love, revolution, and urination, in a time when water is worth its weight in gold and there's no such thing as a free pee. Set in a near-future dystopian Gotham, a severe 20-year drought has led to a government-enforced ban on private toilets. The citizens are forced to use public "amenities" now, regulated by a single malevolent company that profits by charging admission for one of humanity's most basic needs. In this nightmare world, the punishment for an unauthorized pee is a trip to the dreaded URINETOWN. But from the ruins of Democracy and courtesy flushes, there rises an unlikely hero who decides he's held it long enough, and he launches a People's Revolution to lead them all to urinary freedom!
Inspired by the outrageous political theatre of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill, and (very) loosely based on the writings of late eighteenth-century political and economic theorist Thomas Malthus, URINETOWN is a gloriously silly, irreverently truthful satire from which no target is safe. This is a show that catapults musical comedy into the new millennium with its rule-shattering tear through the traditions and conventions of musical theatre, leaving nothing but uncontrollable laughter and a great big puddle in its wake.
And that's just Act I.
Cardiff Giant, a theatre company in Chicago, had been known for its outrageous, irreverent social satire, some scripted, some improvised. Two members of the (now defunct) group, Greg Kotis and Mark Hollmann, began working in 1995 on what would become Urinetown. Kotis was also a member of the alternative theatre group the Neo-Futurists, who specialized in evenings of brilliant one- and two-minute plays. During a trip to Europe with the Neo-Futurists, the nearly broke Kotis discovered to his dismay that most public toilets in Europe are pay-to-use. And the idea for Urinetown was born – a musical about a city in the not too distant future where toilets are all “pay-to-pee” and private toilets are outlawed, where all toilets are controlled by a large, malevolent, monopolizing corporation, the Urine Good Company.
When it opened in New York, the official slogan on the Urinetown T-shirts was “An appalling idea, fully realized.” Actor Daniel Marcus, who played Officer Barrel, said in an interview, “I call it a love letter to the American musical in the form of a grenade.”
In fact, Urinetown is a double satire, laughing at the sappy, happy conventions of old-fashioned musical comedy, but also laughing at shows like Les Miz or Passion which reject those conventions and perhaps go too far the other way. Urinetown raises questions about what we expect from musicals, whether or not “issue musicals” are satisfying entertainment, why certain stories or topics are musicalized, and whether or not serious musicals are too serious.
Bruce Weber in The New York Times said, “There simply is no show I’ve seen that gives such a sense that the creators and performers are always on the same page of an elaborate, high-spirited joke, that they are the proud members of a cabal that knows what it takes to make the world a better place and that they are thrilled to share what they know.” He also called the show “a sensational piece of performance art, one that acknowledges theater tradition and pushes it forward as well.” The show was nominated for 9 Tony Awards (winning Best Book and Best Score), 9 Drama Desk Awards, 7 Obie Awards (winning Best Musical), 5 Outer Critics Circle Awards (winning Best Musical), and a Drama League Award for Best Musical.
The New Line production will be directed by Scott Miller and Mike Dowdy-Windsor, with music direction by Nicolas Valdez, choreography by Michelle Sauer and Sara Rae Womack, costume design by Sarah Porter, scenic design by Todd Schaefer, and sound design by Ryan Day.
New Line first produced Urinetown in 2007.
For more information about this show, click here.
Each First Look Subscription contains tickets for ONLY the Thursday preview for each show. Those dates are Sept. 26, 2019 for Cry-Baby; March 5, 2020 for Head Over Heels; and June 4, 2020 for Urinetown. These tickets cannot be exchanged for other dates.
Each Regular Subscription includes one ticket for each show in the season. You can use these tickets for any performance date during the run of each show.
Each Flex Subscription includes three Flex tickets that you can use at any time for any show during the season. Buy a Flex Subscription and use all three tickets for one show or spread them out over the season, however you want!
As a subscriber, you'll just call or email our office in advance to tell us which performance you'd like to attend, and we'll hold your tickets at the box office, subject to availability. Seating at the Marcelle is not reserved. You will not receive physical tickets or vouchers, nothing you have to keep track of – we’ll do that for you! You’ll just get a confirmation of your order, and simple instructions; just call or email to reserve your dates, then show up at the box office to get your tickets. Regular and Flex Subscribers can even change dates after they've reserved them! There are no refunds. Subscription deadline is Sept. 2, 2019..
All mainstage shows run Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings, at 8:00 p.m., at the Marcelle Theater, 3310 Samuel Shepard Drive, just three blocks east of Grand, in the Grand Center Arts District. All programs are subject to change. For more info, call us at 314-773-6526.
For more info about the season, read artistic director Scott Miller's blog post about everything going on this season!