Joe Brancato and Andrew M. Horn, the artistic and executive directors of Stony Point’s Penguin Rep — the magical little-theater-that-can — have announced the latest May-to-October season for their barn theater on Crickettown Road.
The 35th season appears to adhere to the duo’s recent prescription for the subscription house: one madcap adventure, one relationship comedy, one real thought-provoking play — and one play by Nyack’s charmer of a playwright, Tom Dudzick (above, in a Peter Carr photo).
It’s a formula for success.
Here’s what season 35 will look like.
May 18-June 10: “The Hound of the Baskervilles” by Steven Canny and John Nicholson. Retells the Sherlock Holmes story about a big dog on the moors. Billed as “part Alfred Hitchcock, part Marx Brothers,” it sounds like those wonderful ensemble comedies that have been sure-fire winners the past few seasons, “Around the World in Eighty Days” or last season’s wonderful “Shipwrecked!”
June 29 to July 22: “The Last Days of Mickey and Jean” by Westchester playwright Richard Dresser. This one’s about a Boston mobster on the lam with his girlfriend in Paris. Sounds like it might have been inspired by Whitey Bulger, the Boston mob boss arrested last spring after 16 years on the run. Dresser’s baseball two-hander, “Rounding Third,” was a nice way to end season 34.
August 3 to 26: “Don’t Talk to the Actors” by Nyack’s favorite Buffalodian, Tom Dudzick, whose past plays are specific, universal and laugh-out-loud funny. This one’s about a playwright (write what you know) whose Broadway-bound production is imperiled by a “leacherous leading man, a distressed stage manager and a distant director.” If it’s anything like last year’s wonderful “Greetings!” or other Dudzick winners — “Our Lady of South Division Street” or “Over the Tavern,” which started Penguin seasons 32, 33 — expect laughs aplenty.
Oct. 5 to 28: “The How and the Why” by Sarah Treem (who wrote “In Treatment”), is a thinker play, about a young biologist who encounters a leader in her field. This one is for mature audiences.
Penguin will continue its hugely popular play-reading series, “Play With Your Food” on summer Mondays, and will once again have special events at RCC once the fall arrives: “Kosher Comedy Tour: Laughing from Right to Left” (Sept. 22); and Steve Solomon’s all-new “My Mother’s Italian, My Father’s Jewish, I’m Home for the Holidays” (Oct. 20).
And Brancato and Horn continue to taking past successes on the road.
“The Devil’s Music: The Life and Blues of Bessie Smith” — Rocklander Angelo Parra’s play about the blues great, nominated yesterday for a Lucille Lortel Award after 11 months in NYC — is heading to the Montreal Jazz Festival July 2 through 7. (www.thedevilsmusic.biz)
“Miracle on South Division Street” (formerly “Our Lady of South Division Street, when it played Penguin in 2009) moves to St. Luke’s Theatre on Restaurant Row (46th Street) in Manhattan starting April 25.
Details at Penguin’s website.