Ok so it’s not the great white way, but Boston has always had a nice selection of good theaters and there seem to be more now than the city has seen in a long time. Musicals, dramas, comedies, tragedies and edgy Avant-garde productions can usually be found without too much trouble, and there seems to be a venue for everyone.
One of Boston’s most diverse theater company’s is coming up on its 30 year anniversary and there are lots of fun things planned at the Huntington Theater. The company will kick off the season on September 10, 2011 with a rousing production of Leonard Bernstein’s “Candide”. The musical satire is about a naïve boy and the hardships that challenge his optimistic outlook and love is being directed by, Tony Award winning Mary Zimmerman.
“We’re very excited about the upcoming season and about Candide in particular. Pre-sale tickets have been second only to “Butley” which featured Nathan Lane,” said Rebecca Curtis Communications Manager for the Huntington Theater. “This theater group likes taking a classic and making it current,” she said.
The main theater is an 890-seat Broadway-style venue. Performances are also held at the Huntington’s second home at the Stanford Calderwell Pavillion, (a 370 seat Wimberly-style theater). Both have become well-known epicenters of drama in Boston. During its 30 year tenure, plays performed on this stage have included a varied mix including “Educating Rita” by Willy Russel, “The 39 Steps” by Alfred Hitchcock, and Shakespeare’s “As You Like It”. Local actors who performed at the Huntington early in their careers include; Jennifer Goodwin, Alfre Woodard, and Michael Chiklis, All went on to find huge success.
The new season which, will run from September to June 2012, is comprised of an interesting collection of seven performances including two world premiers;
“Before I Leave You”, a comedy by Rosanna Yamagiwa Alfaro, is about a Cambridge man who suddenly embraces his Asian roots.
“The Luck of the Irish” by Kirsten Greenidge, is a drama about a black family who buys property, in a white 1950’s Boston neighborhood.
“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”, by August Wilson, is a 1920’s story about a female blues singer dealing with racial tension.
“Private Lives” by Noel Coward, is a comedy about divorcee honeymooners who meet again by accident with their new spouses in attendance.
“God of Carnage” by Yasmina Reza, is a comedy of bad manners between two sets of parents that escalates.
“Captors” by Evan M Weiner is a true story based on Israeli agents who nab Adolf Eichmann in 1960 in Buenos Aries.
Over the years the Huntington stage has introduced more than 50 plays.
“Our productions appeal to all ages. The over 50 crowd tends to be drawn to more traditional theater but we offer a good variety so there really is something for everyone,” Curtis said.
The Huntington Theater was founded by Boston University in 1982 and went on to become an independent company in 1986. Many of its actors are from Boston with others from New York and Chicago. The theater is also very community-oriented and is involved in an extensive outreach/education program that brings culture to 25,000 people. Examples of what the program has to offer include matinee shows, poetry readings, and a poetry class competition that 70 Massachusetts schools participate in.
President of the Huntington Board of Trustees, Mitchell J. Roberts remarked on the cultural contribution of the theater and said “The Huntington contributes enormous cultural value to Boston in the wonderful ways it presents both new and classic works in a completely approachable manner, and because of its youth and education programs and involvement with the Boston public schools.”
The Huntington also has a two year residency, playwriting fellowship. This season’s world premiers; “Before I Leave You” and “The Luck of the Irish” are plays written and contributed by Huntington Fellows. The program is supported by the Calderwood Fund for New American Plays.
The non-profit theater company is funded by donations from corporations, donations in kind, and government grants. It also offers a host of ticket packages (to learn more log onto www.huntingtontheater.org) for everyone’s budget.
Subscribers can get the best seats at the best prices often saving up to 53 percent on tickets. Subscriber benefits include a no-charge ticket exchange, post-show conversations, actor’s forums, 35 below wrap parties, and a subscription to Spotlight Magazine which is chalk full of news and information about other exciting activities taking place at the theater.
There will be an open house on October 10, 2011, with guests allowed to tour back-stage and even try on some costumes.
The Boston University Theater
264 Huntington Ave.
Stanford Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts
527 Tremont St
South End – Boston