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The show must go on: International City
Theatre announces 5-play season for 2021
LONG BEACH, Calif. (Sept. 18, 2020) – In the spirit of cautious optimism that theater will be permitted to resume early next year, International City Theatre has decided to announce a 2021 season.
“We’re making this announcement with hope in our hearts that we’ll be able to get back to the business of doing theater in the new year,” says ICT producing artistic director caryn desai [sic]. “We will, of course, have the strictest safety protocols in place for our patrons, who will be carefully socially distanced, and we’re working closely with the union to ensure the safety of our actors. We are all longing for the wonderful, irreplaceable community experience that is live theater, and we’ve lined up a season that will deliver.”
If all goes as planned, the season will open on Feb. 19 with Blues in the Night, a scorching, blues-infused, Tony and Olivier award-nominated musical revue. Three women share their stories of a lying, cheating snake of a man who did them wrong via 26 hot, torchy numbers made famous by the likes of Bessie Smith, Duke Ellington, Johnny Mercer, Alberta Hunter, Jimmy Cox, Ida Cox and more. Conceived and originally directed by Sheldon Epps, the International City Theatre production will be directed by Wren T. Brown, founding artistic director of LA.’s Ebony Rep and director of ICT’s 2019 hit production of Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill. Performances will take place Feb. 19 through March 7, with two previews on Feb. 17 and Feb. 18.
Next up, Marya Mazor will direct Slow Food by Wendy MacLeod, a plway originally scheduled for the now-canceled 2020 season. In this uproarious, yet tender, comedy about love and marriage, a vacationing couple celebrates their anniversary at a Greek restaurant in Palm Springs. But will the marriage survive the service? As a wacky waiter insinuates his way into their meal — and their lives — the couple examine their past and their future together. Performances take place April 30 through May 16, with two previews on April 28 and April 29.
The Legend of Georgia McBride, a heartfelt, feel-good, music-filled comedy by Matthew Lopez, follows in June with Jamie Torcellini at the helm. Casey is young and broke. The landlord is knocking on his door, and he has a baby on the way. Now, the owner of the bar where he works as an Elvis impersonator has replaced his act with a B-level drag show, and Casey’s about to learn a lot about show biz — and himself. Performances take place June 4 through June 20, with two previews on June 2 and June 3.
August brings a hard-hitting drama about family conflict and clashing cultures. In Closely Related Keys by award-winning playwright Wendy Graf, an African-American attorney with a career on the rise is shocked to discover she has an Iraqi half-sister. Julia Dolan’s carefully constructed life begins to crumble when Neyla, a devout Muslim, arrives in the U.S. with plans to audition for Juilliard. But is there more to her story? Originally scheduled for the now-canceled 2020 season, performances have been rescheduled for Aug. 27 through Sept. 12 of 2021. Saundra McClain directs.Two previews will take place on Aug. 25 and Aug. 26.
Wrapping up the season will be Art, the Tony and Olivier award-winning comedy by Yasmina Reza. How much would you pay for a painting with nothing on it? Would it be art? Three old friends square off over the merits of a recently purchased, very expensive — and very white — painting. With friendships hanging in the balance, the question becomes: how much is a painting worth? This heady and hilarious look at the bonds of male friendship viewed through the prism of modern art will be directed by desai, who previously helmed an acclaimed production of Reza’s God of Carnage for ICT. Performances take place Oct. 22 through Nov. 7, with two previews on Oct. 20 and Oct. 21.
“This has been such a difficult year for everybody,” concludes desai. “We can’t give up hope, and it’s in that spirit that we must move forward as best we can.”
Recognized by Long Beach as the City’s resident professional theater company, International City Theatre is the recipient of over 400 awards, including the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle’s prestigious Margaret Harford Award for “Sustained Excellence” and the LADCC’s 2016 Polly Warfield Award for an “Excellent Season.” In addition to its professional theater productions, ICT offers six community and educational outreach programs each year. The company’s commitment to the community also includes ongoing collaborations with Long Beach’s African American community and other groups and organizations. Former Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe called ICT “a cultural treasure.”
All performances take place Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. For more information about ICT’s 2021 Season and to purchase subscriptions or single tickets, call (562) 436-4610 or visit www.internationalcitytheatre.org