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WaterTower Theatre's New Season: Bouncy and Risky

by Jerome Weeks 3 May 2011 7:40 AM

The Addison company will be presenting ‘Boeing-Boeing’ and ‘Smokey Joe’s Cafe’ – but also the locally-produced premieres of ‘Spring Awakening’ and ‘August: Osage County.”


August: Osage County won a Tony Award for Todd Rosenthal’s three-story set

WaterTower Theatre’s 2011-12 season features a pair of happy, bouncy, period musicals:  the early-’60s-swinging-bachelor-(mild)-sex farce Boeing-Boeing (recently staged by Fort Worth’s Circle Theatre) and the Lieber-and-Stoller, rhythm-and-blues jukebox revue Smokey Joe’s Cafe. They’re here more or less to offset the daring selections. WTT is staging both of the local-theater premieres of Spring Awakening and August: Osage County.

The two shows may not sound so risky because, after all, both the sexually-frustrated-German-teen emo-rock musical and the loud-Okie-family-coming-apart drama are Tony Award-winners and Broadway successes. And they both were already presented locally on tour at the Winspear Opera House. Welcome to the AT&T Performing Arts Center’s   Lexus Broadway Series, circa last year. It’s fairly predictable for a regional theater company in North Texas to pick up such shows after they’ve toured and the rights become available.

But the fact is that Spring Awakening prompted walk-outs at the Winspear (apparently, some people didn’t get the memo about obscenities and teen sex). And August: Osage County was something of an exciting gamble (even if you felt Tracy Letts’  play ultimately proved to be melodramatic and contrived) because it was the extremely rare major drama to tour these days — with a hefty cast of 13. It wasn’t a real house-filler; it was more a signal from then-PAC executive director Mark Nerenhausen that the AT&T PAC was aiming for different audiences than the Dallas Summer Musicals.

So both shows represent big commitments in terms of production scale and adult material.  Terry Martin will direct Awakening, Rene Moreno will take a crack at Osage.  Oh, and WTT will fill out its season with The Diary of Anne Frank, the holiday show, Rockin’ Christmas Party and the annual Out of the Loop Fringe Festival.

Here’s the full release:

WaterTower Theatre Announces its 2011-2012 Season of 5 Main Stage Productions Plus a Holiday Show

The Blockbuster Season Includes the Tony Award-Winning Musical Spring Awakening and The Tony Award-winning play August: Osage County

Addison, TX…WaterTower Theatre Producing Artistic Director Terry Martin today announced the Company’s 2011-2012 Main Stage season at a special VIP Sneak Preview held at the Addison Theatre Centre.    The season opens with the Tony Award-winning musical Spring Awakening (September 30 – October 30, 2011) followed by the return of the popular holiday show Rockin’ Christmas Party (November 26 – December 18, 2011).  The season continues in early January with The Diary of Anne Frank (January 6 – February 5, 2012), the Tony Award-winning play August: Osage County (March 30 – April 29, 2012), Boeing-Boeing (May 25 – June24, 2012) and Smokey Joe’s Café (July 20 – August 19, 2012).  The annual Out of the Loop Fringe Festival will be held March 1 – 11, 2012.  All productions will be staged at the Addison Theatre Centre at 15650 Addison Road, Addison, Texas 75001.

Terry Martin will direct Spring Awakening, The Diary of Anne Frank and Smokey Joe’s CaféRené Moreno will direct August: Osage County, Amy Anders Corcoran will direct Rockin’ Christmas Party and Robin Armstrong will direct Boeing-Boeing.

Current WaterTower Theatre subscribers will be offered the opportunity to renew their season subscriptions at this year’s prices.  Some series prices will increase slightly next season and some series prices will decrease.  Single ticket prices for the 11-12 season increase for some performance days and some remain the same or decrease (opening night price decreases, while Thursday evening price increases and Friday evening remains unchanged).  The +/- modest adjustment in ticket prices is a reflection of consumer purchasing activity.

Spring Awakening

Music by Duncan Sheik

Book and Lyrics Steven Sater

Based on the play by Frank Wedekind

Directed by Terry Martin

This rock musical adaptation of an 1891 German play is set against the backdrop of a progressive and provincial late 19th century Germany.  Spring Awakening tells the timeless story of teenage self-discovery and budding sexuality through the eyes of three teenagers.  Haunting and provocative, Spring Awakening celebrates an unforgettable journey from youth to adulthood.  The musical won multiple Tony Awards (8 awards including Best Musical).

German playwright Frank Wedekind’s 1891 play of the same name was so shocking for its era that when it opened in New York 26 years later, it took a Supreme Court injunction to allow the show to go on, and only then for a single performance before closing.

Spring Awakening has been called “the best musical of a generation” (NY Observer).  Adapted from Wedekind’s play, with a score by Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater and book by Steven Sater, the musical depicts how a dozen young people make their way through the thrilling, complicated, confusing and mysterious time of their sexual awakening.

The musical includes mature themes and adult language.

The Diary of Anne Frank

Adapted by Wendy Kesselman

Based on the original play by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett

Based upon the book Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl

Directed by Terry Martin

The Wendy Kesselman adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning and Tony Award-winning play by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett received two Tony Award nominations in 1999 including Best Play.

More than one million children perished in the World War II Holocaust.  Anne Frank was one of those children.  The play is based on the classic work of nonfiction Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl.  The play tells the true story of the remarkable spirit of a young girl who lived and perished during a time when difference was not tolerated by Adolf Hitler, and when some people risked their own lives to help others like Anne Frank and her family.

August: Osage County

Written by Tracy Letts
Directed by René Moreno

August: Osage County is a grand, gripping play which tells the story of the Weston’s, a large extended clan that comes together at their rural Oklahoma homestead when the alcoholic patriarch disappears.  Forced to confront unspoken truths and astonishing secrets, the family must also contend with Violet, a pill-popping, deeply unsettled woman at the center of this storm.  August: Osage County was the winner of the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the Tony Award for Best Play.

Tracy Letts is the author of Killer Joe, Bug, and Man from Nebraska, which was a finalist for the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. His plays have been performed throughout the country and internationally. A performer as well as a playwright, Letts is a member of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company where August: Osage County premiered.


Written by Marc Camoletti
Directed by Robin Armstrong

This hilarious 1960’s romp, immortalized by Jerry Lewis and Tony Curtis on film, has a handsome bachelor juggling three international flight attendant fiancées.

In the comedy, an architect living in Paris has been successfully juggling three flight attendant fiancées with his housekeeper reluctantly playing romantic air-traffic controller as they fly in and out of his swank bachelor pad. But when an old school pal visits, things get rather turbulent. Schedules change, flights are delayed and chaos ensues in this whirl of mayhem and matchmaking.

This classic farce was written in the 1960’s by French playwright Marc Camoletti. An English translation became a smash hit in London’s West End, and a recent Broadway revival brought it to the attention of an American audience.  Boeing-Boeing won the 2008 Tony Award for Best Play Revival and Drama Desk Award for Best Play Revival.

Smokey Joe’s Café

Written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller
Directed by Terry Martin

Leiber and Stoller, as much as anyone, virtually invented rock n’ roll, and their songs provide the basis for a musical that illuminates the golden age of American culture.  In an idealized 50’s setting, the classic themes of love won, lost and imagined blend with slices-of-life emotions featuring some of the greatest songs ever recorded.  These songs include “Hound Dog,” “Love Potion #9,” “Jailhouse Rock,” and “Yakety Yak.”  Smokey Joe’s Café was conceived by Stephen Helper, Jack Viertel, and Otis Sallid. Presented in a revue format with no unifying theme, it showcases 39 songs, sung by members of the cast in various combinations, with no dialogue.

Smokey Joe’s Café is an ensemble musical that won a Grammy Award for Best Musical and was nominated for seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical.

Rockin’ Christmas Party

Written by Dave Steakley
Directed by Amy Anders Corcoran

Addison’s rock-n-soul holiday spectacle, Rockin’ Christmas Party, reigns as one of our town’s longest-running traditions! Bigger, brighter and merrier than ever, this award-winning production sure knows how to put the Christmas spirit in your heart as the cast shake, rattle and roll down Santa Claus Lane! It’s great fun for the whole family.

2011-2012 WaterTower Theatre Subscription Season Overview:

Spring Awakening

Previews – September 30, October 1

Pay What You Can – October 2

Opening Night – October 3

October 5 – 30, 2011

Rockin’ Christmas Party

Opening Night – November 26

November 27 – December 18, 2011

Non-subscription event

The Diary of Anne Frank

Previews – January 6, 7

Pay What You Can – January 8

Opening Night – January 9

January 11 – February 5, 2012

Out of the Loop Fringe Festival

March 1 – 11, 2012

August: Osage County

Previews – March 30, 31

Pay What You Can – April 1

Opening Night – April 2

April 4 – 29, 2012


Previews – May 25, 26

Pay What You Can – May 27

Opening Night – May 28

May 30 – June 24, 2012

Smokey Joe’s Café

Previews – July 20, 21

Pay What You Can – July 22

Opening Night – July 23

July 25 – August 19, 2012

2011-2012 Season Ticket Prices:

5-play season subscriptions range in price from $75 (Previews) to $150 (Saturday evening/Sunday matinee).

Series and single ticket prices will increase slightly on some performance dates but decrease on others.  The average increase is less than 10%.

Saturday evenings and Sunday matinees are now priced the same; Friday evening prices remain unchanged; Thursday evening prices increase slightly; Wednesday evening prices have a modest increase.  Opening night prices have been decreased, while preview prices remain unchanged.

New Season Subscription Packages Available:

For the 2011-2012 season, WaterTower Theatre will introduce a number of new season subscription options and mini series.  These will include:

Design Your Own series:

  • This option allows a patron to “build” their own series by choosing three or more plays from the season to which they can attend on different performance days.  This series costs more than the traditional 5-play subscription series and the patron does not have the same seat for each show. It does, however, offer the convenience of greater flexibility.

Wine Lovers’ series:

  • This is a 3-play subscription package that includes a pre-show wine tasting at WaterTower Theatre.
  • This is a Friday night series on the first Friday of the run.   The series will include the following productions:  August: Osage County, Boeing-Boeing and Smokey Joe’s Café.

Pride of WTT:

  • This is a 3-play subscription package designed for Dallas’ GLBT community.  It will include a pre-show Happy Hour at WTT and the performance.
  • It is a Friday night series on the 2nd Friday of the run and will include the following three productions:  Spring Awakening, August: Osage County and Smokey Joe’s Café.

Student Subscription Series:

  • A new student subscription series will be offered, including a special student Design Your Own Series.

Military Discount:

  • Veterans, current members of the armed forces and their immediate family will be offered a special military discount of $3 off all single tickets.