Skewer Roman times and marvel at how well the classic "Rainmaker" fares as a musical. TheatreZone's founding artistic director Mark Danni announced his group's eighth season at opening night of "The Boy Friend" recently.
The marketing buzz word for this season is "Hot Seats," but it could be called "ambitious," with that promise to stretch TheatreZone's creative and artistic talents
"A Funny Thing," a lampoon of Western civilization's toga years through the perspective of a scheming servant, is cast-rich." "Grand Hotel," full of characters with a motive, is plot-rich.
Here's the season:
"A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum." This comic Tony-winning musical revolves around the sophisticated efforts of one sharp slave, Pseudolus (Zero Mostel filled the role on Broadway), to win his freedom. The music and lyrics are by Stephen Sondheim and book is by Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart. Nov. 29-Dec. 9.
"Grand Hotel." The hotel is full of people plotting, stealing, longing and there will be a murder. But who? Luther Davis and music and lyrics by Robert Wright and George Forrest, with additional lyrics and music by Maury Yeston. It won a handful of Tonys and a raft of nominations. Jan 10-20.
"Next to Normal." With book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey and music by Tom Kitt., this rock musical story about a mother with bipolar disorder won not only Tonys but a Pulitzer for its look at the mental health profession, its subjects and their families. March 7-17.
"110 in the Shade." "The Rainmaker" gets music, book by N. Richard Nash, lyrics by Tom Jones, and music by Harvey Schmidt, creators of "The Fantasticks." When it opened on Broadway in 1963 it was the breakout role for TV's charismatic scout from "Wagon Train," Robert Horton, who played an even more charismatic grifter, Starbuck, to Inga Swensen's skeptic Lizzie. It won a number of Tonys, including for Audra McDonald as Lizzie in a revival in 2007. May 2-12.
TheatreZone is in residence and performs in the 250-seat G&L Theatre at the Community School of Naples, 13275 Livingston Road.
Season tickets are on sale to season ticket holders now, but the public can begin buying on June 1. Subscriber series (four shows) costs $182; a mini series (3 shows), $144; and individual seats costs $43-$48 plus $2 per ticket.
Information or tickets: 888-ZONE-FLA, (888-966-3352) or www. theatrezone-florida.com.