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Syracuse Stage blends classics with provocative new works for 2013-14 season


Syracuse Stage is combining well-known classics with some fresh works that have created notable buzz in the theater world for its 2013-14 season.

The six-production season opens Sept. 18 with the comedy “Blithe Spirit” and closes in April with “The Glass Menagerie.”

“The season captures the spirit of what has always been the best about Syracuse Stage — fresh and invigorating new looks at works we cherish, coupled with the best of what’s current,” said producing artistic director Timothy Bond.

The season is dedicated to Arthur Storch (1925-2013), the founding producing artistic director of Syracuse Stage and former chairman of the Department of Drama at Syracuse University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts.

Three of the plays in the 2013-14 season are classics produced during Mr. Storch’s first nine seasons at Syracuse Stage. The other three represent some of the best new theatrical works.

The lineup:

nSept. 18 to Oct. 6: “Blithe Spirit” by Noel Coward.

In this funny ghost story, novelist Charles Condomine enlists Madame Arcati to hold a seance at his home in the hopes of raising some ideas for a new book. Instead, Madame Arcati raises the ghost of Charles’s former wife, Elvira, who is determined to wreak havoc on Charles’s current marriage to Ruth.

nOct. 23 to Nov. 10: “Scorched” by Wajdi Mouawad.

This epic mystery has captivated audiences around the globe. It concerns twins Janine and Simon. Guided by letters their mother has left, they travel to the Middle East to untangle family roots entwined in a war-ravaged past.

The Syracuse Stage production will feature original music by the Kronos Quartet.

nNov. 23 to Dec. 29: “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens.

This beloved family classic returns to Syracuse Stage after a seven-year absence. The production, directed by Peter Amster, is a music-driven adaptation by Romulus Linney.

nJan. 29 to Feb. 16: “The Whipping Man”by Matthew Lopez.

This drama takes place in 1865 in Richmond, Va. The Civil War has ended and Caleb DeLeon, a badly wounded Confederate soldier, stumbles into the ruins of what was once his home. His family has fled, leaving two former slaves to wait and watch. Together, they care for the wounded Caleb and, having adopted the religion of their former owners, celebrate Passover.

Since opening off-Broadway in 2011 to critical acclaim and winning the Outer Critics Circle Award for best play, “The Whipping Man” has become one of the most produced plays in the country.

nFeb. 26 to March 16: “Chinglish”by David Henry Hwang.

This comedy is about the misadventures of miscommunication. An American businessman arrives in a bustling Chinese province looking to score a lucrative contract, but the deal isn’t the only thing lost in translation as he tangles with a government official, a bumbling consultant and a suspiciously sexy bureaucrat. Time magazine selected “Chinglish” as one of the best plays of 2011 and the Chicago Sun-Times called it “One of the funniest plays in memory.”

nApril 2 to 27: “The Glass Menagerie” by Tennessee Williams.

This drama, among the masterworks of American drama, explores the illusory nature of dreams and the fragility of hope. Abandoned by the father of her children, Amanda is obsessed with finding a suitor for her shy and vulnerable daughter, Laura. Tom, the restless and sensitive son who narrates the story, eases his frustrations with nighttime escapes to the movies. At Amanda’s urging, he asks a co-worker to dinner, which adds another dimension to the relationships in the play.

The details
WHAT: The six-production 2013-14 Syracuse Stage season
WHEN/WHERE: The 41st season opens in September with “Blithe Spirit” and closes in April with “The Glass Menagerie.” Shows are in Archbold Theatre, 820 E. Genesee St.
COST: Season tickets are on sale. Prices for a six-play subscription range from $138 to $288 for adults, with discounts available for senior citizens, patrons age 40 and under and age 18 and under.
Prices for individual shows are to be announced.
MORE INFO: Call the Syracuse Stage box office at 443-3275 or visit its website:
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