OSF's 2014 season a lively mix

Another Marx Brothers play, a Sondheim musical, an adaptation of "A Wrinkle in Time" and another world premiere by Robert Schenkkan highlight the Oregon Shakespeare Festival's 2014 season, announced Friday night.

Shakespeare plays include "The Tempest," "The Comedy of Errors," "Richard III" and "The Two Gentlemen of Verona."

"Next season is packed with characters trying to figure out how to live their lives responsibly in relation to their rapidly changing societies," Artistic Director Bill Rauch said in a release.

The 2014 season in the Angus Bowmer Theatre will open with "The Tempest," Shakespeare's last great romance. Playing all season in repertory with "The Tempest" will be the Marx Brothers farce "The Cocoanuts," adapted by Mark Bedard, who played the Groucho Marx character in last season's "Animal Crackers."

Also opening at the top of the season and playing through early July is "The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window," written by Lorraine Hansberry, author of "Les Blancs" and "A Raisin in the Sun." The play originally opened on Broadway in 1964 and ran for 101 performances, closing on the night Hansberry died. This production honors the 50th anniversary of that opening.

Opening in the Bowmer in April will be Tracy Young's world premiere adaptation of Madeleine L'Engle's award-winning book "A Wrinkle in Time." Young was director and co-adapter of last season's "Medea/ Macbeth/ Cinderella," as well as "The Imaginary Invalid" and "The Servant of Two Masters" in past seasons at OSF.

In July, the final show to open in the Bowmer will be Schenkkan's "The Great Society," which continues the Lyndon Johnson story begun in his "All the Way," which premiered last season as part of OSF's American Revolutions history cycle.

First opening in the Thomas Theatre (previously known as the New Theatre) will be "The Comedy of Errors," this time set during the Harlem Renaissance.

It will be followed by Quiara Alegria Hudes' Pulitzer Prize-winning play, "Water by the Spoonful." It will open in March and close in June, then re-open in September and run through the end of the season. Hudes also is one of OSF's commissioned writers for American Revolutions.

The final play to open in the Thomas Theatre, "Family Album," will run in July and August only. This world premiere musical is created by Stew and Heidi Rodewald, and was commissioned by OSF with support from the Edgerton Foundation.

The outdoor season on the Elizabethan Stage will feature "Richard III," "The Two Gentlemen of Verona" and a musical — Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's "Into the Woods," winner of several Tony Awards, including Best Score and Best Book.

The 2014 season will begin with previews on Feb. 14 and open the weekend of Feb. 21-23. The opening performances on the Elizabethan Stage will be the weekend of June 13-15. The season will run through Nov. 2.

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