At last week’s meeting of Union Street Players, the Board of Directors and membership approved the shows which will be produced in the 2009 and 2010 seasons. For several months, the USP Script Committee has been reading plays and reviewing Director’s Proposals for several shows. The committee makes recommendations to the board. In some cases, a potential director will propose a show they wish to do, and the committee works with the board to decide if it is a show USP should produce.
Earlier this year, the USP Board and membership approved the Broadway musical, Annie for the 2009 season. However, it was discovered that the group could not get rights to produce the show since a regional touring company will be producing the show in Iowa next year. That meant that the schedule had to be juggled.
The approved upcoming seasons are:
Letters from Pella by Tom Vander Well (Tulip Time 2009)
Runner-up in USP’s 2006 Tulip Time Playwriting contest, Letters from Pella draws upon actual letters written by Pella’s first residents back to their native Holland. The play tells a largely forgotten and untold story of the struggle, division and conflict among Pella’s founding citizens. In their own words and through their experiences, we are reminded that "people are people" and the struggle for true community does not change with time.
Sound of Music by Rodgers and Hammerstein (Jul-Aug 2009)
It has been ten years since USP first produced this classic tale of love, faith, family and loyalty. We figured it was time to produce the show for a whole new generation of Pella families! Set in the changing political climate of the German alps in the late 1930’s, and based upon the true experiences of the von Trapp family, Sound of Music tells the story of Maria, a would-be nun who is placed as a nanny of a widowed German military officer and his brood of children. Realizing that they must flee the tide of Nazi fascism, the family escapes over the alps to freedom. The musical brought many unforgettable songs to the American music lexicon, including The Sound of Music, My Favorite Things, and Do-Re-Mi.
Sabrina Fair by Samuel A. Taylor (Nov-Dec 2009)
This romantic comedy debuted on Broadway in 1953 and inspired two movies. The first film adaptation starred Audrey Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart. A remake in 1995 starred Julia Ormand, Greg Kinnear and Harrison Ford. Sabrina Fairchild is the daughter of a chauffeur who has recently returned from Paris. Having once had a crush on the young playboy, David Larrabee, she finds herself drawn to Linus, David’s older brother. Sabrina Fair is an elegant, romantic comedy that is sure to delight our USP audience.
K.O.L.D. Radio by Phil Olson (Feb 2010)
This show is perfect for a warm laugh on a cold Winter’s evening. The setting is Whitefish Bay, Minnesota, up near the Canadian border. Lars Knudsen is the host of a radio show called, "Crappie Talk," devoted entirely to ice fishing for Crappies. Lars has no listeners, so he loses his only advertiser, Ole’s Bait Mart and Deer Petting Farm. Martha Bjorklund, Lars’ love interest, hosts "Book Beat." She has all the listeners, and all the advertisers. Lars has issues with this. The issues multiply when a Brooklyn Italian comes to Whitefish Bay, buys the radio station, promotes Martha and fires Lars. Lars has his work cut out for himself. He needs his job, he needs his dignity, but most important, he needs Martha. Will you enjoy this show? Ya, youbetcha!
Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White, adapted by Joseph Robinette (Summer 2010)
Unless you have been under a rock for the past fifty years, you must be at least marginally familiar with E.B. White’s classic children’s book Charlotte’s Web, which is described by its author as being "a story of friendship and salvation on a farm." In Charlotte’s Web (the bestselling children’s paperback of all time), a spider named Charlotte A. Cavatica becomes friends with a runty pig named Wilbur and, through her machinations and inspired web-weaving, manages to save him from becoming a breakfast side dish!
Annie with music by Charles Strouse and lyrics by Martin Charnin (Nov-Dec 2010)
Based on the Harold Gray comic strip and the book by Thomas Meehan, Annie tells beloved story of the little orphan girl who rises above the Great Depression, personal tragedy and the machinations of the scheming Miss Hannigan to be adopted by the kind Daddy Warbucks. A favorite on Broadway for many years, Annie is a story of hope that the whole family will enjoy; a show that reminds us that "the sun will come out tomorrow!"
Shows and schedules are subject to change.