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South Coast Rep slates Sondheim

Season kicks off with two world premeires

South Coast Repertory will kick off its 2009-10 season with Stephen Sondheim in a lineup that includes two world premieres by SCR alums.

On the Costa Mesa theater’s larger, 507-seat Segerstrom Stage, Sondheim’s “Putting It Together” will run Sept. 11-Oct. 11. Story centers on a Manhattan couple who look back on their lives while hosting a cocktail party. Tuner incorporates music from the composer’s other musicals, such as “Company” and “Sweeney Todd.” Nick DeGruccio directs.

“Saturn Returns,” from Noah Haidle (“Mr. Marmalade”), follows in its West Coast preem. Play focuses on an 88-year-old man who explores his past and the women he loved. “Saturn” runs Oct. 23-Nov. 22, with a helmer still to be announced.

The revival of August Wilson’s “Fences,” helmed by Seret Scott, takes the stage from Jan. 22-Feb. 21. Show is one of 10 in Wilson’s cycle of plays chronicling the African-American experience in the 20th century.

One of two as-yet-unannounced world preems (March 26-April 25) slated to debut during SCR’s 2010 Pacific Playwrights Festival will bow before Beth Henley’s “Crimes of the Heart” closes out the season on the Segerstrom Stage. Running May 7-June 6, 2010, the revival of “Crimes” centers on the hijinks of the Magrath sisters of Hazlehurst, Miss. A director has yet to be announced.

On the smaller, 336-seat Julianne Argyros Stage, the world preem of Julie Marie Myatt’s “The Happy Ones” runs Sept. 27-Oct. 18, 2009. Directed by Martin Benson, story centers on the unlikely friendship between an Orange County family man and a Vietnamese refugee. SCR world preemed Myatt’s “My Wandering Boy” in 2007.

The West Coast preem of “Ordinary Days” fills the Jan. 3-24 slot. With music and lyrics by Adam Gwon, tuner follows four young New Yorkers as they make their way in the world. “Days” opens in Gotham in the fall at the Roundabout Theater Company before its SCR bow. No director has been announced.

The world preem of Howard Korder’s “In a Garden” follows. Running March 7-28, play centers on a culture minister who commissions an architect to design his summer house, only to find that the two continually clash over their world views. A director has not been announced. SCR world preemed the scribe’s “Search and Destroy” in 1990.

Closing out the season on the Argyros Stage (April 11-May 2) will be the second as-yet-unannounced world premiere production slated to debut during the annual Playwrights Fest.

Fest runs April 23-25, 2010, and will feature five staged readings in addition to the two world preems.

In addition, the annual holiday production of “A Christmas Carol,” adapted by Jerry Patch and helmed by John-David Keller, will star Hal Landon Jr. “Carol” runs Nov. 28-Dec. 26 on the Segerstrom Stage.

SCR’s Theater for Young Audiences has lined up three productions for the Argyros Stage: “Junie B. Jones and a Little Monkey Business,” with book, lyrics and music by Joan Cushing, based on the books by Barbara Park (Nov. 6-22); “A Wrinkle in Time,” adapted from the book by Madeleine L’Engle by John Glore and helmed by Shelley Butler (Feb. 5-21); and the world preem of Bathsheba Doran’s “Ben and the Magic Paintbrush” (May 21-June 6, 2010).

The NewSCRipts season (Oct. 26, Dec. 14 and March 1, 2010) features three Monday evening readings of plays by emerging and established writers.

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