Jason Alexander sets Reprise slate

Artistic director lines up 'Island,' 'Wife,' 'Chess'

In his first official season at Reprise, artistic director Jason Alexander has chosen “Once on This Island,” “I Love My Wife,” “Man of La Mancha” and “Chess” for the company’s 2008-09 slate.

“I was looking for a diversity of stories, musical styles and world views as I chose this season,” Alexander said.

“Once on This Island,” with book and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens and music by Stephen Flaherty, runs Sept. 2-14 at the Freud Playhouse on the UCLA campus. Ahrens and Flaherty are celebrating their 25th year of collaborating. “Island” opened in October 1990 and ran for 469 performances.

“I Love My Wife,” the 1977 wife-swapping tuner by Michael Stewart and Cy Coleman, plays the Brentwood Theater Dec. 2-14. It ran for 857 performances on Broadway and 401 in the West End.

Dale Wasserman’s “Man of La Mancha,” with music by Mitch Leigh and lyrics by Joe Darion, tilts at windmills Feb. 17-March 1 at the Freud.

“Chess,” with music by Abba’s Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus and lyrics by Tim Rice, plays May 5-17, 2009, at the Freud.

Reprise Theater Company, as it has been renamed, will be launching the Biller Student Theater Initiative, a musical theater education program that offers students two in-class workshops, a study guide and a follow-up project in addition to providing free admission to “Man of La Mancha” and free transportation to the theater.

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