I'd never heard of this theatre company before, but an announcement they made last week certainly caught my attention. Jason Alexander (who I *have* heard of - OK, I actually saw him in "The Producers" too) is Reprise's new artistic director, and he recently announced the lineup of the 2008-09 season. The show that got my attention was "Once On This Island". A friend had given me the CD of the original Broadway cast recording of the show a number of years ago after I had mentioned how much I liked "Anastasia" and the songs in the movie - Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens wrote the songs for the movie as well as the Broadway versions of both "Once On This Island" and "Ragtime". Well, once I heard the CD, I was in love with the show - but what chance would I get to see it?
A couple of years ago, I found out that International City Theatre in Long Beach was putting on a production of the show, so we decided to go, and the friend who gave me the CD ended up being able to go as well. It was a very minimalist production, no big sets or fancy scenery, even given the setting of the story, but it was really about the performers, and it was a terrific show.
So you can imagine how happy I am that Reprise will also be putting on the show. I'm not sure how elaborate the production would be (I'd love to see a full-scale production of the show with amazing sets and all. It's the kind of show I can definitely see Disney putting on, though they might prefer to change the ending of the story.), but I don't really care. Even if it's like the ICT production, I'll be glad to see it.
The other show on Reprise's 2008-09 season that interests me is "Chess". I'm intrigued because it was a collaboration between the two men from ABBA (responsible for "Mamma Mia", one of my favorite shows) and Tim Rice which actually pre-dates "Mamma Mia". I'm going to have to track down the original Broadway cast CD to have a listen. I'm amused at the hit song that apparently came out of that show.