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Theater Notebook: North Coast Rep and Moxie theaters announce lineup for upcoming season

Artistic Director David Ellenstein has been with North Coast Rep since 2003.
(Aaron Rumley)

Two San Diego theaters, North Coast Rep and Moxie, have announced their lineups this month for their upcoming seasons.

North Coast Repertory Theatre

North Coast Rep, under the artistic leadership of David Ellenstein, has just opened the penultimate production of its 40th anniversary season, “The Outgoing Tide,” which runs through July 3. Closing the season in July is the world premiere musical murder-mystery “The Remarkable Mister Holmes.”

The company’s 41st season will kick off in September and features seven productions, plus one optional add-on show later this year. Subscriptions are now on sale at (858) 481-2155 or at northcoastrep.org. Here’s the lineup:

“Anabella in July”: Ellenstein will direct the world premiere of this comedic fantasy play by Richard Strand that transforms a ski resort during the off-season into a magical world of self-discovery. Sept. 7 through Oct. 2.

“Into the Breeches”: This comedy by George Brant is set in a small American playhouse in 1942. When the actors and director head overseas to fight in World War Ii, the women left behind begin mounting their own productions of Shakespeare plays. A San Diego premiere. Oct. 19 through Nov. 23.

“Blues in the Night”: Sheldon Epps’ 1980 revue of jazz songs from the 1930s and ‘40s has had a renaissance of late with a Beverly Hills production in 2018. Directed by Yvette Freeman, the show features 26 “hot, torchy” songs by composers that include Duke Ellington, Bessie Smith, Benny Goodman and Johnny Mercer. Jan. 11-Feb. 4, 2023.

“The Cherry Orchard”: Anton Chekhov’s classic drama, in a new translation by Jean-Claude van Itallie, is the story of impoverished aristocratic Russian family battling social changes as they try to protect their cherry tree-studded family estate from being sold at auction. Ellenstein will direct. March 1 through 26.

“Murder on the Links”: Based on the 1923 novel by Agatha Christie, this world premiere mystery comedy by Steven Dietz finds Belgian detective Hercule Poirot trying to solve two murders on a French golf course. April 19 through May 14.

“Eleanor”: Ellenstein directs the West Coast premiere of Mark St. Germain’s play about former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt. San Diego actor Kandis Chappell stars as Roosevelt, telling stories about her life and work from the great beyond. June 7 through July 2.

“Pippin”: This Tony Award-winning 1972 musical by Roger O. Hirson and Stephen Schwartz tells the story of Pippin, the first son of King Charlemagne, who sets out on a journey of adventure before ascending to the throne. July 19 through Aug. 13.

“2 Pianos, 4 Hands”: This production is being offered as an optional add-on to the 41st season. First produced at North Coast Rep in 2011, this two-character musical comedy by Ted Dykstra and Richard Greenblatt is about two musicians and their lifelong love for the piano. Dec. 7, 2022, through Jan. 1, 2023.

Jennifer Eve Thorn, executive artistic director of Moxie Theatre
Jennifer Eve Thorn, executive artistic director of Moxie Theatre.
(Moxie Theatre)

Moxie Theatre

Moxie, under the artistic leadership of Jennifer Eve Thorn, focuses its work on plays that create more diverse and honest images of women. The company kicks off its 18th season of four plays this summer. All four plays are by women authors and will be directed by women. Tickets are now on sale at moxietheatre.com. Here’s the lineup:

“The Pleasure Trials”: Sarah Saltwick’s new comedy is the story of two women researchers working on a female libido-enhancing drug, which generates tremendous interest from sexually unfulfilled women desperate to get their hands on the little pink pills. Marti Gobel will direct. Aug. 14 through Sept. 11.

“The Children”: Lucy Kirkwood’s 2016 drama, inspired by the Fukushima nuclear disaster of 2011, is about two retired nuclear physicists who live not far from the plant that had a near-meltdown years before. One day a fellow plant worker from years ago arrives for a visit with a mysterious motive. Kim Strassburger will direct. Nov. 6 through Dec. 4.

“Birds of North America”: Written by Anna Ouyang Moench, a writer for the Apple TV+ series “Severance,” this play is about a father and daughter whose passion for birdwatching in their family’s suburban backyard over nine autumns brings up issues about aging, politics and climate change. Directed by Lisa Berger. Feb. 6 through March 5, 2023.

“Chronicles of Kalki”: This 90-minute drama by Aditi Brennan Kapil is a comic-book-infused, girl-gang thriller that chronicles the adventures and mysterious disappearance of Kalki, a young woman who may or may not be the final avatar of Vishnu. Directed by Desireé Clarke. May 7 through June 4, 2023.

Kragen writes about theater for the San Diego Union-Tribune. Email her at pam.kragen@sduniontribune.com.


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