‘Sherlock Holmes,’ French farce among works featured in North Coast Rep’s new season

In choosing the roster for North Coast Repertory Theatre’s Season 34, artistic director David Ellenstein said plays were picked that celebrate the joy, pathos and resiliency of the human spirit. “We chose works that we believe not only reflect the tastes of our loyal subscribers, but will also appeal to a wide spectrum of theater-lovers throughout the county,” he said.

The intimate theater is poised to present a mix of West Coast premieres “including comic gems, absorbing dramas and a delightful musical.”

The season opens Sept. 9 with Ken Ludwig’s “The Fox on the Fairway.” Matthew Wiener directs the laugh fest, which plays through Oct. 4.

Tony Award-winning actress Judith Ivey directs the West Coast premiere of “Chapatti” by Christian O’Reilly, Oct. 21-Nov. 15. Two lonely animal lovers in Dublin cross paths, and an unexpected spark begins as they re-discover the importance of human companionship. This heartwarming second-chance comedy celebrates unforgettable characters who still believe in love.

“Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Great Nome Gold Rush,” kicks off the New Year. Ellenstein directs the World premiere, Jan. 13-Feb. 7, 2016. The world’s greatest sleuth will stop at nothing to prove a client innocent of murder, even if it means traveling to the Wild West frontier town of Nome, Alaska, and ending up at a bar run by Wyatt Earp. This wild and woolly adventure is full of intrigue, mystery, deception and duplicity.

“Now You See It” plays Feb. 24-March 20, 2016. It’s the West Coast premiere of a farce by the French master George Feydeau, in a brilliant translation by British playwright Kenneth McLeish and directed by Bruce Turk. Audiences witness a dizzying escapade fueled by jealousy bordering on paranoia, a philandering husband, hypnotism, a spurned lover and a scandalous discovery.

The third West Coast premiere, “Way Downriver: William Faulkner’s ‘Old Man’” debuts April 13-May 8, 2016 with Ellenstein at the helm. A flood of Biblical proportions on the mighty Mississippi provides the dramatic backdrop to this edge-of-your seat adventure. It reveals an unlikely pair of souls who are bound together by the forces of nature, and who struggle to overcome their fears and prejudice in order to survive their harrowing experiences.

“Hedda Gabler,” arguably one of the most complex and intriguing female characters ever written, will have its world premiere adaptation, created by the company at North Coast Rep, translated by Anne-Charlotte Harvey and directed by Ellenstein. It’s a mesmerizing tale of a woman trapped in a loveless marriage and driven by a need for power and freedom, June 1-June 26, 2016.

Season 34 concludes with “Ain’t Misbehavin’” July 13-Aug. 7, 2016, directed by Obie Award winner Yvette Freeman. Based on the signature Fats Waller song, this rousing musical revue takes audiences back to the glory days of the Harlem Renaissance when the Cotton Club and Savoy Ballroom served as playgrounds for high society.

The holiday show will be the return engagement of “This Wonderful Life” by Steve Murray and starring James Leaming, Dec. 8-27.

North Coast Repertory Theatre is at 987 Lomas Santa Fe Drive, Solana Beach. Tickets: 858-481-1055 or northcoastrep.org.

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