Peninsula Players will open its 75th season June 15 with “Heroes,” by Gérald Sibleyras, translated by Tom Stoppard.
In “Heroes” three veterans of World War I plot their greatest adventure yet, to escape the veteran’s hospital! Their wits may not be fully intact, but even in their autumn years they retain a zeal for life that may just get them past the front gates. “Heroes” will run through July 4. It won the Olivier Award for Best Comedy and several Moliere Award nominations, including Best Author.
From July 7 through July 25 the Peninsula Players presents “Over the Tavern” by Tom Dudzick, who is called the Roman Catholic’s Neil Simon. Raising four teenagers over a tavern in Buffalo, New York in the 1950s is a challenge especially just before confirmation when the youngest, Rudy, starts to question the church and ruler-cracking Sister Clarissa. Theatergoers may recall Dudzick’s heartwarming comedy “Greetings!” from the Players’ 2008 season.
Next up from July 28 through August 15 is the multiple Tony Award-winning musical “A Little Night Music” with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by Hugh Wheeler. Greg Vinkler, artistic director of Peninsula Players, will be taking a leave from his role as Doc in the Broadway revival of “West Side Story,” to direct the musical. “A Little Night Music” features such Sondheim classics as “A Weekend in the Country,” “Every Day a Little Death” and “Send in the Clowns.” This witty, elegant musical is a celebration of romance, a Valentine to Door County audiences.
“Comic Potential” a sci-fi comedy by Alan Ayckbourn moves onto the stage from August 18 through Sept. 5. Time Magazine named “Comic Potential” “one of the best plays of the past decade.” In the foreseeable future television actors are replaced with programmable robots, and Jacie, an android star, is slated for the scrap heap when a programming glitch is discovered. At very inopportune times in her soap drama “Hospital Hearts,” she develops a penchant for humor, of the slap-stick kind. When the writer kidnaps her to save her, adventures really begin!
Closing the season is the Midwest premiere of the scintillating thriller “Panic” by Joseph Goodrich (Sept.8 -Oct. 17). “Panic” is the winner of the Mystery Writer’s of America Edgar Award for Best Play. At a film opening in Paris director Henry Lockwood, known as “the Sultan of Suspense,” finds himself caught in a web of blackmail, deception and murder. Goodrich used Alfred Hitchcock as a model for Lockwood and the suspense filled story.
“We hope audiences enjoy the Peninsula Players 75th year,” Vinkler said. “Shows are filled with enduring friendships, romance, and song and dance. Comic and warm-hearted adventures of a zany family and a futuristic acting robot give way to the thrill of mystery in the fall. We have so much for everyone to enjoy!”
The Peninsula Players perform Tuesdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 7:30 p.m. in the summer. With the opening of the fall show Sept. 8 curtain times are Tuesday through Saturdays at 8 p.m. and most Sundays at 7 p.m. The closing performance of each show will have a 4 p.m. matinee, July 4, July 25, August 15, Sept. 5 and Oct. 17.
Discount tickets are available for season ticket holders and groups. Individual tickets are also available. Individual ticket prices range from $29, $33 to $36. There are no performances on Mondays. For more information or to reserve tickets phone the Peninsula Players’ box office at 920-868-3287 or visit the website at www.peninsulaplayers.com.
Comments on the 75th Season from Artistic Director Greg Vinkler
“I was very focused this year on the company as a whole – on what makes this theater special,” said Artistic Director Greg Vinkler as he selected plays for this 75th season. “When celebrating a major anniversary, some venues focus on pulling shows out of the attic. I did not want to do that. It seemed to me that what has made Peninsula Players endure for 75 years is the great variety of quality shows we produce and the very talented company members we assemble every year. ‘Do that, Greg,’ I thought – ‘and do it well, and you will celebrate everything we are and have been.’
“The Players was born in 1935 during the Great Depression and our season included such shows as ‘Hay Fever’ and ‘Hedda Gabler.’ We have a long history of providing a diverse season for our audience, and by continuing to remain true to that philosophy we have become one of America’s oldest professional resident summer stock theater companies. As we celebrate this milestone in our history I wanted to remain true to that mission by putting together a varied group of terrific shows that stirs excitement in our patrons and our talented resident company. That to me is the most appropriate way to celebrate this 75th anniversary -by continuing to thrill our audiences with vibrant, human and theatrical stories.”