CULTURE MONSTER

Pasadena Playhouse 2015-16 season has 'Real Women,' cultural diversity

'Casa Valentina,' 'Real Women Have Curves' are among the offerings of the Pasadena Playhouse's 2015-16 season

The Pasadena Playhouse revealed its 2015-16 season on Thursday with a lineup of shows featuring the kind of ethnic and cultural diversity that has become the company's hallmark.

The announcement, made by artistic director Sheldon Epps and executive director Elizabeth Doran, includes "Real Women Have Curves," by Josefina López; the world premiere of the new musical "Breaking Through"; another holiday Panto at the Playhouse with Lythgoe Family Productions’ "Peter Pan and Tinkerbell a Pirate Christmas"; Trey Ellis and Ricardo Khan’s "Fly," produced with Crossroads Theatre Company; and the West Coast premiere of Harvey Fierstein’s "Casa Valentina."

"These choices represent our ongoing commitment to theatrical diversity, vibrant and eclectic programming and artistic excellence," Epps said in a statement

"Real Women Have Curves," directed by associate artistic director Seema Sueko, kicks off the season on Sept. 8. The show, which is the basis for an eponymous film starring America Ferrera, finds five women in a race to save their tiny sewing factory in East Los Angeles.

Next up is the world premiere of "Breaking Through," which tells the story of a young singer/songwriter trying to hold her own in the notoriously ruthless music business. It features a score by Emmy Award-winning songwriter Cliff Downs ("The Voice," "American Idol") and Katie Kahanovitz ("Girls Night Out Pop Radio").

Early December brings the joy of Panto at the Playhouse as Lythgoe Family Productions stages "Peter Pan and Tinkerbell a Pirate Christmas" in the style of a traditional British panto.

In late January the mood gets more serious with "Fly," about the Tuskegee Airmen, the first African American Army Air Corps unit to fly during World War II.

Finally, the West Coast gets its premiere of Fierstein's "Casa Valentina," which explores the world of a tucked-away outpost for heterosexual crossdressing men.

The last show of the season has not yet been announced and will be the artistic director's choice, per company tradition.

Follow me on Twitter @jessicagelt

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