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Laguna Sets Expanded Play Season

TIMES STAFF WRITER

The Laguna Playhouse will present an expanded 1998-99 schedule with six subscription offerings, rather than the customary five, at the Moulton Theater in Laguna Beach.

For its 79th consecutive main stage season, announced Tuesday, Southern California’s oldest theater company will stage the West Coast premiere of “The Last Session,” a new off-Broadway musical by Jim Brochu and Steve Schalclin, in which a singer-songwriter “thinks he has nothing left to lose [but] learns he’s got an awful lot to live for,” playhouse executive director Richard Stein said in a press release.

The playhouse also will present the Southern California premiere of “Gunmetal Blues,” a 1992 off-Broadway murder-mystery musical by Scott Wentworth, Craig Bohmler and Marion Adler that puts a spin on film noir. Jon Marans’ “Old Wicked Songs” combines drama, comedy and music (Robert Schumann) in its story about an arrogant Jewish American piano prodigy suspicious about his eccentric, elderly Viennese teacher’s activities during World War II.

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Two other subscription offerings are: Eugene O’Neill’s 1943 romantic drama about mismatched lovers, “A Moon for the Misbegotten,” and the Orange County premiere of A.R. Gurney’s 1995 screwball comedy, “Sylvia,” about a man and the stray dog he adopts.

The sixth play will be announced, Stein said.

Slots for each have yet to be decided. Dates of the slots are: Sept. 15-Oct. 11; Nov. 3-29; Jan. 5-31; Feb. 23-March 21; April 20, 1999-May 16; May 25-June 20.

A nonsubscription offering, the previously announced musical “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” will run June 30-July 2O, after the current season. Depending on ticket demand, Stein said, “I Love You” could be extended.

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The playhouse’s Youth Theater will present four productions for the 1998-99 season: “The Wind in the Willows” (Oct. 16-25); “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” (Dec. 11-20); “Beauty and the Beast” (Feb. 5-14), and “How to Eat Like a Child (and Other Lessons in Not Being a Grown-Up)” (April 2-11).

Subscriptions for the main stage and youth theater seasons go on sale May 1, along with single tickets for “I Love You.” (714) 497-2787. The Moulton Theater is at 606 Laguna Canyon Drive.


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