On Theater: With SCR's cue, season begins

With South Coast Repertory's golden anniversary season inaugural leading the way, local theater companies — professional, community and collegiate — are lining up to present their initial productions in the 2013-14 season.

At SCR, which opens this weekend, the leadoff entry is the American classic "Death of a Salesman," the company's third staging of the Arthur Miller drama — this time with a nearly all-African American cast. Artistic director Marc Masterson is staging the production, which will run through Sept. 29.

A play introduced years ago by SCR, Thomas Strelich's "Dog Logic," will kick off the new season at the Costa Mesa Playhouse next weekend. Sharyn Case is directing the dramatic comedy about a pet cemetery caretaker fighting urban progress, which will be presented weekends until Oct. 6.

Also next weekend, the Westminster Community Theatre will invite audiences to enter "Spider's Web," an Agatha Christie thriller under the direction of Jeff Lowe. The British-flavored whodunit will play through Sept. 28.

Bernard Slade's "An Act of the Imagination" will open the season for the Newport Theatre Arts Center on Sept. 20. This comedy-tinged drama centering on a mystery writer will run weekends through Oct. 20 under the direction of Michael Serna.

Cole Porter's vintage musical comedy "Anything Goes" will set sail Sept. 24 at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa. The show will be in town for just one week, closing Sept. 29.

The Laguna Playhouse, which kicked off its new season in July with "I Do! I Do!", will stage Noel Coward's 1925 comedy "Fallen Angels" from Oct. 8 to Nov. 3. Art Manke is directing.

An adaptation of George Orwell's futuristic 1949 novel "1984" will be the first show in Golden West College's new season, opening Oct. 11. Directed by Tom Amen, the chilling oldie is scheduled for a two-weekend engagement.

The movie "The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert" has been adapted into a stage musical that will be presented at the Segerstrom Center from Oct. 22 through 27.

South Coast Rep will be back in action Oct. 18 with Amy Herzog's "4000 Miles," centering on a 91-year-old woman hosting her 21-year-old itinerant grandson. David Emmes directs the play, which will be on the Segerstrom Stage through Nov. 17.

The popular musical "Fiddler on the Roof" will close out the 2013 season for the Huntington Beach Playhouse from Nov. 1 to Dec. 1 under the direction of Larry Watts. The show will be dark over Thanksgiving weekend.

The first weekend in November also will bring "Greater Tuna" to the Costa Mesa Playhouse. This two-character, multi-role satire is scheduled to tickle audiences through Nov. 24.

November also will see revivals of "Picnic" at the Westminster Community Theatre, "Boeing Boeing" at the Newport Theatre Arts Center and "White Christmas" at Golden West College.

TOM TITUS reviews local theater for the Daily Pilot.

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