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Phoenix visiting 'Avenue Q' and zipping back to 'Zoomerville'

July 26, 2010

For its 2010/2011 season, the Phoenix Theatre will be more musical that usual. But there's plenty of drama and contemporary comedy in the mix as well.

Today, the theater announces a season that includes:

--"Pure Prine." You may recall me raving about the limited run of the show. Well, apparently it wasn't just me, because the cast has been reassembled and will be back to kick off the new season with John Prine's music and lyrics.

--"When the Dead Cry or Cuando Los Muertos Lloran." They play may not sound familiar, but the author may be. It's Dr. Esperanza Zendejas, former superintentent of public schools for Indianapolis. It's a multi-media, one-person show with two of the performances in Spanish.

-"In the Next Room or the Vibrator Play." Hot regional playwright Sarah Ruhl made her Broadway debut with this comedy set in an area of breakthroughs, scientific and otherwise.

--"My Name is Asher Lev." Aaron Posner, co-founder of one of my favorite theaters, Philadelphia's Arden Theatre Co., penned this adaptation of Chaim Potok's book about an Hassidic artist in conflict with his parents and his community.

--"A Very Phoenix Xmas 5: Re-gifted." More holiday mayhem and mirth, this time featuring some "greatest hits" scenes. Those will be selected from the past four years by voters at www.phoenixtheatre.org.

--"Atlasting Sodom." 2011 gets started with a drama about a Beethoven scholar who finds that he's being followed by a guy with whom he once shared a deep secret.

--"Goldie, Max and Milk." A comedy about single motherhood. 

--"The Storytelling Ability of a Boy." A teacher helps a pair of brainy teens in a play that mixes storytelling techniques with theater.

--"This." Another exploration of single motherhood, this one about a poet dealing "with love, hurt and loss."

--"The Zippers of Zoomerville." The very clever racing musical by Jack O'Hara and Tim Brickley gets a second production at the Phoenix, this time in a tightened version. 

--"Avenue Q." Yes, the Phoenix Theatre, true to form, will be one of the first regional theaters in the country to create its own production of the Tony-Award-winning musical that gave Sesame Street the reality treatment. You'll have to wait until June, though.

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