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Arts & Entertainment, etc.

Phoenix Theatre season to include two Tom Horan projects, a hit B'way comedy, more

July 10, 2015

The Phoenix Theatre has posted most of its 2015/16 season (it usually holds at least one slot open to snag shows as they become available) and it looks like a wild mix with an emphasis on thrills.

The season will kick off in September with Richard Bean's comedy "One Man, Two Guvnors," a spin on Carlo Goldoni's "The Servant of Two Masters" that involves mistaken identity, deceptions, audience participation, and a skiffle band. After witnessing the Broadway production, I wrote here that  "the dinner scene is the funniest thing I’ve seen on stage since the 1983 original Broadway production of 'Noises Off" and wondered why the concession stand didn't sell Depends disposable undergarments.

In contrast, the Phoenix season will also include Jennifer Haley's acclaimed, disturbing "The Nether," about a virtual playground where questions are raised about whether imagined actions should come with consequences. No surprise that the Phoenix would go after this one.

Surprising, though, is "Butler," by Richard Strand. Don't get me wrong. I've read an really like this play. I just never thought I'd see a Civil War comedy/drama--one with no theatrical tricks up its uniform sleeve besides strong characters and a compelling narrative--at the Phoenix.

The Phoenix' playwright-in-residence Tom Horan will be represented well with both "Leyenda," an adaptation of Latino folk tales built from interviews with Indianapolis community members, and "Acid Dolphin Experiment," a trippy look at the life and work of Dr. John C. Lilly.

There's also "The Book of Merman." That's Merman, not Mormon. This one concerns two missionaries who ring the doorbell of Broadway legend Ethel Merman.

And, of course, the lineup will also include a new edition of "A Very Phoenix Xmas" and selections from the National New Play Network, including the film noir-ish "Pulp" and Steven Dietz's new thriller "On Clover Street,"

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