Civic Light Opera season filled with hits


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A mermaid who wants to be part of our world, a haunting phantom, a tap-dancing ingenue and seven high-stepping brothers, plus the one and only Buddy Holly are part of the just-announced 2013 Pittsburgh CLO summer season.

The season opens May 31 at the Benedum Center with a pair of big song-and-dance classics. First up is "42nd Street," the enduring tale of a Broadway understudy's rise to stardom, summed up in the line: "You're going out there a youngster, but you've got to come back a star!" Following fast on its tap-dancing heels is "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers," with new tunes for the stage in addition to the Johnny Mercer/Gene de Paul songs from the 1954 film.

In July, Pittsburgh CLO becomes one of the few regional theaters selected by Disney to produce "The Little Mermaid," the Hans Christian Andersen story reimagined first as a movie and then as a musical that spent more than a year on Broadway. The story of Ariel, her deep-sea life and longing for the human's world earned Tony nominations for the songwriting team of Alan Menken, Howard Ashman and Glenn Slater.

Speaking of Disney, that roar you're hearing is for Pittsburgh CLO subscribers. Through an arrangement with The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, they will enjoy priority seating for the first week (Sept. 3-8) of "The Lion King," which is here as part of the PNC Broadway Across America series.

Also on tap is the biographical "Buddy -- The Buddy Holly Story," with songs by the rock legend who died at 22, and "Kopit & Yeston's Phantom," not to be confused with the Andrew Lloyd Webber megahit.

When the "K&Y Phantom" had a New York-area production in 2003, Alvin Klein of The New York Times wrote: "The two adaptations are stylistically disparate. The Lloyd Webber behemoth ... remains the mythic 'Phantom' for the masses, while the 'Phantom' of choice, the Yeston-Kopit version, has been relegated to a wandering existence through regional theaters. Now New York area theatergoers have a chance to see it ... Seize it."

The 2013 Pittsburgh CLO summer season:

May 31-June 9: "42nd Street" (music by Harry Warren, lyrics by Al Dubin; book by Michael Stewart and Mark Bramble).

June 11-16: Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (lyrics by Johnny Mercer, music by Gene de Paul, new songs by Al Kasha and Joel Hirschhorn; book book by Lawrence Kasha and David Landay).

June 21-30: "Kopit & Yeston's Phantom" (music and lyrics by Maury Yeston, book by Arthur Kopit; based on Gaston Leroux's 1910 novel "The Phantom of the Opera").

July 9-21: "The Little Mermaid" (music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman and Glenn Slater, book by Doug Wright; based on the Disney film).

July 30-Aug. 4: "Buddy -- The Buddy Holly Story" (book by Alan Janes, with Buddy Holly songs including "Peggy Sue," "That'll Be The Day," "Oh Boy," "Rave On" and "Maybe Baby."

Sept. 3-9 (subscription week): Disney's "The Lion King."

Season tickets are on sale now at pittsburghclo.org or 412-281-2822. For information on tickets to Disney's "The Lion King," visit trustarts.org or call 412-446-4800. More information at pittsburghclo.org.

theater

Sharon Eberson: seberson@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1960.


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