City Theatre adds 3 comedies to next season's lineup


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City Theatre has added three comedies to complete its 40th season lineup and thrown a change-up on one title among the previously announced trio of shows.

The City-commissioned bio-play about singer-actress Judy Holliday is now "Smart Blonde"; the music-filled play was originally announced as "Holliday With Mulligan." Only the name has changed, and it's not to be confused with one of the more recent additions, John Patrick Shanley's "Outside Mullingar," which had a three-month run on Broadway earlier in 2014.

The other newly announced plays are "Elemeno Pea" by Molly Smith Metzler and "Oblivion" by "Weeds" co-writer Carly Mensch.

Here's the 2014-15 City Theatre lineup:

Oct. 11-Nov. 2: "Outside Mullingar" by John Patrick Shanley, directed by Tracy Brigden. Mr. Shanley is the Pulitzer/Oscar/Tony winner behind "Doubt" and "Moonstruck." In this Ireland-set comedy, which starred Debra Messing and Brian F. O'Byrne on Broadway, widower Tony is feeling his age. He threatens to leave the family's cattle farm to an American nephew instead of his own son -- until a neighbor steps in with a long-held family secret (Mainstage Theater).

Nov. 15-Dec. 21: "Smart Blonde" by Willy Holtzman, directed by Peter Flynn. The writer of "The Morini Strad" sprinkles tunes throughout the story that begins in 1964 New York City as "Born Yesterday" star Judy Holliday talks about her rise to fame amid the politics of the 1950s (world premiere commission, Hamburg Studio).

Jan. 24-Feb. 15: "Mr. Joy" by Daniel Beaty. The author of "Through the Night" and "Breath & Imagination" wonders, "What happened to Mr. Joy?" In this solo show, residents of a Harlem community reflect on the impact when the Chinese-American's shoe repair shop, a neighborhood staple for decades, closes its doors (world premiere, Mainstage).

Feb. 28-March 22: "Elemeno Pea" by Molly Smith Metzler, directed by Tracy Brigden. Blue-collar Buffalo Devon meets beachfront splendor when she visits the sprawling Martha's Vineyard estate where her sister Simone is employed as a personal assistant to trophy wife Michaela. But when the boss crashes sisters' weekend, Devon learns the price for the pampered life (Mainstage).

March 21-April 26, 2015: "Oblivion" by Carly Mensch, directed by Stuart Carden. In this irreverent comedy, Brooklynites Pam and Dixon take pride in their progressive approach to parenting. But when their 16-year-old daughter, Julie, lies about where she spent the weekend, their cool crumbles (Hamburg Studio).

May 9-June 14, 2015: "Midsummer" by David Greig and Gordon McIntyre, directed by Tracy Brigden. Subtitled "a play with songs," the work comes to City on the heels of Mr. Greig's madcap "The Monster in the Hall." The New York Times' dubbed "Midsummer" a full-fledged rom-com of the kind that Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan perfected on screen. In the case of Bob and Helena, it's a legendary weekend that just might be a final fling with youth (Hamburg Studio).

City events

Aug. 27-Sept. 7: "The Pajama Men," created and performed by Shenoah Allen and Mark Chavez. The sketch/improv comedians have become international stars, earning five stars from the London Times and this from The Washington Post: "I was doubled over in a kind of hysterical agony. I felt as if my lungs had migrated into my throat and that my anatomy would soon be inside out."

Sept. 3--14: "Late Nite Catechism Las Vegas: Sister Rolls the Dice," by Maripat Donovan, directed and performed by Kimberly Richards.

For information on season tickets and flex packages: 412-431-2489. Online subscription sales begin May 15. Single tickets for season plays are $36 to $56 and go on sale Sept. 2; for "The Pajama Men" and "Late Nite Catechism Las Vegas," single tickets vary and go on sale June 2.


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

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