Selma Arts Center’s 2019 season includes ‘Gentleman’s Guide’ and ‘Be More Chill’
Are you ready for some love and murder? You’re nodding yes? Are you actually jumping up and down in excitement? Um, that is becoming a curious incident. You gotta be more chill about it.
OK, I tried. It’s early on a Saturday morning. What do you expect?
Selma Arts Center’s 2019 season has some big-deal offerings, including two very recent Tony Award-winners and one popular off-Broadway show that is transferring to Broadway just a few months before Selma’s version.
Another impressive thing to share: The sponsor of the 2019 season is TeeRico by Lin-Manuel Miranda. Yes, that Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Here’s the lineup and calendar:
• “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time,” Feb. 15-24. Fresno State theater/dance professor Ruth Griffin directs this 2013 Tony winner for best play. It’s about a young man with an autism spectrum condition who gets caught up in a mystery involving his neighbor’s dog. When I saw the show on Broadway, I found myself enveloped in the show’s depiction of the tight, snug, sensory-overload mindset of its distinctive main character. With Griffin’s experience in choreography, psychology and vibrant theatrical settings, this should be a highly anticipated production.
• “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder,” March 22-31. This chipper musical, which calls for an actor able to play eight very different members of an extended family (and some of the quickest costume changes you’ve ever witnessed), won the 2014 Best Musical Tony. The national tour came to Fresno last November and was a blast. (Director to be announced.)
• “Wait Until Dark,” May 17-26. Juan Luis Guzmán directs this 1966 classic claustrophobic thriller about a blind woman victimized by three con men.
• “Be More Chill,” July 19-28. This smash off-Broadway musical from composer/lyricist Joe Iconis and book writer Joe Tracz asks: What if popularity came in a pill? Would you take it, no questions asked? After a sold-out run, the show is transferring to Broadway in 2019 with previews scheduled to start Feb. 13. Snagging this “viral teen sensation” (as Vox.com described the coming-of-age show) is a coup for Selma. Miguel Gastelum directs.
• “Beauty and the Beast,” Sept. 27-Oct. 13. Nicolette C. Andersen gets a turn at directing dancing plates.
•“Cabaret,” Nov. 14-24. Decadence, Nazis, a pineapple, the hard fist of encroaching authoritarianism — it’ll all be there. Michael C. Flores directs.
• “Disney’s High School Musical,” Jan. 11-20. Adam Chavez and Ben Deghand will direct.
Cool Kid Players
• “Disney’s Cinderella Kids,” Feb. 28-March 3. Andersen directs this one, too.
• “Selma Originals” (An Evening of Original Short Plays), June 27-29. More details to come.
• “SACAs,” Sept. 7. The company celebrates its second annual awards night.