City Lights’ 2014-15 season, Art in Motion
by Yasmina Reza
Translated by Christopher Hampton
September 18, 2014-October 19, 2014
1998 Tony Award for Best Play
What would you pay for a white painting? An all-white painting? With gut-busting hilarity and biting poignancy, ART tells the story of three men whose years-long friendship is put to the test when one buys an all-white painting by a trendy artist at an exorbitant price. As Serge, Marc, and Ivan square off over the canvas, lines are drawn, sides are taken, and the bonds that tie each man to the others are stretched to the breaking point. Only a pointed act of self-sacrifice can save a friendship from destruction — proving that there is, indeed, a limit to what one might pay for “art.”
” … wildly funny, naughtily provocative.” – New York Post
” … I called it a minor classic. Let’s change that to classic comedy, period.” – London Times
Yasmina Reza is a French playwright, novelist, and screenwriter. She is also known for the playsConversations After a Burial, Winter Crossing, and God of Carnage, which was made into the 2011 Roman Polanski film Carnage.
Commemorating the centennial of the “Christmas Truce” — in which World War I troops on both sides of the lines staged an impromptu cease-fire on the battlefields of France on Christmas, 1914 — this world-premiere commission tells the story of the truce through scenes, vignettes, live music and song, letters and documents from the period, and other historical accounts. Truce extends to audiences the Christmas wish of so many who fought and died in World War I and in all wars before and since: that mankind may one day lay down his weapons and, in the true spirit of the season — and in courageous defiance of those who would have it otherwise — be proponents of Peace on Earth, and Goodwill toward Men.
“It’s anti-war, but still pro-soldier. And deeply human. Remarkable.” – Dave Chandler
Kit Wilder, City Lights’ associate artistic director, is also an actor, singer, director, dancer, choreographer, designer, playwright, and fight director. His resume includes training in London with the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts and appearing in many Bay Area and regional productions. Jeffrey Bracco has had a 20-year professional theater career in the United States and France as a director, actor, playwright, and theater professor. Most recently at City Lights, he played George in The Language Archive and directed Monty Python’s SPAMALOT.
by Michael Golamco
January 22, 2015-February 22, 2015
Northern California Premiere
Meet the current hotshots in video-game design: Will is the sellout, a well-attired, Ferrari-driving office-hound; Kip is keeping it real, working from home in a bathrobe and three-day beard. Together, they’re working on the sequel to their virally popular video game — but Kip is more interested in the creative potential of his game engine, and in the female Artificial Intelligence that he has developed on the sly. (Never mind that this sexy and insightful A.I. looks just like Kip’s late wife.) This Northern California Premiere explores the conflicting perceptions of engineering as art, and engineering as business — and the overriding notion that love is the code that makes sense of it all.
“Bizarre and innovative.” – Huffington Post
Based in Los Angeles, Michael Golamco writes for theater, film, and television. His other plays include Year Zero and Cowboy Versus Samurai. In the TV world, he writes for NBC’s Grimm.
by David Henry Hwang
March 19, 2015-April 16,2015
1988 Tony Award for Best Play
Drawn from real-life events, this modern classic weaves realism, ritual, and vivid theatricality into an exotic and haunting tale of a French diplomat’s gradual, inevitable submission to the delicate charms of a Chinese opera star who personifies his fantasy vision of submissive oriental sexuality. M Butterfly underscores the irony of that fantasy as it closely parallels the events of Puccini’s famous opera Madame Butterfly and becomes a powerful exploration of East-West relations and the persistent romanticism that continues to cloud and complicate them to this day.
“It will move you, it will thrill you, it may even surprise you. It is a play not to be missed.” – New York Post
“Audaciously imaginative.” – Variety
A Brooklyn playwright, librettist, and screenwriter, David Henry Hwang often explores issues of identity and ethnicity. He’s the writer behind the plays Golden Child, Yellow Face, and Chinglish, among others, and the new book for Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Flower Drum Song.
by Lauren Gunderson
May 14, 2015-June 14, 2015
South Bay Premiere
Nan wants to teach her abusive husband, Kyle, a lesson. With her friend Simon by her side as her emotional cheerleader, and a stripper named Sweetheart along for the fun, Nan tapes Kyle to a chair and forces him to watch as they reenact scenes from their painful past. In the pièce de résistance, she plans to cover the room in meat and honey, and leave Kyle to be mauled by a bear. After a night of emotional trials and ridiculous theatrics, Nan and Kyle are both freed from their past in this dark and delightful revenge comedy.
“A spirited comedy, able and clever.” – San Francisco Bay Guardian
Lauren Gunderson is a San Francisco playwright, screenwriter, and short-story author. Her play I and You and her first musical The Amazing Adventures of Dr. Wonderful and Her Dog both recently premiered and are now traveling to new theaters.
Book by Arthur Laurents, music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
July 16, 2015-August 23, 2015
An American classic
The world’s greatest love story is transported to New York City in one of the theater’s finest accomplishments. Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet takes to the streets as two idealistic young lovers find themselves caught between warring street gangs — the American “Jets” and the Puerto Rican “Sharks” — and their struggle to survive in a world of hatred, prejudice, and violence becomes one of the most breathtaking, relevant musical dramas of all time. In the spirit of City Lights’ 2006 production of Jesus Christ Superstar, this glorious musical-theater experience finds new life and renewed poignancy in the intimate, innovative, and uncompromising setting of the City Lights stage.
“Profoundly moving.” – New York Times
West Side Story combines the talents of playwright and screenwriter Arthur Laurents (who wrote the 1948 movie Rope for Alfred Hitchcock) with those of the iconic composer/conductor Leonard Bernstein and musical-theater great Stephen Sondheim. Laurents wrote the libretto, Bernstein the music, and Sondheim the lyrics.