BANGOR — Penobscot Theatre Company has announced the kickoff of its 2011-2012 season: “Scenes & Songs,” a sneak preview event scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 24, at the Bangor Opera House, 131 Main St.
“We have an incredible line-up for 2011-2012,” said interim artistic director Nathan Halvorsen. “‘Walk in someone else’s shoes’ is the theme for this season. We have chosen a diverse selection of plays and musicals that represent all walks of life. We are looking forward to sharing snippets from all our upcoming productions at the free ‘Scenes & Songs’ event.”
The 2011-2012 PTC season will commence with John Cariani’s “Last Gas,” Sept. 7-25. The author of “Almost, Maine,” one of Penobscot Theatre’s most successful productions to date, takes theatergoers to the last convenience store in Aroostook County in a bittersweet, romantic comedy exploring love, loss and the curveballs life throws at people.
The Plaid Boys are back. The original production of “Forever Plaid,” by Stuart Ross, will return to the opera house for four performances, Oct. 20-23. The four original Plaids — Nathan Halvorson, Ben Layman, Joshua Schmersal and Dominick Varney — will reunite with the original band to create such memorable songs as “Three Coins in the Fountain,” “16 Tons” and “Love Is a Many Splendored Thing.”
Then, welcome the Plaid-ettes. Penobscot Theatre will present “The Marvelous Wonderettes,” by Roger Bean, Oct. 26-Nov. 13. The production picks up where “Forever Plaid” left off and entertains the audience with the most popular girl-group songs of the ’50s and ’60s — classic songs such as “Lollipop,” “It’s My Party” and “It’s In His Kiss (The Shoop Shoop Song)” in a musical trip down memory lane.
The holiday season brings the Maine premiere of “A Christmas Story” by Philip Grecian, Dec. 2-23. All of the favorite moments from the classic film are present in this stage adaptation. Revisiting Ralphie’s quest for a Red Ryder BB gun, Scut Farkas terrorizing the neighborhood, Father’s exciting win of a lamp shaped like a woman’s leg and the annual trip to Santa will be fun for the entire family.
The year 2012 will begin with the farce “Boeing Boeing” by Marc Camoleth and adapted by Beverly Cross, Feb. 8-26. Nominated for six Tony Awards in 2008, the play won two, including Best Revival of a Play. The story of lothario Bernard and his three airline stewardess fiancees is the perfect antidote to the winter blues.
Penobscot Theatre is thrilled to present the world premiere of “Ink,” by Alice van Buren, March 8-April 15. This engrossing production won the audience favorite award at PTC’s 2010 Northern Writes New Play Festival. “Ink” is based on the true story of Mary Rowlandson, a preacher’s wife who was taken hostage during the great native revolt known as King Philip’s War in 1676. Rowlandson’s tale of surviving to become the first woman published in America is an epic and suspenseful theatrical event.
The Penobscot Theatre main stage season will continue with “Xanadu,” music and lyrics by Jeff Lynne and John Farrar, book by Douglas Carter Beane, May 30-June 17. This roller-skating, musical adventure rolls along to the original hit score from the cult classic movie of the same name. It was a surprise hit on Broadway and was nominated for four Tony Awards — “hilarity on wheels” and the perfect way to start off summer 2012.
Those productions, coupled with the sixth annual Northern Writes New Play Festival, June 21-July 2, 2012, a TBA Youth Theatre production April 26-29 and several special events will help make the 2011-2012 season truly extraordinary.
“Scenes & Songs” features the cast of the PTC production of “Last Gas” and other audience favorites performing selected scenes from all the main stage productions scheduled for the new season. The performance begins at 7 p.m., with a Champagne and cheese reception afterward at the historic Bangor Opera House. Tickets are free, but must be reserved at 942-3333 or http:// www.penobscottheatre.org.
Those who attend the event and purchase a season subscription that evening will receive a complimentary ticket to “A Christmas Story.” Subscriptions, starting at $90, are available along with single tickets to all 2011-2012 Penobscot Theatre productions.