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August 30, 2014

THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR & LES MISERABLES Launch Great Lakes Theater's 2014-15 Season

CLEVELAND, OH (September 2, 2014) - Great Lakes Theater (GLT) will commence its 2014-15 season at the Hanna Theatre, PlayhouseSquare with a Fall Repertory that features William Shakespeare’s uproarious battle of the sexes, The Merry Wives of Windsor and a new production of Boublil and Schönberg’s Tony Award-winning musical epic, Les Misérables. The productions will be performed in rotating repertory September 26 – November 9, 2014. Tracy Young will direct The Merry Wives of Windsor. Victoria Bussert will direct Les Misérables. (Les Misérables was created by Alain Boublil and Jean Marc-Natel based on a novel by Victor Hugo. Its music was written by Claude-Michel Schönberg with lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer. Orchestrations were created by John Cameron. The original French text for the production was developed Alain Boublil and Jean Marc-Natel with additional material provided by James Fenton. The original London production was adapted and directed by Trevor Nunn and John Caird and was produced by Cameron Mackintosh and The Royal Shakespeare Company.)

Generous production support for The Merry Wives of Windsor was provided by The Business Alliance of Great Lakes Theater. The Production Sponsors for Les Misérables are the Kulas Foundation and PNC. Great Lakes Theater is supported in part by the residents of Cuyahoga County through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture. Season support is also provided by The Cleveland Foundation and the Ohio Arts Council. Media sponsors for GLT’s 53rd season are The FORM Group, Ideastream (WCLV 104.9 FM and WCPN 90.3 FM) and WKSU 89.7 FM.

"Our fall season brings two productions of astonishing scale to the Hanna Theatre with Shakespeare’s raucous comedy, The Merry Wives of Windsor, playing in ‘rep’ with the most successful musical in the world, Les Misérables,” said Charles Fee, GLT’s Producing Artistic Director. “Moving effortlessly between the ridiculous and the sublime, a company of twenty-five actors, under the direction of two powerhouse artists, Victoria Bussert and Tracy Young, will breathe life and music into these classics.”

The Fall Repertory begins with William Shakespeare’s uproarious battle of the sexes, The Merry Wives of Windsor.One of Shakespeare’s most raucous comedies, The Merry Wives of Windsor features the rotund rascal Sir John Falstaff and the wise wives of Windsor. With an ego as big as his voracious appetite, Falstaff conspires to woo the two wealthiest married ladies in town and pocket their riches. However, Mistress Ford and Mistress Page devise a scheme of their own to teach him a well-deserved lesson in Wooing 101 in a hilariously magnificent treat of monogamously artful deceit.

“Director Tracy Young’s audacious adaptation of Merry Wives sets the play in Windsor, Wisconsin just after WWII,” said Fee about GLT’s season opener. “In it, she freely imagines Sir John Falstaff as a down-on-his-luck celebrity in exile from Hollywood. Think Orson Welles plotting his come-back!”

A Tony Award-winning musical masterpiece, Great Lakes Theater’s production of Les Misérables completes the classic theater company’s Fall Repertory pairing.
“Victoria Bussert has created a deeply moving, intimate performance of Hugo’s epic tale by focusing on the characters rather than spectacle in this beautifully re-imagined production,” said Fee of the show.

The winner of over 100 international awards and witnessed by over 65 million people worldwide, Les Misérables sweeps audiences through an epic tale of broken dreams, passion and redemption, set against the backdrop of a French nation in the throes of revolution. Relentlessly pursued by the policeman Javert for breaking his parole, the unjustly convicted Jean Valjean must leave his past behind and keep his vow to raise the orphaned Cosette. With insurrection in the air and Javert closing in, Valjean has no choice but to fight for his life and sacrifice everything to protect the people he loves – in a timeless testament to the survival of the human spirit.

Great Lakes Theater’s award-winning home at the Hanna Theatre features a visionary “Great Room” inspired design that integrates the artist and audience experience into a single unified environment. Hanna patrons select from a variety of seating opportunities including traditional theater seats, club chairs, lounge/bar seats, banquette couches and private box seating. Arranged in an intimate 550-seat thrust configuration where the audience surrounds the stage, no seat is further than 12 rows from the performance.
Great Lakes Theater offers patrons a robust series of Experience Enhancement Programming that is organized by day of week. The series highlights the Hanna’s unique amenities and affords access to artists.
----"Salon Thursdays” feature an engaging pre-show discussion/presentation beginning one hour before curtain with a Great Lakes Theater artist. (Offered:  Oct. 9, 16, 23, 30 & Nov. 6) 
----"Happy Hour Fridays” afford audience members the opportunity to gather, socialize and enjoy appetizers or beverages for sale in the Hanna’s bar and lounge beginning ninety minutes before the performance. (Offered:  Sept. 26 & Oct. 3, 10, 17, 24, 31 & Nov. 7) 
----“Nightcap Night Saturdays” are designed to encourage audience members to stay after the evening performance and mingle with the GLT artistic company in the Hanna’s lounge. The Hanna’s bar is open ninety minutes after Nightcap Night Saturday performances. (Offered: Oct. 11, 18, 25 & Nov. 1, 8)
----“Ice Cream Social Sundays” offer patrons the opportunity to enjoy a London theatre tradition brought state-side. Audience members are invited to purchase a cool, personal ice cream treat before the show or at intermission. Ice cream will be offered at every performance in GLT’s Fall Repertory, but on Ice Cream Social Sundays, the treat is half price. (Offered: Oct. 5, 12, 19, 26 & Nov. 2, 9)
----“Director’s Nights” offer audiences the opportunity to take part in a lively pre-show discussion with GLT’s Producing Artistic Director, Charles Fee, and the director of each production before Friday preview performances. (Offered: Sept. 26 & Oct. 3)
----“Playnotes Pre-Show Discussions” inform patrons with illuminating introductions to the content and history of each play in GLT’s season presented by a guest scholar before Saturday matinee performances. (Offered: Oct. 11, 18, 25 & Nov. 1, 8)
Great Lakes Theater will continue to afford patrons extraordinary access to its artists and production process at every Hanna Theatre performance this fall. The Hanna always opens its doors ninety minutes before each performance allowing patrons to observe the complete pre-show preparation process of GLT’s actors and technical staff. Elements traditionally hidden from audiences such as stage combat rehearsals, dance calls, prop/scenic pre-sets, technical cue rehearsals and actor warm-ups will be conducted in full view of patrons, offering GLT audiences an unprecedented glimpse into the theatrical process.

Great Lakes Theater will also renew its New Deal pricing initiative this fall - designed to increase accessibility for audiences. As part of the program, adult tickets begin at $15 and student tickets for any seat at any performance are $13 - making GLT one of the most affordable entertainment options in the region.

Opening Night (also Press Night) performances of The Merry Wives of Windsor (September 27th)
and Les Misérables (October 4th) have been scheduled for Saturday evenings with preview performances of both productions scheduled for the preceding Friday nights. Curtain times for all evening performances will remain at 7:30 p.m., with a 1:30 p.m. curtain time for Saturday matinees and a 3:00 p.m. curtain time for Sunday matinees. All GLT productions will continue to offer sign-interpreted and audio-described performances.
Single performance tickets range in price from $15-$70 (Student tickets are $13) and are available by calling (216) 241-6000, by ordering online at or by visiting the PlayhouseSquare Ticket Office. Groups of ten or more receive discounts of up to 25% by calling (216) 241-5490 x302.

Les Misérablesis presented through special arrangement with Music Theater International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI. (421 West 54th Street, New York, NY 10019 / Phone: 212-541-4684 / Fax: 212-397-4684)
Great Lakes Theater, the first resident company of PlayhouseSquare, has brought the pleasure, power and relevance of classic theater to the widest possible audience since 1962. GLT programming positively impacts 100,000 adults and students annually.

Related Shows:
The Merry Wives of Windsor
Les Miserables

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