Theatre Aspen to put showbiz stories center stage this summer

Season lineup includes “Gypsy,” “Jersey Boys” as mainstage musicals

Hurst Theatre, photographed by Mike Lyons.
Theatre Aspen/Courtesy photo

Theatre Aspen will put show business center stage this summer with the production of “Gypsy: A Musical Fable” June 28-July 23 and “Jersey Boys: The Story of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons” Aug. 3-24, according to a season announcement released Wednesday morning.

The two mainstage musicals are “cornerstone events” in a summer lineup that also includes three Theatre Aspen Education productions, the return of the Summer Cabaret Series and the Solo Flights festival and other special events, Theatre Aspen Producing Director Jed Bernstein said.

Bernstein said he sees a lot of appeal in “Gypsy,” which he considers “arguably one of the greatest musicals ever made,” and in “Jersey Boys” — “an incredible crowd-pleaser,” especially for audiences between the ages of 40 and 70 for whom the jukebox musical numbers are “iconic” songs.

“Gypsy” is loosely inspired by the memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee and follows the story of “an ambitious stage mother fighting for her daughters’ success — while secretly yearning for her own,” the release states.

Hannah Ryan, the resident director of “Hamilton” on Broadway and the U.S. tour of the musical, is set to direct “Gypsy.” Andy Einhorn will serve as music director.

“Jersey Boys” uses the music of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons to tell the story of the group’s friendship and rise to stardom. Hunter Foster is set to direct, with choreography by Ray Mercer and music direction by Eric Alsford.

Casting is still in process and will be announced later in the spring, Bernstein said.

A “Season Sneak Peek” will offer audiences a snapshot of the summer performances June 20, also at the Hurst Theatre.

Theatre Aspen Education will stage three productions this summer. Students will perform “Twelfth Night” from July 7-9, “James and the Giant Peach Jr.” from July 21-23 and “Bright Star” from Aug. 11-14.

Locations for those shows have not yet been announced but Bernstein said the “Twelfth Night” production will be presented as a “Shakespeare in the Park” show similar to the “Midsummer Night’s Dream” production last year. The education department also has a spring show, “You on the Moors Now,” running March 10-13 at Aspen High School’s Black Box Theater.

Also on the docket this year: a concert production of “The Sound of Music” in collaboration with the Aspen Music Festival and School at the Benedict Music Tent on July 25-26; three shows for the Summer Cabaret Series at the Hotel Jerome on July 10 and Aug. 7 and 14; and the return of the Solo Flights developmental one-person show festival at the Hurst Theatre Sept. 10-15. The summer gala is slated for July 30.

The Spring Soirée benefit and concert featuring Laura Benanti takes place March 12 at Paepcke Auditorium.

Season passes will go on sale April 18 at Single tickets go on sale in May by phone at 970-925-9313 or online. The Theatre Aspen box office will open June 20 at the Hurst Theatre (470 Rio Grande Place in Aspen).


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