It's not an overstatement to say that this is the most highly anticipated opening weekend of the 2010-11 theater season. Theatre Memphis opens John Kander and Fred Ebb's Cabaret, a popular and provocative musical that reunites acclaimed La Cage aux Folles director Mitzi Hamilton with Jonathan "Zaza" Christian as the show's androgynous Emcee. Meanwhile in Midtown, Tracy Letts' instant classic August: Osage County, the most celebrated play to open on Broadway in years, begins a run at Playhouse on the Square with an all-star cast that includes Irene Crist, Kim Justis, and Ed Porter. But in spite of all that, the hottest ticket in town may very well be a revival of Voices of the South's original play Cicada, at TheatreWorks.
The hits keep coming for Voices of the South. The innovative company opened Sister Myotis's Bible Camp Off Broadway last summer and launched a national tour of Wild Legacy, a play commissioned by the U.S. government to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Cicada, written by VOTS artistic director Jerre Dye and originally staged in 2009, will be presented with the Bryan Family Award for Dramatic Literature in April when the Fellowship of Southern Writers convenes its annual meeting in Chattanooga.
"I guess they liked it, and I couldn't be happier," says Dye, who was invited to submit a copy of his script for review last year.
Cicada, which sold out for much of its original run, is a deeply Southern coming-of-age story that is also a ghost story and an impressionistic study of loss and grief.
"Cabaret" is at Theatre Memphis from March 11th to April 3rd. theatrememphis.org
"August: Osage County" is at Playhouse on the square from March 11th to April 13th. Playhouseonthesquare.org
"Cicada" is at TheatreWorks from March 10th to 20th. voicesofthesouth.org