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Monday, June 16, 2008

Center Theatre announces inaugural season with Jewtopia and more

On May 25, Jewish Theatre of the South staged the final performance of The Last Schwartz, the final show of the theater's 13 seasons. When the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta announced that JTS's current season would be its last, the MJCCA also revealed that it would establish a new theatrical company to replace it. Center Theatre at the MJCCA has just announced its inaugral season.

When the discontinuation of JTS was first announced, the decision sounded like a rebuke to Jewish Theatre of the South's occasionally obscure or edgy fare. Center Theatre's inaugural line-up seems unlikely to court controversy:

Jewtopia (June 19-Aug. 10). Staged at the 14th Street Playhouse, this comedy depicts a gentile who wants to marry a Jewish girl, along with his Jewish friend, who can’t get a date. Center Theatre’s producing artistic director, Blake Hall (former managing director of Jewish Theatre of the South), directs the show.

25 Questions for a Jewish Mother (Sep. 10-21). Comedian Judy Gold brings her long-running Off-Broadway show to the MJCCA for Center Theatre’s first mainstage show. As a “6’3’’ conservative, kosher, gay mother of two boys,” Gold (with playwright Kate Moira Ryan) interviewed more than 50 Jewish women to discover the ingredients of a Jewish mother. Gold will sign copies of her book after each performance.

The Sound of Music (Nov. 28-Dec. 28). The Rodgers and Hammerstein musical coincides with the holidays and will feature sing-along performances (with lyrics projected) on Sundays.

Disney’s High School Musical (Feb. 11-March 1). Onstage Atlanta’s Barbara Cole Uterhardt directs the stage version of the seemingly-inescapable Disney Channel original movie High School Musical.

Brighton Beach Memoirs (April 29-May 24). Stage Door Players’ Robert Egizio directs the first play in Neil Simon’s trilogy of autobiographical comedies.

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