History Theatre in St. Paul has announced a 2015-16 season that includes three intriguing world premieres and a couple of favorites from years past.
Is it a Gothic thriller or a new wave opera? "Glensheen," a musical by Jeffrey Hatcher and Chan Poling, will have its world premiere on Oct. 3 to open History Theatre's season.
Hatcher's book centers on the fateful night of murder in the great Duluth mansion on Lake Superior. Heiress Elisabeth Congdon and her nurse, Velma Pietila, were slain on June 27, 1977.
Poling, who recently has gotten most of his attention with the New Standards, wrote the score and songs. Poling has some experience at musical theater. He wrote "Venus" at the Ritz Theater in 2009.
The season gets more familiar over the holidays with the return of "Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story," running Nov. 21-Dec. 20. Nicholas Freeman returns as Buddy.
Playwright Carlyle Brown has collaborated with director Marion McClinton and actor James A. Williams to create a suspense story about race, power and justice. "George Bonga: Black Voyageur" is about a Minnesota fur trader and explorer who was of African and Objibwe descent. In 1837, he was assigned to track down a fugitive Objibwe warrior accused of killing a white man. The play runs Feb. 6-28.
Playwright Lily Baber Coyle's play about teens who lived in a home for unwed pregnant girls in the 1960s will be staged again. "Watermelon Hill" was done first in January 2001. The production runs March 19-April 10.
The season ends with another new musical, this one by Alan Berks and directed by Dominic Taylor. "Complicated Fun: The Minneapolis Music Scene" is set in the great 1980s scene that included Hüsker Dü, the Replacements and, of course, Poling's legendary group the Suburbs. The show runs April 30-May 29.
Berks has a longtime fascination and interest in the lives of rock musicians. He staged "Music Lovers" in 2010 at the Playwrights' Center.
For more information on the season, call 651-292-4323 or go to www.historytheatre.com.