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Drury Lane Theatre announces 30th anniversary season

Drury Lane Theatre, 100 Drury Lane, celebrates 30 years of producing critically-acclaimed musicals and plays with its stellar 2014-2015 season. The internationally celebrated musical LES MISERABLES previews March 29, opens April 8, and runs through June 8; the smash hit Tony Award-winning musical comedy THE 25th ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE previews June 19, opens June 26, and runs through August 17; the clever and suspenseful new play THE GAME’S AFOOT previews August 28, opens September 4 and runs through October 19; the legendary Broadway musical CAMELOT previews October 30, opens November 6 and runs through January 4, 2015; and the musical phenomenon WEST SIDE STORY previews January 15, opens January 22, and runs through March 15, 2015.

Drury Lane Theatre will begin its 30th anniversary season with one of the world’s most iconic musical classics, a sweeping tale of romance, passion, suspense and redemption. Multi-Jeff Award winner and 2013 nominee for Best Director of a Musical, Rachel Rockwell (Oliver!, Ragtime, The Sound of Music and Sweeney Todd at Drury Lane Theatre), will direct the production, which previews March 29, opens April 8, and runs through June 8. Based on Victor Hugo's classic novel, LES MISERABLES travels through three turbulent decades of 19th century France. Convict Jean Valjean is on the run, hunted relentlessly by the policeman Javert for breaking his parole. Valjean must leave his past behind and keep his vow to raise the young orphan Cosette. With revolution 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. LES MISERABLES has been hailed as “Thrilling, spectacular and unforgettable!” by The New York Times and “Epic!”  by the Los Angeles Times.  Featuring a book by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg, lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer, and music by Claude-Michel Schönberg, LES MISERABLES is the winner of over 50 international theater awards, including eight 1987 Tony Awards (two of which were for Best Musical and Best Score). The musical’s 2012 film adaptation garnered national acclaim and received eight Academy Award nominations (including Best Picture). LES MISERABLES has been seen by over 65 million people in over 42 countries, and is considered the world’s longest-running musical.

Called “I-r-r-e-s-i-s-t-i-b-l-e!” by The New York Times and “A winning experience for everyone!” by USA TODAY, THE 25th ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE is the uproarious story of six overachieving and quirky adolescents pitted against each other in the spelling challenge of a lifetime. Directed by Scott Calcagno (Legally Blonde at The Civic Theatre, Grease at The Long Lake Theatre as well as the annual production of A Christmas Carol at Drury Lane Theatre), THE 25th ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE previews June 19, opens June 26, and runs through August 17. To raise the comical bar, four audience members get the opportunity to participate in this hysterical musical as onstage bee contestants. Throughout the funny and poignant experience, the youngsters are forced to learn that winning isn’t everything and losing doesn’t necessarily make you a loser. Featuring witty and endearing music and lyrics by William Finn and a delightful book by Rachel Sheinkin, THE 25th ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE was nominated for six Tony Awards in 2005 and won two, including the award for Best Book of a Musical.

Following THE 25th ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE, Drury Lane Theatre will present the winner of “Best Play” at the 2012 Mystery Writers of America Edgar Allan Poe Awards THE GAME’S AFOOT, previewing August 28, opening September 4, and running through October 19. The Cleveland Plain Dealer raved that the production is “An inspired whodunit…a snappy, clever drawing-room mystery!” It is December 1936 and Broadway star William Gillette, admired the world over for his leading role in the play Sherlock Holmes, has invited his fellow cast-members to his lavish Connecticut castle for a holiday weekend of revelry. When one of the guests is stabbed to death, the festivities in the isolated house quickly turn dangerous. It is up to Gillette himself, as he assumes the persona of his beloved Holmes, to track down the killer before the next victim appears in this witty, suspenseful caper. THE GAME’S AFOOT is written by Ken Ludwig (Lend Me a Tenor, The Fox on the Fairway, Crazy for You, and Moon Over Buffalo) and directed by Drury Lane Theatre Artistic Director William Osetek (Drury Lane Theatre’s smash hit production of Spamalot and Jeff Award nominee for Best Director and Best Production for Thoroughly Modern Millie).

Previewing October 30, opening November 6 and running through January 4, CAMELOT journeys to the magical and mythical days of medieval England. Adapted from T.H. White’s novel The Once and Future King, the legendary characters King Arthur, Queen Guenevere, Sir Lancelot and Merlyn come alive in this exciting tale of love and chivalry. The classic production features a lush, romantic score including “If Ever I Would Leave You,” “Camelot,” “How to Handle a Woman,” and “Follow Me.” CAMELOT has been called “Majestic! Timeless!” by the Los Angeles Times and “One of the most beloved musicals of all time. Enchanting, enthralling, and exhilarating! A masterpiece!” by The Houston Chronicle.   CAMELOT originally opened on Broadway in 1960 starring Julie Andrews and Richard Burton. The production spawned several revivals and an Academy Award-winning 1967 film version. CAMELOT won four 1961 Tony Awards and the 1961 original cast recording of CAMELOT was number one on the Billboard Pop Albums chart for 60 weeks. CAMELOT features a book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner and music by Frederick Loewe (My Fair Lady and Brigadoon). Alan Souza (World Premiere musicals The Little Hours and Exposure Time for New Jersey Repertory Theatre, and The Full Monty for Maltz Jupiter Theatre) will direct the production.

To conclude its 2014-2015 season, Drury Lane Theatre presents WEST SIDE STORY, the mesmerizing musical and winner of three Tony Awards that changed audiences forever. A modern retelling of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet set on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, WEST SIDE STORY tells the tale of Tony and Maria, two star-crossed young lovers caught in a turf war between rival gangs. The production features a book by Arthur Laurents, music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. The New York Post exclaimed, ““It snaps, it crackles, it pops! It surges with a roar, its energy and sheer life undiminished by the years!” and Variety boasted “Still dazzles after more than 50 years. Majestic!  Some of the most achingly beautiful expressions of love ever sung!” A revolutionary work that changed the course of the American musical, WEST SIDE STORY has an electrifying Latin and jazz-infused score including “Somewhere,” “Tonight,” “I Feel Pretty,” and “America.” Rachel Rockwell will direct WEST SIDE STORY, which previews January 15, opens January 22 and runs through March 15.

Become a Drury Lane Theatre subscriber for as low as $135 per person and guarantee seats for all four spectacular 2014 productions for the price of three. Subscribers receive discounts on dining, early notification and priority seating for added events and concerts, a flexible ticket exchange policy, discounts on banquet catering and discounts at The Hilton Suites and Hilton Garden Inn. For more information, call 630.530.0111.

The performance schedule is as follows: Wednesdays at 1:30 p.m., Thursdays at 1:30 p.m. and 8 p.m., Fridays at 8:00 p.m., Saturdays at 5 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2:00 p.m. and 6 p.m. For reservations, call the Drury Lane Theatre box office at 630.530.0111, call TicketMaster at 800.745.3000, or visit www.drurylane.com.

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