New Jewish Theatre announces lineup for next season

NJT’s production of ‘The Immigrant’ won four Kevin Kline Awards, more than any other single production.

The New Jewish Theatre has announced its 2012-2013 lineup, featuring five plays — including dramas by Neil Simon and David Mamet and a play based on a novel by Israeli writer Yonatan Ben Nachum.

The NJT, which recently won six Kevin Kline Awards for productions in 2011, is currently preparing to wrap up its current season with performances of “Jacob and Jack,” by James Sherman, May 3-20 (see ChaiLights calendar for more information).

The 2012-2013 season will feature:

• From Oct. 4 – 21, NJT kicks off the season with Neil Simon’s “Lost in Yonkers.” Considered by many the to be the masterwork of Simon’s career, the hilarious yet poignant play set in 1942 tells the story of two teenage boys deposited on the doorstep of their rod-wielding grandmother, where a clash of generations evokes laughter, tears and new emotional truths. The work won a Pulitzer Prize for Drama and a Tony Award for Best Play.

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• From Dec. 6 – 23, NJT stages “Talley’s Folly,” Lanford Wilson’s story of apple-and-orange couple that artfully deals with definably American themes. Set in an old Victorian boathouse in rural Missouri in 1944, the play’s classic characters will charm audiences. The play won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Play.

• From Feb. 7-24, the NJT will feature “Speed-the-Plow,” by revered contemporary American playwright David Mamet. The hilarious and chilling satire of Hollywood follows a newly appointed head of production at a major studio as he struggles to understand the morality of life. The play was nominated for a Tony Award.

• April 4-14 NJT presents “Confession,” from Israeli playwright Oren Neeman (adapted from the novel “Confession” by Yonatan Ben Nachum). The gripping suspense thriller tells the story of love and faith set during the time of the Spanish Inquisition. It is a vivid portrait of the lives of hidden Jews during the Spanish Inquisition. The mostly true story follows a Spanish priest whose faith is tested when he falls in love with the beautiful — and Jewish — Isabel. It will be performed by actor/playwright Ami Dayan from April 4 – 14. The play won Tel Aviv’s Theatre Netto Festival Prize.

• The final production of the season, May 16 – June 9, is, “Shlemiel the First,” a joyous klezmer musical based on the tale by Isaac Bashevis Singer and adapted by Robert Brustein.  Directed by NJT Artistic Associate Edward Coffield, the musical follows the naive beadle Shlemiel from Chelm, a village of fools, on a pilgrimage to spread the wisdom of the local sages. The play’s small cast, complete with a live klezmer band and a topsy-turvy set, has had adoring audiences nationwide tapping their toes and cheering for unlikely hero Shlemiel.

Brochures and subscriptions for next season will be available during performances of “Jacob and Jack” in May. For more information or to sign up for the NJT mailing list, call the NJT box office at 314-442-3283. Visit www.newjewishtheatre.org in the next few weeks to subscribe online.  Single tickets will go on sale in August.