AURORA | Vampires, drag queens, Sasquatch and some Gershwin are slated to descend on Aurora later this year and next.
The cavalcade of oddity are the lineup for the Aurora Fox Arts Center’s 32nd season for 2016-2017.
Fox Center producer Charlie Packard is dubbing the season, “On the margins of polite society.”
Margins is the right word for what promises to be a season focusing on the good, the bad and the what-the-hell? And with hurricane force political weather up and down the upcoming ballot, getting people to see marginalized Americans in a variety of lights couldn’t be better timed.
Fall and Halloween will bring “Dracula the Musical” to the stage. Suspense, unrequited love and plenty of Gothic lust sounds sweetly marginal for starters.
Then it’s a holiday feast of Gershwin’s epic black opera, “Porgy and Bess.” Now we’re really bumping the margins with a show wallowing in racism, poverty, drug abuse and how humanity seeks always to climb back up. A little “Summertime” in the wintertime to fill out the holiday theater season.
Then it gets weird. The world premiere of “Myth” is perfect Rocky Mountain fare, something you don’t want to think about when camping in the dark, where something you don’t want to meet up with is certain to live. In the dark.
Then it lightens up in spring with a comic look at word play, culture and signs of life in “Chinglish.”
But the season rolls full steam into a finale with one of the world’s favorite drag-queen comedy dramas: “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.” Based on the hit 1994 movie, the show wraps its arms around the joy and pain of life on both sides of the margins.
2016-17 Aurora Fox Center Lineup
“Dracula the Musical” – Oct. 7 – Nov. 6
Music by Frank Wildhorn / Book and Lyrics by Don Black and Christopher Hampton / Conceived by Bon Black, Christopher Haplton, Frank Wildhorn and Des McAnuff
“Dracula The Musical” is a thrilling drama of suspense and a Gothic romance of dreamlike temptation. Set in Europe at the end of the Victorian Age, the story follows the famed vampire as he lusts for new blood. Dracula will enthrall audiences with its powerful score and its potential for bringing the undead to life in this haunting musical of unrequited love.
The Gershwins’ “Porgy and Bess,” Nov. 25 – Jan. 1, 2017
By George Gershwin, Dubose and Dorothy Heyward, and Ira Gershwin / Book adapted by Suzan-Lori Parks / Musical Score Adapted by Dierdre L. Murray
An operatic adaptation of Heyward’s play, Porgy follows the lives of the inhabitants of Catfish Row, an African-American section of Charleston, South Carolina, including the crippled Porgy, his beloved Bess, who is under the thrall of the dangerous Crown, and the sinewy drug dealer, Sportin’ Life.
“Myth” (World Premiere) – Jan. 20 – Feb. 19, 2017
Jason’s small campfire and video camera strain to penetrate the darkness of the remote woods outside of Yellow Knife, Canada. Jason is doggedly searching for the definitive proof of an undiscovered species he is certain exists, and must exist in this place.
“Chinglish” – March 24 – April 9, 2017
By David Henry Hwang
A hilarious comedy about the challenges of doing business in a country whose language — and underlying cultural assumptions — can be worlds apart from those of the West. The play tells the adventures of Daniel, an American business-everyman from the Midwest, who hopes to establish his family’s sign-making business in China, only to learn what is lost and found in translation.
“Priscilla Queen of The Desert” (Regional Premiere) April 21 – May 28, 2017
Book by Stephen Elliott and Allan Scott
Based on the popular 1994 film of the same name, “Priscilla Queen of the Desert” follows two drag queens and a transsexual who buy a run-down old bus (they call it Priscilla) and set out on a road trip across the Australian Outback. During their journey, the trio encounters an array of Australian citizens, some of who aren’t receptive to their lifestyle, while strengthening their own friendship.