David and Corrin Dietlein pulled up a couch in their Hale Theatre lobby yesterday to chat with Examiner about the newly announced 2014-15 season of seven musicals and three comedies. The ambitious calendar, according to the husband-wife team who produce the shows, mixes invitingly fresh material like Phantom and Tarzan with audience-requested favorites like My Fair Lady.
"Phantom is a cool opportunity to go to the original," said David of the Kopit-Yeston operetta-like musical that was written just before Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera blazed onto London's west end in 1986. Both are based on Gaston Leroux's 1910 novel. Hale's season opener "is a more pure telling of the novel with some absolutely incredible music," he said. "...including the famous visual elements like the boat in the fog," added Corrin.
"Tarzan is the first musical I saw on Broadway," Corrin recalled fondly about the last show in Hale's line up. Based on Disney's successful animated movie, the show enjoyed a brief run in New York almost a decade ago. "It's a fantastic story-driven show, and definitely not just for children."
David continued, "I suppose the aerial aspects and costuming will be the biggest challenges. To manage the staging will be big, but not impossible."
Of course, Hale wouldn't be Hale without keen attention to what their ticketholders hold most dear. "We've drawn a number of our season shows directly from a poll we conducted," David shared. "Arsenic and Old Lace, My Fair Lady and Sound of Music are direct results of our audience telling us what they want to see." The holiday tradition of their musical adaptation of Dickens' 'A Christmas Carol' will also continue.
As all seven phone lines to the theatre's box office stayed continuously lit with season renewal calls, the Dietleins bustled off to their respective management duties. Corrin headed to the costume warehouse, David bounded up the stairs to mind the computer software ticketing program. All in support of family, their Gilbert's theatre-in-the-round destination is Hale Centre Theatre.
Seven Show Season:
August 28 to October 11, 2014 Phantom | Musical
October 16 to November 29, 2014 The Sound of Music | Musical
December 31, 2014 to February 14, 2015 Lend Me a Tenor | Comedy
February 19 to April 4, 2015 My Fair Lady | Musical
April 9 to May 16, 2015 The Man Who Came to Dinner | Comedy
May 21 to July 3, 2015 The Wizard of Oz | Musical
July 9 to August 22, 2015 Tarzan | Musical
Extra Special Engagements:
September 15 to November 18, 2014 Arsenic and Old Lace | Comedy
December 4 to December 24, 2014 A Christmas Carol | Musical
January 19 to April 21, 2015 Forever Plaid | Musical