The 41st season of the Summer Repertory Theatre at Santa Rosa Junior College opens next week with a lineup that includes three musicals, one drama and a murder mystery.
A cast and crew of summer students from all over California and around the country will present all five plays in rotation at the Burbank Auditorium and Newman Auditorium on campus from June 23 though Aug. 11.
“What makes us unusual is that we have five plays in production simultaneously. There are fewer and fewer companies doing true rotating repertory theater,” said James Newman, artistic director of Summer Repertory Theatre.
“It’s magical to see actors in one role one night, and in another role the next. The audience really gets to know the performers and has its favorites,” he said.
This year’s plays are:
— “Avenue Q,” a musical for mature audiences only, uses “Sesame Street”-style puppets. One of the characters is called Lucy the Slut. One of the most popular songs is “The Internet Is For Porn.” Get the idea? It’s fun and satirical, but not for kids. Opens June 23.
— “Passion Play,” a drama by New York playwright Sarah Ruhl, author of “Dead Man’s Cell Phone” and “In the Next Room (or The Vibrator Play.)” “Passion Play” is presented in three acts, each set in a different time period and place. The show deals with three community theater productions about Easter and the crucifixion of Christ. Opens June 29.
— “Xanadu” follows the journey of a magical Greek muse who descends from Olympus to Venice Beach in 1980, inspiring a struggling artist to create roller disco. Musical score by Electric Light Orchestra. Olivia Newton-John and Gene Kelly starred in the 1980 movie version. Opens July 5.
— “The Mousetrap,” a murder mystery by Agatha Christie, opened in the West End of London in 1952, and has been running continuously since then. It is credited with the longest initial run of any play in history, with over 24,500 performances so far. SRT opens its production July 10.
— “Sweet Charity,” the classic musical about dance hall girls paid by the dance, boasts a book by Neil Simon, music by Cy Coleman and lyrics by Dorothy Fields. Hit songs include “Hey Big Spender” and “If My Friends Could See Me Now.” Opens July 14.
Special events this season include Festival Weekend, July 27-29, with performances of all five plays the same weekend, and the Family, Friends and Alumni BBQ, 4-6 p.m. July 29, where theater-goers can meet members of the SRT company.
Season subscriptions cost $65 to $75, and individual tickets are priced from $15 to $25.
The SRT box office is on the Santa Rosa campus, 1801 Mendocino Ave.
Information: summerrep.com, 527-4207.