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Theater company hopes to challenge audiences with music, murder, matters of the heart and much more

PHOTO COURTESY OF LEE MOYER - 'Chess' is scheduled from July 6-Aug. 12 on Lakewood Theatre Company's Mainstage.Are you up for the challenge?

That's the question Lakewood Theatre Company will ask in its 2018-19 season with a series of plays that explore everything from political intrigue and matters of the heart to evolutionary science and the transition from silent pictures to "talkies."

The lineup for Lakewood's 66th season, which will include six productions on the Mainstage and three on the Side Door Stage, was announced by the Lakewood Center for the Arts on Friday. The season opens on July 6.

"In the summer, the musical 'Chess' explores rivalries in political intrigue and matters of the heart, and in the celebrated musical 'Pippin,' a young prince seeks to find true happiness through his many adventures," says Lakewood Executive Director Andrew Edwards. "The courtroom drama 'Inherit the Wind is based on the real-life Scopes Monkey Trial, in which two attorneys debate a high school science teacher's decision to teach evolution.

PHOTO COURTESY OF LEE MOYER - 'Pippin' is scheduled from Sept. 7-Oct. 14 on Lakewood Theatre Company's Mainstage."In the winter, 'Dial M for Murder' will show us how far a man will go to kill his wife, and then we'll stage the British farce 'Taking Steps,' which presents a physical challenge to the audience — envisioning a three-story house on a one-story stage, as well as the many ineptitudes of the show's delirious cast of characters," Edwards adds. "We finish the season with the 1960s classic 'Singin' In the Rain,' as the movie industry moves from silent pictures to 'talkies.' Are you up for the challenge?"

Season tickets for the 2018-19 season are on sale now, with prices for the six-play series ranging from $175 to $190. For details, go to http://www.lakewood-center.org or call the box office at 503-635-3901.

In addition to Mainstage shows, subscribers can preorder tickets to the Lost Treasures Collection Series on the Side Door Stage ($55 for all three shows, or $20 per show) and to Lakewood in City Lights, the center's holiday gala and fundraiser.

All performances are at Lakewood Center for the Arts, 368 S. State Street, Lake Oswego.

On the Mainstage

• "Chess" (July 6-Aug. 12): The ancient game of chess becomes a metaphor for romantic rivalries, super-power politics and international intrigue in this show featuring music by ABBA's Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus. From Bangkok to Budapest, the players, lovers, politicians and spies manipulate and are manipulated, and all to the pulse of a monumental rock score. The play was written by Richard Nelson; John Oules will direct.

PHOTO COURTESY OF LEE MOYER - 'Inherit the Wind' is scheduled from Nov. 2-Dec. 9 on Lakewood Theatre Company's Mainstage.• "Pippin" (Sept. 7-Oct. 14): Young prince Pippin searches for the secret to true happiness and fulfillment in the glories of the battlefield, the temptations of the flesh and the intrigues of political power before discovering that happiness lies not in extraordinary endeavors, but in the unextraordinary moments that happen every day. The play, with songs by "Godspell" and "Wicked" composer Stephen Schwartz, was written by Roger O. Hirson. Paul Angelo will direct.

• "Inherit the Wind'" (Nov. 2-Dec. 9): Based on the famous Scopes Monkey Trial and a high school educator's choice to teach evolution in the classroom, this play explores threats to learning and intellectual freedom in a dramatic courtroom retelling of a case that turned a small-town affair into a nationwide spectacle. Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee wrote the book; Antonio Sonera will direct.

PHOTO COURTESY OF LEE MOYER - 'Dial M for Murder' is scheduled from Jan. 4-Feb. 10, 2019 on Lakewood Theatre Company's Mainstage.• "Dial M for Murder" (Jan. 4-Feb. 10, 2019): Professional tennis player Tony Wendice plans to have his socialite wife Margot murdered to inherit her fortune. Spurred by the discovery of Margot's affair with famous writer Mark Halliday, Tony devises the perfect plan to kill her — but will he succeed? Made famous by Alfred Hitchcock's film adaptation, this psychological thriller was written by Frederick Knott. David Sikking will direct.

• "Taking Steps" (March 1-April 7, 2019): Elizabeth, a former dancer, will do anything to escape her overbearing husband Roland, who is poised to buy an old Victorian house — a former brothel said to be haunted by its prior inhabitants. Writer Alan Ayckbourn's heartfelt comedy also involves Elizabeth's brother Mark and his fiancee Kitty, who are attempting their engagement for the second time after Kitty left Mark at the altar; an inarticulate solicitor; and a motorcycle maniac. Brenda Hubbard will direct.

PHOTO COURTESY OF LEE MOYER - 'Taking Steps' is scheduled from March 1-April 7 on Lakewood Theatre Company's Mainstage.• "Singin' in the Rain" (April 26-June 9, 2019): Silent film stars and Hollywood "it" couple Don Lockwood and Lina Lamont are forced to adapt to "talkies." Unfortunately for Lina, her screechy voice threatens her career — until Don and friend Cosmo Brown convince aspiring actress Kathy Selden to dub Lina's voice with her own. Arthur Freed wrote the lyrics, Nacio Herb Brown composed the music, and Betty Comden and Adolph Green penned the book for this stage adaptation of the classic film. Ron Daum will direct.

Performances for Mainstage shows are scheduled Thursday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 7 p.m., with some Wednesday shows at 7:30 p.m. and some Sunday matinees at 2 p.m.

PHOTO COURTESY OF LEE MOYER - 'Singin' in the Rain' is scheduled from April 26-June 9, 2019 on Lakewood Theatre Company's Mainstage.

On the Side Door Stage

Now in its ninth season, the Lost Treasures Collection is a series of obscure and rarely performed musicals presented in cabaret/concert style for one weekend only on the Side Door Stage. No sets, no props.

"Picture Portland's foremost performers presenting some of the most beautiful, comedic and witty songs of musical theater," Andrews says.

Performances are Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m., with a Saturday matinee at 2 p.m. This year's theme is "Hey, Look Us Over!" Food, wine and other beverages are available for purchase before and during the show.

The series includes:

• "On a Clear Day You Can See Forever" (Oct. 19-20): Kooky Daisy Gamble has remarkable talents, but low self-esteem. When she decides to visit a psychiatrist to cure her nasty smoking habits, the psychiatrist discovers that Daisy is the reincarnation of a well-bred English lady with whom he finds himself falling in love. Music by Burton Lane; book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner.

• "Promises, Promises" (Feb. 15-16, 2019): Chuck Baxter, an ambitious junior executive at an insurance company, tries to advance his career by offering his apartment to be used by his married superiors for trysts. Music by Burt Bacharach; lyrics by Hal David; book by Neil Simon.

• "Wildcat" (April 12-13, 2019): Wildcat "Wildy" Jackson and her sister Janie arrive in 1912 at the border town Centavo City, determined to strike it rich in the oil business. Comedy, deception and love ensue. M Musical play by N. Richard Nash; lyrics by Carolyn Leigh; music by Cy Coleman.

Contact Lake Oswego Review Editor Gary M. Stein ar 503-636-1281 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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