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Back to form: freeFall Theatre announces 2021-22 season

Bill DeYoung



Hannah Benitez (center) in a scene from freeFall's "Pippin" (2019). Thee Photo Ninja.

Artistic director Eric Davis, who isn’t prone to hyperbole, merely calls it “a return to traditional programming.” But the announcement that freeFall Theatre has a full season of productions in the wings is likely to be embraced by bay area theater fans as something to be celebrated.

Like theater organizations everywhere, freeFall was forced to suspend operations during the initial months of the pandemic. When Davis and company returned, last October, it was with a series of “toe in the water” shows on an outdoor stage, played to patrons who sat in their cars. The ultimate in social distancing, theater-style.

This summer’s The Rose and the Beast brought people inside the freeFall black box once again, albeit to wander through a series of rooms (four visitors at a time) staffed with art, music, technology – and no live performers.

Starting Oct. 22, freeFall will be back in the live theater business.

Dames at Sea (Oct. 22-Nov. 21). The Broadway musical that launched Bernadette Peters’ career, book and lyrics By George Haimsohn and Robin Miller, music by Jim Wise.

The Night Before (Dec. 3-24). A freefall in-house special: Matthew McGee wrote and will direct this musical comedy about a family gathered together for the holidays. “It’s Pee-wee’s Playhouse meets Andy Williams,” McGee says. Music and arrangements by Michael Raabe.

Fatboy (Jan. 28-Feb. 27). John Clancy’s brutal satire – “Fatboy and his wife Queen Fudgie the First are to stand trial for their many crimes” – is based on Alfred Jarry’s Ubi Roi. Quoth the New York Times: “An absurdist indictment of the American appetite for power, violence and generally more of everything.”

Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill (March 25-April 24). Lanie Robertson’s drama finds Billie Holiday onstage. Say no more.

A Skeptic and a Bruja (May 20-June 19). Produced in collaboration with Sarasota’s Urbanite Theatre, Rosa Fernandez’s paranormal drama is a world premiere.

The final show of the season (July 29-Aug. 29) is a TBA.

The upcoming season also includes a round-robin of new additions, including a cabaret series, block parties, game shows, “Movies with Matthew” film screenings and more.

Season tickets and additional information are available here.

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