What: How Green Was My Valley with music by Roger Ames and book and lyrics by Elizabeth Bassine; The Gig with music, book, and lyrics by Doug Cohen; and A Good Man with music by Ray Leslee and book and lyrics by Philip S. Goodman.
When: January 16 and 17, 2016, at 1pm (How Green Was My Valley), 4pm (The Gig), and 7pm (A Good Man)
Where: Randall Theatre, Temple University School of Theater, Film and Media Arts, 1301 W. Norris St.
Who: Main Street Festivals in association with Temple University;
Why: A national initiative that presents annual readings of new musicals in cities across the United States over the course of a year, Main Street Festivals presents: How Green Was My Valley: A musical of a 1939 novel of the same name. (A major motion picture in 1941.) Against a backdrop of rolling, green hills, the mining families of South Wales work, love, and fight to defy the changes of life at the beginning of the twentieth century in this classic story. The Gig: In the summer of 1975, six middle aged guys escape from their daily lives to pursue their dreams of playing jazz when they book a gig playing for a club in the Catskills. Along the way, they learn about life, love, and growing up. A Good Man: Set in rural Mississippi after WWII, A Good Man, is about “Prince” Albert Clayton, a poor sharecropper, but a proud and gifted grower who sees his life turned upside down when he attempts to fulfill a lifelong dream of having a clean white house on a hill.
How: $15. mainstreetfestivals.org
What: Kill Johnny Glendenning by DC Jackson
When: Monday, January 18, 2016, at 7pm
Where: Jefferson Alumni Hall Atrium, 1020 Locust Street, on the campus of Thomas Jefferson University
Who: Presented by Inis Nua Theatre Company; $10. inisnuatheatre.org.
Why: A comedy as black as black pudding deep fried. Two low-level goons and a kidnapped tabloid hack are stuck in the crossfire between a Glasgow crime boss and a supposedly retired Belfast paramilitary killer. This bullet-riddled Scottish gangster drama reminds me of the work of Quentin Tarantino, and I dare you to keep track of all the switchbacks. Don’t take your eye off the ball!
How: $10. inisnuatheatre.org.
What: Forgive Us Our Trespasses by Jeffrey Stingerstein
When: Monday, January 25, at 7pm
Where: The Proscenium Theatre at The Drake, 1512 Spruce Street
Who: Presented by PlayPenn; Free and Open to the Public. Reserve online at PlayPenn.org.
Why: In April 1989, Claire Stukel was brutally raped and beaten while jogging in the park. When she wrongly identified the attacker, an innocent man, Gene Shephard, spent 12 years in prison, only to be released on DNA evidence in 2002. His release forces Claire to reconsider all that she believes, including how to raise her son, Justin. But as Claire struggles to make things right with Gene, the past comes back to victimize her anew, and Gene’s innocence isn’t as clear as it was the day he was released.
How: Free and Open to the Public. Reserve online at PlayPenn.org.