Paper Mill Playhouse announces 2020-2021 season

MILLBURN, NJ — Paper Mill Playhouse Producing Artistic Director Mark Hoebee and Managing Director Michael Stotts have announced the lineup for the theater’s 2020-2021 season. Amid much concern over the current coronavirus and its impact locally and around the world, Paper Mill Playhouse looks forward to opening its doors to audiences for a season of healing, laughter and joy.

The 2020-2021 lineup includes two world-premiere musicals: “The Wanderer,” rescheduled from the 2019-2020 season after being postponed due to the national health crisis, and “Bruce,” a musical based on the memoir “The Jaws Log” about the making of the 1975 summer blockbuster. 

Paper Mill Playhouse will open its 2020-2021 season with a hilarious farce about one of America’s treasured pieces of pop culture with “Clue,” directed by Casey Hushion, from Oct. 7 to Nov. 11. Murder and blackmail are on the menu when six mysterious guests assemble for a dinner party at Boddy Manor. Based on the cult 1985 Paramount movie and inspired by the classic Hasbro game, “Clue” is a whodunit that will leave you dying of laughter.

Next is the perfect family musical just in time for the holidays, “The Sound of Music,” directed and choreographed by Hoebee, from Nov. 25 through Jan. 3, 2021, including such beloved gems as “My Favorite Things,” “Edelweiss” and “Climb Every Mountain.” Rodgers and Hammerstein’s final masterpiece conjures an Austria replete with rolling hills, singing nuns and a tender love story, set in the shadow of World War II.

Beginning the new year, Paper Mill Playhouse presents a reimagined version of Elton John and Tim Rice’s Tony-winning Disney musical “Aida,” directed by Schele Williams with choreography by Camille Brown, from Feb. 4 to March 7, 2021. This updated version of the Broadway smash offers a fresh take on the tale with a contemporary score, while retaining the iconic characters, and powerful love story of the original production. Following the Paper Mill Playhouse premiere, the production will embark on a national tour.

The spring welcomes the world premiere of “The Wanderer,” a musical directed by Kenneth Ferrone, from April 8 to May 9, 2021, in association with Jill Menza, following the show’s postponement from the 2019-2020 season. The new musical, based on the life of Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Dion DiMucci, will be worth the wait! An Italian-American kid from the Bronx, DiMucci skyrocketed to fame as a teenage heartthrob in the 1950s and early ’60s with hits like “Runaround Sue,” “Teenager in Love” and “I Wonder Why.” Now, his extraordinary journey comes to the stage in a moving and intimate new musical about a life lived in the glow of the spotlight and in the shadow of addiction. 

Paper Mill Playhouse closes its 82nd season with the world premiere of “Bruce,” directed and choreographed by Donna Feore, from June 9 to July 4, 2021, a new musical based on “The Jaws Log,” by screenwriter Carl Gottlieb. Chronicling the making of an iconic movie, “Bruce” tells the story of a then unknown 26-year-old director named Steven Spielberg, his beleaguered film set, and the challenges that thwarted him and his team at every turn, including the film’s star: an uncooperative mechanical shark named Bruce. “Bruce” is a co-production with Seattle Rep.

“Paper Mill Playhouse is thrilled to produce this amazing season featuring both new works and reimagined favorites,” Hoebee said. “Producing new works is central to our vision of becoming recognized as one of the most important incubators of new musical projects. In addition, we endeavor to further the art form by producing reimagined works from the musical theater canon. We look forward to welcoming Thomas Schumacher and Disney Theatrical Productions back to Paper Mill Playhouse to collaborate with this formidable creative team on yet another inspiring piece of theater with a newly reimagined production of ‘Aida.’ I also am enormously happy to present the postponed world premiere of ‘The Wanderer,’ which our audience has been eagerly anticipating.”

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