See ‘Em On Stage unveils fall theater season, broader mission _lowres

Photo provided -- Leslie Castay plays Eleanor of Aquitaine in 'The Lion in Winter,' produced by See 'Em On Stage this December.

The New Orleans theater group See ’Em On Stage: A Production Company will stage a musical about accused ax-murderer Lizzie Borden to launch its fall season, themed “Rebel Rebel,” artistic director Christopher Bentivegna said Tuesday.

The season, with topics such as environmentalism, family dysfunction and gender identity, will include three regional premieres and one New Orleans premiere, Bentivegna said, as well as a night of 10-minute productions in development called “Take Ten,” slated for Aug. 24.

Plays will be presented at the New Orleans Art Center, The Avant-Garden District, the Ugly Dog Saloon and the Valiant Theatre, a venue that is scheduled to open in Arabi in July.

Scheduled productions are as follows:

“LIZZIE,” AUG. 11-28: In a regional premiere by Steven Cheslik-deMeyer, Tim Maner and Alan Stevens Hewitt, four women fronting a rock band tell the story of fabled accused ax-murderer Lizzie Borden in words and rock music. At the New Orleans Art Center, 3330 St. Claude Ave.

“THE TOXIC AVENGER (THE MUSICAL),” OCT. 13-31: Based on Lloyd Kaufman’s 1984 cult-classic horror movie, “The Toxic Avenger” is a silly love story with an environmentally conscious twist. A regional premiere, the play’s music and lyrics are by David Bryan; book and lyrics by Joe DiPietro. At The Valiant Theatre, which is set to open in July at 6621 St. Claude Ave. in Arabi.

“THE LION IN WINTER,” DEC. 1-18: Eleanor of Aquitaine, imprisoned since raising an army against her husband, King Henry II, is released for the holidays; family drama ensues. Starring Alec Barnes, Kevin Murphy, Kali Russell, Eli Timm, Alex Wallace, Jake Wynne-Wilson and Leslie Castay. Written by James Goldman. At Avant-Garden District. 2901 Tchoupitoulas St.

“TRIASSIC PARQ,” SPRING 2017: Singing dinosaurs tell the story of the blockbuster film “Jurassic Park” from the dinos’ perspective. With music by Marshall Pailet, lyrics and book by Pailet, Bryce Norbitz, and Steve Wargo.

This weekend, See ’Em On Stage will stage a reading of “South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut,” the movie musical about the South Park kids and their war with Canada. The reading opens Friday at 8 p.m. at Cafe Instanbul, 2372 St. Claude Ave., New Orleans.

On Aug. 24, the company will present a night of 10-minute plays in development featuring writers Brian Sands and Rudy San Miguel, at the Ugly Dog Saloon, 407 Andrew Higgins Blvd.

See ’Em On Stage also announced that it is expanding its mission to include other performing arts and community outreach.

Among planned activities are comedy, staged readings and a burlesque show, Bentivegna said. In addition, the 17-member company will add community outreach and youth education to its work.

“Over the last several months, See ’Em On Stage has been working closely with a core group of theater professionals in order to emerge as a larger production company that will now focus on multiple genres of the performing arts,” Bentivegna said in a statement. “This new model will allow us to offer opportunities to a wider variety of artists, including local writers, directors, actors, designers, dancers, musicians, and theater educators; along with visual artists (for special projects).”

For more information on See ’Em on Stage, go to