Asolo Rep Stages Broadway’s Hit Comedy Grand Horizons By Bess Wohl, Directed by Celine Rosenthal
(SARASOTA, FLA) — On the heels of Our Town, Asolo Repertory Theatre proudly opens the next show in its 2022 rep season, GRAND HORIZONS. This hit Broadway comedy by playwright Bess Wohl is directed by Asolo Rep Associate Artistic Director Celine Rosenthal. GRAND HORIZONS begins previews on Jan. 19, opens on Jan. 21 and runs through April 1, in the Mertz Theatre, located in the FSU Center for the Performing Arts.
You’re never too old to learn, but what if you learn that the person you’ve been married to for 50 years is making you miserable? Bill and Nancy practically breathe in unison; they anticipate each other’s sighs, sneezes and ends of sentences. But just as they settle into their new retirement home in Florida, Nancy wants out. As their two adult sons struggle to cope with the news, they’re forced to question everything they assumed about the people they thought they knew best. Sophisticated, funny, delightfully – and sometimes provocatively – honest, this new comedy takes an intimate look at the unpredictable and enduring nature of love.
Asolo Rep audiences have previously seen Rosenthal’s work in Camelot, We Need A Little Christmas, The Lifespan of a Fact, A Midsummer Night's Dream and The Tempest. They are a Tony®-nominated producer who has developed new work with Musical Theatre Factory, NYMF, Kidoons, Tamasha and National Queer Theatre. Rosenthal also created and is artistic director of Ground Floor, Asolo Rep’s new work development program.
“Nancy is a woman who is entering a new phase of her life after raising her children and supporting her husband's career,” Rosenthal said. “I have met many, many beloved members of our Asolo community that are experiencing that turning point in their lives. It can be wonderfully freeing, but it can also be stressful and frightening. I hope that our audience will see the play and feel seen but also inspired to be more open and honest with their loved ones.”
Bill is played by Asolo Rep newcomer Peter Van Wagner, who was part of the Broadway company of Grand Horizons at 2nd Stage. He also appeared on Broadway in A Thousand Clowns at Roundabout and off-Broadway in Othello, The Chimes, Letters From Cuba, The Notebook and So Help Me God! Suzanne Grodner (Nancy) returns to Asolo Rep, where she previously appeared in The Plexiglass Slipper, Nunsense, Tartuffe and How the Other Half Loves. Her Broadway credits include Beautiful, Bye Bye Birdie and The Rose Tattoo.
John Rapson (Ben) appeared in last season’s Terrace Stage production of Camelot at Asolo Rep. His Broadway and off-Broadway credits include Sweeney Todd and Les Misérables, and he originated the role of the D’Ysquith Family in the first national tour of A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder. Zachary Prince (Brian) was last seen as Adam in Christopher Wheeldon’s return production of An American in Paris at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, France. His Broadway and off-Broadway credits include Honeymoon in Vegas, On A Clear Day You Can See Forever, Baby It's You! and The Last Five Years. Dayna Lee Palya (Jess) is a third year MFA Acting student at the FSU/Asolo Conservatory whose past Asolo Rep credits include Murder on the Orient Express and Hair.
Lance Spencer (Tommy) is a Florida native, now based in Chicago, who has appeared in productions of White Christmas, Mamma Mia!, Chess, A Chorus Line, Annie and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Elise Santora (Carla) has appeared on television in For Life, Bull, Tommy, Manifest, New Amsterdam, Shades of Blue, Iron Fist and Orange is the New Black. Her Broadway credits include In The Heights, Paul Simon’s The Capeman, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, as well as starring opposite Lin-Manuel Miranda on the national tour of In The Heights as Abuela Claudia.
The understudies for GRAND HORIZONS are Sylvia Day, Mark Konrad, Rebecca Rose Mims, Jackson Purdy, Mikhail Roberts, Martha Velez-Reid and Rickey Watson, Jr.
“I saw GRAND HORIZONS on Broadway with Celine, and we both thought it was perfect for our audience here in Florida,” said Asolo Rep Producing Artistic Director Michael Donald Edwards. “Bess Wohl is one of the most exciting female voices writing for the American stage today, and we’ve assembled an amazing cast. There’s a lot of fun on the way with this one.”
GRAND HORIZONS contains mature themes and language and is recommended for age 16+.
GRAND HORIZONS runs Jan. 19 – April 1, 2022. Previews are Jan. 19 – 20. Visit asolorep.org for a full performance schedule. Orchestra and Mezzanine seats start at $52 and Balcony seats start at $29. Tickets are available now in person at Asolo Rep's Box Office at 5555 N. Tamiami Trail, by phone at 941.351.8000 or 800.361.8388, or online at asolorep.org.
Also part of the repertory season are OUR TOWN (Jan. 12 – March 26) and THE GREAT LEAP (Feb. 9 – April 2), which will both run concurrently with GRAND HORIZONS.
Asolo Rep is proud to be a part of #SafeArtsSarasota. Learn more about our Health and Safety Protocols.
Asolo Rep is able to present GRAND HORIZONS because of the generosity of its sponsors. The corporate sponsors for GRAND HORIZONS are Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Rice’s Appliances and Culinary Creations by Metz, with additional support from the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture.
Asolo Rep 2021-2022 Major Season Sponsors are Florida State University, the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation, Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation, Gulf Coast Community Foundation, Community Foundation of Sarasota County, the Huisking Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, Designing Women Boutique, The Exchange, and Sunset Cadillac of Bradenton. Asolo Rep’s artistic programs are paid for in part by Sarasota County Tourist Development Tax revenues.
Now in its 63rd season, Asolo Repertory Theatre is recognized as one of the premier professional theatres in America and one of the largest in the Southeastern United States. One of the few select theatres in the nation that performs in true rotating repertory, Asolo Rep’s highly skilled acting company and extensive craftsmanship bring to life this unique performance method that gives audiences the opportunity to see multiple productions in the span of a few days. Asolo Rep presents up to 10 productions each season, including contemporary and classic works and provocative musical theatre experiences. A theatre district in and of itself, Asolo Rep is committed to expanding its reach into the community, furthering its collaboration with the best theatre artists working in the industry today and cultivating new artists through its affiliation with the FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training. Under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director Michael Donald Edwards and Managing Director Linda DiGabriele, Asolo Rep’s ambitious theatrical offerings and ground-breaking education and community programming engage audiences and ensure its lasting legacy for future generations. Visit asolorep.org to learn more.