The company in the Alley Theatre’s 2003 production of You Can’t Take it With You

Image: Jim Caldwell

On Saturday, the Alley Theatre announced a 2013–2014 season short on familiar names and titles but long on dramatic potential. Among the highlights: Freud’s Last Session by Mark St. Germain, which closed its successful Off-Broadway run in New York last summer after two years and 775 performances. The play imagines an encounter between Sigmund Freud and C.S. Lewis on the eve of WWII, when both were in England and could plausibly have met—although of course they never did. Freud, an atheist, and Lewis, a Christian apologist, debate the existence of God, the nature of love, and the meaning of life. Other Desert Cities, a new play by Jon Robin Baitz, the creator of the ABC television show Brothers & Sisters, was called “the best new play on Broadway” by the New York Times when it debuted. And from an unlikely source—John Logan, the screenwriter who penned the latest James Bond film, Skyfall—comes Never the Sinner: The Murder Trial of the Century, based on the infamous 1924 trial of Leopold and Loeb. As in Inherit the Wind, lawyer Clarence Darrow takes center stage as he defends the murderous duo.

The Alley is also bringing back some chestnuts, including its annual holiday production of A Christmas Carol and a staging of Agatha Christie’s The Hollow for its ExxonMobil Summer Chills festival. The season will kick off with Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman’s You Can’t Take It With You, which the Alley calls “perhaps the greatest American comedy ever,” and concludes with Bertolt Brecht’s The Good Woman of Setzuan. Set in China between WWI and WWII, the play’s title character is a prostitute trying to move up in the world by running a tobacco shop. Also on the calendar are David Ives’s Venus in Furs, Alan Ayckbourn’s Communicating Doors, and David Lindsay-Abaire’s Good People. Here’s the complete schedule:

 

You Can’t Take It With You
Sept 20–Oct 20
 

Venus in Furs
Oct 18–Nov 17
 

A Christmas Carol–A Ghost Story of Christmas
Nov 15–Dec 29


Other Desert Cities

Jan 10–Feb 2


Freud’s Last Session

Jan 24–Feb 23


Never the Sinner: The Murder Trial of the Century

Feb 21–March 14


Communicating Doors

April 4–27


Good People

May 16–June 8 


The Good Woman of Setzuan

May 30–June 29


ExxonMobil Summer Chills

Agatha Christie’s The Hollow
July 5–Aug 4

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