Lyric Stage Company celebrates anniversary season

Boston’s oldest professional theater, The Lyric Stage Company of Boston, is entering its 40th season this fall. Established in 1974 by Ron Ritchell and Polly Hogan, The Lyric Stage performed in the Community Church of Boston on Boylston Street. By 1991, it moved to its current location at 140 Clarendon Street.

Over the years, the company has frequently received recognition for its work and boasts numerous Independent Reviewers of New England and Elliot Norton awards. Today, the theater operates under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director Spiro Veloudos, who joined The Lyric Stage in 1998, and Sara Glidden, managing director of the theatre since 2004.

Despite the array of changes that took place over four decades, The Lyric Stage has developed into a remarkable non-profit organization. For fiscal year 2012, The Lyric Stage operated with revenue of slightly over 1.7 million dollars — approximately 77% of which was generated through ticket sales — and made a profit. The long-term leadership of Veloudos and Glidden has undoubtedly contributed to The Lyric Stage’s artistic and financial stability.

The Lyric Stage also offers consistently varied shows to its audiences. Mixing beloved musicals like “Ain’t Misbehavin’” (2011-2012 season) and comedies such as last season’s “Chinglish” with more intense works like “Time Stands Still” (2011-2012 season), Veloudos and The Lyric Stage strike a careful balance between genres. With the diverse assortment of styles, The Lyric Stage aims to reach a range of audiences.

Looking ahead, the 2013-2014 season seems to be no exception to the rule. Musicals are set to include “Into the Woods” and “Working,” and The Lyric Stage also plans to perform the comedy, “Becky’s New Car.” On the other end of the spectrum, “Death of a Salesman,” undoubtedly the most well known play of the list, and the New England premieres of “Water by the Spoonful” and “Rich Girl,” all promise to provide a healthy dose of drama. Rather than select a single type of theater with which to celebrate such a momentous occasion, The Lyric Stage’s 40th season will exemplify the same multi-genre, multi-style approach that has led to the theater’s success in previous years.

The Lyric Stage will kick off the new season this weekend with Richard Bean’s “One Man, Two Guvnors.” Based on the centuries-old Italian comedy “The Servant of Two Masters” by Carlo Goldoni, “One Man, Two Guvnors” is a new twist on an old classic. “Two Guvnors” features British comedy, satire, slapstick and, special to this production, a 10-minute performance of live music before the show. “One Man, Two Guvnors” will by playing at The Lyric Stage from Sept. 5 to Oct.12. Tickets are priced between $32 to $65 and can be purchased by calling The Lyric Stage box office at (617)-585-5678 or emailing