This season the jewel in the crown of "The Next Stage" play development program at the Cleveland Play House is the American premiere of Murphy Guyer's A Russian Romance.
The play will be performed Dec. 30-Jan. 25 in the Drury Theatre of the Play House.
A Russian Romance, the tale of a celebrated Russian author on a U.S. tour with his glamorous wife, is a farce that skewers everything from Russian angst to American high society. The rather quirky cast of characters includes a hero-worshipping Russian lit professor from Indiana and a couple of "idle rich" cousins in Saratoga.
The play will be directed by the theatre's artistic director, Peter Hackett. There was a reading of Guyer's play last fall as part of the '96-'97 Next Stage Festival.
Upcoming Next Stage Festival readings at the Play House Studio One include: The Work of Water, by John Orlock, Jan. 4.
The Interview, by Faye Sholiton, Jan. 7.
Strangers' Ground, by Erik Brogger, Jan. 11.
Crossroads Dancing, by Margaret Lynch, Jan. 14.
The Smell of the Kill, by Michele Lowe, Jan. 18.
Folk Tales of Cleveland, by Mike Geither, and The Eighth Wonder of the World, by Sara Morton, Jan. 21.
Louie, Louie! a musical revue about Louis Armstrong and Louis Prima by William Hoffman and Ken Kacmar, Jan. 25.
In addition, as part of the Next Stage Festival, the Dobama Theatre in Cleveland will present the world premiere of Virtual Devotion, written by Eric Coble and directed by Roger Truesdell, from Jan. 16-Feb. 8.
For tickets to plays at the Cleveland Playhouse, call (216) 795-7000; for tickets to Virtual Devotionat the Dobama Theatre, call (212) 932-6838.
-- By Rebecca Paller