Whether or not the critics grade him with "A"s for his current turn in the Off-Broadway drama, The Gathering, Theodore Bikel has, for the sixth time in a row, four "A"s to his credit. He's just been reelected president of the umbrella organization Associated Actors and Artistes [sic] of America, a union nicknamed "The Four As."
According union spokesperson Helaine Feldman, the Four As are an international affiliate of the AFL-CIO labor union and, as such, generates charters for such other unions as Actors' Equity, AFTRA, SAG, the guilds of Musical and Variety Artists and of Italian American Actors, and the Hebrew Actors' Union. (The smaller unions aren't themselves affiliated with the AFL-CIO.) Bikel will be serving his sixth two-year term.
As for Bikel's stint in The Gathering at Jewish Repertory Theatre, Arje Shaw's play began previews May 29 and opened June 10 for an open run.
The Gathering takes place during the Reagan years and concerns three generations of the same family as they clash over their duties as Americans. Also in the cast are Robert Fass, Susan Warrick Hasho and Peter Hermann. Rebecca Taylor directs.
Bikel is perhaps most famous for his Tony-nominated appearance as Captain Von Trapp in the original production of The Sound of Music. He is also well known for his many turns as Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof. Other Broadway credits include The Lark, The Rope Dancers and The Inspector General. Recently, he acted in The Disputation at the Coconut Grove Playhouse in Florida. His films include "The Defiant Ones" and "The African Queen." For information on The Gathering, call (212) 831-2000.
-- By David Lefkowitz