Though news that Alliance Theatre will debut Disney's new musical, Elaborate Lives, has taken center stage, the Atlanta resident theatre has more surprises in store for its ambitious 30th anniversary season, in 1998-99.
* The Alliance will continue its ongoing relationship with playwright Pearl Cleage by presenting the world premiere of her Ernesto's Eyes, (not to be confused by Sam Shepard's new Eyes for Consuela) about the relationships between African-Americans and Latino-Americans. The drama, from the author of Flyin' West, Blues for an Alabama Sky and Bourbon at the Border (all premiered at the Alliance) will be presented there in spring 1999, staged by Alliance Artistic Director Kenny Leon.
* It will be staged at the 200-seat Studio Theatre, Alliance's second stage. Also planned for the Studio are three recent Off-Broadway hits: David Stevens' The Sum of Us, Paula Vogel's How I Learned To Drive and Steven Dietz' Lonely Planet
* Following Elaborate Lives on the 800-seat Alliance Mainstage will be the ninth annual gospel staging of A Christmas Carol as adapted by Sandra Deer from Charles Dickens. * Next up will be Frank Galati's Tony-winning stage adaptation of John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath.
* In February 1999 will come Tom Stoppard's Arcadia, staged by David H. Bell. * Burning Patience, Antonio Skarmeta's adaptation of the same novel made into the award-winning film Il Postino (The Postman), will follow, directed by Peggy Shannon.
* The final mainstage offering will be John Henry Redwood's The Old Settler, a romantic comedy set in N.Y's Harlem.
Subscriptions for the Alliance season are now on sale at (404) 733-4600. For the Mainstage, including Elaborate Lives: $70 - $180. For the Studio, including Ernesto's Eyes: $68-$89. Mainstage subscribers can buy a Studio subscription at 30 percent off.
-- By Robert Viagas