Arena Stage Unearths Treadwell's Intimations for 2004-05; Hallelujah, Baby!, Cruz, Hwang and Wilde Slated

News   Arena Stage Unearths Treadwell's Intimations for 2004-05; Hallelujah, Baby!, Cruz, Hwang and Wilde Slated Arena Stage's 2004-05 season includes a never-produced play by Sophie Treadwell, director Everett Quinton's take on a Wilde classic, and a revision of the musical, Hallelujah, Baby!, the Washington, DC, company announced April 11.

Treadwell's Intimations for Saxophone, adapted by Michael Kinghorn, will be directed by Anne Bogart, Jan. 21-Feb 27, 2005, in the Fichandler Theatre at Arena Stage.

According to the season announcement by artistic director Molly Smith, "In the life-of-excess Jazz Age, young Americans were learning to shed their stifling Victorian clothes and mores for a more dazzling, exuberant lifestyle. This era of both prosperity and prohibition sets the stage for Intimations for Saxophone, a newly discovered and never-produced jewel by celebrated writer Sophie Treadwell. Treadwell's heroine, Lily Laird, finds herself trapped in a loveless marriage while all around her, hints of the coming sexual revolution both entice her senses and threaten to overwhelm her very existence."

Billed as a "surprisingly prescient and modern play...from one of the first great female American playwrights, this lost classic" was discovered and adapted by Arena Stage senior dramaturg Michael Kinghorn. Bogart for her inventive work with SITI Company.

Theatre legend Arthur Laurents (the librettist of Gypsy and West Side Story, who is also a director) will stage a revised version of his Tony Award winning Halleluljah, Baby!, a history of black Americans in the 20th century, refracted through a showbiz lens.

Book is by Laurents, with music by Jule Styne and lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green (Green's daughter, Amanda, has been reportedly been working on the show, too). Performances play Dec. 10, 2004-Feb. 13, 2005, in the Kreeger. The staging is a co-production between Arena Stage and George Street Playhouse in New Jersey. The show won the 1968 Tony Award for Best Musical. According to Arena, "Hallelujah, Baby! follows young Georgina from decade to decade as she dreams of trading in her maid's mop for the excitement of the stage. Along the way, she faces head-on the challenges of a society struggling with segregation, economic hardships, two world wars, and the momentous fight for civil rights."

Everett Quinton, the actor known for The Mystery of Irma Vep and other frisky comedies (including performances in the gender-bent works of Charles Ludlam), will direct Oscar Wilde's comedy, The Importance of Being Earnest, Nov. 12-Dec. 26 in the Fichandler.

The season also includes David Henry Hwang's M. Butterfly, Edward Albee's The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?, Nilo Cruz's Anna in the Tropics, August Wilson's The Piano Lesson and Eugene O'Neill's Anna Christie.

For information, visit www.arenastage.org.

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