The Studio Theatre in Washington DC has snatched up rights to two of New York's most talked-about recent plays, Neil LaBute's bash and Christopher Durang's Betty's Summer Vacation, for spring 2000.
The 25-year-old Studio Theatre will also present a special engagement of the Joe Mantello-directed dissection of the gays-in-the-military issue, Another American: Asking and Telling, written and performed by Marc Wolf, April 28-30.
For bash, to be staged March 1-April 9 in the Studio's Milton Theatre, playwright-film director LaBute, known for his brutal, dark movies, "In the Company of Men" and "Your Friends and Neighbors," penned three one-acts on the subject of morality. Bash, which he subtitled "latter-day plays," was staged Off-Broadway in 1999 with Calista Flockhart, Ron Eldard and Paul Rudd. In Medea Redux, a Midwestern woman tells of seduction and betrayal; in Iphegenia in Orem, a corporate husband and father confesses an unspeakable act of cruelty; and in A Gaggle of Saints, fresh-faced American youths attack a gay man.
Off-Broadway, the trio's full title was in lower-case, as bash: latterday plays. Joy Zinoman will direct the work in DC and designers are Russell Metheny (set), Michael Lincoln (lighting), Helen Huang (costumes), Sue Senita Bradshaw (props), Gil Thompson (sound). Casting is ongoing.
Betty's Summer Vacation, May 17-June 25 in the Mead Theatre, was praised in its world premiere at Playwrights Horizons in 1999 as a viciously funny satire of America's appetite for the sensational. At a summer-share cottage by the seashore, Betty wants to relax, but he housemates turn out to be a serial killer, a drunk, an exhibitionist, a sex maniac and a sexual abuse victim. In the house's woodwork is a group of wild onlookers who cheer the lurid goings-on until the roof caves in (literally). J.R. Sullivan will direct. Casting is ongoing. Wolf's Another American: Asking and Telling is currently playing at The Theater at St. Clement's in midtown Manhattan.
Tickets are on sale now. The Studio Theatre is at 1333 P Street (at 14th Street) in Washington DC. Tickets are $19.50-$38.50. Call (202) 332-3300 or try www.studiotheatre.org.
--By Kenneth Jones