The Smell of the Kill, a black comedy by Michele Lowe set to play the Berkshire Theatre Festival this summer, may eventually land in New York City. Christopher Ashley will direct Kate Finneran, Kristen Johnston and Claudia Shear star in the piece, which runs July 31-Aug. 11.
Ashley, speaking to Playbill On-Line at the Tony Nominees Luncheon at Manhattan's Marriott Marquis on May 16, said producers Mel Nugent and Elizabeth McCann have long been attached to the project and that if all goes well the plan is to move the show to Manhattan sometime in 2001.
In The Smell of the Kill, three wives plan revenge on their complacent, golf-loving husbands. Shear wrote and starred in Dirty Blonde, which played Broadway up until earlier this year. Johnston is well known from the sitcom "Third Rock From the Sun." He stage credits include The Skin of Our Teeth in Central Park. Finneran's many credits include Arms and the Man Off-Broadway and The Iceman Cometh on Broadway.
Christopher Ashley recently directed Off-Broadway's Newyorkers and The Rocky Horror Show on Broadway, for which he received his first Tony nomination. Future projects include David Lindsay-Abaire's Wonder of the World at Manhattan Theatre Club this fall.
* The 2000 summer line-up at the Berkshire Theatre Festival in Stockbridge, MA, will also boast actors Dylan McDermott and Jame Warwick. The season will run June 14-Sept. 1 and play on two stages.
McDermott, the star of television's "The Practice," will star in Clifford Odets' classic Awake and Sing. The drama is about the stifling life of the poor Berger family, a clan living in a tenement in Depression-era Bronx.
The Odets will be followed by The Smell of the Kill. The other two mainstage productions both involve James Warwick. Warwick will direct the season opener, a new production of Gilbert and Sullivan's H.M.S. Pinafore, and will star in the season closer, a revival of My Fair Lady. Eric Hill will direct a cast which also features Maureen O'Flynn as Eliza Doolittle.
The Main Stage schedule runs as follows:
• Gilbert and Sullivan's H.M.S. Pinafore, directed by James Warwick, June 21-July 7 (opening June 22)
• Clifford Odets' Awake and Sing, starring Dylan McDermott, July 10-28 (opening July 11)
• The Smell of the Kill by Michele Lowe, directed by Christopher Ashley, July 31-Aug. 11 (opening Aug. 1)
• My Fair Lady, directed by Eric Hill, Aug. 14-Sept. 1 (opening Aug. 15)
The smaller Unicorn Theatre will feature a revival of Kenneth Lonergan's comedy This Is Our Youth, directed by Oliver Butler (June 14-July 14); August Strindberg's A Dream Play, directed by Eric Hill (July 18-Aug. 4); and A Pound of Flesh by Michael Bolus (Aug. 8-18).
For more information, call (413) 298-3368, or consult www.berkshiretheatre.org.
—By Robert Simonson