The comforts and drawbacks of religious Catholicism gave Bill C. Davis material for his Broadway hit, Mass Appeal. Now he's exploring those themes further with Avow, a comedy/drama about the relationship between two gay men, one of whom is a religious Catholic. On the advice of his confessor, one man decides to turn celibate. Meanwhile, his priest is feeling pangs of his own -- for a woman.
Avow played in Oct. 1996 at New Jersey's George Street Playhouse, starring Michael Rupert, Rosemary Prinz and Christina Haag. Now, the play will get a reading at The Directors Company, with Prinz reprising her role as the girl's mother. The priest will be played by Stephen Bogardus (Love! Valour! Compassion!), with other roles played by Fred Burrell, Robert Gomes, Judith Hawking, Angela Pietropinto and Mitchell Riggs. Artistic director Michael Parva directs the free, one-night-only reading, May 19, at 7 PM. The West 43rd St. theatre space seats only 100, so reservations -- at (212) 246-5877 -- are necessary.
The Directors Company will also offer a staged reading of the new musical, Elliot Ness In Cleveland, based on a play by Peter Ullian. The musical, co-adapted and directed by Nick Corley, has a book by Ullian, and music & lyrics by Robert Lindsey Nassif. Ness, a product of the Harold Prince Musical Theatre Program, pits the "untouchable" G-man against the ghost of Al Capone. Running June 5, 6, 8, 9, 10 at the Directors Company, the show is also set to premiere sometime after the new year at the Denver Center in Colorado.
In mid-July, the Directors Company will mount Ben Bettenbender's play, Those Left Behind, directed by Judy Minor. Rob Sedgwick, brother of actress Kyra Sedgwick, will star in this Equity producton.
For reservations and information on Directors Company events, call (212) 246-5877. --By David Lefkowitz