As the century turns, one the great theatrical presences of the past 100 years, Orson Welles, has been the focus of a lot of attention. On the heels of a recent cable movie about the making of "Citizen Kane," Anne Bogart and her SITI Company will stage Welles' 1938 radio sensation, "The War of the Worlds" Jan. 12-13 and 19-20 in the Laurie Beechman Theater at NYC's West Bank Cafe.
An adaptation of H.G. Wells' "The War of the Worlds" by Howard Koch, Welles' radio broadcast by the Mercury Theater on the Air caused a wide spread panic as listeners thought the United States was actually being invaded by space aliens. The SITI company will perform the radio script with staging by directors Bogart and Darron L. West.
Tickets are $20 and may be ordered by calling Ticket Central at (212) 279-4200. The West Bank Cafe is located at 407 West 42nd Street.
As for the SITI project based on Welles' life, also titled War of the Worlds, the 2000 Humana Festival announcement described the piece:
"In a career steered straight to self-destruction, Orson Welles entranced and enraged everyone -- Anne Bogart and Naomi Iizuka look into the myth and genius of the legend." Bogart is artistic director of the SITI Company and a professor at Columbia University. Her previous productions at ATL include In the Eye of the Hurricane, Picnic, The Adding Machine, Going, Going, Gone, Small Lives/Big Dreams, The Medium, Miss Julie, Private Lives and Cabin Pressure. Iizuka debuted at ATL three years ago with Polaroid Stories, followed by last season's Aloha, Say the Pretty Girls, at Humana. She received Princeton University's Hodder Fellowship, a McKnight Advancement Grant and a Jerome Playwriting Fellowship. She received her B.A. from Yale University and her M.F.A. from the University of California-San Diego. War of the Worlds will be given an early reading in January at Joe's Pub in New York City.
War of the Worlds will be performed during the 24th annual Humana Festival Feb. 29-April 8, 2000 at the Actors Theatre of Louisville in Kentucky.
-- By Christine Ehren