Most small theatre companies get by with a little help from their friends, but check out the friends who'll be appearing in a Dec. 16 staged reading of Chelsea Walls as a benefit for Off-Off-Broadway's Naked Angels troupe:
Jon Robin Baitz, Matthew Broderick, Ethan Hawke, Mary Stuart Masterson, Fisher Stevens, Gina Gershon, Rob Morrow, Josh Hamilton, Taro Alexander, Bruce MacVittie, Patrick Breen, Michael Mastro, Geoffrey Nauffts, Kevin Corrigan, Ned Eisenberg, Pippin Parker, Timothy Britten Parker, Billy Strong, Dana Wheeler-Nicholson, Ilana Levine and Missy Yager. Ed Sherin and former head of the NEA, Jane Alexander, will serve as hosts.
Julianne Hoffenberg is producing the reading of Nicole Burdette's play, with Martha McCully serving as benefit chairperson. For tickets ($100) and information call (212) 741-6199.
In a town where top ticket prices hover at the $75 level, one of New York's best theatre bargains is the Naked Angels free playreading series. Last up for the fall, Dec. 15, is The Talk by Frank Pugliese, author of Aven'U Boys (7 PM).
Those plays are read at the Cherry Lane Theatre on Commerce Lane. Also, Every Tuesday at 9 PM, assorted members of the extended Naked Angels theatre company convene at The Pantheon Theatre space, 303 West 42nd St., 2nd Floor, to read plays by established and up-and-coming playwrights. The scripts presented range from play excerpts to short one acts to poetry to full-length screenplays. Upcoming dates are Dec. 9 & 16, and Jan. 6, 13, 20 & 27, 1998. For more information call (212) 741-6199. As if that weren't enough to keep Naked Angels busy, they're also co-mounting (with Escape To The Sky) a production of the John Patrick Shanley double-bill, Missing Marisa and Kissing Christine. (Missing/Kissing played Off-Broadway last season at Primary Stages.)
Ginny Bond, Merrill Holtzman, Chris Lopata and Daniella Rich star in the one-acts, which are directed by Amanda Charlton and Cybele Chivian. Dates for the double-bill are Nov. 19-Dec-13 at Altered Stages, 212 West 29th St. For more information on Missing & Kissing, call (212) 969-0329.
Naked Angels, an experimental theatre company dedicated to developing plays, was founded in 1986 by such then-unknown actors and writers as Rob Morrow, Jon Robin Baitz, Marisa Tomei, Mary Stuart Masterson, Fisher Stevens, Ron Rifkin, Joe Mantello, Peter Hedges and Nancy Travis.
No reservations are necessary for "Tuesdays at Nine"; call (212) 397-7841 for more information.