Theatreworks of Palo Alto, California had hoped to stage the American premiere of Frank McGuiness' latest, Dolly West's Kitchen, with Tony Award-winning Abbey Theatre director Patrick Wilson directing. Due to conflicts with his schedule and McGuinness', their production, set for Oct. 10-Nov. 4, will be delayed until the 2002-03 season.
Replacing Dolly West's Kitchen is Rebecca Gilman's hit examination of racism and political correctness, Spinning Into Butter. The drama takes its title from the old Little Black Sambo tale of several thieving tigers who literally run themselves down into butter while chasing each other's tails, trying to prove which one is the grandest. In Butter, an African-American student finds a racist note pinned on his dorm door and sets into motion a wave of political correctness that reveals deep-seated racial and racist feelings among the staff at the small Vermont college.
A longtime associate of Chicago's Goodman Theatre, Gilman has recently sent two of her Goodman plays to New York City: Spinning Into Butter, which played Lincoln Center's Mitzi E. Newhouse Stage; and Boy Gets Girl, which recently began previews at Manhattan Theatre Club. She is also the author of Osborn Award winner The Glory of Living, The Land of Little Horses, My Sin and Nothing More and Blue Surge, which premieres at the Goodman Theatre this summer.
Unchanged in the Theatreworks season are the world premiere of Kept, the latest musical from Side Show's Henry Krieger and Bill Russell (April 10-May 5, 2002) and the West Coast premieres of Summer of '42 (June 20-July 15, 2001) and Wendy Wasserstein's Old Money (Jan. 16-Feb. 10, 2002).
* Dolly West's Kitchen, the latest from Someone Who'll Watch Over Me's McGuinness, is a World War II story set in Ireland. Dolly West is an Irish matriarch faced with a unique challenge - while Ireland stayed neutral in the second Great War, two American GIs stationed in British run Northern Ireland invade her home while on leave.
— By Christine Ehren