TheatreWorks of Palo Alto, CA, has a number of hot titles on its 1998-99 season roster, including the West Coast premiere of the Broadway musical Side Show, a 25th anniversary staging of Raisin, revivals of Amadeus and Talley's Folly, and recent comedies by Wendy Wasserstein and John Patrick Shanley.
Here's the line-up:
Talley's Folly - (June 17-Aug. 2, opening June 20) - Lanford Wilson's Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy/drama about two fragile people in 1944 Missouri finding love despite past hurts. Other plays by Wilson include Burn This and Fifth of July, which continued the Talley saga.
Raisin - (July 29-Aug. 23, opens Aug. 1) - The Tony-winning Raisin gets a 25th anniversary revival, courtesy of director Anthony J. Haney. The African-American piece musicalizes Lorraine Hansberry's drama, A Raisin in the Sun.
An American Daughter - (Sept. 2-20, opens Sept. 5) - From the author of The Heidi Chronicles and Uncommon Women and Others comes this look at a woman on the cusp of becoming U.S. Surgeon general, only to have the media yank the job out from under her.
Side Show - (Oct. 21-Nov. 8, opens Oct. 24) - Come look at the freaks! That's the opening song of this new musical that flopped on Broadway this winter but developed a legendary legion of fans who want to keep the show alive. With book and lyrics by Bill Russell and music by Henry Krieger, Side Show is based on the true story of Daisy & Violet Hilton, Siamese twins who, briefly, hit the big time. Artistic director Robert Kelley directs and Bick Goss choreographs this mounting (Robert Longbottom staged the Broadway production). Present Laughter - (Dec. 2-Jan. 3, 1999; opens Dec. 5) - Seen on Broadway two seasons ago with Frank Langella, this 1939 Noel Coward follows the narcissism and sexual proclivities of an aging but still grand actor. Tom Lindblade directs. Amadeus - (Jan. 20-Feb. 7, 1999, opens Jan. 23) - 1981's Tony winning best play, by the author of Lettice and Lovage and The Royal Hunt of the Sun, Peter Shaffer. The story pits jealous Salieri against wanton genius, Mozart, played by Francis Jue.
Psychopathia Sexualis - (March 10-April 11, 1999; opens March 13) - A zany comedy from John Patrick Shanley that pits a neurotic groom against the psychiatrist who withholds his beloved argyle socks. Amy Gonzalez directs this piece from the author of Missing/Kissing and Danny and the Deep Blue Sea.
The Joy Luck Club - (April 14-May 2, 1999, opens April 17) - Susan Kim adapts Amy Tan's novel about several generations of Chinese women - and the mother/daughter conflicts that ensue.
Now in its 29th year, TheatreWorks is busy renovating its Lucie Stern Theatre and will hold its summer productions at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts. For tickets and memberships to TheatreWorks shows call (650) 463-1960.
-- By David Lefkowitz