California's West Coast Ensemble will offer 10 plays in its 15th season, beginning with Lee Blessing's 1985 mother/daughter drama, Eleemosynary. The play, opening Friday Oct. 25 in Hollywood, studies a spelling bee champion savant, her estranged mother and eccentric, unstable grandmother. Peter Grego directs the play, whose title means "charitable."
Opening six days later is David Ives' comedy, Don Juan In Chicago, which catches up with a 16th Century nobleman 400 years later. Exhausted by endless sex, he's about to find true love when the Devil comes to ask for his due. Les Hanson, WCE artistic director, will stage the production.
Both Eleemosynary and Don Juan In Chicago will run in repertory, the former ending Dec. 13, the latter ending Dec. 15.
Jan. 31, 1997 will bring Richard Thompson's pitch-black comedy, Hunting Humans, directed by Claudia Jaffee. Running through March 23, Humans follows four paranoid, screwed-up buddies in an Atlantic City hotel.
Other plays in the West Coast Ensemble season will be a revival of the Sondheim/Furth musical Company (May 2-June 22), Terrence McNally's The Lisbon Traviata (Aug. 1-Sept. 21), John Guare's The House Of Blue Leaves (Oct. 31-Dec. 19, 1997), and the theatre's 12th Annual Celebration of One-Acts. The theatre is still considering four other pieces, including Joyce Carol Oates' I Stand Before You Naked and Richard Kalinoski's Beast On The Moon. WCE spokesperson Anne Etue noted that the season has no particular theme but does reflect the eclectic tastes of artistic director, Les Hanson.
For tickets ($18) and information on the West Coast Ensemble season, call (213) 525-0022. Please note that although WCE's offices are located in Santa Monica, productions take place at WCE's space on North La Brea in Hollywood.
-- By David Lefkowitz