The Studio Theatre in Washington, DC, opens the Beltway premiere of Neil LaBute's bash, March 5, in the Milton Theatre.
Playwright-film director LaBute, known for his brutal, dark movies, "In the Company of Men" and "Your Friends and Neighbors," penned three one acts on the subject of morality, and the 1999 Off-Broadway premiere starring Calista Flockhart, Paul Rudd and Ron Eldard, was a hot ticket. Performances in DC began March 1 (in previews) and continue to April 9.
bash, which the Mormon LaBute subtitled "latter-day plays," includes Medea Redux, in which a Midwestern woman tells of seduction and betrayal; Iphegenia in Orem, in which a corporate husband and father confesses an unspeakable act of cruelty; and A Gaggle of Saints, a memory piece about fresh-faced American youths attacking a gay man in New York.
Off-Broadway, the trio's full title was in lower-case, as bash: latterday plays. Joy Zinoman directs the DC preem, designed by Russell Metheny (set), Michael Lincoln (lighting), Helen Huang (costumes), Sue Senita Bradshaw (props), Gil Thompson (sound). The DC cast includes Edward Gero, Tina Frantz and Charlie Schroeder.
The 25-year-old Studio Theatre in Washington DC has also snatched up rights to Christopher Durang's Betty's Summer Vacation, for May 17-June 25 in the Mead Theatre, but not before Pittsburgh Public Theatre gives the searing satire a (separate) regional premiere in April.
The Studio Theatre will also present a special engagement of the Joe Mantello-directed dissection of the gays-in-the-military issue, Another American: Asking and Telling, written and performed by Marc Wolf, April 28-May 14.
Betty's Summer Vacation was praised in its world premiere at Playwrights Horizons in 1999 as a viciously funny satire of America's appetite for the sensational. At a summer share cottage by the seashore, Betty wants to relax, but he housemates turn out to be a serial killer, a drunk, an exhibitionist, a sex maniac and a sexual abuse victim. In the house's woodwork is a group of wild onlookers who cheer the lurid goings on until the roof caves in (literally). J.R. Sullivan will direct the DC preem.
Tickets for bash are $19.50-$38.50. The Studio Theatre is at 1333 P Street (at 14th Street) in Washington DC. Call (202) 332-3300 or try www.studiotheatre.org.
--By Kenneth Jones