Denver Centre Theatre Company, which pumps out world-premiere plays like fresh spring water, will add a fifth new play to its 1999-2000, when Nagle Jackson's A Hotel on Marvin Gardens appears.
The comedy was such a hit in its spring 1999 reading in the US WEST TheatreFest that Denver Center artistic director Donovan Marley fast-tracked the comedy to the upcoming 21st season. It replaces a revival of Eugene O'Neill's A Moon for the Misbegotten, Sept. 23-Oct. 30, which had scheduling conflict with the production's co-producers.
In Jackson's new comedy, the focus is the board game of Monopoly. Co-workers, friends and lovers bet everything on a winner-take-all roll of the dice to determine who passes "Go" and who goes directly to jail.
Playwright Jackson will direct the fourth DCTC world premiere of one of his plays. Previously, Jackson saw the stagings of his The Quick-Change Room (1995), Taking Leave (1998) and The Elevation of Thieves (1999).
Jackson was artistic director of the McCarter Theatre in Princeton, NJ, from 1979 to 1990. He is the first American to win the Onassis Foundation International Playwriting Award (for Elevation of Thieves). He took third prize in the competition, whose mandate was for work about "problems facing mankind at the turn of the new century." The Quick-Change Room played New York City's INTAR Theatre in 1997. Taking Leave was nominated for the American Theatre Critics New Play Award.
A Hotel on Marvin Gardens -- a reference to the coveted real estate square on the Monopoly board -- will play DCTC's Space Theatre. Beauty Queen of Leenane, originally planned there, will move to The Stage Theatre, Sept. 30-Oct. 30.
DCTC performances are at Denver Performing Arts Complex, Speer and Arapahoe, in downtown Denver. For information, call (303) 893-4100 or, outside Denver, call (800) 641-1222.
The other four world premieres for DCTC in 1999-2000 are:
*Barrio Babies, a musical about a young Latino screenwriter reinventing his world in order to get his work produced, with music by Fernando Rivas and book and lyrics by Luis Santeiro, directed by Susana Tubert. The production is expected to move to New York (a project of producer Eric Krebs) after Denver. The Ricketson Theatre, Nov. 10-Dec. 30.
* Waiting to be Invited, a world premiere play by S.M. Shepherd Massat, directed by Israel Hicks. A loving tribute to Shepherd-Massat's grandmother, who, with three middle-aged friends, decided to dine at a "whites only" lunch counter in segregated Atlanta, at the dawn of the Civil Rights movement. The Space Theatre, Jan. 13-Feb. 19, 2000.
* Byrd's Boy, a world premiere by Bruce J. Robinson, directed by Arthur Masella, about an African-American woman in her mid-thirties who offers a shattered 68-year old man solace, friendship and a key to his identity. It's based on a newspaper account of a real event. The staging is expected to have a New York transfer (for producer Jeffrey Ash) after its Denver run. The Ricketson Theatre, Feb. 2-March 11, 2000.
* Give 'Em a Bit of Mystery: Shakespeare and the Old Tradition, a world premiere written by and starring company member and Royal Shakespeare Company veteran Tony Church, chronicling the acting styles of Shakespearean work over the centuries, directed by Bruce K. Sevy. The Ricketson Theatre, April 26-June 10, 2000.
-- By Kenneth Jones