Off-Off-Broadway's P.S. 122 season opens with Green Ginger's Slaphead: Demon Barber, as part of the Jim Henson Puppet Festival, Sept. 11-26. Part Charlie Brown, part Sweeney Todd, Dibden Todd, alias "Slaphead," has been bald since birth and is back in town with a large pair of scissors to take revenge on his tormentors.
Slaphead, inspired from the same source as the Sondheim musical Sweeney Todd, takes us through a very different version of the folktale. Rather than focusing on the tragedy of the situation, Slaphead utilizes puppets and masked actors, for what they bill as "a celebration of hair care and all that is growing, graying or gone".
Slaphead is performed by Dik Downey, Terry Lee, and Chris Pirie and under the direction of Kevin Brooking. For more information, call (212) 477-5288.
In other P.S. news: Spalding Gray, Karen Finley and Annie Sprinkle are among the solo artists who will show their wares at the space this season. Each will be presenting new material.
Porn-star-turned-performance artist Sprinkle takes the first bow, presented Herstory of Porn: Reel to Real, Oct. 14-Nov. 1. The solo piece trace's Sprinkle's 25-year evolution through the sexual revolution, complete with reenactments of her best and worst film performances.
Gray will return with his work-in-progress Morning, Noon and Night on Mondays, Nov. 2-Dec. 21. A little bit Ulysses, a little bit Our Town, the monologue followed Gray and his family through one day in a small town in eastern Long Island. (Gray starred in a Lincoln Center revival of Our Town a decade back).
Finley's new show, slated for Mar. 4-21, 1999, is as yet unnamed. It is intended as a follow-up to the recent The Return of the Chocolate Smeared Woman, which itself was a sort of follow-up to Finley's We Keep Our Victims Ready.
The Elevator Repair Service moves in, Oct. 15-Nov. 8, with Total Fictional Lie. The new piece by the experimental troupe is a "choreographic exploration of documentary film."
This fall will show whether Village Voice theatre critic James Hannaham can take it as well as he can dish it out. Sept. 20-Oct. 4, Hannaham presents A Silhouette: Janie Screven Heyward Reads Her Original Poems and Sketches of the Carolina Coast Negro, his solo debut. The piece is a recreation of an actual program by the mother of Porgy author DuBose Heyward. Silhouette is a co-production of Target Margin Theatre.
Dec. 3-20 brings the return of Sean Sullivan in Philip Dimitri-Glass' Baby Redboots' Revenge, a hit of the 1997 New York International Fringe Festival.
Founding Father Ben Franklin is the subject of monologuist Josh Kornbluth's new piece Ben Franklin: Unplugged, playing Jan. 7-24, 1999. Kornbluth examines the relationship between patriot Franklin and his loyalist son William, who were famously not friendly. Kornbluth's previous works include Red Diaper Baby.
The season concludes with a new play by Theatre Couture, the folks behind Tell-Tale. The Charming Cherry Sisters, which opens June 10, 1999, blends two favorite post-modernist obsessions, Chekhov's Three Sisters and Vaudeville.
Other 1998-99 attractions include:
Teatro Tinglado -- The Repugnant Story of Clortario Demoniax, (Oct. 6-11).
The Ride & Sights and Sound of the Deaf, Mute and Invisible by the Edge Theatre (Oct. 1-4).
House written and directed by Richard Maxwell (Ute Mnos v. Crazy Liquors, Burger King) (Nov. 19-Dec. 20).
The Memoirs of Gluckel of Hameln by Great Small Works (Dec. 30, 1998-Jan. 3, 1999).
Jaywalker by Marga Gomez (Jan. 7-24, 1999).
New shows by Mike Albo and Jonathan Ames (Jan. 28-Feb. 21, 1999).
The Final Episode by Linda Simpson (Apr. 1-18, 1999).
For information, call (212) 477-5288.