While the Phoenix venue of the Arizona Theatre Company boogies down with Five Guys Named Moe, the Tucson branch will tony up with The Heiress, Ruth & August Goetz's adaptation of the Henry James novel, Washington Square.
Previewing Jan. 10 and opening Jan. 16 for a run through Jan. 31, the Tucson Heiress features Anne Torsiglieri in what is likely to be known from now on as the Cherry Jones role. (Jones won a Tony for playing Catherine Sloper, a rich but plain and terribly shy heiress, suppressed by her father and nearly duped by a handsome bounder into marriage.) Torsiglieri has appeared in shows at NJ's McCarter Theatre and the Cleveland Playhouse, and on Broadway in Blood Brothers.
Ken Ruta, an ATC veteran, plays her father; Robert Parsons is the suitor. Also in the cast are Katherine Conkline, Bryan Close, Linda Hoy, Kristine Ketterer, Yumi Ann Sumida and Lucinda Hitchcock Cone.
David Wheeler, resident director of MA's American Rep, directs The Heiress, which has sets by Kate Edmunds, lighting by York Kennedy, costumes by Laura Crow and sound by Matthew Spiro.
After its Tucson run, The Heiress will come to ATC's Phoenix home, (Feb. 6-21) following the mounting there of Five Guys Named Moe. A 1992 Tony nominee for best musical, Moe is a light-hearted revue of the songs of Louis Jordan, featuring -- you guessed it -- five gentlemen whose character names include "Moe." There's Big Moe, No Moe, Four-Eyed Moe, Little Moe and Eat Moe -- and they all help a guy named Nomax get over his romantic heartbreak. Moe moves in New Year's Eve, opened Jan. 3 and runs to Jan. 25.
Devised by Clarke Peters, Moe first opened in 1990 at London's Theatre Royal. Jordan songs in the show include "Let The Good Times Roll," "Caldonia," "Push Ka Pi Shi Pie," and "Choo Choo Ch'Boogie."
Starring in the ATC staging are Teren Carter, Robert Chew, James Doberman, Darren Lee Frazier, Steven Ward and David White. Kent Gash, who staged Home for Off-Broadway's Melting Pot company, directs and choreographs.
Designing the show are Emily Beck (set), Alvin Perry (costumes), Tracy Odishaw (lighting) and Abe Jacob (sound). A six-piece band backs them up.
For tickets and information on The Heiress and Five Guys Named Moe at the Arizona Theatre Company's Tucson and Phoenix homes, call (602) 256-6995. New Year's Eve tix ($50) go to benefit ATC's accessibility program for the visual/hearing impaired.
In other ATC news, Tracy Odishaw has been named the company's resident lighting designer and Brian Jerome Peterson resident sound designer.
-- By David Lefkowitz