“Food for Thought,” the new series of lunchtime one-act readings, will continue on May 24 with a quartet of Chekhov one-act plays, translated by George Malko, and Lady of Larkspur Lotion by Tennessee Williams. Charlotte Rae and Joyce Van Patten will star in the latter.
"Food for Thought" has boasted a roster heavy with big acting names since the reading series was founded in 2000, and the spring 2001 season, which runs through June 28. is no exception. Among the performers participating are Ed Herrmann, Earle Hyman, Patricia Neal, Jane Powell, Rae, Maria Tucci and Van Patten, Blair Brown, Kate Burton, Rita Moreno, Cliff Robertson, Campbell Scott, Marian Seldes, Ally Sheedy, Elaine Stritch and Eli Wallach. Many have previously adorned the lunchtime series, which takes place at the National Arts Club on Gramercy Park.
Plays spotlighted this time around include works by Anton Chekhov, Harold Pinter, Tennessee Williams, Susan Charlotte (one of the founders of the program), Tony Kushner, Warren Leight, Arthur Miller, Cliff Robertson and Peter Stone.
“Food for Thought” began in September 2000 and is produced by artistic director Charlotte, Harold Thau and Barry Minsky, in association with the National Arts Club. The resident director for the series is Josephine Abady. The series will be introduced in Aspen, Los Angeles and San Francisco later this year, according to production sources. "One-act plays are an often overlooked form of theatre," says artistic director Charlotte (a teacher of playwriting and screenwriting at both NYU and Columbia).
A total of 23 lunchtime one-act readings with catered lunches will be presented at the National Arts Club. A “Q&A session with the actors, and, in most cases, the authors” follows each reading.
For artist and playwright schedules, call (212) 362-2560. Tickets are $29 (all inclusive), $27 for seniors/students/theatrical guild members. Subscriptions for any six events are $155. Readings run from 1 PM - 2:15 PM. Catering is provided by Burke & Burke. For information and reservations call (212) 362-2560. The National Arts Club, 15 Gramercy Park South, is located one block east of Park Avenue South on 20th St.
—By Robert Simonson