Fugard's Tiger Prowls in La Jolla on Its Way to NY, But Will Taper Get It?

News   Fugard's Tiger Prowls in La Jolla on Its Way to NY, But Will Taper Get It?
 
The Captain's Tiger: A Memoir for the Stage, Athol Fugard's autobiographical story of a young writer haunted by a cherished photograph of his mother as a young woman, makes another stop on its way to Off-Broadway's Manhattan Theatre Club. The show opened July 12 for a run through Aug. 9 at CA's La Jolla Playhouse.

The Captain's Tiger: A Memoir for the Stage, Athol Fugard's autobiographical story of a young writer haunted by a cherished photograph of his mother as a young woman, makes another stop on its way to Off-Broadway's Manhattan Theatre Club. The show opened July 12 for a run through Aug. 9 at CA's La Jolla Playhouse.

As with Valley Song, Fugard stars in the play. The Los Angeles Times reports (July 12) that a minor controversy is brewing because the play is also scheduled to come to L.A.'s Mark Taper Forum in June 1999. That scheduling was done, however, apparently without fully taking into account Fugard's busy schedule. The playwright's agent, Peter Franklin, told the L.A. Times that Fugard can't do the show "during the time the Taper announced. I don't know if he'll do it later. It's not possible he could do it earlier, he's booked."

In response, artistic director Gordon Davidson told the Times he'd spoken with Fugard, who was worried that he might be "in a writing mode" next summer. Nevertheless, Davidson said, "I have no doubt that I will get Athol Fugard to do it," even if it means he has to "flip a play" on the schedule to make it happen.

Taper Forum spokesperson Nancy Hereford told Playbill On-Line (July 20), "We're definitely doing the production and hopeful Athol will be in it, though that's not for certain at this point. I think some time will pass and things will all work out, though."

May 5-24, New Jersey's McCarter Theatre hosted the comedy/drama, which opened there May 8. Next stop after La Jolla will be the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, Sept. 22-Nov. 1. Tiger premiered in Pretoria, South Africa in late August. *

The La Jolla production of Tiger is actually an exchange between the McCarter and the Market Theatre of Johannesburg, South Africa. To that end, Having Our Say, a 1995 comedy/drama directed by artistic director Mann, will travel there in the near future.

Co-starring at La Jolla are Felicity Jones and Tony Todd. (At the McCarter, the show featured South African cast-members Owen Sejake and Jennifer Steyn.) The direction is by Fugard and Susan Hilferty. Hilferty also designed the sets and costumes for the staging. Lighting is by Malcolm Sturchio. Underscoring for the show is composed and arranged by Lulu van der Walt.

Other plays by Fugard include The Blood Knot, Boesman and Lena, The Road To Mecca, Master Harold...and the Boys and Valley Song, which had its U.S. premiere at the McCarter.

*

The 1998 La Jolla season also will include Nora, Ingmar Bergman's adaptation of A Doll's House, May 24-June 21; Karen Trott's one-woman show Guitar Lessons: The Springhill Singing Disaster, May 31-June 28; a performance piece from London, Improbable Theatre's 70 Hill Lane, July 26-Aug.23; Moss Hart's Light Up the Sky, directed by Neel Keller, Aug. 30-Sept. 27; and the premiere of Dogeaters, by Jessica Hagedorn, Sept. 13-Oct. 11.

Special "FLASH" performances will include Penn & Teller (Dec. 1-6), Old Man In A Baseball Cap (Oct. 23), and Paul Zaloom in Beakman Live (Oct. 17).

The 1998-99 Mark Taper Forum season will also include The First Picture Show, Paula Vogel's award-winning Off-Broadway hit How I Learned to Drive; Putting It Together, a Stephen Sondheim revue starring Carol Burnett; Ellen McLaughlin's Tongue of a Bird, starring Cherry Jones; and Anna Deavere Smith's House Arrest, a play about the U.S. presidency and the media.

-- By Willard Manus
Southern California Correspondent
and David Lefkowitz

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