Alicia Goranson, best known for her years playing Becky on TV's "Roseanne," has been cast in An Adult Evening of Shel Silverstein, a revue celebrating the late author-songwriter that started Off-Broadway previews Sept. 29 (delayed from the original Sept. 26). The Atlantic Theatre Company production opens at the troupe's homespace Oct. 17.
Best known for his classic fable "The Giving Tree" and a host of rollicking, bluesy, sometimes-raunchy pop songs ("I Got Stoned and I Missed It," "A Boy Named Sue," "Cover of the Rolling Stone"), novelty tunes ("Freakin' at the Freaker's Ball," "The Smoke-Off") and children's poetry ("Where the Sidewalk Ends," "Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout Would Not Take the Garbage Out," "Peanut Butter Sandwich"), Silverstein also authored a number of one-act plays, many of them performed at Ensemble Studio Theatre. He also collaborated with Atlantic founder David Mamet on Oh, Hell, which was produced by Lincoln Center Theatre.
The Atlantic company review, directed by founding member Karen Kohlhaas, will be culled from Silverstein's one-acts (including The Bag Plays, The Sign Plays and The Bathroom Plays) and as such aren't appropriate for children, according to spokespersons at Boneau/Bryan-Brown.
Joining actress Goranson (Defying Gravity, filmdom's "Boys Don't Cry") in the cast are Atlantic Theatre veteran Jordan Lage (The Water Engine), Jody Lambert, Maryann Urbano, Josh Stamberg and Kelly Maurer. Designing the show are Miguel Angel Hidor (costumes), Walt Spangler (sets) and Robert Perry (lighting).
For tickets ($45) and information on An Adult Evening Of Shel Silverstein at the Atlantic Theatre: 336 West 20th Street, call 9212) 239-6200. *
In other Atlantic news, the roster for next season will also include a new play co-written by Craig Lucas, and a workshop of Hellhound On My Trail, a new play by novelist Denis Johnson, to be directed by David Levine.
Lucas, best known for penning Prelude to a Kiss, is collaborating with actor-dramatist David Schulner on This Thing of Darkness, scheduled to begin previews May 1, 2002 and open later that month. The play tells of two young men suddenly confronted by the future, which rips them out of their comfortable surroundings. Lucas' last two Off-Broadway shows played at the Vineyard Theatre: 2000's Stranger and 1998's well-received The Dying Gaul. His 1984 drama, Blue Window, received an OOB revival that nearly moved to Off-Broadway this summer.
In a lighter vein, the Atlantic will revive Harold Brighouse's comedy Hobson's Choice in January, with previews starting Dec. 19. The ubiquitous Brian Murray, last seen in The Play About the Baby, stars as the title, a cranky merchant coping with a rebellious daughter. David Warren (Hurrah at Last directs.
The Atlantic will also host a guest production of Richard Nelson's Frannys Way [sic], directed by the author. A Playwrights Horizons mounting, the play starts previews March 1, 2002 and opens later that month.
As for Denis Johnson's Hellhound on My Trail, the show will have workshop performances Sept. 20-29 at the company's 453 West 16th Street space. Oct. 4-6, Giancarlo Esposito will direct Linda St. John's drama, Even Dogs Go Home to Die as part of the company's New Works series.
— By David Lefkowitz