LA JOLLA, CA -- The premieres of an African-American musical and an Asian-American family drama top the list of six plays to be done at the La Jolla Playhouse in 1999.
Oo-Bla-Dee, a show about an all-female black jazz band just after World War II, will have its West Coast premiere May 18, 1999 coming to La Jolla right after its opening at Chicago's Goodman Theatre.
Chay Yew's Wonderland will have its world premiere Sept. 14, 1999 directed by Lisa Peterson.
Michael Greif, the Playhouse's artistic director, previously announced the other plays scheduled for 1999: Loot, by Joe Orton (June 8); Jane Eyre, written and co-directed by the Royal Shakespeare Company's John Caird (July 13); Pretty Fire, written and performed by Charlayne Woodard (July 23); and Tennesse Williams' Sweet Bird of Youth (Oct. 12).
"In my last year at the Playhouse, I'm proud to continue our tradition of nurturing and creating new works," said Greif. "I'm thrilled to announce that these two world premieres, Oo-Bla- Dee, produced with our colleagues in Chicago, and Wonderland, will play significant roles in our 1999 subscription season." In Oobla Dee, Regina Taylor, best known for her leading roles in TV's "I'll Fly Away" and the movie "Courage Under Fire," uses her unique voice to capture the lives, passions and music of a group of African American women jazz musicians.
"The year is 1946. World War II has just ended when a young sax/trumpet player joins Evelyn Waters and The Diviners, an all-female bebop band," a company release explains. "With soldiers returning to their homes and the workplace, The Diviners, like women throughout America, must redefine their roles in their music, their loves and in their country."
Wonderland deals with an Asian-American man and his immigrant wife who are in pursuit of the American dream. Playwrite Chay Yew is presently a resident artist and director of the Asian Theatre Workshop at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles.
The La Jolla Playhouse box office can be reached at (619) 550-1010 or at www.lajollaplayhouse.com.
-- By Willard Manus
Southern California Correspondent