Having won two Best Director of a Play Tony Awards in a row, Gerald Gutierrez says his next two Broadway projects will be revivals of a Mary Rodgers musical and an unusual Noel Coward play.
Chatting live with members of Playbill On-Line moments after winning the 1996 Tony as Best Director of a Play for A Delicate Balance, Gutierrez, who won the same award in 1995 for another Lincoln Center Theatre production, The Heiress, revealed that his next project for Lincoln Center Theatre will be a revival of Noel Coward's Tonight at 8:30 in the 1997-98 season.
This fall, he will also direct a revival of Once Upon a Mattress starring Sarah Jessica Parker. Mary Rodgers 1960 musical adaptation of the "Princess and the Pea" story, launched the career of Carol Burnett. Gutierrez said it's scheduled to open in November at a theatre to be announced.
Having directed The Heiress and A Delicate Balance for Lincoln Center Theatre in successive years, Gutierrez said he will take a year off from the organization, but return in the 1997-98 season with a revival of Coward's Tonight at 8:30, a program of nine one-act plays that are performed in rotating repertory, three per night.
Though the 1930s original was a star vehicle for Coward and Gertrude Lawrence, Gutierrez said he plans to present the program with a repertory company of actors; those who play the leads in one playlet will perform supporting roles in others. He stated his belief that 8:30 one of the "great plays of the 20th century" and will stage it without stars so audiences can focus on the quality of the script. Lincoln Center Theatre Artistic Director Andre Bishop (also a Tony winner, as producer of the 1996 Best Revival of a Play for A Delicate Balance), confirmed Gutierrez' report, and told Playbill On-Line members that he's proud to continue his artistic relationship with Gutierrez, which began when the two worked together at Playwright's Horizons off Broadway.
-- By Robert Viagas