Harry Haun's Off-Broadway Column -- Aug. 1998

News   Harry Haun's Off-Broadway Column -- Aug. 1998
 
TWICE TOLD STORIES: The great Uta Hagen returns this month to the Lucille Lortel Theatre -- scene of her Mrs. Klein triumph -- to perform a role originated last year at Manhattan Theatre Club by Maria Tucci: the flinty mentor who is double-crossed by her ambitious protege in Donald Margulies's Collected Stories. Hagen, who won Tonys originating roles that later won Oscars for Grace Kelly (The Country Girl) and Elizabeth Taylor (Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?), tried on the part last spring at HB Studio where she has taught acting since 1947, with Lorca Simons co-starring and William Carden directing. Both will reprise those chores at the Lortel. In 1997 Collected Stories was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and a Drama Desk nominee for Best Play. . . . The coffin at last closed on Grandma Sylvia's Funeral after 1,300 performances. .
HELLO, GOODBYE: Richard Dreyfuss and Marsha Mason -- together again for the first time since his Oscar-winning showing in The Goodbye Girl -- start this month inhabiting House, the two-storied edifice built by Terrence McNally and Jon Robin Baitz to premiere at Sag Harbor's Bay Street Theatre. Tony winner Debra Monk will co-star, and Joe Mantello will direct. With names like that on both sides of the footlights, the show could move Off-Broadway. . . . First to receive PEN awards given in association with the Laura Pels Foundation are Arthur Miller, honored as Master American Dramatist, and Richard Greenberg, honored as a significant American dramatist in mid-career. Both made ripples Off-Broadway this season -- Miller with Mr. Peters' Connections, Greenberg with Three Days of Rain.

TWICE TOLD STORIES: The great Uta Hagen returns this month to the Lucille Lortel Theatre -- scene of her Mrs. Klein triumph -- to perform a role originated last year at Manhattan Theatre Club by Maria Tucci: the flinty mentor who is double-crossed by her ambitious protege in Donald Margulies's Collected Stories. Hagen, who won Tonys originating roles that later won Oscars for Grace Kelly (The Country Girl) and Elizabeth Taylor (Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?), tried on the part last spring at HB Studio where she has taught acting since 1947, with Lorca Simons co-starring and William Carden directing. Both will reprise those chores at the Lortel. In 1997 Collected Stories was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and a Drama Desk nominee for Best Play. . . . The coffin at last closed on Grandma Sylvia's Funeral after 1,300 performances. .
HELLO, GOODBYE: Richard Dreyfuss and Marsha Mason -- together again for the first time since his Oscar-winning showing in The Goodbye Girl -- start this month inhabiting House, the two-storied edifice built by Terrence McNally and Jon Robin Baitz to premiere at Sag Harbor's Bay Street Theatre. Tony winner Debra Monk will co-star, and Joe Mantello will direct. With names like that on both sides of the footlights, the show could move Off-Broadway. . . . First to receive PEN awards given in association with the Laura Pels Foundation are Arthur Miller, honored as Master American Dramatist, and Richard Greenberg, honored as a significant American dramatist in mid-career. Both made ripples Off-Broadway this season -- Miller with Mr. Peters' Connections, Greenberg with Three Days of Rain. THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING ERNEST: An unamused Ernest Borgnine had his attorney contact Nicky Silver about My Marriage to Ernest Borgnine, Silver's latest antic. Needless to say, the comedy had nothing at all to do with Borgnine, but Silver quickly complied anyway. "I didn't want to tangle with a Poseidon survivor," the playwright said, and he renamed the play after a younger (and decidedly prettier) Oscar winner. It finished its run at the Sledgehammer Theatre as My Marriage to Marisa Tomei -- albeit, with a noticeable drop in humor. (Borgnine was briefly, and turbulently, married to Ethel Merman, who covered the union in her autobiography with a single blank page.) . . . James Carpinello, Shannon Burkett, Keith Nobbs and Mandy Siegfried answer to the title roles in Stupid Kids, a stylistic slice of teen life that uses the iconic Rebel Without a Cause as a reference point. The busy Michael Mayer directed, fulfilling a deathbed promise he made to the author, the late John C. Russell. Russell's parents attended the play's premiere at the WPA Theatre.

IF I ONLY HAD...: William Finn's A New Brain has been extended through the beginning of October, and his songs for that show will be available on CD from RCA in September. Christopher Innvar dropped out of the show shortly after the opening and was replaced by his understudy, Mark Hardy, but the role was sung on the recording by Side Show's golden-voiced Norm Lewis (Side Show).

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