Harry Haun's Off-Broadway Column

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OCTOBER 1996

OCTOBER 1996

A TALLY ON MCNALLY: As befits a playwright who just picked up his second consecutive Tony for Best Play of the Year (Master Class, following Love! Valour! Compassion!), Terrence McNally is a busy boy. Kander & Ebb's sometimes book writer is not only currently in the [Lynn] Aherns & [Stephen] Flaherty camp up in Toronto working on Ragtime, he has a new nonmusical coming up at Manhattan Theatre Club. The title is supposed to be A Big Secret for some reason, but I believe The Times's Peter Marks let slip the other day that it's called Corpus Christi. (There McNally goes again, betraying his Texas roots).

MAMET'S EDMOND BEING REVIVED: The Atlantic Theater Company, which lifted off its season last year with a revival of J. B. Priestley's 1932 Dangerous Corner directed by ATC co-founder David Mamet, will get in gear this season by reviving a rarely seen Mamet: Edmond, a darkly comic view of seedy urban America. . . . Three seemingly unrelated couples who share a Central Park bench are tangled into a plot of mistaken identity and murder in The Blues Are Running, a contrivance by Michael Cristofer, a Pulitzer Prize winner for The Shadow Box. Melvin (Da) Bernhardt directs the piece for Manhattan Theatre Club's Stage II, previewing this month.

ISLE BE SEEING YOU: On the emerald walls of the freshly refurbished Irish Repertory Company on West 22nd hangs an off-green painting of Ireland‹predictably, you probably think. What is unpredictable is that its artist is Japanese‹Haruto Fukuda‹and his interest in the isle is purely as an abstraction. This didn't phase Charlotte Moore and Ciaran O'Reilly, who run the rep. They see their roots in Fukuda's work, and by arguing that some deep-pocketed Irish patron might see roots as well, they talked him into exhibiting various isle-of-the-beholder offerings. The first was for the Rep's revival of Da, with O'Reilly playing the son to Brian Murray's da.

WPA HOSTING RUDNICK'S NEXT: The WPA's artistic director Kyle Renick is drawing on the talents of four WPA veterans for a new season: Paul Rudnick and Christopher Ashley, the writer and director of Jeffrey and The Naked Truth, have signed up for one session, as yet untitled. And Charles Busch and Kenneth Elliott, the writer and director of The Lady in Question and the aforementioned Red Scare, have signed up for another (equally untitled). The only known commodity on the agenda is John C. Russell's opus about post-Generation X teen-agers, Stupid Kids, directed by Michael Mayer.

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