Humana Hit Omnium-Gatherum Looks Likely for 2003-04 New York Landing

News   Humana Hit Omnium-Gatherum Looks Likely for 2003-04 New York Landing Omnium-Gatherum, the topical drama by Theresa Rebeck and Alexandra Gersten-Vassilaros, which recently caught fire as the hit of the 2003 Humana Festival at the Actors Theatre of Louisville, looks headed for New York, perhaps as early as the top of the 2003-04 season.

Many theatre companies in and outside New York have made bids for the work, a spokesman for Rebeck told Playbill On-Line. Among the interested parties are both nonprofits and commercial entities, some of which want to open their seasons with the topical piece.

Part of the reason for the rush is Omnium's timely nature. The play depicts a contentious dinner party, possibly taking place in hell. Among the guests are characters who resemble such turbulent (and talkative) social forces as journalist Christopher Hitchens, homemaker mogul Martha Stewart, novelist Tom Clancy and Palestinian-American educator and author Edward Said. The play is described as "An urgent, impassioned and hilarious conversation about the implications of the September 11 attacks and beyond."

Producers hope to bring the Louisville production in more or less intact. Will Frears directed a cast which included Kristine Nielsen, Dean Nolen, Phillip Clark and Edward J. Hajj. It is too early to say which, if any cast members, might be involved in a New York staging.

Rebeck is the author of such plays as The Butterfly Collection, The Family of Mann and Spike Heels. She has often been produced at Playwrights Horizons, which has not yet announced its 2003-04 season. Her monologues-driven play, Bad Dates, premieres at PH in June.

Gersten-Vassilros' work has frequently been seen at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre Company. One play, My Thing of Love, reached Broadway in 1995, where it lasted a mere 12 performances, despite a cast headed by Laurie Metcalf.