The New York Stage and Film summer season at Vassar College's Powerhouse Theatre in Poughkeepsie, NY, will feature new plays by David Henry Hwang, Tom Donaghy, Jessica Goldberg and Joanna Murray Smith, and Mr. Goldwyn, a one-man show starring Alan King as Hollywood producer Sam Goldwyn.
Mr. Goldwyn, written by Marsha Lebby and John Lollos, will be directed by Gene Saks. Sam Goldwyn—nee Sam Goldfish—rose from birth in Warsaw and childhood poverty in New York City to become one of the most powerful producers of Hollywood's early days. Independent, with an aversion to partnerships, he formed Samuel Goldwyn Productions in 1923 and went on to produce such pictures as "Dead End," "Stella Dallas," "Wuthering Heights," "Ball of Fire," "The Best Years of Our Lives" and "The Bishop's Wife." He is perhaps best remembered these days, however, for his twisted way with words. Among the "Goldwynisms" he coined are "Include me out" and "A verbal agreement isn't worth the paper it's written on."
Comic and film actor King has appeared in such movies as "Night and the City," "Enemies: A Love Story" and "Bonfire of the Vanities." For some years, he has been slated to star in a developing Cy Coleman musical called It's Good to Be Alive, in which he would play the acting managing director of a struggling theatrical troupe in the '20s, during the heyday of Yiddish theatre in New York City.
Mr. Goldwyn will play the Powerhouse July 25-Aug. 4.
The Powerhouse season will get underway June 27 with Nightfall, a new play by Joanna Murray Smith, the author of Honour, which ran briefly on Broadway. In the psychological drama, two parents are forced by a stranger to examine the disappearance of their daughter. Max Mayer directs. Next at the Powerhouse comes Hurdy Gurdy Man, Dick Beebe's play about a nice Boston butcher who makes a bet in a bar one night and lives to pay the weighty price. The work was workshopped at NYS&F last summer, in a production directed by Sheryl Kaller, and starring Maryann Plunkett, Jay O. Sanders and Cotter Smith. Kaller repeated her duties. The show runs July 11-21.
On the Susan Stein Shiva Theatre stage, meanwhile, Tom Donaghy's Boys and Girls will play June 29-July 1. The new work by the author of Minutes from the Blue Route and Northeast Local is about two couples, one male and one female, with a history "of loss and love." David Henry Hwang's Largo will follow, July 6-8. Inspired by Dvorak's "New World Symphony," the theatrical venture "mixes blues, rock and the voices of our musical ancestors" to meditate on our nation's heritage.
Concluding the Shiva schedule are Strange Grace by Jane Shepard (July 20-22) and Good Thing by Jessica Goldberg (July 27-29).
Including in this summer's reading series are Permanent by Larry Atlas, King by Will Eno and Headlong by "thirtysomething" actress Patricia Wettig. The series runs June 22-24.
For information, call (845) 437-5599, or consult www.vassar.edu/powerhouse.
—By Robert Simonson