I'm not hungry, I'll just pick."
Apart from "Now...and forever," these are perhaps the most famous words ever spoken in a theatre-oriented television ad. It's a line from Albert Innaurato's Gemini, a raucous comedy about an Italian family whose son returns from Harvard with new perspectives on life, heritage and sexuality.
Now the show will have its first major New York revival since that run, courtesy of Second Stage Theatre. This mounting, which started May 26 and opens June 16, will feature Julie Boyd, Linda Hart, Michael Kendrick, Brian Mysliwy, Sarah Rafferty, Thomas Sadoski and Joseph Siravo.
In recent press interviews, playwright Innaurato has made clear his disenchantment with the New York theatre scene. Gemini proved a huge audience hit but reviews were mixed, while his later, darker plays pushed him away from the commercial spotlight. He noted that his last new work, Dreading Thekla, premiered at the 1997 Williamstown Festival, and he couldn't get major producers to come and see it, let alone bring it to New York. Second Stage artistic director Carole Rothman said in a statement that her theatre's goal is about "re-envisioning works through new productions, taking a second look with a fresh perspective." To that end, the company recently revived Jason Miller's That Championship Season, inaugurating Second Stage's brand new, 296-seat space in midtown. The new venue, designed by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, occupies 17,000 square feet and includes a 27 x 55 foot stage, plus a curtain that pulls across windows looking out onto Times Square.
Directing Gemini is Mark Brokaw, whose string of recent successes includes As Bees in Honey Drown, 2.5 Minute Ride, The Dying Gaul and the Pulitzer-winning How I Learned To Drive. Designing Gemini are Riccardo Hernandez (set), Jess Goldstein (costumes) and Mark McCullough (lighting).
Other works by Innaurato include The Transformation of Benno Blimpie, Herself As Lust and Gus And Al.
After Gemini will come the New York premiere of Cheryl L. West's Jar The Floor, directed by Marion McClinton (starting July 27). For tickets and information on Gemini, running through June 27, call (212) 246-4422.
-- By David Lefkowitz