You think it's tough being chased around by an undead teenager in a Halloween mask? Or being the girlfriend of a maniac who keeps squashing little dogs and making his henchman eat goldfish? Then try being a lonely Jewish writer in love with a gay director who can't return your affection. Film actress Jamie Lee Curtis gets to try a real change of pace, April 28 May 2, when the star of "Halloween I, II" and "H20" and "A Fish Called Wanda" plays Pfeni in a staged reading of The Sisters Rosensweig for L.A. Theatre Works' "The Play's The Thing" live radio series.
Curtis joins JoBeth Williams (Sarah, the Jane Alexander role) and Caroline Aaron (Gorgeous, the Madeline Kahn role). Also in the cast are John Vickery, repeating his Broadway role as the director fending off Pfeni. Tony Roberts (Victor/Victoria) plays the furrier who wants Sarah to think mink.
According to an L.A. Theatre Works release, Wendy Wasserstein based The Sisters Rosensweig both on Chekhov's Three Sisters and her own family. Wasserstein's older sister did, indeed, live in London as a high-level executive; and sibling Georgette was nicknamed "Gorgeous," just as in the show.
Other Wasserstein plays include An American Daughter (taped last year by LATW, with Mary McDonnell starring), Isn't It Romantic and The Heidi Chronicles.
Barnet Kellman directs the five readings of Rosensweig, which are taped for broadcast at a later date on KCRW 89.9 FM. The Skirball Cultural Center, site of the tapings, is located at 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd. Pre- theatre dining is available at Zeidler's Cafe, a full-service restaurant. Seating is limited and reservations are required. For information and tickets call (310) 827-0889. *
Also on tap for the LATW season:
May 12-16 brings Oscar Wilde's Lady Windermere's Fan, featuring Michael Hackett, Joanna Going (The Maiden's Prayer), Roger Rees (The Misanthrope at OB's CSC), Eric Stoltz and Miriam Margolyes.
Pretty Fire, Charlayne Woodard's autobiographical solo, engulfs the airwaves June 9-13.
Peter Sagal's Denial, about a lawyer defending an anti-Semitic historian who believes the Holocaust never happened, happens July 7-11. the Long Wharf's longtime artistic director Arvin Brown directs LisaGay Hamilton, Alan Mandell and Max Wright (Twelfth Night).
Sharon Gless will star in Spread Eagle, a "lost" 1927 Broadway melodrama by George S. Brock and Walter Lister dealing with an American business tycoon who orchestrates the U.S. invasion of Mexico. Edward Asner (Born Yesterday), Kate Asner, Raye Birk and Fred Savage ("The Wonder Years") are also in the cast. Dates are July 21-25.
-- By Willard Manus
Southern California Correspondent
and David Lefkowitz