The Bay Street Theatre Festival will kick off their 2001 summer season on May 26 with Jar the Floor by Cheryl L. West. The drama about four female generations of an African-American family began previews on May 22. Jack Hofsiss directs.
West's play was a hit at Off-Broadway's Second Stage in early 2000. Regina Taylor and Lynne Thigpen starred in that staging.
In other Bay Street news, Alec Baldwin will star in a late addition to the 2001 summer season at the Bay Street Theatre of Sag Harbor, Long Island. From Sept. 12 to Sept. 30, he will appear in Gross Points, a new comedy by Ira Lewis. Stephen Hamilton will direct.
The play spoofs America’s idea of royalty as personified by Baldwin's character, a star of the entertainment industry. Baldwin took part in a reading of Paddy Chayefsky’s The Latent Heterosexual at Bay Street last summer. In New York, he was seen this season in a City Center Voices! reading of Arsenic and Old Lace. Broadway appearances include A Streetcar Named Desire. Among his many films are “State and Main,” “The Hunt for Red October,” and “Malice.”
* The 2001 schedule runs as follows:
• Jar the Floor, by Cheryl L. West, beginning May 22.
• Seascape by Edward Albee, beginning June 19, the Pulitzer-Prize winning drama in which two human meets two lizards on a beach. Josef Sommer stars.
• Accomplice by Rupert Holmes, the murder mystery which had a short life on Broadway but has endured on the summer stock circuit, beginning July 17. Daniel Gerroll directs and stars.
• Hair, the 1960s counter-culture musical by Gerome Ragni, Jame Rado, and Galt MacDermot, which will receive a concert revival courtesy of City Centers Encores! later this spring; beginning Aug. 14.
• Gross Points by Ira Lewis, starring Alec Baldwin, Sept. 12-30
The above roster reflects the Bay Street's new artistic mission to present revivals of classics or recent New York successes. During its initial years, the company presented premieres by the likes of Jon Robin Baitz, Lanford Wilson and Joe Pintauro. Often shows which played the Bay Street were later seen Off-Broadway, including Baitz's Three Hotels, Bob Kingdom's Elsa Edgar, and Terrence McNally, Joe Pintauro and Lanford Wilson trio of one-acts, By the Sea, by the Sea, by the Beautiful Sea.
The Broadway-bound version of Hedda Gabler, starring Kate Burton, played the Bay Street last year, as did the Janis Joplin musical, Love, Janis, now playing Off-Broadway.
—By Robert Simonson