Proposals, Neil Simon's latest Broadway-bound romantic comedy, will come to Washington DC's Kennedy Center Oct. 1-26. The play takes place at a family vacation house in the Poconos.
Proposals will star Barry Newman, Kelly Bishop, L. Scott Caldwell, Suzanne Cryer, Katie Finnernan, Matt Letscher, Peter Rini, Reg Rogers (Holiday) and Mel Winkler. Joe Mantello (Love! Valour! Compassion!) will stage the comedy, which is being produced by Emanuel Azenberg. Sets are by John Lee Beatty, costumes by Jane Greenwood, and lighting by Brian MacDevitt.
Following Proposals will be the Broadway hit, Smokey Joe's Cafe, featuring songs by the 1950s-60s songwriting team, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. The songs? "Love Potion #9," "On Broadway" and "Searching," among dozens of others. The show runs Dec. 23-Jan. 18, 1998.
Dreamgirls, Michael Bennett's musical fable of 1960s pop girl groups, receives a major, big-budget revival, scheduled for Jan. 1998 in the Opera House. The original won six Tony awards in 1981, including Best Book (Tom Eyen) and Actress (Jennifer Holliday). Holliday will reprise her role in most of the tour's stops, raising roofs with her trademark "And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going." Also on board for the revival will be original designers Robin Wagner (set), Theoni V. Aldredge (costumes) and Tharon Musser (lighting).
The touring production of Harold Prince's revival of Show Boat steams into the JFK Center May 26, 1998. With Kern/Hammerstein songs such as "Bill" and "Old Man River," Show Boat follows the extended family of Cap'n Andy and Parthy on their riverboat. The Royal Shakespeare Company is expected to arrive in DC in June 1998, offering a mini-festival of plays in repertory. Shows under consideration include Shakespeare's Hamlet, Cymbeline and Henry VIII, the medieval Mystery plays, Everyman and Ibsen's Little Eyolf.
Two Israeli companies are expected to take part in the Kennedy Center's "Israel At 50: A Celebration Of Statehood" Festival, set for March 1998. Rina Yerushalmi's Va Yomer ("And He Said") begins the festival March 19-22, 1998, in a production by the Cameri Theatre and ITIM Theatre Ensemble. Yerushalmi directs this Peter Brooksian, epic interpretation of the Bible.
The City will be performed by the Gersher Theatre, founded in 1991 by emigres from the former Soviet Union. (Gersher means "bridge" in Hebrew.) A musical piece, The City is based on Isaac Babel's tales of Russian Jewish life. Running March 25-29, The City will be performed in Hebrew with English translation.
Also scheduled for the season (October) are the recipients of the Kennedy Center New American Plays Fund -- to be followed by workshop readings at the Center before productions around the country. The fund was founded in 1986 by founding chairman Roger L. Stevens.
Other nice touches to the JFK Center season include "Spotlight On Theatre" programs, which give audiences a chance to meet the creative teams, and sign-interpreted and audio-described performances.
For tickets/subscriptions to the Kennedy Center call (202) 416-8500.