Tony Kushner's Homebody/Kabul, which was to open the Mark Taper Forum's 2002-03 season, has been postponed to the following season. No replacement play has been named as of yet.
Citing Kushner's currently busy schedule — the HBO filming of Angels in America, the workshop of his (and Jeanine Tesori's) new musical Caroline, or Change — Taper artistic director Gordon Davidson stated in a release "By delaying our presentation, we will be able to give Tony [Kushner] ample time to put in place ideas that he has been developing after having seen the play at the New York Theatre Workshop, [Rhode Island's] Trinity Repertory Theatre, [California's] Berkeley Repertory Theatre and in London."
Davidson also announced that helmer Frank Galati (Ragtime, The Grapes of Wrath) will helm the production for Taper in September 2003, following a separate production at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre Company in July 2003. Both companies are joining forces to workshop the work in the spring of 2003.
The rest of the season will include the West Coast premiere of Jon Robin Baitz's Ten Unknowns and the world premiere production of August Wilson's Gem of the Ocean are among the highlights planned for. Playbill On-Line reported on Jan. 19 that Baitz also planned to retool his well-received Ten Unknowns for its Taper run. The drama about a recluse artist whose ten unknown paintings are discovered by an aggressive art dealer who wants to thrust him back into the limelight was on the fast track to Broadway in 2001 until it lost its star, Donald Sutherland. Baitz has mentioned such actors as Brian Cox, Ian Holm and Nick Nolte for the Sutherland part in a Taper mounting. Ten Unknowns will play the Taper March 27-May 4, 2003.
Gem of the Ocean, the latest in Wilson's chronicle of African American life throughout the 20th Century, begins its run at the Taper July 31-Sept. 7, 2003. The drama, set in 1904, first plays Chicago's Goodman Theatre April 18-May 24 before moving to Los Angeles. Marion McClinton (King Hedley II) directs Gem, described in press materials thusly: "When Citizen Barlow, in spiritual turmoil, arrives at Aunt Ester's house claiming sanctuary from Caesar, the local constable, he sets into motion a series of events that includes a journey to the City of Bones, which leads to startling discoveries and puts him on a course where duty leads to redemption."
Three home-grown shows will also play the Taper in 2003 ? Deaf West Theatre's Big River (Nov. 5-Dec. 29), Lisa Loomer's Living Out (Jan. 30-March 9, 2003) and Culture Clash's Chavez Ravine (May 17 July 6, 2003). The latter two have been developed through the Taper's various new works programs.
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—by Ernio Hernandez
and Christine Ehren