Like it or not, Center Stage in Baltimore, MD, ends its run of William Shakespeare's As You Like It, at the Pearlstone Theatre, Dec. 20.
The comedy (which began previews Nov. 12 and opened Nov. 18) was directed by Center Stage artistic director Irene Lewis, who recently staged The Skin of Our Teeth in Central Park with John Goodman and Kristen Johnston.
The cast includes Robert Dorfman as Touchstone and Diana LaMar, in the trousers role of Rosalind. Rosalind's love interest, Orlando, is played by Stephen Barker Turner. And Jacques, who delivers the famous "seven ages of man" speech, is played by Firdous Bamji.
Next in the mainstage season is Jitney (Jan. 8-Feb. 14; opening Jan. 13, 1999) -- August Wilson's recently revised, early drama, about the eccentric and sometimes desperate denizens of a Pittsburgh gypsy cab stand- follows. Marion McClinton directs this co-production with Boston's Huntington Theatre Company. It's expected that Wilson will do further work on the piece in conjunction with this production. The Pearlstone season end's with Shaw's Mrs. Warren's Profession (Mar. 26-May 2; opening Apr. 1, 1999). Lewis returns to the helm to pilot the Shavian tale of prostitution and social hypocrisy.
Meanwhile, in the smaller Head Theater, things get rolling with Heather MacDonald's An Almost Holy Picture (Jan. 29-Feb. 18; opening Feb. 3, 1999). In the play, Samuel's daughter Ariel is born with a rare disorder. He believes it's God's punishment for his wrongs, though his local bishop convinces him "grace enters thorough a wound." No director has been named.
Gum (Mar. 7-28; opening Mar. 12, 1999), by Karen Hartman, comes next. The drama, which contains explicit language and sexual content, is about two religious, adolescent sisters facing the rite of circumcision.
The Center Stage season will conclude with either Dianne McIntyre's musical (with songs by Kysia Bostic), I Could Stop On a Dime and Get Ten Cents Change or Lynn Nottage's Crumbs From The Table of Joy. The former tells of McIntyre's father and his life in 1920s-30s Cleveland. The latter looks at black life in the 1950s.
For subscriptions ($66-$214), tickets and information on the Center Stage season, please call (410) 332-0033.
With 13,600 subscribers in tow (up a full thousand from last year), Baltimore's Center Stage attracts more than 110,000 patrons over the course of a season.