Last Chance: Brian Murray In Nottage's Mud, River, Stone At Playwrights Mud, River, Stone, a drama by Lynn Nottage, will end its scheduled run at Playwrights Horizons Dec. 28. Brian Murray stars in this look at an African-American couple honeymooning in South Africa, and having "an unexpected and bizarre adventure. Mud, River, Stone began performances Nov. 21 and opened Dec. 14.
Nottage's play is directed by Roger Rees and stars Brian Murray, a ubiquitous presence on and Off-Broadway (The Little Foxes, Misalliance, Da, A Small Family Business, Travels With My Aunt, Racing Demon).
Also in the cast are Oni Faida Lampley, Mirjana Jokovic, John McAdams, Michael Potts, Maduka Steady (1994's Banner) and Paula Newsome. Designing the show are Neil Patel (set), Kaye Voyce (costumes), Frances Aronson (lighting) and the design team -- Andrew Tallon & Adam Wolfensahn -- of Red Ramona (sound).
Director Rees appeared on Broadway in a recent revival of The Rehearsal. Author Nottage's Crumbs From The Table Of Joy played at the Second Stage Theatre Off-Broadway in 1995. Also that year, the Vineyard Theatre staged her Por'knockers. *
Also on tap for the Playwrights Horizons season:
Gloria Muzio, who staged Other People's Money, will direct Richard Dresser's Gun Shy, Jan. 13-Feb. 22, 1998 (opens Feb. 1, 1998). The "edgy comedy" concerns a divorced couple whose separation proves as unsuccessful as their marriage. Other plays by Dresser include The Downside, Alone At The Beach and Bed And Breakfast. His Below The Belt starred Judd Hirsch Off-Broadway and was produced by San Diego's Old Globe Theatre in May.
Tom Donaghy's Northeast Local played at Lincoln Center Theatre in late 1995; his Minutes From The Blue Route was a minor hit for the Atlantic Theatre Company earlier this season. Other plays include Down The Shore and The Dadshuttle.
From Above (April 17-May 24, 1998, opens May 10, 1998) has a "Martin Guerre"-style twist to it: a young widow is approached by an appealing stranger who claims to be her husband.
One surprising aspect of the 1997-98 Playwrights Horizons season is the absence of a musical, since recent years have brought viewers the award winning Violet, Floyd Collins and Jack's Holiday. Perhaps a musical will spring out of the "New Theatre Wing" series, held on the second floor Studio Theatre. Now in its 11th season, the Wing "provides playwrights, composers and lyricists the opportunity to develop their newest, and often boldest, work."
Tim Sanford serves as artistic director of the 26-year-old Playwrights Horizons, located at 416 West 42nd St. For more information about Playwrights Horizons' upcoming season call (212) 279-4200.
-- By David Lefkowitz