She was Bill Cosby's wise, patient, loving spouse on TV, but now Phylicia Rashad will play a very different kind of wife: Medea, for whom revenge takes precedence over love, lust or even motherhood. Rashad plays the spurned woman who slaughters her children to get back at her husband, Jason, for banishing her and them from Corinth.
Euripides' tragedy last reached Broadway with Diana Rigg as the woman who wouldn't take her husband's "no" for an answer. The show now comes to Atlanta, GA's Alliance Theatre (the soon-to-be home of Disney's Elaborate Lives). Medea runs to June 14.
Co-starring in Medea are Curt Hostetter, Linda Stephens (Wings, Damn Yankees), Bernadine Mitchell, Mary Lynn Owen, Carol Mitchell Leon, Jim Peck, Al Hamacher, Brik Berkes, Mark Kincaid, and Josh Amoroso & Ryan Boone (as the doomed kids). Alliance artistic director Kenny Leon will direct Medea, which features sets by Marjorie Bradley Kellogg, costumes by Susan E. Mickey and lighting by Tom Sturge.
For tickets ($16-$36) and information on Medea at Alliance Theatre Company at the Woodruff Arts Center in Atlanta, call (404) 733-4690.
Though news that Alliance Theatre will debut Disney's new musical, Elaborate Lives, has taken center stage, the Atlanta resident theatre has more surprises in store for its ambitious 30th anniversary season, in 1998-99.
* The Alliance will continue its ongoing relationship with playwright Pearl Cleage by presenting the world premiere of her Ernesto's Eyes, (not to be confused by Sam Shepard's new Eyes for Consuela) about the relationships between African-Americans and Latino-Americans. The drama, from the author of Flyin' West, Blues for an Alabama Sky and Bourbon at the Border (all premiered at the Alliance) will be presented there in spring 1999, staged by Alliance Artistic Director Kenny Leon.
* It will be staged at the 200-seat Studio Theatre, Alliance's second stage. Also planned for the Studio are three recent Off-Broadway hits: David Stevens' The Sum of Us, Paula Vogel's How I Learned To Drive and Steven Dietz' Lonely Planet
* Following Elaborate Lives on the 800-seat Alliance Mainstage will be the ninth annual gospel staging of A Christmas Carol as adapted by Sandra Deer from Charles Dickens. * Next up will be Frank Galati's Tony-winning stage adaptation of John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath.
* In February 1999 will come Tom Stoppard's Arcadia, staged by David H. Bell.
* Burning Patience, Antonio Skarmeta's adaptation of the same novel made into the award-winning film Il Postino (The Postman), will follow, directed by Peggy Shannon.
* The final mainstage offering will be John Henry Redwood's The Old Settler, a romantic comedy set in N.Y's Harlem.
Subscriptions for the Alliance season are now on sale at (404) 733-4600. For the Mainstage, including Elaborate Lives: $70 - $180. For the Studio, including Ernesto's Eyes: $68-$89. Mainstage subscribers can buy a Studio subscription at 30 percent off.