The world premiere of Steven Drukman's Going Native and Ruben Santiago-Hudson's Lackawanna Blues will complete the Long Wharf Theatre's 2002-03 Stage II season. One mainstage season show has not yet been announced.
The Long Wharf workshopped Going Native in October, 2001 as a part of their "In the Works" playreading series. Greg Leaming, who directed that reading, will also helm the premiere. A comic examination of New York subcultures, Going Native is about Paul, a gay, Jewish neurotic who falls in love with NIck, a Brooklyner still living in the closet, and the myriad troubles their relationship causes. A journalist and theatre scholar and historian, Drukman is also the author of Bullet Round.
Santiago-Hudson, known for his TV appearances on "NYPD Blue" and "Michael Hayes" and his Tony win for Seven Guitars, plays over twenty characters in Lackwanna Blues, set in his home town of Lackawanna, New York in 1956. The Obie-winning drama centers on Miss Rachel's boarding house, where a parade of eccentric, dreaming and lost souls come to stay.
Going Native and Lackawanna Blues joins a new double-bill by Pulitzer Prize winner Donald Margulies entitled Two Days. That evening will pair his July 7, 1994 with a world premiere one-act commissioned by the Long Wharf.
No dates have been announced for the productions. Subscriptions to the Long Wharf are $93-$345. For reservations, call (203) 787-4282. The Long Wharf Theatre is on the web at http://www.longwharf.org. *
On the Long Wharf's mainstage, it will be springtime for pop star Duncan Sheik and one long polish joke for comic scribe David Ives. The New Haven, Connecticut company will stage both Duncan Sheik-Steven Sater's rock musical Spring Awakening and Ives' fresh Polish Joke, as well as Marivaux's Triumph of Love, in the 2002-03 season. Dates for the productions have not yet been set.
Spring Awakening is a musical retelling of Wedekind's expressionist work about teenagers, tyrannical parents, sex and violence. Michael Mayer (Thoroughly Modern Millie, Side Man) will direct at the Long Wharf, then repeating his duties Off-Broadway when the show makes its expected transfer to the Roundabout Theatre's new 46th Street theatre space in spring 2003.
"It's dark," Mayer told Playbill On-Line Feb 6. "It's Wedekind. It's a very literal adaptation about those three kids, and coming of age sexually. It's like a cautionary tale about what happens to your kids if you don't talk to them about sex. The music is very haunting. It's pop. It's not sung-through. It jumps between Germany in the 19th century and the United States now, it's really stylistic."
Spring Awakening has over 20 songs, performed live by a rock 'n' roll band. lyrics and libretto are by Steven Sater with music by pop star Sheik ("Barely Breathing"), and was developed at the Sundance Theatre in Utah. It also received a workshop at the Roundabout Theatre Company in late 2000.
Young Jaisu Sadlowski, the hero of Ives' Polish Joke is desperate to escape the ancestry that leaves him the butt of ethnic heritage's cruellest jokes. He changes his name and moves away from home, but he still discovers that you can never run away from who you really are. Polish Joke premiered in the summer of 2001 at Seattle's A Contemporary Theatre.
John Rando directs. He has helmed past Ives works including Mere Mortals Off-Broadway, All in the Timing and the world premiere of Lives of the Saints . Rando is currently represented on Broadway with Urinetown.
Stephen Wadsworth adaptation of Triumph of Love joins the previously announced season, which includes Jane Alexander in a trimmed down version of Eugene O'Neill's Mourning Becomes Electra, directed by Gordon Edelstein (fall, 2002) and a new double-bill by Pulitzer Prize winner Donald Margulies entitled Two Days, to be directed by Lisa Peterson.
— By Christine Ehren
and Kenneth Jones