Long Wharf Season Includes Shirley Valentine, Ella and Train Driver; Ivey and Fabrique to Star

News   Long Wharf Season Includes Shirley Valentine, Ella and Train Driver; Ivey and Fabrique to Star Tony Award-winning actress Judith Ivey will star in Willy Russell's Shirley Valentine for the Long Wharf Theatre's 2010-2011 season, which will also feature works by Athol Fugard, Simon Gray and the musical Ella.
Judith Ivey
Judith Ivey Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Opening the season will be Ella, Jeffrey Hatcher's musical account of the life of Ella Fitzgerald. Rob Ruggiero directs Tina Fabrique (Dessa Rose; Ragtime; Bring in 'Da Noise, Bring in 'Da Funk) in the title role of the work that first premiered in 2006 and has since been touring on the regional market. Songs include "A Tisket, A Tasket," "That Old Black Magic" and "They Can’t Take That Away from Me."

Following will be Shirley Valentine with Ivey in the title role. Ivey most recently appeared in the Long Wharf production of The Glass Menagerie, which is now playing an Off-Broadway engagement. According to the Long Wharf, "Wondering what happened to the vibrancy and joy in her life, Shirley Valentine finds herself talking to the walls. When her best friend wins a trip to Greece for two, Shirley has an opportunity to see herself in an entirely different light."

The U.S. premiere of Simon Gray's The Old Masters centers on "famous art historian Bernard Berenson and notorious art dealer Joseph Duveen [who] edge toward an explosive final encounter as their turbulent relationship erupts on the stage."

Athol Fugard, who has collaborated with the Long Wharf for several seasons, will offer the U.S. premiere of his play The Train Driver at the Connecticut theatre. Fugard directed the world premiere of the play in February at the South African theatre named in his honor. "Roelf Visagie wanders the graveyards of Port Elizabeth, searching among the unnamed ones for the final, nondescript resting place of a young woman he unintentionally killed. When Roelf looks for answers, he encounters a mysterious gravedigger who guides him towards tenuous and troubled understanding."

Long Wharf has yet to fill the final two slots on the season plate. The company states that one will be a world premiere by an "innovative" American playwright. Dates of production will be announced shortly.

For tickets visit LongWharf.org.

The Long Wharf Theatre is located at 222 Sargent Drive in New Haven, CT.

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