The 2000-01 season begins at Lucille Lortel's White Barn Theatre with a July 9 gala celebrating choreographers and dancers.
White Barn previously announced its 2000 season, which celebrates 53 years of theatre in Westport, Connecticut. The White Barn was founded in 1947 by the late Lucille Lortel, who served as founder-artistic director 1947-1999.
On July 9 at 6 PM, White Barn presents the "White Barn Theatre Museum Gala." This special celebration of choreographers and dancers includes a museum exhibition at 6 PM, a stage presentation at 7 PM, and a champagne reception in the theatre's green room. Among the guests scheduled to be honored at the gala are Geoffrey Holder, Carmen deLavallade, Donna McKechnie, Anna Sokolow, Valerie Bettis, Jean Erdman, Margaret Beals, Lee Theodore, Jack Cole, Katherine Dunham and Martine Van Hamel, Mara Landi among others. All gala tickets are $100 ($80 tax deductible).
The 2000-01 Season at the White Barn Theatre will feature:
• July 14-16 at 8 PM: The White barn will present The Abbott Touch, a tribute to the late legendary Broadway genius, George Abbott. A story that deals with Abbott's two loves -- Broadway and his wife Joy - this production features highlights from some of the 122 productions Abbott was associated with. The Abbott Touch will feature Joy Abbott, Davis Gaines, Adam Pelty, Alex Rybeck and Donald Saddler doing songs and dances from such Abbott musicals as The Pajama Game, High Button Shoes, On Your Toes, Pal Joey, and Damn Yankees, among others. • July 21-23 at 8 PM: William Bolcom and Joan Morris star in an evening of cabaret songs, featuring music by William Bolcom and lyrics by librettist, poet and playwright Arnold Weinstein.
• July 28-30 at 8 PM: A musical evening with Bea Arthur and Billy Goldenberg, who has who has written some original songs for this show.
• Aug. 4-6 at 8 PM: White barn presents Natoma, America's first opera, written by Victor Herbert, in 1907, and first performed in 1911. Credited as the ring leader who led the formation of the songwriter society, ASCAP, in late 1913 and early 1914, Herbert wrote Natoma from a commission by Oscar Hammerstein. Production notes indicate the opera is set in California and concerns "the love of an Indian maiden for a soldier whose life she has saved." Musical director Glenn Clugston accompanies a cast of seven singers with piano.
• Aug. 11-13 at 8 PM: Falling In Love Again with Salome Jens as Marlene Dietrich. Written by Sebastian Melitto, the show is directed by Michael Arabian with musical direction by Don Preston.
• Aug. 18-20 at 8 PM: Readings from The Gospel According to St. Luke (King James version), adapted and directed by Stuart Vaughan with a cast of two women and two men.
• Aug. 25-27 at 8 PM: Sadie Thompson, featuring a concert performance of Vernon Duke and Howard Dietz's musicalization of Somerset Maugham's story. Directed by June Havoc, star of the original cast and Donald Saddler.
• Sept. 1-3 at 8 PM: Leslie Caron as Colette, featuring the fascinating and provocative French novelist's life told in her own words.
Single tickets range from $27 - $30, which includes post performance Green Room receptions. A variety of subscription packages are available. The White barn is located on the Newton Turnpike in Westport, CT. For subscriptions, single ticket reservations and/or information call (203) 227-3768.
-- By Murdoch McBride